Sea Angler (UK) - - SEA SCHOOL -

Q: While in Corfu, I had some gi­ant go­b­ies in the har­bour. Where can I tar­get th­ese in the UK? ED PIPER, ROCHESTER, KENT

AK & DS say: The good news is that gi­ant go­b­ies can be found in the South West of Eng­land, the Isles of Scilly and the Chan­nel Is­lands, which are at the north­ern end of their breed­ing range.

The bad news for an­glers, how­ever, is that the gi­ant goby is pro­tected by the Wildlife and Coun­try­side Act of 1981, mean­ing we can’t ac­tively tar­get them. With our wa­ters warm­ing, this pro­tec­tion may be re­moved in the fu­ture, but for now we’re lim­ited to fish­ing for them abroad.

Q: I started LRF this year but I’m plagued by tiny pol­lack. How can I catch other species? GAZ TOWNSEND, TORQUAY, DEVON

AK & DS say: While an abun­dance of pol­lack is great news for fu­ture fish­ing, it can be frus­trat­ing on cer­tain marks.

As­sum­ing other species re­side in the area, there are a few tricks to max­imise your chances of catch­ing other species. Pol­lack love a mov­ing bait, so a lure moved slower is less likely to at­tract the at­ten­tion of the lo­cal pol­lack. In ad­di­tion, pol­lack re­side higher in the wa­ter col­umn, es­pe­cially around weed. In sum­mary, if pol­lack are prov­ing trou­ble­some, stick to slower pre­sen­ta­tions close to the bot­tom.

Q: Are there peak times for LRF like there are with other sea fish­ing? OLLY ROB­BINS, WAR­RING­TON, CHESHIRE

AK & DS say: While a big at­trac­tion of LRF is un­doubt­edly the re­laxed, fish any­time ap­proach, you’re right to think that there are peak times to catch var­i­ous species.

Us­ing smaller rock­fish species, like sea scor­pi­ons and tom­pot blenny as ex­am­ples, there is def­i­nitely a peak hunt­ing time for them, which is as the tidal flow eases but be­fore the flow is lost al­to­gether.

I think the rea­son­ing here is that smaller preda­tors have a very small win­dow of op­por­tu­nity when they can hunt safely.

It must be weak enough so they don’t lose con­trol and be­come prey them­selves, but strong enough to have an ad­van­tage over their prey. There is an­other win­dow as the tide turns and starts to build, but it hardly ever feels as good as the pre­vi­ous.

Q: What size jig heads do I need for two-inch plas­tic lures? ALAN KING, BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET

AK & DS say: It’s a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string ques­tion. There’s no one size fits all jig head and lure com­bi­na­tion, but we can give you some point­ers.

The hook should not be longer than half the length of the lure. Half, or just un­der is about per­fect for good hook-up rates.

In terms of hook size, we’re talk­ing about the gape of the hook – the dis­tance be­tween the shank and the hook point. Broadly speak­ing, this should not be wider than the depth of the cho­sen lure.

Equally, once mounted, the hook point should be proud of the lure body to main­tain a de­cent hook-up rate.

The im­age seen here is about per­fect.

Q: I’ve just started to in­tro­duce my son to LRF, but he strug­gles to hold his catch. Is there any­thing on the mar­ket that can help? JAMES HOL­LAND, SCAR­BOR­OUGH, NORTH YORKS

AK & DS say: I think we all for­get how long it took us to gain con­fi­dence hold­ing var­i­ous fish species. The ob­vi­ous an­swer is time, but it’s im­por­tant to think about the fishes’ safety too.

Whether it’s by hand, cloth or even glove, make sure the sur­face is damp to pro­tect the fish, es­pe­cially in hot weather. We ap­pre­ci­ate this could make hold­ing a fish even trick­ier and that’s prob­a­bly why an old wet flan­nel wins out.

Other than that, we’ve been us­ing the LRF Mea­sure by HTO. We use that to keep score on our catches, but a de­sir­able side-ef­fect has been that we don’t need to touch the fish as much. Most of them just rest in the con­cave gut­ter. It makes un­hook­ing and pho­tograph­ing much eas­ier.

Might be worth a try for four quid.

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