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.