Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Cornish Pollack Fishing 30-06-13

Unlike other parts of the UK such as the east coast, Cornwall is not really known as an inshore Cod fishery.  Rod and line anglers do catch the occasional Cod but not in the same numbers as other parts of the UK.  Instead, we do have an abundant fishery of another member of the Cod family Pollack.

Once known as a fish you feed to your cat, Pollack has now become more popular as an alternative to Cod and Haddock.  Some people enjoy eating Pollack others hate it personally, skinned I enjoy it.  Whether you enjoy eating Pollack or not, one thing is for sure, for the rod and line angler, they offer great sport on light tackle.
Pollack start to populate the inshore reefs in April and are abundant in the height of the summer through to the autumn.  The bigger fish tend to be over the deep water wrecks however, Pollack up the about 4lb and the occasional larger fish can be found around rough ground marks closer to the shore therefore, accessible by kayak.
The mark I fished today is mainly a clean sandy seabed however, there are some small isolated rough ground patches that act as an oasis for the fish particularly, Pollack.   My plan was to lure fish over both the clean and the rough ground.  Over the clean ground, my target species would be Mackerel and over the rough ground Pollack.
For kayak Pollack fishing, I carry a variety of lures for example, Sidewinder Sandeels, Savage Sandeels,  Twin Tails, Sidewinder Shads, and Nordic Herring Jigs.  All will catch Pollack and it is more a matter of finding the feeding fish and the method used than which lure is presented.

If I was only targeting Cod I would jig the lure close to or on the bottom because that is where the Cod tend to be however, Pollack tend to be suspended above and around the rough ground therefore, the method is to lower the lure to the bottom then slowly and steadily retrieve up to a certain depth.  The Pollack will follow the lure and occasionally you feel a tug before the actual take.  If you feel the tug, the secret is to keep winding and more often than not, the fish will take the lure.  Although the rough ground is not showing, the following example shows Pollack suspended near rough ground.

To enjoy the fight of the fish I like to keep the tackle light and use an 8' 15g to 45g bait casting rod with an Abu bait-casting reel loaded with braided line and a 2' fluorocarbon leader.  The thinness of the braid means lighter weights can be used and the lack of stretch gives a greater feel.

My plan was to set the drift up over the clean ground, jig a Herring Rig for Mackerel, and when the rough ground started showing on the sonar, switch to a rod set up with one of the larger lures for Pollack.

Jigging the Herring Rig over the clean ground produced Mackerel and a Gurnard.

One of the rough ground patches showed several Pollack suspended above and fortunately, I managed to catch some using the Savage Sandeel.

Whenever lure fishing there is always the chance of catching a species of fish you are not really targeting and the rough ground also produced a couple of nice Wrasse.

Pollack on light tackle offer great sport and the dive after the initial take of the lure as the fish tries to get back down to the rough ground is a lot of fun.

In general, although a lot of paddling involved trying the different rough ground patches and paddling back up tide/wind to reset the drift, a productive day with a mixed catch.

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