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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, numpty question time!!

I've managed to accumulate quite a bit of soft plastic this year, but it's rare for it to stay on the end of my line for more than a few minutes at a time . . . . . why ? . . . . . well frankly, i just don't know what the hell i'm doing with it !!! I honestly 'don't' feel like i'm actually fishing when i've got it on (much the same as i felt with hard-plastics this time last year btw). So, that brings me to my numpty question . . . . . . .

I know that there are vast amounts to learn about how to use these things, but the very first one which is bamboozling me at the moment, is "What depth to fish them?".

Yesterday, whilst fishing down West Wales, i clipped on a Xorus Rolling Shad, and started casting out across a surf from the rocks at the side of a bay. But i found myself getting confused over whether i should let it sink to the bottom & bump it or jig it higher in the water, what speed . . . blah blah blah.

If i can just get my head around 'depth', then that will be a start.
 

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SI, I am in the same boat as you in general. I paid a lot of money (in my opinion!) for a pack of XLayers and 7g jigheads earlier this year and I'll I've caught so far is the bottom and in short order too!. So now I avoid fishing them as they just seem like snag-magnets to me, not fish catchers and yet others swear by them. Oh yeah - I've got Slug-Gos in different colours and sizes and never had a pull on them. What am I doing wrong as I catch bass on plugs in the same areas?
 

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It depends on the mark... Not very helpful...

I have found that working from 1ft to about 8ft in the areas I fish is fine.

Working bottom tends to result in pollack.

What do the baitfish do where you fish? Do you see them in the shallows or are they deeper? Over the top of weed patches or tight in on the side?

Copy the baitfish??
 

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This won't help any but some days i will bring them in quick accross the top other days i will jerk them in along the bottom other days i will drop shot them a mate of mine uses them under a float he spend the summer in west wales and every winter buys a hundred jelly worms off me always black or blue with pink tails catches can be variable but hey thats fishing
The floating sand eel imitations i showed you put them on a small lead head and they sit tail up on the bottom and on their day can be deadly just given a twitch once in a while every couple of mins, say.
As said many times try to spot what the bait fish are doing and try to copy them and match them for size
If fishing an estury try them behind a bubble float at varying depth let the current take them and stop the float anywhere that there is a change in the surface currrent rip boil etc this will get the lure working in likely spots
Hope this helps dai
 

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Just from my past experience....for somebody new using its gonna be quite hard unless u re a fly fishos.....not like hard body whch are heavier and have inbuilt action to them....with softies its like u re fishing blind....not so much can be felt....
u have to have an imagination to impart the action.....have a look on u tube on how they react in water....or test swim them in shallow water and observe on the movement when u do the rod works...
downgrade ur gear....smaller diameter line....lighter rod.........always watch the line....even use a slightly slack retrieve....and like others say....slow is the key....1st cast,let it sink to the bottom(assuming ur using jighead),and as the line stop,ur jig is at the bottom,u can either jig it slowly at the bottom and crank in ,in slow manner ,or u can just give it one big rip with ur rod and let it sink back to bottom.take ur slack and repeat.most of the take come when the lure fall....as u rip ur rod......the softies will move from bottom to the upper water column....u drop back the rod with line slack....it will fall back to the bottom .....as time goes and u already had a grip with it u will find that u want to use a lighter jighead....u dont want them to fall fast to the bottom....u want them to fall slowly,wiggling to the bottom and sometimes u want them to go with current when they drop....
 

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RapalaJoe said:
Just from my past experience....for somebody new using its gonna be quite hard unless u re a fly fishos.....not like hard body whch are heavier and have inbuilt action to them....with softies its like u re fishing blind....not so much can be felt....
u have to have an imagination to impart the action.....have a look on u tube on how they react in water....or test swim them in shallow water and observe on the movement when u do the rod works...
downgrade ur gear....smaller diameter line....lighter rod.........always watch the line....even use a slightly slack retrieve....and like others say....slow is the key....1st cast,let it sink to the bottom(assuming ur using jighead),and as the line stop,ur jig is at the bottom,u can either jig it slowly at the bottom and crank in ,in slow manner ,or u can just give it one big rip with ur rod and let it sink back to bottom.take ur slack and repeat.most of the take come when the lure fall....as u rip ur rod......the softies will move from bottom to the upper water column....u drop back the rod with line slack....it will fall back to the bottom .....as time goes and u already had a grip with it u will find that u want to use a lighter jighead....u dont want them to fall fast to the bottom....u want them to fall slowly,wiggling to the bottom and sometimes u want them to go with current when they drop....
Wish i could have put it as well as that
Si the pink grubs i showed you that i was using on the boat i had every intension of dropping them straight down and bumping them on the bottom using the boat action to bump them allong but the bream were not playing fair that day and dropping them slowly down was resulting in takes as soon as the lead got down near the bottom the other lads out were doing well on lug but rag wasn't getting touched
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RapalaJoe said:
Just from my past experience....for somebody new using its gonna be quite hard unless u re a fly fishos.....not like hard body whch are heavier and have inbuilt action to them....with softies its like u re fishing blind....not so much can be felt....
u have to have an imagination to impart the action.....have a look on u tube on how they react in water....or test swim them in shallow water and observe on the movement when u do the rod works...
downgrade ur gear....smaller diameter line....lighter rod.........always watch the line....even use a slightly slack retrieve....and like others say....slow is the key....1st cast,let it sink to the bottom(assuming ur using jighead),and as the line stop,ur jig is at the bottom,u can either jig it slowly at the bottom and crank in ,in slow manner ,or u can just give it one big rip with ur rod and let it sink back to bottom.take ur slack and repeat.most of the take come when the lure fall....as u rip ur rod......the softies will move from bottom to the upper water column....u drop back the rod with line slack....it will fall back to the bottom .....as time goes and u already had a grip with it u will find that u want to use a lighter jighead....u dont want them to fall fast to the bottom....u want them to fall slowly,wiggling to the bottom and sometimes u want them to go with current when they drop....
That's a craking explanation RJ !! Thanks.
 

