EXPERT CHOICE: TACKLE AND RIGS
For the general fishing over the clean sand, and the mixed rough ground, most anglers choose a soft-tipped rod between 9ft and 11ft.
For example, try the Shakespeare Tipsters or the Penn Squadron version, armed with a 5000 sized fixed-spool reel and braid between 20-30lb. These are the hire outfits that Gethyn has aboard.
The soft tip gives increased bite detection, but the extra length also allows the lead weight to be flicked further away from the boat, when needed, to cover more ground and offer a degree of uptide potential.
The rough-and-tough conger fishing is best done with a 20lb-class boat rod about 8ft long and matched to a multiplier reel loaded with 30lb braid and a 60lb mono leader to take the abrasion.
The above two outfits cover you for 90 per cent of the fishing within the Strait, and also for the open-sea fishing.
When fishing over the clean sand and targeting numbers of fish, go for a flowing trace with three hooks on short snoods below a boom. This covers a lot of ground and targets all the species. Hooks should be a size 2, but I also make a few rigs with size 4 and 6 Aberdeens to allow me to use smaller baits, if required, for smaller species.
If you use fluorocarbon for the main flowing trace, you’ll cut down on potential tangles. I like the hook snoods kept short to about six inches off the main trace and about 18 inches apart. In addition, this rig can be gently trotted away with the tide to cover even more ground.
In the mixed rough ground, when fishing for general species, I prefer a one-up, one-down rig with 14in hooklengths of 20lb fluorocarbon and size 2 Aberdeen hooks. This keeps two baits in the feeding zone tight to the seabed.
If you fish a three-hook rig vertically, the top hook is usually just wasting bait and gets few bites.
For cod, go for a 30in flowing trace made from 30lb fluorocarbon on a running leger. The hook would be a single size 4/0, with no need for a Pennell when targeting codling.
The same rig can be used for the congers, but increase the hooklength to 60lb and use a size 6/0 hook.
As for lead weights, with braid you can usually get away with 12oz or less if you trot away, but I carry a few leads in increments between 3oz and 1lb too. ■
Carry a range of lead weights
Luminous beads work well with small baits in the coloured water