Sunday, January 27, 2013

Modern Soft Plastic Rigging Techniques

I came across this article on the other day and thought it would be worth sharing although it is primarily aimed at the American freshwater bass scene, I think that the majority of it is very applicable to the majority of the H.R.F. and Seabass fishing that we do...........

Weightless Rig The purest form of rigging, and most deadly with the Senko. No sinker is used and the hook can be tied directly to the main line. Optionally, tie the hook to a 12" to 24" inch leader tied to a swivel to reduce any line twist that may occur with weightless rigs.
The 6" 9L Senko (color 187) rigged weightless produced an amazing 10.27 lbs. world record spotted bass for California angler Bryan Shishido.
Unpegged Texas Rig A bullet sinker is allowed to slide freely on the main line, with the hook tied directly to the main line. One issue is the sinker can slide far up the line away from the bait. This makes for inaccurate casts and imprecise presentations. For more control over an unpegged sinker, you can contain it on a short 12 to 18" leader tied to a swivel. This gives you the freedom of unpegged lure movement and you gain better control over the cast and presentation.
Shakin' Rig Use a bead on an unpegged Texas rig. The sinker will hit against the bead and make a clicking noise that can attract fish at times.
Pegged Texas Rig Jam a wooden toothpick in the end of a bullet sinker and break it off. Don't jam it in so tightly that you risk weakening the line. Slide it down the line, and the toothpick will hold the sinker securely against the nose of a soft bait used in heavy cover. The sinker and bait will act like one unit that slips through weeds and resists snagging in cover.
Screw-In Rig An advancement over the toothpick-pegging method, screw-in sinkers are molded around a thin Teflon tube and a corkscrew wire that screws in to the nose of a soft bait. Slip the sinker on the main line, tie the hook directly to the main line, and screw the sinker into the nose of the bait. This provides the ultimate in weedless and snagless presentation for big bass in heavy cover.
Note With a pegged bullet or screw-in sinker, it can be important to thread the hook eye up to an inch or more into the bait. This leaves room so the hook eye is not jammed immovably against the sinker. Otherwise, if the eye is pressed against the sinker, gripped inside the fish's tightly-clamped mouth, then you only move the entire bass/weight/hook forward without penetrating on the hookset. Leaving up to an inch or more of slack ensures enough room to move the hook and have it start to set before it jams up behind the sinker.

* These sinkers are products of Mojo Lure Company, Inc.
Mojo Rig Mojo sinkers are long and thin. The sinker shape allows a Mojo rig to slide easily through rocks, weeds, and brush better than most other sinker types. Mojo rigs also work for vertical fishing in deep water where baits are suspended for bass lurking in or under the tops of flooded trees or brush. They are part of a complete system that includes rubber strands that thread through the sinker to peg it from 12" to 24" inches up the main line above the bait. The rubber strands cushion the line from any potential damage that can occur with wooden toothpicks or crimping splitshots on the line.

* These sinkers are products of Mojo Lure Company, Inc.
Carolina Rig Most often used on open, relatively unobstructed bottom. Thread a 1/2 to 1 oz sinker onto your main line, followed by a bead that clicks when the sinker hammers against it. Then tie on a swivel, an 18"-24" inch leader line (but can be longer), and your hook. As with all the rigs we describe here, use lighter weights of Carolina rigs with light tackle, and heavier weights of Carolina rigs with heavier rods, reels and lines, a simple principle.

* These sinkers are products of Mojo Lure Company, Inc.
Rockhopper Rig An advancement over the Carolina rig for rock-strewn bottoms. The Rockhopper sinker can come through snags that stop most other sinker types.

* These sinkers are products of Mojo Lure Company, Inc.
Splitshot or Slipshot Rig Knot a hook to the end of your line and pinch one or more split shot 18" to 24" inches above the hook. Keep in mind, don't pinch the splitshot shut so tightly that you risk damaging the line. The Mojo Slipshot is an advancement that uses rubber threads to cushion the line. If not used in snaggy areas, simply nose-hook the bait with a hook like Yamamoto's series 53 Crooked Hook.
A splitshot rig is most often used with light line. Since splitshot sinkers are typically smaller and lighter than any other sinker types, you can slowly drift a splitshot rig down past bass suspended in mid-depths above deep water. A splitshot can be used for a delicate lightweight presentation in shallow water, or to sweep a bait down with the current flow in a stream or shallow river. The bait will swirl and sway as it is buffeted around by the water flow while the splitshots keep it hunkered down near bottom!

