With spring time now well under way and the onset of summer promised by the met office this coming weekend, no doubt many of you will be taking to the ocean for that first attempt on the cod, pollack and bass. At this time of year, fishing with artificial lures on the end of long flowing traces can be especially deadly when working over an offshore wreck or reef system.
When we started listing Sidewinder lures ten years ago, we realised how good they were but what we didn’t realise was just how popular the lures would become. They are now our biggest selling ready-to-fish soft plastic lure and boat anglers seem to lap them up, buying dozens of packets at a time. Over time, the lure which started its life in just a few basic colours has evolved and is now available in a huge number of variations.
Fishing with the Sidewinder Sandeel really couldn’t be easier. A simple flying collar rig should be tied with the trace itself constructed of a fluorocarbon with a breaking strain of around 15 – 25lb, depending on the size of your intended quarry. The trace length is the subject of much discussion, but something of around 10 – 15’ is generally considered about right.
Selecting your lure colour on the day is something else again and more often than not a favourite colour will reveal itself leading to those fishing with it getting hounded by their mates for any spares of that winning flavour. The moral to the story is that a selection of lures on the day will ensure that somewhere within your box you will have what the fish are looking for.
The main point when fishing with this traditional flowing trace method is to take your time when lowering the gear down to the bottom. Drop the lure over the side of the boat first and allow it to sink a little before lowering the lead once the trace has extended in the tide. Keep your thumb on the spool of the reel (assuming you’re using a multiplier) and keep a controlled and steady descend of the tackle. Failure to do this will result in the lure rising up in the water and more often than not wrapping itself around your mainline.
Once the tackle hits the bottom, wind up a few turns so that it is as near to the bottom as possible without snagging. If fishing aboard a charter boat, the skipper will inform you when the boat is approaching the wreck so listen out for his instructions. You may have to wind up twenty turns or more to clear the wreck, but it can be a fine line between getting as close to it as possible where the fish will be and snagging the lure on the wreck.
If you’re able to get afloat over the Bank Holiday weekend, have a great time, stay safe and remember we’re always keen to see your catch photo’s.
If you’d like to share your catch, email any pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.