Old dog new tricks!
I have recently been trying to get back into a bit of match fishing at club level but really have not learned how to scratch for the scad and the macki on long rods and lite rigs. I asked for a bit of help from the club web site and a few of the anglers on there gave me a few hints and tips.
However I was shocked and pleased to receive a call from England junior manager Dave Graham to invite me onto the beach for a one to one scratching session. We agreed to meet on the monday that I was fishing the monday evening league with 20 other anglers at Southbourne. We arrived to find a mucky sea so thing didnt look that good , we tackled up and the first learning curve was the equipment!!
Where I was prepared to use my normal HSM and 7HT mag Dave produced a tronix 16ft rod and a penn FS loaded with 10lb line, looking around the other anglers also had the same type of long rods. Learning point 2 were the rigs, they were all about 10ft long and built with very small hooks and swivels with a large pop up on the rig body and smaller ones on the snoods real course fishing stuff.
Dave cast out for a trial run before the match started and first cast had 2 macki so we knew they were around. My turn next as the match started cast out using an overhead thump (the type of cast I have spent many years telling people not to use!!!!!) The rod was then placed in the rest and we watched the small baited hooks move about in the waves. Didnt take long for the slim tip to slam over fish on and with this light gear they really fight well and had to be guided onto the beach what good fun. It carried on this way for a good few hours the work rate of moving the rod was high and it looked like I was catching more than those around me (thanks to Dave instruction). Then on dusk the scad arrived which helped boost the weight of fish. As darkness set in I went back to the HSM with worm baits for the sole and managed a couple before the match ended.
ON getting to the weigh in it appeared that most anglers had some fish mainly Macki and Scad with a few anglers who are past masters at this skill had a few more than I did but I did weigh in enough to take 3rd place. I have to say if I stuck with my normal tactics I would not have been anywhere in the match so the whole experence opened a whole new window for me. Once again my great thanks go to Dave Graham for his help and encouragement and the loan of his gear.
The down side is that I now know that I need a long rod and a fixed spool reel so I made a trip to Christchurch Angling Centre who relieved me of some cash!!!!
I have been out using it twice since the match to field test this new gear once at Southbourne and as a bottom fishing rod on chesil it takes a bit of getting used to as do the long rigs but it is a good sporting way of catching a few fish and my catch rate is improving.Lets hope with a bit more practice I can improve team crack offs postion in the doubles league and maintain my position in the MOnday evening league watch this space.