Over the past few years there has been a big rise in the amont of people fishing with lures in saltwater. Back in the day, the likes of Mike Ladle and his books Operation Sea Angler and Hooked on Bass, inspired a generation of anglers to experiment with lures. In particular hard plastic jointed plugs.
Since then, anglers like Henry Gilby and Keith White have popularised lure fishing in saltwater with soft plastics. This is a style of fishing which has a huge following in Japan, and the States. Its a different style of fishing, very unlike that which most shore fishermen are used to – and you need to get your head around that ! But if you like travelling light and moving around and “thinking” about your fishing – then I would recomend it.
Like most aspects of sport, you can take things to the extreme – particularly in terms of tackle. But if you are starting out, then look out for a 7 or 8 foot lure rod rated to cast 7-20g. A 3000 or 4000 sized reel filled with 10kg braid, and a 4 foot 15lb flurocarbon leader. From the kayak, I use a Teklon Concept 702 (ML/L) – and you could get away with this from the rocks too. I team this up with an Okuma RAW II 40 reel, 10kg Varivas braid and a 15lb Berkley flurocarbon leader.
A couple of years back, I started fishing Texas style – using special worm hooks and cone leads – the hook is buried in your choice of soft plastic lure. When fishing ver rough ground (usually where the fish are hiding !) this method reduces the amount of gear you lose quite considerably. Latex Senko worms are very popular for this style of fishing, especially for wrasse – and you can catch some really chunky specimens. A while back I was reading lots of articles about Isome power worms – these things look like ragworms, but are made of soft plastic and are scented. I had heard alot about them, people were even catching flounder and thin lipped mullet on them, so I had to give them a go.
First time out, I paddled out in the kayak to a spot I had never tried before – it looked promising, but I have to be honest, I didn’t rate my chances much. How wrong I was ! First cast, I hooked a pollack on the drop, this was followed by several other smaller ones and some wrasse – enough to prove the point.
Later on in the year, I managed a PB wrasse of well over 6lbs on a texas rigged soft plastic worm. I actually spotted the fish and cast to it, a bit like trout fishing – and once hooked, it towed the kayak along, putting up one hell of a scrap. I have caught some brutal wrasse in Alderney from the shore, but that was on very heavy gear. Fishing with lighter lure tackle is something else (and I havent even mentioned LRF !!!).
So, if you are like me, and you like to try different styles of fishing – give lure fishing a go, stick at it, and you might find yourself with a big grin on your face 😉