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Lessons from a SP learner


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It's been a while since posting - but unfortunately it's been a long time away from fishing until recent. . .spent quite a lot of time "working out SPs" and have finally been able to get on the water (landbased) to put into practise the things i've learned (H/T to Mako for giving me a ton of help at the SP Social last year). . anyways. . thought i'd jot down things i've learned so far and looking for any helpful advice to improve. . . plus maybe it will be of help to other people.


1) Gear means everything

Since going out with TidenKnots last year and speaking to Mako I realised that gear needs to match the exact type of fishing you're doing . . .i know this is obvious in hindsight, but hey, I had to start learning from somewhere. So I picked up a rod for SP with 4lb fireline and mono backing underneath. . currently I use a 1m 6lb mono leader. . .(ideally i'd get fluroc but thats pricey).

Braid makes all the difference with SPs.

2) Lighter the jighead the better

I started out using quite heavy jigheads (I was using 6grammers) cos i had little casting distance on my old setup spooled with mono. . .but after Mako told me to top my reel up with braid (or fireline) i worked out that the jigheads didnt need to be anywhere near as heavy since casting distance was now not a problem. Now I'm on 1.5g jigheads and the hook-up is substantially higher.

Lighter the jighead also means better swimming action of your plastic rather than it dropping like a brick all the time.

3) Picking up a flatty is easy street. . bream/whiting on the other hand

Pretty self-explanatory . . .flatties will hit anything thrown at them. I feel confident enough about picking up flatties that if i dont get any hookups from a flatty, i'd say that there are ALMOST none there. Aside from that, taking a bream/whiting has proven to be a lot more difficult.

From what i've noticed, if you want to take a flatty, use a slightly heavier jighead and just lift and drop it as you want contact on the bottom. For bream what's been working for me has been the lighter jighead + smaller bloodworm wrigglers or gary glitters. It terms of retrieve I still try lift and drop, but on the lift I twitch it twice to keep it swimming that little bit more off the ground. They're much more picky and much more finicky than flatties.

Although i've watched a fair few videos about retrieves, personally i think it's all very, very subtle and unfortunately you just have to get out there and work out what works for yourself. What helps a lot is not thinking so much about the retrieve itself, but thinking about what action the lure is taking given the conditions of wind/current etc combined with your setup and retrieve. . .you just want it to swim as naturally as possible.

In terms of time, evening/night has caught me more than day. . but perhaps this is cos it's way too hot during daylight recently. Although i've read tide-out is ideal. . .i think whenever you can get out is ideal :P . . .In fact, on my recent trips out, they were all tide-in and that seemed to work well.

4) Plastics

So far i've used gulps and wrigglers and i've caught squat with the gulps (well not squat, but definitely not as much). . .i guess this has to take into consideration that i just use wrigglers more often as it's my 'confidence' lure now. On my last effort i tried some gulp camo worms and although it took some serious bites i just could never manage to hook anything up. . .should i put a stinger hook on the end or something? I did cut about 1/3 of the worm off cos it was so long.

I've got a pack of resin heads and some squidgy flickbait . . still trying to work those out, but no luck so far.

I'm still trying to up the catch rate of bream as it's such a good fighting fish. . .if anyone else has any pointers/suggestions/corrections that would be awesome!

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