Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Ugly Ducklings & B-Movie Monsters
This week has seen the culmination of a covert, barking mad plan I've had for some time now. I've always enjoyed making my own lures and flies- ducklings have been a logical next step into further madness. But just like imitation frogs, mice and the like they work- and pretty well once the weed really kicks back in the spring.
It's irresistably bloody good fun. Not ultra efficient, and you seem to miss takes just like with other surface lures- but when you do get a pike to batter your twitched creation it's always ludicrously exciting. Takes me back to summers past when I used to use home made mice to catch pike, complete with shoe laces for tails. I still have the picture of a mouse caught 17 pounder, although I look pretty indecent as I had to lose my trousers to get into the water and wrestle the thing into the net! The bigger fish tend to like lures that make a commotion- and I have to say I've had far more success on shaggier, messier creations than ultra realistics- which draws a parallell with fly tying.
If you are going to do this weedy, manic style of fishing, strong tackle is a definite must therefore- and I would recommend waders or even swim shorts so as to remove the fish from the water for as little time as possible. As for the other grisly details of this barmy method, have a peek at the Angling Times this week- after keeping the lures and story strictly under wraps for some time, the whole gruesome tale of "The Ugly Duckling" can now be seen!
The madness hasn't been confined to fresh water fish either- or indeed just fish. Torquay is awash with weird visitors currently. No, not Northerners, squid. Catching these freaks makes fishing with a duckling seem like a regular day out frankly. These odd creatures are attracted close in at night by the lights of the harbour. Usual lures are useless however- and you need special luminous things. The sort of lures you probably look at in the tackle shop and announce "what in the Devil's name is that for?"
Now I have my answer. Fished under a float, or like a lure, these luminous jigs are grabbed by the squid, which you then have to haul steadily in. Not as straightforward as it sounds- and I lost two, firstly landing just a piece of torn off tentacle, before managing my first squid! Looks like the sort of creature you'd find attacking Captain Nemo's submarine, never mind buggering about on Torquay sea front!:
Bloody weird. Also quite tasty. A word of warning though- don't be in too much of a hurry to handle one straight away unless you like getting squirted with ink! All in all it was a fascinating evening- with a few bonus mackerel also thrown in. I'm also keen to try float fishing for squid. One of Greys battery powered "nite floats" would work brilliantly I'm sure, seeing as these b-movie style freaks are attracted by light? Next stop the lunatic asylum...