Tag Archives: LRF

February – An alternative approach for a quiet fishing month

We all know how slow the fishing can be in February. But have you ever considered what fish may be feeding under your feet? A huge number of mini species remain at the base of rocks, harbour walls and jetties throughout the year and can provide some great fun with the right tackle. Bruce Hough gives us an insight in to how he approaches LRF (light Rock Fishing) in todays blog.

Generally, as sea anglers we spend much of our time in pursuit of that dream fish, and I’m no exception, but for myself it’s not all about the “bigguns” and during those sometimes long periods of inactivity when the big baits sit awaiting attention, I enjoy nothing more than dabbling in a bit of LRF (Light Rock Fishing).

By fining down your tackle and dropping very small baits down the edge it’s surprising the amount of smaller species that can be found below our feet.

The mini species, as they’re known, come in a massive variety of shapes, colours and forms, and with tackle to suit, can give great sport and endless fun for not just adults but also juniors, the elderly and disabled alike, especially during the warmer months.

Thumbnail sized slithers of fish, ragworm, a squid tentacle or a leg of a peeler crab matched to fine wire hooks of size 6 to as low as size 22 on a light paternoster style rig will account for the various Gobies, Blennies and Rockling.

A colourful array of gobies and blennies

A colourful array of gobies and blennies

as well as many colourful Wrasse such as the Ballan, Goldsinney, Rock Cook, Corkwing or Cuckoo.

How to catch wrasse

 

With perseverance and a little luck, more exotic species such as Dragonet or even Tadpole fish can be tempted.

sea fishing for cod

Despite its name, LRF doesn’t have to be solely from the rocks, in fact any structure such as piers, marinas, harbour walls, breakwaters and even some promenades will have a resident population of fish to target.

Another effective method is to add small baits to Sabiki Rigs, fished on the bottom these will tempt all the usual critters but when “twitched” will also appeal to the voracious Sea Scorpion, Poor Cod and Pouting.

fishing with lures

 

Try them off the bottom with small fish strips and they can be deadly for Sand Smelt, small Coalfish and Pollack.

Lure fishing for bass

Tackle for this type of fishing need not be expensive at all and a simple light spinning rod rated up to 28g coupled with a 2000 sized fixed spool reel will suffice nicely and handle any surprise bigger fish should they come along.

Mono from 5 -10lb will do the job but I personally prefer braid (Power Pro is highly recommended) for the low diameter and superior bite detection, which I tie direct to the chosen rig.

I also keep my lead weight/sinker as light as I can get away with to present everything as naturally as I can.
My choice of hooks come from leading manufacturers such as Trabucco, Yuki, Sasame or Sabpolo and are widely available, but for the majority of my fishing, I find that most coarse fishing hooks are also well up to the job and will handle any larger fish.
Sinkers can also come in a variety of styles including non-toxic, drop shot and slim line and shiny which can be used for added attraction. Among the accessories I carry are very small lures, jigs and artificial baits such as Isome which can be flicked out and slowly dragged and twitched along the bottom for various flatfish and even predators such as Bass or bumped over rocks and up through the water levels for Ballan Wrasse and bigger Pollack. There really is no end to the amount of experimenting that can be done.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that these little guys aren’t worth the effort or bait, match them with fine tipped rods and very light tackle and they’ll certainly “pull your string” and get the adrenalin going in their own little way.

So next time the going gets tough, get searching for those forgotten species that live in the crooks and crannies amongst the weed and rocks where you don’t need to be a tournament caster.

LRF Tronix Rockfish, not just for saltwater

Tronix Pro HTO Rockfish L – A ‘Fresh’ Angle
Let’s start by saying that when the whole LRF thing started I was to say the least a little sceptical and the idea of paying £200+ on a tiny rod to catch gobies just did not float my boat! Tronix however have moved the goal posts big time and with the introduction of their ‘Rockfish’ range have made what appeared to be an overpriced elitist way of recapturing the angling of your youth into a very reasonably priced way of enjoying ultra-light lure fishing for a wide variety of species.
It was an impromptu trip to Weymouth which persuaded me to part with £34.99 and buy a Rockfish L. Given my time scale ‘serious’ angling and all the associated tackle and bait was not an option but a small rod, reel and handful of soft plastics would not be an issue. The upshot was a rather enjoyable mornings angling with various wrasse, blennies and small Pollack. The light gear allowed fish which on standard beach gear would be inconsequential nothingness’s turn into a worthy target providing comparatively savage bites and rod bending action.

Tronix HTO Rockfish

Rockfish HTO in Action

The rod then returned to the shed where I expected it to stay until the next possible visit to a suitable sea side venue. This however was not the case as a chance walk along the local canal revealed some rather nice looking perch lurking around the stone work of a bridge. Like many others a perch was the first fish I caught and I have had a bit of a soft spot for them ever since. So the following day I was back, but this time I had the Rockfish L a few 3gm Maria Beak heads and some 2’’ shads. At first the perch did not seem interested but a change of retrieve to a slow stop start action, which allowed the lure to rise and fall near the bottom, produced a sharp tap which was clearly visible on the rods fine white tip. Unsure if it was a bite or just yet more weed, I gave a quick strike and was rewarded by the characteristic jagging resistance of a perch.