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dai56 said:
...The floating sand eel imitations i showed you ......
Can you share their name and a photo with us Dai? I won't be offended if you decline.

Cheers

Paul
 

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Simon,

I'd be happy to join you for a session at one of the bass festivals next year (wherever that is?) and share some ideas. In the meantime if you send me a list of what you have SP and jighead wise and the ground you're fishing I'd be happy to pass some views if they're any use. Happy to do that in open forum if that suits you.

Otherwise if you are going to Nantes I'll see you there. The demonstrators at the show are great and show some SPs off really well in the test tanks. Plus you might be able to get a chuck yourself if you ask nicely.

Cheers

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
st ouen said:
Simon,

I'd be happy to join you for a session at one of the bass festivals next year (wherever that is?) and share some ideas. In the meantime if you send me a list of what you have SP and jighead wise and the ground you're fishing I'd be happy to pass some views if they're any use. Happy to do that in open forum if that suits you.

Otherwise if you are going to Nantes I'll see you there. The demonstrators at the show are great and show some SPs off really well in the test tanks. Plus you might be able to get a chuck yourself if you ask nicely.

Cheers

Paul
Paul, you are a Gent, and i look forward to hounding you and asking you numpty questions at a forthcoming Bass Meet !!! You'll wish you hadnt offered !!

As for the list of s/p's that i've accumulated this year . . . . like a true plonker, although i am yet to score with these, i have in my bag . . . . .

1) Xorus Rolling Shads
2) Xlayers (in Wakasagi, Acocado & Silver, Moroko, Aurora Shad !! Yeh, i know !!)
3) Giant Xlayer (in Ayu)
4) 3 different lots of Slug-go's (couldnt seem to dig them out now)
5) Some cheapo sandeel imitations that i picked up somewhere

Jig Heads: Decoy Big-X (18.5g), Decoy Carolina Fixe (13.5g), Decoy Birdy (12.5g), Decoy Bachihead (7g), Decoy Pentagon (1/2oz).
Texposer Hooks: Various.

I was concerned that this collection was excessive, until i saw Dai's collection at the weekend - everytime there's a clap of thunder in Caerphilly, his whole house must wobble for about an hour !!!!

Ground: It really varies around these parts. I fish some clean beaches with some interesting features that i'd love to tackle with s/p's, including this place (surely the river could be worth a pop - tide floods right up to that closest bend?). . . . .



. . . . and more rugged terrain like this . . . .



. . . . and this (deep, sharp gulleys, shallow ground, Kelp beds) . . . .




So, Paul - any thoughts based on that lot ?

Si
 

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Si,

Immediate thoughts? I'd love to know the tidal range but here goes anyway.

Photo 1.

Isn't that Jurassic park -where's the T-Rex stage left? Is that a kosha mark? If so its beautiful. Trouble is we don't have rivers in Jersey so I am going to approach it like a gutter. First thoughts would be (1) bouncing an XLayer across the bottom of that stream early morning on a flooding tide. Just enough weight to let it touch bottom every so often; (2) swinging an unweighted rolling shad across the current at night; (3) At the point that stream enters the sea, fishing a Giant XLayer on the Big-X head cast across the current and bounced through the bottom features that must be there (after all it does look like a fantasy mark).
Would like to know what natural bait runs up and down that stream.

Photo 2.

Difficult looking mark TBH. Doesn't look as though that rock holds a lot of resident life. So I'm guessing with the sandy shore nearby I'd be wanting to wait for sandeels in the water and fish XLayers to match on the Bacchi heads. If you know there is more life below the low water mark then the rock looks quite gentle, so a bit of bottom bouncing, maybe the rolling shad on the Carolina Fixe but I'd be happier with a a Pare Choc or a weighted texan like the Texas Power. Would this mark fish better at night?

Photo 3.

My favourite based on pure appearances. Looks like there's going to be much more food in this area. I could spend hours there with all of the lures you've mentioned, lighter weighted to run through that white water and heavier weight heads to get down amongst that kelp. But I'd still prefer a texan for that. By catch of pollack and wrasse but that's just fine by me.


