Sunday, 30 November 2014

When ya can't buy what you want..

Make it ya self!

Theres been a few things ive wanted recently that ive come stuck with getting hold of, either because its too expensive shipping in or because we just dont have anything here that i like. 

I've made pretty much everything in lure fishing now except a few things which recently ive finally got round to doing and now i have a whole new avenue to go down, theres nothing like supplying yourself with things to fish with. Its not just the satisfaction of catching on something you have made, its a whole interest in itself and the interest keeps going at home when not out on the bank.

So recently it started with not being able to get hold of decent nose weights to screw into bigger sized soft shads to replace the use of jigheads and make a break away rig so that soft lures hopefully last longer by not being chewed up inside a pikes mouth while playing it. This was done surprisingly easy by just making a mold of a 10g weight to put a wire through and then form it into a screw in spiral. I've allready gone on to make some 20g versions but these 10g versions were my first.

Then i struggled to find decent loose body soft shads bigger than 6" most were either crap or just too expensive. At this time Wayne Fletcher from the lure anglers society started showing some of the brilliant work hes been doing with soft shads and this sparked off ideas in my head that id had for awhile. I fish with soft plastics in all sizes probably more than i do any other lure type, but yet i made every other lure type except soft plastics. I had a go with a decent sized shad earlier this year but it didnt turn out as good as i'd wanted and at that point i felt like i was wasting time and money not achieving what i wanted. I put that on the back burner meaning to come back to it until as i say Wayne reminded me of what could be done.

So i set about making another 7" shad master to make a mold of, as i was doing this i was starting to get allsorts of ideas of how i could make more and more soft plastics of all sizes. I finnished my master and it was a case now of making a mould of it into a top pour.

While i was waiting to mould my 7" shad i got side tracked with something else i'd not been able to get hold of. A few years ago i bought some Aji ringer shads, these were tiny little paddle tails, to this day ive not seen anything else as small as these and they worked great for trout along with foreign species with them LRF. I was running out and could not get them here anymore.

This lead me into making my own injection molds, i'd watched a video by Paul Adams from who had made his own worm mold for injecting so i set about doing something similiar to make tiny little paddle tails. I made my originals out of oven baked modelling clay and now my head is absolutely crammed with ideas for other possible things to make its endless! 
I got carried away with the little shads and made a few different types and just raided my boxes for softplastics i never used and melted them down to inject new lures. This became addictive and before long i had hand fulls of the little bleeders.

I still have loads to do and im now trying drop shot lures as again it is endless what you can do, here an example of one i did the other day.

Friday came and i'd arranged to go and see Mark Kelly from and check out and choose some of his Lure factors products, i spent a good 3-4 hours there i think chatting and watching Mark pour and chuck stuff together and it was quite apparent my thoughts on this being endless possibilities was more infinite than id thought. Mark has probably poured thousands of baits before but by just chucking a few things together showing me pouring, he was coming up with many new things to try himself and coming up with some great looking mixes of lure flex. 
I had in mind what i wanted to do colourwise with my 7" shad so Mark showed me a just a few examples of mixes of colours to suit what i wanted.
I moulded my master friday night when i got home and i didnt sleep all night, i was too excited to pour my first shad and see if my hard work had been worthwhile. As soon as i woke saturday morning i ran downstairs like a kid at christmas and checked my mold which was ready! Time to take over the microwave and get pouring.

I was chuffed to bits with my first results and now ive gained a whole new route to go down with my lure building.

While doing all this i've noticed how cost effective it can be, if your sat thinking you'd like to give this kind of thing a go dont hesitate its great fun and not expensive at all once you get going.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A good un

I've done my blog for that long now i struggle to come up with new titles for Posts these days. Popped out today for a short drop shot session, its that time of year now where it excels over other methods and its great when you just need to bag a few fish. Its one method that i actually don't mind catching minute fish on, in fact it kind of gets my heart going when i get a really tiny bite and then lift into what feels like a minnow, the reason for that is because i really want to catch a ruffe and every time i get i tiny perch I'm hoping that's what it is. The water was quite badly coloured today and it had been an over night frost so i didn't expect to do brilliant, i just expected to bag a few little perch down the margins and around structure. I had a steady session with the highlight being a lump of a perch. Most lures worked but my favourite at the minute is the lake fork Live
baby shads, love the smell of them too!


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Grinds to a halt

I don't know what happened and when but the fishing this year just totally grinded to a stop. Sure fish still get caught but a few weeks ago it felt like options were still numerous and everything you tried seemed to work. Then it rained typically on a Friday and then we've been waiting for the rivers to settle after going up and down but not quite reaching good conditions. You know in the middle of winter it is always going to be tough but it seemed to come all of a sudden this year.

