Me Time .
Well October started with another round of bad weather putting pay to any plans I had made to once again target a double figure Spurdog from the west highlands of Scotland. So I took myself off for a nice relaxing holiday in Tenerife with temperatures in the 80’s fishing was never going to be on the cards however it did not stop a few locals trying their luck around some of the structures that were scattered around the resort. Looks like one guy was LRF-ing around the local marina entrance, the rocks were literally the size of small cars so he definitely braver than yours truly.
I had a request from one of casting pupil to overhaul and re ring his favourite rod with a request for the St Andrews cross on the bottom section of the rod, this kept me busy for a good while. My back had done its usual annual spasm about a week after we came back from holiday, 5 hrs on a plane didn’t help of that I’m sure.
I think that the rod turned out just fine and the client was well happy with the result, he now is looking to honour his Italian heritage with the Italian flag on some of his other rods .Another is looking to include the St George’s cross on his rods. I will let you know how that one goes.
I did manage one trip out with my skate guru Ali, we were out for a days fishing on a mark that has produced some very big Spurdog last year so we were hopeful that on one of the biggest tides of the month that the mark would throwing up a double figure one. First cast and Ali had a good bite on a mackerel bait and promptly landed a nice Thornback Ray of about 4lb, a great start and the sport continued like that through out the raising tide with a mix of doggies and Thornback ray with a few small whiting, and a bonus Mackerel (bait) thrown in for good measure.
A Nice Thornback and fresh bait.
The mark was about 60 feet deep so I used the T1000 and TTR teamed with my ever reliable SLOSH20’s loaded with 20lb line, rigs were my favourite loop rigs and a pulley rig,6” of biting wire to 1/0 Manta extras or Viking hooks and 5oz grip leads were able to cope with double shots of Doggies and good sized Thornback Ray that kept hitting the baits every cast.
The tide hit its peak at about 17:00 and a lull in the action gave us a chance to get organised for the session as darkness fell, I expected the bites to get more aggressive but the reverse happened with the doggies only giving the faintest of bites, they were of course still feeding but bites seemed shy. The action lulled then Ali’s rod trip went down and didn’t come back up, fish on and after a spirited fight a lovely size Spurdog hit the surface, it was around 8lbs or so safely returned to the water after a couple of photos.
Primed and ready.
We were both primed for a good run of Spurdog but it was not to be with the doggies continuing to feed again. Another lull ensued for about an hour them my TTR slammed down and the ratchet screamed as something tore off line from my reel, after a great fight with the fish not wanting to rise in the water until it got to about 30 yards out, a nice sized spur hit the surface, the fish was un-hooked rested in the water and a couple of snaps taken the fish was back in the water none the worse for her trip to say hello.
As darkness falls early and the long nights are once again with us I rely on an LED Lenser XEO 19R headlamp giving you session long light with two separate ultra bright LED that are selectable in both on/off and zoom capability, I find it superb as I have one as a spot light the other a pool of
light aiding in both moving about and baiting up and keeping an eye on my rod tips.
Dropping tide , More Rays.
The bites continued on the dropping tide but with it easing towards low water the thornback ray came back out to play and the last cast my TTR tip slammed down and the ratchet clicked away, Springing into action tightening down the drag and pulling into the fish to be met with a solid thumping fight I was sure that I had found my big Spurdog at last, it was not to be as two good size thornback hit the surface, not bad with one about 10lb on the top loop rig. We ended up with Spur, Ray, Doggies, Mackerel, Whiting and a single coalie and literally a bite a cast what a session, both Ali and I will remember the nights fishing for a long time.
Bait couldn’t have been simpler, sandeel mackerel and squid in cocktail combinations worked well
with no single combination working any better than anything other.