beach bum.

artificial lite.

Archive .

artificial lite

Looking forward....

Well I have decided to make another trip to the seaside on Saturday. More, EVEN MORE, money has been spent. My second rod now has an identical Penn Affinity 8000 to the first. This one however has been loaded with fluo yellow .23, 15 kg Power Pro braid (30lbs?). I did try loading it straight onto the shallow braid spool, intending to stop with the line low enough to create some resistance across the lip. Not wanting to waste expensive braid, I figured that only winding on around 200 yards would underfill the spool and leave enough to refill a spinning reel? With that in mind, I tied the end to the shallow braid spool and measured the line recovered by one turn of the handle. It was one metre. After one hundred metres were loaded, I inspected the spool and was disappointed to find it already as full as I wanted it to be. I decided to wind the full 275 metres onto the much deeper mono spool and see what I was left with then. That wasn't ideal either. It was a bit low and nowhere near as neatly laid as it had been on the shallower spool. As always seems to be the case, no matter what the manufacturers come up with, I always want something different.

Anyway, I have left it at that. Underfilled is better than overfilled. If it works and crack offs are eliminated, then maybe I will fill it out with a little backing. I have removed some line from the other reel and that is at the halfway house stage. Not as low as the new one but lower than it was. I should at least be able to establish an ideal level.

I have gone for 30 lbs braid this time because I want to leave some margin for snoods to be weaker than the running line. I would prefer to have the line break as close to the hook as possible in extremis and using 60 lb snoods ahead of a 20 lbs running line does not sit comfortably with me. This way I can at least use 25 lb snoods and leave the really heavy ones for fish that might bite me off. Even then, maybe I could use a 25lb weak link behind the rubbing leader. I don't see me breaking a 25 lbs leader with the rod.



I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk



beach bum.

artificial lite.

Much ado about nothing.

All those lost leads have been replaced and the tackle box is full again. For the first time I will be going shore fishing with some experience under my belt. I will know where not to set up and how much bait to take. It is a start. Long term, I would like to target cod, conger, rays and smooth hounds. The bigger fish I suppose, after all the rods and leads are a significant dampener on the sporting abilities of small fish. I would argue that collecting personal bests and species counts are the way to enjoy small fish on heavy gear. That is a bit weird to somebody who usually uses tackle that allows even 4 oz perch to show off their fighting qualities. Challenging and entertaining for all that. For the time being I hope to refine my abilities on flounders and dogfish. Fingers crossed for Saturday then.


.....Looking back

Bristol Channel, High Tide 13.39 BST, 10.2 metres and falling, warm and overcast. Two hours up, one and a half down.

I have fished off the shore twice now and I feel I am making progress, not on the fish-catching front, I blanked emphatically, but purely on the level that I am functioning as a shore angler. That is massive progress really and while I don't believe that you learn anything about fish by not catching them, I have gained a little more experience that will one day fit into place once I do.

Both rods are now sporting 80 lbs braid leaders, tied with super-glued, improved albright knots. They still rattle through the rings, but I never lost so much as a single lead today. Last time, using level 60 lbs mono shockers, I shed four complete sets of gear and was basically scared to cast at all, never mind go for distance. Today, confidence grew with every cast and although I have no idea how far I was throwing, I do know that winding in was becoming a chore! It looked a bloody long way to me.

While 5 oz held rock solidly with both, there was noticeably less pressure on the rod with the finer .15, 20 lbs braid than there was on the one bearing .23, 30lbs braid. No surprise there, but until I start pulling for breaks, the jury is out on whether I shall step up or down to get both the same. In the meantime it is handy to identify which is which having the twenty in red and the thirty in yellow. The 80 is just some cheap dyneema that I had lying around. In future I might find some that is finer, so that could help when using the heavier stuff. On these shallow beaches that shockleader is a large percentage of the line actually in the water for the current to bear on.

The worst part of the whole sea fishing with bait process is without doubt, the bait. It stinks, it's messy and just all round disgusting. I had mackerel, squid and lug with me this time, all frozen, and fished Squid/lug cocktail on one rod and large mackerel strips on the other all day long. Probably the worst thing about these baits is the time they take to tie on. In order to keep fresh bait in the water as long as possible, I baited four rigs. Two were cast out and after half an hour wound in and replaced by the two spares already waiting, double patting apparently. With baits back in the water immediately, the two washed out baits were cut off and replaced. I did become quicker towards the end of the session, but even so I was still only getting ten minutes or so to watch the rods, grab a coffee or watch the world go by, hardly relaxing.

Tackle considerations aside, the story of the day was the blank. From reading up and video watching, it would seem that higher tides and night fishing are most effective, but is that location specific or generally true? Others seem to expect little on short tides during the day but still catch or get bites. Was I in the wrong place at the wrong time of the day, or even the wrong time of the year. Should I have gone for distance, or smaller baits? The water was calm, but as usual here, very dirty and the light levels were low due to the low cloud cover, surely that would have reduced clarity enough, or maybe there just wasn't enough water over their heads, or maybe there were no fish there to catch. Refining rigs and bait presentation are, to my mind, routes that you go down to get more or better bites, to increase the catch rate or lose less fish. Until you get some takes, there is nothing to refine or improve.

Just to demonstrate that the truth at this stage is unfathomable, I have just been watching an old video about cod fishing in which the presenter was fishing in exactly the same spot that I was yesterday. Not just the same mark, the very same spot, and he caught a couple of cod to about eight pounds and lost a good conger, apparently on identical baits, in water that was certainly no higher than yesterday and in bright sunshine.

So, then, what shall I do next time? New mark perhaps? Maybe I should return to the same place, strive for distance on one rod and scale down for smaller fish with a two hook flapper on the other. Will persistence? and repeated visits to the one spot teach me more than flitting around. It may just be a bit early for cod in this spot, between seasons if you like, or it may be a shit spot or I may just be unlucky.