Perch caught on LRF sea fishing tackle

Perch on LRF

Ok so it was not a monster but it was caught by design on tackle which allowed it to fight back and meant that I was probably more ‘hooked’ than the fish.
The result of this is that I have now given the Rockfish L a fair testing on the local canal and drains and my tally of perch has risen quite steadily. This is in no small way down to the superb action and sensitivity of what is after all a very cheap rod. Perch seem to be absolute suckers for a falling lure and by holding the rod at a fairly high angle you can watch the tip as you wind and pause. Nearly all the bites come when you pause and the lure sinks. The takes are shown as a small but very positive tap. Braid, such as the Varivas High Grade PE, is a huge help in showing these delicate bites and a quick strike sees you connect far more often than you miss. The balance of the rod is near perfect when teamed with a small 2500 size reel and the ‘feel’ is also very good when both working the lure and playing a fish. Pound plus perch give it a good bend but you are still in control and a spirited fight normally results in a nice fish in the net.

Pike taken on sea fishing LRF gear.

LRF fun fishing for Pike

An unavoidable hazard of lure fishing in Somerset is pike and the Rockfish L has handled fish to 6lb with reasonable ease. In fact it helps to make jacks a tail walking and line stripping challenge to be relished.
So if you want loads of cheap light tackle lure based fun in fresh or salt water then grab yourself one of the HTO Rockfish rods as they are an absolute bargain priced gem.

https://www.veals.co.uk/acatalog/LRF_-_Light_Rock_Fishing.html

Andrew Evans

 

Catching big fish on LRF tackle

I have to be honest; when I see people chasing gobies and suchlike using LRF gear, its not really my cup of tea. But earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be selected to fish the Hobie World kayak fishing championships in Australia. Initially my thoughts were – marlin, tuna, sailfish…. but after a bit of research, it became clear that we would be fishing for bream in estuaries. These fish are very similar to our own black bream. The Aussies catch them on lures. Not the usual bass gear – the fish are far too wise for that. They have to resort to fishing very light tackle. Braided mainline of about 5lbs with a fluro leader of about the same breaking strain, and very small plugs/cranks weighing about 5g and measuring about 40mm long – that’s small !

Well, it got me thinking, I reckon there would be many scenarios in this country where a similar approach could be used to catch decent sized fish rather than gobies and blennies.

The first problem was getting hold of appropriate tackle. Its more difficult than you would think. Luckily I managed to get hold of some suitable LRF gear from Veals. This included a Teklon 7 foot LRF rod – 702UL, and a cracking little Tiny Z500 reel (10 ball bearings and great value for money).

I also got some Mebaru Light Game PE braided line. This is rated at 5lb average (7lbs max) with an index of 0.3.

Then it was on to the lures themselves. I had some Little S plugs from Shakespeare, but I was really after something smaller. Then a chance conversation with Dave Box solved the problem – he had some new lures which had just arrived, they were from Maria (the same people who make the 120BW bass plug). They were just what I was after.

My first outing saw me out on the river in the kayak, I was thinking that the lures would be great for targetting decent perch. The first lure I selected was the Maria MS-1 D45SP (Maria Shad deep 5 feet 45mm long suspending)…

Maria MS-1 D45SP

Maria MS-1 D45SP

The perch obviously hadn’t read the script, but the pike had designs on the little lure. Even jack pike go really well on this sort of tackle. The rod had a surprising amount of backbone, really great sport – much better than gobies and blennies I thought.

I was now starting to realise why the Aussies use this light approach to lure fishing, and I was loving the micro crankbaits.

A few weeks had passed, and I had been doing more research. I was starting to notice that there was a pattern developing with respect to the micro cranks they were using over there. The ones which were winning bream tournaments seemed to be between 40 and 50mm long and they were all of a similar shape – a big like a shad. Then one day, I was out walking alongside a stream which is only a few minutes from my house. I spotted a decent fish in a small pool. A have walked along that same stretch many times and never seen any decent fish (despite the fact that it looks very “fishy”). The fish looked like a chub of 2 or 3 lbs.

I rushed back home and went into “fish mode”. Half an hour later I was back with my ultra light lure gear and micro cranks. Stealth was the name of the game in this location. The stream was only a few feet wide, and no more than a couple of feet deep. The swim was cramped and the foliage was dense – not an easy spot to fish from I made a couple of casts – nothing. I changed the plug for a Maria MC-1 45SR…

First cast, and the little plug landed with barely a ripple close to the spot where I had seen the fish. I had barely turned the reel handle when BANG, a decent fish hit it. The reel screamed and all I could do was hold on. The fish tore up and down destroying the silence and trashing the little pool. There were reeds and tree roots everywhere. I put as much pressure on the fish as I could, which just sent the fish into the air tailwalking. At that moment, I caught a glimpse of it – not a chub as I had thought – this was a trout. After what seemed like an age, I managed to slip the net under the fish. What a beauty. What a scrap.

Okay, so this style of fishing is fun and productive. As you can imagine, I am now sold on micro crankbaits ! I only hope I can get some more of them in time for my Australia trip at the end of Oct… errm Dave ? 🙂