Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fishing The Margins

              You ease back the throttle as you approach the small rocky bay, moving as quietly as a boat and engine can allow.With wind and tide direction calculated the engine is cut at the start point of your planned drift.
       Picking up your pre-rigged rod and unclipping the chosen lure a quick scan of the immediate area is made. A small gully is spotted with some fizz in it, this white topped area of turbulence has been created by the gentle swell hitting a recently submerged ledge of rock just in front of the entrance to the gully. As you prepare to cast into this potential fish holding position you remind yourself not to over cast as this is the shoreline and your prized lure will be high and dry if you over do it.
       You ease back on the power as you pull the rod through but your smooth technique and modern rod make the lure fly better than anticipated .A finger pinch on the line stops the lure mid air and it drops straight into the gully. Mild panic turns to pride as you congratulate yourself on a skillful cast.
        You take up the slack as your lure is being washed around in the surface commotion, the lure starts to move but before you even settle into the retrieve something grabs the lure, the rod slams over and your heart is in your mouth...............

        This type of fishing is great for many different reasons but the two points that I'm focusing on here are the ease at targeting the shoreline and that even in a boat it can be done with some stealth as its possible to stay a good distance away and cast in.

    Approaching the same mark from the shore many anglers focus their first attention on the potential fish holding areas at the range of their casting ability. By walking out to the waters edge and casting out a lure they may well of just missed some decent fish. Even anglers who think they are being stealthy are quite often not . I've done it myself and seen it done many times, if you see a fish when you approach it probably saw you first, never mind the ones that you didn't see.

  On some days Julian ,my fishing buddy, and I may have walked a long way carrying gear as its not always possible to ramble along the shoreline fishing as we go, if it is then spooking fish in one spot is not as bad, as at the next we can be more careful.
   If we've made the effort though, to first drive to an area and then walked to our chosen piece of coastline, then we want to maximise our chances by covering the venue as efficiently as possible. Fishing short is our first focus and we view this as part one of the session . The plugs stay in the box for now and generally flies or soft plastics are put into action.
     It actually takes quite a lot of effort to be stealthy especially when you're excited and you just want to get on with it . Crouching as low as possible or crawling on your knees and spare hand can be uncomfortable and slow to get about, never mind the fact that it feels daft. Keeping the rod low and avoiding temptation to get your head  up and have a look take concentration, but if the tide is flooding and conditions are calm and clear it can make the difference between luring bass or scaring them.
    As is well known bass will come into very shallow water during the flood  so practising to fish the margins when you're shorefishing will improve your catch rate in the long run , try surface fishing  that weightless soft plastic or send a fly out into those first few metres of water, use your imagination, it's possible to cast even the smallest of lures , what about an imitation  shrimp or crab ? There's all sorts of possibilities
   After we've covered our available shoreline by fishing short we'll cover it again at distance ,usually though we've already caught bass.
    This fish was caught on a beautiful day near Rosscarbery in West Cork , it was hooked in the shallow clear water behind....... Julian had to be very careful and quiet in his approach , if he had walked on the rock behind him he would have spooked the fish and would probably have not even seen it as it swam away.

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