I have been having immense fun fishing for pollock recently and I think it is definitely to do with a small tweak I have made to my lure fishing. I have recently been thinking a lot about how lures move through the water and how naturally (or unnaturally) they may behave while doing so. Some may accuse me of having too much time on my hands but I can confirm that this is most definitely not the case. These and many other thoughts like them are just some of the random issues that plague an angler that has a serious case of the incurable affliction known as ‘fishing on the brain’. But I digress!
I have often pondered things like lure retrieval speeds, depths to fish and, most importantly, lure action in the water. When browsing through a box of goodies my eyes fell onto a packet of Cox and Rawle Rig Clips. These small steel clips are very handy for the angler and have a myriad of uses to make fishing easier and more manageable. Their most common use would be to clip leads onto the end of the terminal tackle for both beach and boat anglers. Looking at these items and thinking about lure action sent my thoughts into overdrive.
The conceptual idea behind using clips in front of lures is not a new one. I can’t take credit for devising it. It seems so simple but yet very few anglers seem to use them for this purpose. If you use a small lure and tie your line directly to it then the lure will move in a straight line towards the angler as they retrieve it. If you use the rig clips and tie your line to this, using the clip to hold the lure then you will find that the lure is a lot more ‘free’ to move about on the retrieve. Instead of moving in a line right towards the angler the lure can now swing from side to side on the retrieve. It can sway and wobble, wiggle that little bit more enticingly than it normally would. Sounds impressive but would it really make a difference? Only a field test would find out!
For any of you following my blog, www.kayakfishermanireland.com, you will be aware that the last couple of weeks have seen me out fishing lures with increasing success. The first of my Connemara sessions saw me land a succession of small Pollock with the second day being fairly similar with a couple of decent fish towards the end. The last couple of trips have seen an increase in fish size. The first trip saw me using lures in the conventional manner; I tied them directly to my fluorocarbon leader. Small fish and good fun was my reward for such tactics. The second day saw a similar pattern for the first half of it. Then I made the switch. I attached Cox and Rawle Rig Clips to the lures I was using and the returns started to grow. The next few sessions saw Pollock getting bigger and bigger.
I am firmly of the belief that the Rig Clips made a difference. I am not going to say that they are a magic fish catching device because on their own they are not. What caught those pollock in increasing size was a combination of watercraft, using the available technology in an echo sounder to find bottom contours to fish along, finesse presentations in terms of line and leader and lure choice. I think the inclusion of the rig clips was just the icing on the cake, that little refinement that helped to make the difference. Buying and using Cox and Rawle Rig Clips won’t magically bring fish to the kayak on their own but incorporating them into part of the arsenal of a ‘thinking’ angler may certainly give that angler an edge over a wary adversary. I feel that their inclusion has certainly made a difference to my lure fishing already this summer.
Aside from the extra freedom of movement that they provide for a lure, there are other advantages to using the Rig Clips when lure fishing. The clips allow the quick and efficient changing of lures to suit conditions. If you need to size up or size down you can do it in seconds without reducing your leader length or having to tie on a new lure every time. Jig heads, soft plastics, hard plastics and many other types of lures can suit this method. While many who read this blog are marine anglers, I like freshwater fishing too. Using lures can be a very effective way to catch pike and perch. The clips save you tying knots in the middle of winter when you can barely feel your fingers. For me this is a huge advantage to using them.
As I mentioned previously, this method of using Rig Clips is not new but I think it is thoroughly under used by anglers at the moment. Give it a try and with a bit of watercraft, a bit of patience and a well-placed lure that is fished correctly, I think it is something that the lure aficionados will find both incredibly useful and effective.