Bait fishing has always been my favourite type of angling and this has carried on since I became involved in the Kayak Fishing scene. I love to catch fish of any size or species and have always been very confident that I can do this with bait, but lacked the confidence with an artificial lure.
However in the last 12 months this has changed. I have discovered lure fishing for pike and perch whilst kayak fishing in Lapland, started shad fishing for cod from Yorkshire but the biggest revelation has been Light Rock Fishing in the UK. It was something I had heard of and looked into very slightly but I wasn’t sure how it would translate to the kayak. There was only one way to find out and that was to give it a go.
After chatting to a tackle shop for advice I bought a HTO Rockfish UL rod and a 1000 series reel to go with it. This was spooled with 5lb braid. I purchased some 4lb fluorocarbon, a few 1g and 2g jig heads, some paddle tails and a packet of Power Isome Worms. The whole lot came in for well under £80 and I was told this would be all I needed as a starter kit.
Not really sure what I was doing I first tried it in Brixham Harbour. The set up couldn’t have been simpler, just attach a length of fluorocarbon to the braid. Tie the jig head on the end and then thread a section of the Power Isome onto the hook.
The kayak is the perfect platform for this because you are directly over the jighead so snags are less common. Simply drop it down and work it over the rocks and weed as you drift along. You can also get away with incredibly light jigs. So far I have never used more than 3 grammes and have used the method in the Exe Estuary and the Humber Estuary. Because you are drifting with the tide you can keep in contact with the jig directly below you and work it along the bottom. You will lose gear but more often than not if you snag simply paddling back over the snag will release it.
That first session in Brixham Harbour got me hooked. It was one fish after another and by the time I had drifted the length of the breakwater I had caught Pollack, Pout, Mackerel, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwing Wrasse, Goldsinney Wrasse, Rock Goby and Black Goby. Because the rod and reel is so light every fish gives a fight and when you hook into a 2lb wrasse or pollack you certainly know about it. The next day I tried the method from Meadfoot Beach fishing deeper water and added bass and garfish to the list. It really looked like there was no fish swimming that wouldn’t hit the Power Isome .
What has really surprised me is that it is not just in clear water that the method works but also in the chocolate coloured water of Estuaries. In the Exe I had bass to nearly 4lb on the same set up and I have used it in East Coast creeks to catch flounder.
Last weekend at Ladram Bay I couldn’t get the jig to the bottom before a garfish, mackerel or pollack hat taken it, and if it did reach the deck the wrasse found it irresistible.
Being part of the Tronixpro Pro Staff has introduced me to some of the masters of LRF. Watching their exploits on the Tronixpro Facebook pages and blog inspires me that there is so much more to this style of fishing that I need to learn.
However, if fishing from a kayak this simple started approach is certainly worth a try. It will take you back to when you were a child and every fish was a monster and I expect that like me, once you give it a go you will be desperate to refine and improve the different techniques involved. Watch this space for how I get on learning more about this method.