 I've not been able to get out that much recently and to be honest Ive not been too bothered, Ive been busy with a few things I'm working on which I'll talk about when finished and that's kept my hunger for going fishing at bay.
 The few times Ive been out it made sense to dust off the drop shot gear and prove to myself that in tough times it really does hammer anything else. I caught ok numbers wise but nothing big, although i did have some nice ones in size, colour and condition. Catching big ones isn't what its all about though in winter, its just about ticking over and carrying on catching when conditions are tough. I actually caught a couple of pike on the drop shot gear too which was unexpected given that Ive fished this venue in numerous spots literally hundreds of times and only ever had one single pike in 4-5 years.

The last photo below shows my tally from a couple of hours today, i thought it would be a bit of fun using one of those click counters to see how many i caught, recently seeing them being used on the 'perch pro' episodes on Kanal Gratis. Its not anything serious, just another thing to introduce to my own fishing to make it a little more interesting and fun. The counter was only £1.39 off ebay so was worth it just to give it a go.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Minger saves the day

Was out today with Paul chucking some big soft plastics about, we was hopeful of a good day when we saw the water was reasonably clear. It was an over night frost though and high pressure, despite most pikers praying for cold weather to come i still think they need a little bit of time to adjust to it and a sudden change could put them off straight away. Its a guessing game with pike at times and your constantly trying to work them out, sometimes you get it right and often your left with not knowing if your theories are correct or not.

It was certainly cold on the hands to start with and the wind was a bit sharp too, we soldiered on and Paul was having a stinker again missing a couple of fish. Eventually i found a fish though and it turned out to be a nice double in great shape, but hell what a gammy mouth it had! I think it was slightly pug too but don't know if that was due to what ever was going on in its mouth, it had a few growths and generally looked sore. A shame really as it was a nice looking pike but it was obviously still feeding, i think we sometimes think pike are allot more fragile than they really are. They have been around as long as dinosaurs so they can't be that fragile, often you will catch fish pretty beat up with injuries but there still feeding and thriving.

The day never really improved although i did miss a couple of further fish myself, it was a day off work though and catching a gammy pike was better than working.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Riging stingers

Just recently Ive been playing around with rigging stingers and for one of may favourite pike sized kopytos Ive settled on a rig that does exactly what i want. Basically once you start using bigger sized soft plastics they get pretty chewed up from being in a pikes mouth so i wanted to rig them in a way that they would break away from the stinger out side of the pikes mouth which would mean they last allot longer.
I want to get away from using jig heads on larger sized soft plastics because i just don't like to lace my lures with hooks, the thing that appeals to be with the smaller sized shads is the fact that you only need a jig head and pretty much get a good ratio of hook ups and its better for the fish and easier to unhook. I could fish my bigger sized shads with just jig heads but i feel id not get a very good ratio.

So basically i wanted a rig with just one treble placed in the right spot to increase hook ups, this is my rig below unattached.

This comprises of a treble, a nose weight and a pin, the nose weight adds some weight obviously without using a jig head and it is also screwed into the nose of the lure to basically hold it. I then clip my stinger and nose weight direct to my trace clip, the stinger wire is held inline with the pin and then the treble is just lightly hooked into the lure. When a fish takes the treble and pin pull out and the lure swings away out of the way of the teeth. The photo below shows the rig attached in place.

Of course doing it this way is not essential at all but the little things Ive done work in a way that it works for me, i like a neat presentation, the fish don't care but i enjoy it more if i do a better job of it. I like the addition of a pin with the stinger, not only because it neatens things up, that's an after effect, its main purpose is to keep the stinger inline so that the wire does not rid up the side of the lure bringing the treble offline, why is that important you ask? Theres two reasons, firstly if the treble isn't inline it can sometimes cause the lure to spin or not fish right. The second reason is because if the treble rides up one side and the fish takes from the other the rubber lure can actually impair the hook up so for those reasons i like to keep the treble exactly where i want it. 

I really enjoy messing about at home with rigs and stuff, i have plans to make my own nose weights, allot better than the few i have made so far, these were just trials and trying things out. Below is an example of a nose weight i made using a bullet weight and stainless steel wire to form a corkscrew and spike. After making this first one i also made a few with the line tie at the top like a jig head, ensuring that the lure balances right.

I got out today to give the rig a go and it did exactly what i wanted, i actually a great little session with 10 pike banked and on all occasions the lure remained outside of the pikes mouth, the hook up rate was also very good, often fish being hooked in the scissors making for easy unhooking. I caught some nice fish with really orangey coloured backs, i didn't get a photo of the best of the day, a low double as just before my camera fired off it started to kick off so i was out of shot when the camera took. I then noticed i was being watched, so thought it best to put the fish back than mess about setting the camera up again.

I had a few casts with the fly rod too and hooked a really strong fish that tore off to the other side of the river before unhooking itself.