The circle of trust…

One of our favourite fish to target are kob (also known as kabeljou, mulloway, jewfish). In my opinion, very few fish hit a lure as hard as a kob. While targeting any of the kob species you always stand a chance of catching that 100b fish you have been waiting for, as it is not uncommon for large fish to come out in-between a shoal of juveniles.

kob-circle-spoon-4

The one problem that makes targeting kob species on lure a challenge is their love for structure, as we all know that structure equates to snags. Attempting to catch these fish on lures often ends up being a pricey exercise. But there is a simple way to reduce our risks of turning that kob into a rockfish – circle hooks!

Spoons rigged with circle hooks take some getting used to as one often finds themselves falling into the trap of striking when you feel that bite. It is important to note that in order to increase your chances of a perfect hook set a slow, steady retrieve is required. Once you have felt that distinctive tap at the end of your line, maintain your constant, steady winding until the fish is on – it really is that easy! Another thing to take into account is the type and size of the circle hook you choose to use. I personally prefer the Eagle Claw Billfish L2004ELG-7/0 as to date they have resulted in the best hookup rates (they are also not so heavy on the pocket) – a smaller hook is better than a larger hook. Furthermore, we have found that by replacing your traditional split-ring with a homemade piano wire ring, one allows the circle hook free movement to do its thing – your hook is therefore more likely to be in the right position when the time is right.

circle-spoons

Once you have mastered the technique you are bound to reap the benefits. Advantages of fishing with spoons rigged with circles include:
1) Your chances of getting stuck between the bricks is significantly reduced, allowing you to fish your spoon at a slower speed with more confidence.
2) You are not only limited to kob. Since using this technique we have landed a variety of “by-catch” using spoons rigged with circles, including leeries, shad, yellowbellies as well as a 50kg dusky shark.
3) Circle hooks are easier on the fish than J-hooks. Your chances of a successful release are therefore significantly increased when using this technique. Fish around the globe are under increasing threat – remember by letting them go, you let them grow.

So, next time you tempted to target a kob, take a leap into the circle of trust and give this method a try.

Small but vital…

Today we are reviewing something that is so small but is a vital component for anyone throwing lures, which is often overlooked by even some of the most experienced of fishermen – lure clips!

Get a bunch of fishermen together around a fire, with a couple of beers, and soon enough everyone will be debating about what which braid, rod, leader etc is best. No one is wrong, yet no one is right. But the one thing that everyone always seems to agree on is the importance of lure clips!

There are hundreds of shapes and sizes but for us there is only one… this quick release clip is made by Dennis Swannell from the Eastern Cape. Each clip is hand made to suit the high standards of Dennis. From the tiny 0.8mm right up to the 2mm clip, Dennis ensures that there is a clip available to every type of lure fisherman.

Clips have many advantages and come to think of it there is not a single disadvantage to this tiny piece of tackle. Its provides a quick and easy way to change lures. Saves you time and effort on replacing ever-shortening leaders and provides better lure action all whilst protecting your knot! Lets not forget to mention how easy it makes it to stow away lures whilst travelling, saving unnecessary damage to rods and reels. The list of positives is never ending when it comes to lure clips.

Lure clips 4

Matching a clip to a lure is critical.. it is senseless to make use of a huge 1.6mm clip, on a small surface lure, whilst fishing for grunter in an estuary or to tackle up with a 1mm clip on 80lb braid whilst popping for GT’s. Make sure that the clip you pick matches the type of fishing, with the wide range available there really are no excuses! That being said, it is important to always try use the smallest (yet most suitable) clip possible – these clips are incredibly strong and are highly unlikely to be the weakest link in your gear. From experience, 0.8mm clips is suitable for braid up to 30lbs, 1mm for braid up to 50lbs, 1.2mm for braid up to 65lbs, and 1.6mm for braid up to 100lbs – this is just our rule of thumb and not cast in concrete at all.

lure clips 2

One last bit of advice, remove split rings on small swimming/bass type lures. There is essentially no need for split rings on the front of the lure when using clips. The addition of split rings inhibits the ultimate advantage of these clips – ease of lure change!

Dennis Swannell provides a wide range of accessories for fishermen, ranging from quick release clips, snaps, corkscrew, slides etc which are available in most decent tackle shops around South Africa.