The thing with fishing is that you can never, ever be completely on top of your game. There is always some cast that you haven't quite mastered, some tactic that you are not quite satisfied with or some species that you have never quite got to grips with. I will be honest with you there are loads of things I want to learn. If anybody says they have nothing left to learn about this subject they are either lying or not looking hard enough.
One of the things that has been bothering me for a while is lure fishing. From time to time I have people ask me if in addition to saltwater fly fishing I offer lure fishing in the salt. Now I have the marks sorted, I can find the fish, which is sometimes the hardest part of fishing in the sea and sure I have done plenty of lure fishing for bass with plugs, spoons and the like but I don't mind admitting that my approach is not particularly sophisticated. My tactics generally revolve around casting and retrieving various items of metalwork, covering the water methodically, whilst not unsuccessful it can become quite mechanical. I have felt for some time that there has to be a better way.
And so some time ago I began researching what else is out there. Wherever I looked the same phrases and names kept popping up HRF, LRF, and JBG. My research ultimately took me to Keith White and Jersey Bass Guides website (www.jerseybassguides.com). Photographs of big bass and wrasse caught over the roughest ground on light, sensitive tackle. Interesting...
And so this last weekend saw me on Jersey to meet up with Keith White for an intensive introduction to HRF - Heavy Rock Fishing. Firstly I must say what a beautiful place to visit, I elected to take the ferry from Weymouth and cycle the Island as a way to get a feel for the place and I certainly didn't regret it, the place is stunning. The coast is a mix of golden sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and in the southeast an amazing jumble of rocky outcrops and crags, all surrounded by crystal clear water. The cycling is relatively easy with quite roads and tracks and not too many hills.
The two days fishing were a bit of a revelation to be honest with you. The conditions were extremely tough with high winds and a lot of swell but Keith worked extremely hard to overcome the conditions and meet my aims which were very much all about learning as much about these tactics as possible. Despite the weather we caught fish on light tackle, close in and more importantly I left the island with a whole host of new tactics and theories which I am just dying to try out here in North Devon. It was a real pleasure to learn from somebody who is obviously an expert in this form of fishing but also is extremely enthusiastic about passing on the knowledge and helping people to learn that there is another way to catch these fish without resorting to heavy gear. I couldn't recommend more highly Keith's website and his guiding services. I will certainly be heading out there again to fish with Keith and his brother Kevin.
I will of course keep you posted on how I get on with these tactics here, I am off now to the tackle shop to look at a new HRF rod!