* These sinkers are products of Mojo Lure Company, Inc.
Dropshot Rig Tie a hook like a Yamamoto series 53 Crooked Hook onto the main line with a Palomar knot. The loose tag end of the knot is left anywhere from 12" to 24" inches long. After the knot is tied, the tag end is threaded through the hook eye in the direction that keeps the hook point positioned up. A swiveling style of sinker is then clipped onto the dangling tag end of the line anywhere from 6" to 24" below the hook. The bait is then nose-hooked. Optionally, the bait can be wacky-rigged in the middle to reduce any line twist that may occur with dropshot rigs.
Wacky Rig Tie a hook like Yamamoto's series 53 Crooked Hook to your main line. Use a long thin bait such as a Senko. Bend the bait in the middle so both tips touch. Then poke the hook straight through the bend in the middle.
That just about covers all the most popular rigs in modern use for soft baits. All you need to do now is get out on the water and learn to use them well. Practically any rig shown will work (within reason) with practically any model of soft plastic bait

Tight  lines 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

A night on the pier.....

I got out last night fopr a few hours LRF and decided to use my
Solpara, a rod which I have much neglected lately.
I arrived shortly after dark and condition were lovely the only thing
that I thought was against me was the falling tide which had about
midway out.

There were some other anglers fishing bait in my usual spot nice bunch of
lads but I decided to move as the space on the pier was taken up by their

So I tried a different spot and rigged up a jig head with a new lure that
I recently got. I could feel the bites but couldnt get a hook up so I decided
to change tactic to a drop-shot rig with a size 12 hook and one AAA splitshot
as a weight. Instead of dropping down the wall, I cast and allowed the lure
to slowly fall throught the water coloumn. It made a big difference and it wasnt long
until I got my frst fish of the session.

A nice little herring a steady stream of these followed all of them were in and around the
same size as the on above.

I decided to try down the walls of the pier using the same rig and started to pick up pollock

I had loads of these small they may be but on the solpara they can put up a great account of

I moved around the harbour to another dark little corner and I had left my head torch on.
I was scanning along the waters edge looking at prawns flitting around in the shallow water
having a smoke, when I spotted a little fish darting in and out from under a rock everytime a prawn
came to close it chased the prawn off.
 I re-rigged this time to a splitshot rig , size 12 and a little piece of gulp rag in white. I cast  down to the
area the little fish was in and started to dance the little piece of lure around, which instantly got attention
it chased the lure and made several attempts at it before finally hooking up and to my surprise.......

a little poor cod, which was the first time I had picked up this species from this particular pier.

Feeling very pleased with myself about this I continued to fish in around the rocks hoping
for maybe a long spined sea scorpion or a blenny.
It wasnt long until I felt a sharp tug on the line and then nothing. It was like the hook was snagged
but before I could start to try and unsnag myself the ''snag'' began to move across away from the rocks
I began to reel in the fish and it went on a few little runs with plenty of head shakes, I presumed it was
a decent size pollock or coalie but to my surprise out came a nice fat little codling.

A very welcome surprise on a very cold night. It was probably this time last year when I had my
last lrf codling so I'm very happy about getting another.

There were other fish swimming about in good numbers just cruising under the surface I think that they were smelt but not a hundred percent certain they made plenty of goes at the lure. I just couldnt manage to get one on the hook. I'll try again another day.

A thoroughly enjoyable session with a couple of surprises thrown in.
It was also my first night session in a while with most of my LRFing done during the day and my first
proper lrf session of 2013.

The gear that I used was

Major craft Solpara 0.5-5g solid tip
Daiwa Caldia 2506
Mikado  'Dino Dynamic' monofilament 0.08mm 1.9kg

Tight lines all and welcome to 2013
Hope you enjoyed the read,


Friday, January 4, 2013

First post of 2013

Let me start by wishing all the readers of this blog a very happy new year and thank you
all so much for reading and commenting during the last year.

I havent been out in a few weeks now a combination of Christmas and some very poor weather
conditions, really put pay to any plans I had to fish.
Today however I managed to get out and fish for a few hours on a local rainbow trout fishery.

I started out rigging a curltail grub on a standard jighead of 2g and slowly retrieving with some pauses and twitches but nothing. I changed colour several times and varied the jighead weight, the retrieve and the depth
the lure was working at, but still nothing. I tried various different soft plastics and techniques, dropshot, texas, carolina and splitshot rigs all without a sniff of a fish.

So after an hour or so of trying with soft plastics I decided to move onto metals, I tried a couple of vibration
baits with a little interest in the form of a couple of follows but no takes. I then rigged up a 4g metal wobbler  with a barbless single and after a few casts I had my first fish on the bank.

A small rainbow to start but at least it was a start and my first fish of 2013.
I continued to fish with a slow lift and draw technique and continued to pick up fish on the drop with
the stamp of fish improving with some nice fat fish landed.

I went for a quick bite to eat and then back to the trout with more taking the lure

The last trout was the biggest of the day and it sure was a fat one

It was a slow start but it turned out to be a very enjoyable day with almost 40 trout landed.
A great way to kick off 2013 and a very enjoyable session

hope you enjoyed the read

tight lines