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Fishy habits

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  • Old Nick
    The Mackerel will be running up the West of Ireland and around the Western and Northern Isles, soon. The shoals can cover anything up to 10 miles square!

    This means that it is difficult to find anything in these waters, except Mackerel...... HOWEVER!.........

    I found, some 30 years ago, that I would occasionally pull up a jumbo whiting, to double figures, if I did not get hit by Macks on the way down and this got me thinking.

    I first indulged in Mackerel Fishing, working the boats out of Lyme Regis, as a youngster. The Old Salts used to recommend dropping the feathers to the seabed and then retrieving them about 2 fathoms (12ft) to where the Mackerel would be feeding.

    But, mainly, Whiting are bottom feeders.

    My original hypothesis was that, if I were a big hungry Whiting, I would happily follow the big Mackerel shoals, as they rip through the smaller fry and get an easy meal off the remnants, floating down to the seabed!

    The problem was, how to get through the predatory Mackerel shoal!

    My answer was to construct a feather carrier. This consisted of a piece of 3mm perspex, about 150mm long and 25mm wide. At one end I mounted a 40mm length of metal, cut from a 6" nail (having disposed of the pointed end). This would be approximately 15mm from the end of the strip.A, about 3mm from both ends of the strip, split rings were mounted, through 2mm holes. Along one side of the strip I cut a series of 3mm slots. These were arranged at an angle of 45 deg., slanting in the direction of the nail fragment.

    The slots were to carry the hooks.

    To tackle up, the split ring, furthest from the nail fragment was clipped to the line, via a normal swivel clip, with the feather trace on the other end.

    Elevating the rod tip over my shoulder, I would turn the perspex strip back on itself, along the line. The slots would now be turned upward.

    Starting from the top slot, mount each hook, in turn, starting with the top hook of the trace and finishing with the hook nearest the weight.

    Tackling up was finished by laying the main line along the carrier, over the shanks of the hooks and ONE wrap of line around the nail fragment.

    The whole trace and carrier were self supporting at this point, held firm by the tackle weight.

    The trace and carrier could then be gently lowered through the Mackerel shoal to the seabed.

    When the trace and carrier hit the seabed, a shake of the rod tip and a swift lifting of the rod, would cock the trace, ready for the Whiting.

    My fishing friends were fascinated and eagerly joined me in the boat, for the trial. My wife saw us off with the words, "If you catch any, I'll clean and gut the lot!"

    2 hours later she was facing a bath full of jumbo WHiting, average weight 11lb!

    She never made that type of comment again!

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  • Kingfisher
    Now that's what blog on TA 's about! Intriguing mate !

    Leave a comment:

  • Old Nick
    started a topic Fishy habits

    Fishy habits

    Over the years I have spent many hours watching what tiddlers do......... bearing in mind that tiddlers grow up!

    Flies in shallow water and spinners.

    Many large Trout lie in clear, shallow chalk streams. These tend to be narrow, shallow and slow running. this presents a couple of conundrums for the fly and spinner.

    If you drop a fly, or spinner into clear water, under the nose of a tiddler, it will initially turn away and maybe head for cover. If you leave the lure lying on the bottom, after some minutes the tiddler will return, look at the lure and ignore it......... until it moves......... and bang!........ another tiddler snatched!

    Using this information, I have, on slow hot days, applied the knowledge to the capture of good, plate sized Trout!......... a sinking line and a patient wait, for about 1/4 hour and ...........YES!

    Fish in deep water

    Have you ever been frustrated by the obvious presence of sizeable fish out in the deeps of a lake? You cannot get to them with a float and the ledger fails to entice anything!

    Once again the tiddler shows the way! I found that while hungry tiddlers will happily munch all loose bits of bread, as they slowly sink, they will just as happily ignore bread, concealing a fine hook! Aplying this observation to the problem of deep-lying Big-uns, I came up with this VERY successful tactic.

    First, the bait: do not bother with your mealies, boilies, smoiloies, or whatever!........... look under the stones and divots on the lake bank!........ herein you will find you quarry's Fave Nosh!........ the nematode/wurm....... whatever you might call it.........

    It does not need to be particularly large......... in fact most are not!

    Next the delivery: mount the worm, as normal, on your hook of choice. DO NOT weight the line!............ well, at least, not conventionally.......... The delivery weight is going to be disposable....... and non-polluting!

    Select a suitable pebble. I find that elongated, thin pebbles are best........ It needs to be just heavy enough to carry the bait, but not heavy enough to significantly bend the tip of the rod.

    Attach the pebble close to the baited hook, using a CLOVE HITCH.

    The clove hitch will remain intact, while subjected to the weight of the pebble.

    Gently lob the pebble and hook out to the location of the deep lying fish and, as it hits the water, gently shake the rod tip.......... This will disengage the pebbleand clove hitch.......... and the worm will slowly and seductively sink!

    My experience is, when the fish are biting, this will result in a bite within seconds.

    DO NOT STRIKE!!!!!!!!! Just lift your tip and apply smooth pressure to the fish and it will hook the lip without fuss........... and away you go!

    Sea Shore spinning

    Sea Bass have a habit of lying relatively deep, taking advantage of seabed gullies, in which to lie in ambush.

    There is a plethora of jellies, available for sea jigging these days, but useless for casting. They are, however, virtually irresistible to Bass!

    There is also a not so small problem concerning the size of the ocean!

    These days I use a modification of the Booby Bead in conjunction with a jelly, or shad. My boobies ( ) are home made, from white 5mm polystyrene tube and 4mm ball bearings (available from model shops). You will also need some 5mm polystyrene rod and polystyrene cement.

    Cut about 1/2inch of tube and block one end with a thin slice of rod (suitably cemented). Enclose a ball bearing and block the open end of the tube with another sliver of rod. MAKE SURE THE BALL BEARING MOVES FREELY INSIDE.

    Pierce each end of the tube with a fine drill bit (say 1mm). This will take your line.

    Thread your line through the "drummer" tube and tie off your lure.

    Using some stop knotting, make sure the drummer is held close to the lure.

    Referring to my suggestion for the pebble, fix one close to the lure and drummer........ and you are ready for business!

    Cast oblique to the shore, uptide, shake the pebble loose and allow the lure to sink and drift downtide. Occasionally jerk the line,to get the drummer vibrating. After a suitable wait (up to you!) retrieve in a series of short jerks........ and the best of British!

    I have used these techniques for years, with great success, so I am happy to put my money on you finding equal success!

    Tight Lines!