Can you ever have too many? Here are a few from my boat bag. Please excuse the picture quality. Check out the Sluggo next to bottom in the first picture. I never had much joy so I was reduced to using a tip I saw on a US site to cut the nose off at a perpendicular angle and turn the Sluggo into a bit of a popper. Only tried it once or twice, but I find it hard to get confident with them. Much prefer XLayers, Spindleworms and Mother Eels.

First person to wonder what a Madaii is needs to get out there and buy one. Trust me, I've been canonised.




 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow!! Thank you very much for taking the time to put some thoughts down on that Paul!!

Tidal range - do you mean 'from high to low' or variation in HW levels ?

Pic 1: Genuine mark. It's called '3 Cliffs Bay' on the Gower. Took that pic on the last Sunday in June at around 6am and LW. Was fishing it with bait that day with Marc (aka 'i am going spinning' on here). We caught a few schoolies around the point where the stream enters the sea. Frustratingly, we could see bait-fish breaking the surface about 20 yds out, but didnt have the lure gear with us. There can be some interesting rips here, as there are 3 rivers that enter the sea in that general area. As for the river here, i know that there are sandeels around, but i'm not sure what other baitfish (i once caught a 5lb Bass here with a belly full of mud-rag). The river carves a deep trough where it meanders down to the sea, and i enjoy lobbing a bait in at short range off the banks at the edge of the gulley. I think that there is also a run of Sea Trout in this area?

Pic 2: I have also wondered about what natural food may be here. I know that there is a kelp-bed which i've only seen at LW on bigger tides, and i hooked a large launce here on a Zonk a few weeks back. Not that many rock pools above the LW mark here, although just back behind me as i took this pic there is some better rough ground with rockpools full of life. Perhaps Si (softie) could chip-in with his perspective of what natural food may be present here, or maybe Iestyn ?

Pic 3: Rugged, interesting ground. Almost daunting. A few of the guys on here know that area (Marc, Tom, Si, Iestyn). Not sure how many of those have tried s/p's though? Certainly lots of life there - all sorts of bait.

So would you say that i'm missing anything obvious from my s/p armoury that may make a difference at any of these types of marks? If not, it's just gonna be a case of having the confidence to get down there and be disciplined to stick to the s/p's !!

Si.
 

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Si

I'd get some Sidewinders. 6" green and/or white with blood red belly. Simple but effective and very much under-rated.

Maybe some paddle tail lures as well, like Spindleworms. The jigheads you have will work. Glow Shirasu or chartreuse.

The trouble with recommending lures now is that there's a long winter coming up and who knows what will be out by next season proper. And then there's Nantes.......

Cheers

Paul
 

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some great info there Paul, like simon, i have a few different types of SP's and leadheads but haven't had the confidence to fish them properly.
 

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Lewisman said:
Pic 2: I have also wondered about what natural food may be here. I know that there is a kelp-bed which i've only seen at LW on bigger tides, and i hooked a large launce here on a Zonk a few weeks back. Not that many rock pools above the LW mark here, although just back behind me as i took this pic there is some better rough ground with rockpools full of life. Perhaps Si (softie) could chip-in with his perspective of what natural food may be present here, or maybe Iestyn ?
I'd agree with the lack of life.....quite barren just below the boats I think. Around the corner, a different story, 100yds East and there is a kelp bed, another 50yds and more kelpy reef. Mostly cleanish ground here though I think but will get the snorkle kit out for a reccie next year.

Pic 3: Rugged, interesting ground. Almost daunting. A few of the guys on here know that area (Marc, Tom, Si, Iestyn). Not sure how many of those have tried s/p's though? Certainly lots of life there - all sorts of bait.
Love this area.....full of kelp, rock pools, gutters and water movement. Loads of crab, goby/blenny type fish, watched rag spawning in this exact gully earlier this year! Hate fishing the sp's here due to the snags.....no clean ground....and often feel that the sp's should be bottom bounced rather than slow reeled? (maybe missing out big time here!), although I have done well here with the picoleau :D Steve Hounddog caught on xlayers here but only a small schoolie, the 4lb+ fish came to the zonk!

So would you say that i'm missing anything obvious from my s/p armoury that may make a difference at any of these types of marks? If not, it's just gonna be a case of having the confidence to get down there and be disciplined to stick to the s/p's !!
I'll show you the mahoosive collection of sp's I carry with me Si.......but nearly always plug! Good exercise for me though. I need to concentrate with the sp's and give them the time they deserve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well you've got the Supermix now Si, so that surely must be the rod for the job down there ? I must admit that i struggle to get 'feel' for the s/p's with my Shukan - i suspect it's too stiff for them. Bit of research & thought required.

I always fancy that 'point' at Tears. I havent done that well there yet, but i'm sure that must be my fault, as it's 'gotta' hold fish !!!

But '3 Cliffs' with s/p's remains near top of my list . . . . . i just know it in my water . . . . . there's Bass to be had there on the plastic !!!
 

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If there are blennies there in any numbers then the spindle worms in dark green are good. They produced a few fish early this year from the boat around exposed heads before the sandeels showed up.



It's in there somewhere!
 
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