Hitting the Shingle

I do really enjoy fishing some of our local shingle beaches. Sometimes when it’s just too rough in other places these can be the perfect place to fish instead. Now admittedly this wasn’t the case the other day but I do really enjoy fishing them, get some swell and you can hit some good numbers of fish and get a cracking fight out of them too.

This year it has just been a case of waiting for a some decent onshore winds so that I can get down there and have some fun. The weather forecast looked good as it always does a few days before. I knew what I wanted to do but when the day came the wind wasn’t quite as strong as I had liked. We weren’t sure what to do and  after driving to one mark and checking it out we decided we would head for the shingle after all. We where pleasantly surprised and the conditions looked pretty good. Unfortunately it was poring down with rain but with the swell and moody skies I find it a pleasant place to be and there’s not normally another soul in sight…

I normally favour hard plastics in these conditions, stong side winds can be a real pain when trying to fish a weighted soft plastic with the rod tip up and so I prefer the hard plastics and opt for low and hard casts and retrieve with the rod tip down to keep good contact with the lure.

I headed off down the shingle to explore some reefy looking ground and Tim stayed put and fished over another piece of reef. I was just walking along and casting and as I neared the obvious reef with white water all around it I spotted some action on the surface. In amongst the swell I would glimpse at Mackeral hitting baitfish on the surface! I think this is the roughest weather I have ever seen Mackeral hitting baitfiush and it looked pretty awesome in the swell and chop. This instantly gave some hope. I followed the shoal along for a while casting at the edge of the shoal but nothing doing so I headed back to the reef I had just past. It was pretty shallow and I tried to fish on the surface. This proved to be rather difficult with the strong side wind which caught the line and would just skim the lure over the waves. On one attempt though I had a rise but no hook up, at least I knew there was Bass here…

Finding it difficult to work the surface lures I switched and went subsurface. It needed to fish shallow to clear the reef and my first choice was the Seaspin Coixedda 100 in GSTR. I like the way this clear/silver colour looks in clear water with a bit of fizz. My choice was good on after a couple of casts I got a bump as the water came through the backwash… I cast out again and this time rather than fishing a straight retrieve I mixed it up and went for my usual small jerk, big jerk, pause retrieve and this time as I got close in again I hooked up and landed my first fish. Only small but very welcome. I managed to find some shelter from the rain and got a quick snap as I often try to do at least with the first fish of the session.

Quick photo and release and I was in again but this time the fish hit me at the back of the reef just a few turns in. Only a Schoolie again and no photo just a quick release. Things where looking up. A lure I have been waiting to try in these conditions is the Seaspin Buginu 105 Jointed lure…

I think I mentioned this before but these little things really fly out there with the best of them. Considering it is a jointed lure and only weighs 12gm’s it’s pretty awesome. It kicks off a really tight high pitched vibration too and feels great in the swell just how I had hoped! I started working the edge of the reef rather than over it from fear of getting snagged and it wasn’t long before another Schoolie was landed also on the Jerky/pause style retrieve.

At this point I figured I better go see how Tim was getting on as I hadn’t seen him down the beach in a while. On the walk back I managed a another fish and this one hitting me in the backwash as usual. I was going to get a photo of this fish as it was the classic super light coloured fish you often get over clean ground expect this one had a back patch over his eye… the fish wasn’t damaged in anyway, just had this really odd black colouring around one eye! That’s a new one!

I finally got back to Tim where I was met with ”How many you had?” and a cheeky grin… He had obviously been catching and In a good way. ”Four” I replied. He Smiled, ”I’ve had 5” He smiled again… ”Including a 52 and a 56” Jammy bugger I thought. I cast out over the reef holding my rod tip higher so as not to snag. Whack and fish on… Only another tiddler and another few more casts later another followed… 6-5 know… lol It went quiet after this and after a while Tim managed another to make it 6 all… I did get a lone Pollock at the end but it was Tim’s day with a couple of lovely fish.

He nailed all of his on the large straight tail Savage gear Slug in Pearl on a 14gm jighead fished on a straight retrieve. All fish hit him in the backwash bar one that nailed it pretty much on the drop after a couple turns of the handle at range… Had I been fishing SP’s would I have caught a better size fish? or was it just a case of catching what was in front of you. That will have to wait for another day as it’s unfair to say since we weren’t fishing side by side most of the time but when we did the HP came out on top…

One thing for sure is i’m pleased with the result catching some fish on the lures I thought would do well in these conditions and It was nice to fish the shingle once more. I’m looking forward to doing it again soon if the weather plays ball…


Tim hitting a cast on another day a fair bit calmer…

Sorry for the lack of photo’s again but it was too wet to risk getting the camera out at the time.

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