Friday, 2 September 2011

Image Above: Sea Trout
Image Below: New Teaspoon Handle Jointed Lure
Location: Isle of Erraid, Mull, Scotland

New lure, New tricks

I went back to perch rock this evening with some new homemade tools, a jointed spoon and cork float rig. I made the new jointed spoon out of a couple of teaspoon handles and some split rings. Rather than engrave scale patterns with a hacksaw as previous, I opted to cover it with some self-adhesive foil and gave it some colour with nail varnish. The eyes were drilled out and foil eyes placed inside the recess with a coat of nail varnish. I added a smaller treble towards the eye end hoping to reduce missed bites. It swims with a lazy side to side motion and casts a little better than my original teaspoon pirk. The only draw-back is it occasionally tangles in flight leaving me to wind in a hoop of metal as the back treble catches the front.

The float I cobble together from a piece of hollowed out garden cane and two wine corks which I drilled with a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the cane and then forced the corks over the cane. I quickly sanded the corks until the seams met uniformly and then shaped the ends. Paint wise I found a can of canary yellow acrylic spray in the tools shed, I had used this last year to spray the handbrake lever on the island’s tractor to remind people not to leave it on when they were driving. A bit more self- adhesive foil and red nail varnish and the float was finished.

I have never really floated fished in the sea and fancied something different, the idea was to chuck the float rig out on one rod and use the other for spinning while I waited. The first cast with the hook baited with mackerel strips had just managed to settle when the float shot off. A mackerel eventually surfaced, skimming it ran straight up onto the ledge at my feet . Unhooked and re-baited the second cast landed the float bang on target and it too quickly shot beneath the waves as another mackerel took the bait. My spinning rod was waiting; I cast the float again and it bobbed long enough for me to pick up the other rod.
With a tail wind the heavier lure effortlessly pulled the line off the reel. I let the lure sink to the bottom and lazily wound in, all the time watching the float on the other rig. Ten minutes later and a flash of silver close into the rocks pulled the rod tip down and I was in. A small sea trout bolted for cover and then suddenly just lolled against the line. At the surface I could see the forward treble hook had almost ripped out one side of of the trout’s gills, but it had fallen to my new lure. I finished the trout off by breaking its neck but most of the blood had already trickled away. The trout like one I had watched the previous evening looked to have come up from the beneath where the submerged part of the ledge drops off and I wondered whether there may be and overhang giving the trout a holding space out of view from the surface.

The float picked up a couple of small pollock but the light began to fall and seal came round the corner so I set off home and sea trout for supper.

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