Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nuclear fishin.

I spent a few hours down at Torness Power Station outflow yesterday pestering the resident bass again. After catching a few at distance on a slowly retrieved metal and a jighead mounted paddletail I switched to jigging micro metals at close range. It was great fun and I even saw some of the takes as the fish came from the bottom to grab the lure which is always exciting.

I fished a few diffirent micro jigs and the bass were loving them. This one is a cheap and cheerful Hart X-Mebaru jig with one of my own assist hooks attached to the top using a micro clip. Almost all the fish were nicely lip hooked. Great for catch and release.

I like fishing with metals and it's really something I should do more often. With doing so in mind I think I'm going to be stocking up on more jigs in the 3-5g range. I might get the vice out and tie up some more micro assist hooks to use with them as well.

Tight lines, Scott.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fin perfect.

I caught a few small bass today on one of my favourite metals, the Reins Palpuntin. Their spiky dorsal fin looks pretty damn cool. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

More light game fun on Madeira.

I enjoyed a week's holiday down on Madeira last month. It was a family holiday but as ever I managed to squeeze some tackle into my suitcase and did a spot of light game fishing. Conditions varied throughout the week but as the island is small and we had a hire car I always managed to find some shelter and did a bit of fishing. There were no real surprises in what was caught although I did catch a few sand smelt that looked quite different to the ones I've caught before in the UK and I'd later discover they were a new species.

The first day it was pretty wet. Especially up in the valley where we were staying.
For my first session I started off fishing inside Porto Moniz's deep harbour. Things were pretty slow but I eventually caught some ornate wrasse which were present at short range amongst rocks and close to the harbour's walls.
Aggressive and toothy lizardfish were caught further out. Both the diamond and Atlantic varieties were in their usual full on kamikaze mood and I caught both.
Canary damselfish were another species I caught. Pretty little things.

Towards the end of my first session I tried fishing from a new spot on the rocks at the back of the large swimming pools at Porto Moniz. It was a nice mark and after catching a few more small fish I hooked something bigger straight down the side which had my rod bend over and tried its best to get into the rocks. After a couple of hairy moments a dusky grouper appeared on the surface, beaten I thought, but it managed to throw the hook with one last thrash as I got into position to land it.

A nice spot but a change in the wind's direction during the night would prevent me returning due to the swell which was a shame.

The following afternoon we drove up onto the plains at the western end of the island and then back down the winding cliffside roads where we had lunch in Porto Moniz. On the way back to Sao Vincente we stopped and I had an hour or so to fish.

The apartment had a lovely garden and when the sun came out so did the lizards.
Considering it is basically a large lump of volcanic rock Madeira is an incredibly lush island.

As well as revisiting places I fished the last time I was on the island I tried a few new spots as well. This spot near Seixal looked good on Google Maps and access was pretty easy too as there was a road all the way down leading to a swimming pool at the bottom.

Looked quite promising.
Drop shot rigs were the main method I employed during the trip. In deep water and windy conditions they offer great control and a lot of the fish are near the bottom anyway.
I fished at the end of a strange twisted lava rock formation. Again though the fishing was tough and most bites came at close range from the usual suspects.
Puffers are cool fish but generally are a bit of a pain. They bite soft plastics to pieces with their razor sharp teeth often damaging your line in the process. Occasionally I'd manage to hook one.

Half way through the trip the girls spent a day walking in the forests around the valley where we were staying and I got the use of the car. I headed to the South coast of the island to fish a few spots there hoping for flatter seas as the wind was now coming from a northerly direction. The harbour at Ribeira Brava was my first stop and it had a big shoal of small fish taking shelter in it. Rigging up a 3g jig with a tiny treble hook and twitching it through them soon saw me discovering what they were. Most were tiny Atlantic chub mackerel but I also caught what I'd later discover were my first ever big scale sand smelt. 

The big scale sand smelt has a much shorter snout and less scales along its lateral line than the variety that is found in the UK.

Afterwards I headed further west to explore some more new spots but overall the fishing was really pretty poor and I ended up heading back up the west coast to Porto Moniz again where I sought shelter inside the harbour. Ornate wrasse, lizardfish  and Canary damselfish again made up the bulk of the fish caught but I also added a few more species to my tally in the shape of a Madeira rockfish and parrotfish.

Small but...
...perfectly formed.

Before I left to head back for dinner I tried a new spot further round inside the harbour which was much shallower and had a bit more structure on the bottom in the form of some rocky areas. This held a few common two banded seabream.

Good fun on my ultra light tackle..

On the way back to Sao Vincente I couldn't resist popping down to revisit the harbour in Seixal. The last time I was on the island and briefly fished it the water inside was very dirty but on this occasion it was very clear and this made it much easier to quickly catch a few of my target species. After shaking a few off the hook I decided not to risk being stung any longer and called an end to catching poisonous fish.

Siexal harbour is full of fine black sand. The lesser weevers that spend most of their time buried in it have adapted to match.

Towards the end of our trip we headed all the way up into the island's mountains again to visit the small village of Santana. There we saw some examples of what typical houses on the island looked like in the past.

Quaint little dwellings.
After visiting Santana we went down to the coastal town of Porto da Cruz for lunch. Before we left I did have a few chucks here from the rocks at the western end of the beach but sadly all they produced were a solitary ornate wrasse.

On the last full day of the trip the girls wanted to spend the day shopping and exploring the capital Funchal. After dropping them off I headed east and tried a final new spot, a small concrete pier below the cliffs at Porto Novo. The water there was very deep and I enjoyed my most productive session of the trip in terms of the number of fish caught. I added two more species to my tally in the shape of a few saddled seabream and common pandora. I also saw some very brief surface activity at one point but by the time I had rigged up a jig and cast it towards the area it had all ceased again.

My last few fish of the trip were common pandora.

Fishing in the winter can be tough and I think the fishing on Madeira, relatively speaking, is the same. Both times I've visited the island in February and I really need to visit in the summer as I think the fishing will be so much better and I now have a fairly good knowledge of different marks to fish. Maybe next year I'll do just that but in the mean time I've got a few more holidays booked this year to look forward to. I'm off to Lanzarote with my mate Nick at the start of May for a week's fishing and we might pop over to La Graciosa to see what the fishing is like over there as well. At the end of August I'm off to the western end of Crete with Lillian for a fortnight and some tackle will be going too. You an't beat some foreign light game fun. Even when it's poor it's still better than going out in the freezing cold here! That being said, I've not been out fishing in the UK for way too long and that is something I plan on rectifying soon.

Tight lines, Scott.