I got back yesterday evening from the most awesome few days over in Jersey - talk about the sun shining on the righteous !! Three days of perfect weather, albeit with a rolling swell that put a load of their marks out of reach. I still have to pinch myself that I get to see all these different places and such a variety of fishing as part of my job, but once again it's the people that really make it. A trip like this one just goes and reinforces my opinion that there are no better people around than anglers, and I would like to say a massive thank you to the four guys who worked so kindly with me over in Jersey - Keith White, his brother Kevin White, Dave Watson and Stephen Olsen. It continually humbles me to my boots that anglers like this go out of their way to aid me getting the photos and material I need. Fishing is all about so many different experiences, but it's always the people that leave the most lasting impression. And of course I have a real thing for Jersey - angler who is not inspired by all that water, current and coastline needs their head examined. That south east corner is surely some of the most unique and exciting ground around. Being able to walk out of the Shakespeare Hotel where I was staying and soak in all that terrain gives me a buzz every single time.
Anyway, I got the ferry over to Jersey last Friday. One of the main aims of the trip was to get plenty of photos of these five new Century HPR rods in action over different terrains. I am not going to spoil the stuff I will put out in Sea Angler magazine about these new lure rods, but I can at least tell you that I think they are something very, very special indeed. The amount of thought, design, work, testing and actual fishing time that has gone into them is quite possibly unique in itself, and that's before you come to the new materials used in the blanks. Lucky for me the five specific rods we played around with on the trip were not actually for sale otherwise I might have come back with a rather large dent in my bank balance !! Five new rods ? Yes, my problem is still very prevalent.
The guys have got this lure fishing for wrasse completely wired, indeed it's incredible to watch them at it. The fact that such a traditionally "target with bait" species like the wrasse has become a truly viable lure quarry amazes me. I think back to all those times I spent at places like Trevose Head having a blast catching wrasse on bait, and now there are increasing numbers of anglers not even taking a scrap of bait with them when they go wrasse fishing. I still almost can't believe how willingly these fish will jump on soft plastics. Nothing like breaking down the barriers, and I give loads of credit to the anglers who go out of their way to unselfishly help other anglers out. Also remember that they often pick up bass when chasing wrasse like this. Simply outstanding, and it gives me a huge kick to be around fishing like this. If you want to know more about this wrassing on plastics, then make sure to spend some time reading this online magazine right here. Plus keep checking in Sea Angler.
Aside from playing around with the different Century HPR lure rods, I did eventually pick up one of them and have a proper go at the wrasse on plastics. I have caught plenty of them by mistake when deep-spinning for pollack, but this was the first time I actually nailed a couple on plastics fished like this. OK, so I missed plenty of bites in my fast increasing state of complete overexcitement, but I got a couple. Very, very pleased. Honestly, you would not believe how much you can "feel" when you fish with the right gear, and also how quickly you can start to tune in to the lure moving across the bottom. And these guys fish some of the roughest ground I have ever seen, yet they lose very little end gear. I might be talking utter garbage, but I remember one bite that I was utterly convinced I was "feeling" so well that I could have sworn the wrasse was merely trying to pull the tail of the lure away from me. Does that make sense ? Yes, of course I struck to see if I might sneak a look at it, but in my heart I knew the fish was not on the hook. Whatever the case, the whole thing about this style of fishing is that it's just a huge amount of fun. Fishing to smile about. Sunshine, a place as special as Jersey, some massively kind and skilful anglers to show the rods off, and another great few days to go in my memory bank. Thanks so much guys. And well done to Keith White and the people at Century for having the balls to design and build some British lure rods that in my humble opinion can go up against anything out there. Hang on, how did that new rod find its way into my car ?