LURE CHUCKER’S PAR­ADISE

It’s an­other string to the bow of vis­i­tors to Nor­way

Sea Angler (UK) - - SEA ANGLER | CONTENTS -

Dis­cover an­other side of Nor­way.

Un­der­wa­ter moun­tains and ridges, with huge drop-offs and holes all around them that cre­ate whirlpools and sud­den changes in tidal flow, are an am­bush preda­tor’s dream. Find­ing such a mark is also an ab­so­lute dream for shore-based lure an­glers.

I fished such a mark dur­ing last year’s Tronix Fish­ing trip to Skarn­sun­det in Nor­way, when I had the plea­sure of lure fish­ing with some top rods.

I’ve done a huge amount of lure fish­ing all over the world from boats, but very lit­tle from the shore, so I was re­ally look­ing for­ward to chuck­ing some plas­tic about with the likes of Adam Kirby, Mark Radcliffe, Martin Col­li­son and fa­ther-and-son duo Chris and Paul Devlin, of Fish­ing Me­ga­s­tore fame.

While other mem­bers of the group were off drown­ing rag­worms and a whole host of other baits in search of plaice, ghost sharks and the like, I fol­lowed the lure lads around for a day to find out how good the sport could be from the shore.

Our host for the week, Phill Dale, di­rected us to one of his favourite marks – Strau­men – which is a short drive from the camp. I’d been past it in a boat half-a-dozen times on my way to the plaice hotspot in the la­goon.

WHIRLPOOL OF FEA­TURES

Be­fore I delve into the tac­tics, I’ve got to tell you about this mark from a boat an­gler’s per­spec­tive. It’s one of the dodgi­est pieces of wa­ter that I’ve had to nav­i­gate. The tidal flow can be im­mense at times, due to the huge amount of wa­ter rush­ing in and out of the la­goon through a rel­a­tively nar­row pas­sage.

At a guess, I’d say it was push­ing at least five knots in places, with whirlpools and rips like I’ve never seen. As well as the sheer amount of wa­ter be­ing pushed in and out, the un­der­wa­ter to­pog­ra­phy is, well, men­tal.

There’s a clear line de­tailed on the nav­i­ga­tion chart, which you must ad­here to when go­ing through this stretch of wa­ter, be­cause if you stray from that line, you will al­most cer­tainly run into sub­merged rocks.

The un­der­wa­ter moun­tains and ridges with huge drop-offs and holes all around them cre­ate whirlpools and sud­den in­creases or de­creases in tidal flow. This is why the shore fish­ing is so good. It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to fish it from a boat, which is why it’s so pop­u­lar with shore an­glers.

If you are go­ing to make this pas­sage in a boat to get to the plaice fish­ing, don’t be scared of it. It looks like hell on wa­ter, but if you get your ap­proach right, keep­ing the revs on so that you’re push­ing at least five knots through the on­com­ing wa­ter, or just a tad more if it’s fol­low­ing you in, you’ll be fine. And stick to the guided track on the plot­ter!

RIGHT TIME

We ar­rived at the mark about an hour down on the eb­bing tide, so the wa­ter was rush­ing out of the la­goon from left to right. It took half-an-hour be­fore the lads could get on the rocks where they wanted to cast from, in or­der to hit the dis­tance and fish the

drop-offs be­hind the un­der­wa­ter moun­tains.

You’ll see from the chart ex­actly where we were, and what I mean by ‘un­der­wa­ter moun­tains’. It goes from just a cou­ple of feet deep to over 30ft in a mat­ter of sec­onds.

As soon as they be­gan to hit their mark, the lures were get­ting smashed left, right and cen­tre, with cod to dou­ble fig­ures, small coal­fish and a few pol­lack.

Later that same evening, once we had re­turned from our ses­sion, the GAC lads, Paul and his son Chris, took the car and put in an evening ses­sion at Strau­men. They were re­warded with dou­ble-fig­ure pol­lack and loads of de­cent cod. It cer­tainly seems that evenings are best for the big­ger pol­lack here, which may have some­thing to do with the lower light lev­els.

COR­RECT GEAR

This par­tic­u­lar mark takes no pris­on­ers, and you can ex­pect to lose a few lures while fish­ing it. Th­ese lads knew ex­actly what they were do­ing, and how to fish it, and even they lost a few lures be­tween them. As the say­ing goes, though, ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’.

You’ll need a rea­son­ably beefy lure rod, some­thing in the 8-9ft range with a rat­ing of 20-60g. A de­cent 4000-sized fixed-spool reel loaded with 20lb braid will com­plete the set-up, and it’s ad­vis­able to use a short length of 20 or 25lb fluoro­car­bon leader, say 3ft, to give you a fight­ing chance against the rocks when you hook a fish.

The aim of the game is to use a rel­a­tively heavy lure, 20g-plus, to cast as close to the top of the un­der­wa­ter moun­tains as pos­si­ble with­out ac­tu­ally hit­ting the shal­low­est part, then let­ting the lure drop quickly as the tide pulls it around. It’s then a case of tim­ing it right to be­gin your re­trieve be­fore the lure hits the deck and risks get­ting snagged.

A few casts, and maybe the oc­ca­sional lost lure, will soon have you get­ting into the swing of things, and once you start to hit the fish it will be­come sec­ond na­ture. Buckle up, make sure your drag is tight, and try not to give the fish an inch, or it will surely find some­where to snag you. It’s real ‘hit and hold’, heart-in­mouth stuff at Strau­men!

Mark, Martin and Adam are all Tronix­pro Fish­ing staff and, as such, they have lure boxes crammed full of HTO gear. They had a lot of suc­cess with both soft plas­tics and met­als, namely the HTO Shore Jigs and Ar­tic Eels. Pink or blue seemed to be the hot colours.

Ba­si­cally, any weighted pad­dle­tail lure that ‘swims’ on its own as it falls through the wa­ter or gets pulled around in the tide will see you score here, like the Fi­i­ish Black Min­now, SG Sandeel or Sidewinders.

I know Mark Radcliffe had a lot of suc­cess with the HTO Shore Jigs at this mark, and the ones

right on the doorstep of the camp, and at less than £3 a pop you can af­ford to lose a few if need be.

MORE MARKS

Strau­men is just one of those marks that you have to fish while you are at Skarn­sun­det. It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence all on its own. How­ever, you don’t have to ven­ture that far in or­der to catch dou­ble-fig­ure fish. In fact, you can fish from the har­bour wall right out­side the apart­ments if you want. The best place is the rocky out­crop to the left as you look out of your apart­ment win­dow. Sim­ply fol­low the path for a cou­ple of hun­dred yards and you’ll be there. Cast­ing to ei­ther side of the is­land in front of you, you will catch cod, pol­lack and coal­fish. Mark nailed a brace of dou­ble-fig­ure cod there one morn­ing, one after the other. Phill is a mine of in­for­ma­tion, and he will di­rect you to all the hotspots in the area – you re­ally are spoilt for choice when it comes to lure fish­ing here.

Fish this size are ten a penny at Strau­men

Mark Radcliffe play­ing yet an­other de­cent cod at Strau­men

The har­bour wall right out­side the apart­ments is also a great lure-fish­ing spot

The HTO Shore Jig ac­counted for loads of dou­ble-fig­ure cod for Mark Radcliffe

GAC’s Paul Devlin with one of the many dou­ble­fig­ure pol­lack he caught dur­ing the week

Chris Devlin with a de­cent pol­lack from an­other of Phill’s top marks

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