Cheese Paste Suprise

With less than a month left before the river season comes to another close I find myself walking the banks of my small local river in search of a chub or two.

I have come armed with a light quiver rod and reel, minimal end tackle, net and a ball of cheese paste that has been sitting in the fridge for a month.

I walk the length of the short stretch, stopping occasionally to peer into the shallow margins looking for signs of chub, or anything else swimming! I might have even thrown a few bits of paste into any chubby looking spots to give them something to think about before I return with baited hook.

                   
At the end of the stretch I settle into a swim which is just big enough to flick my light link ledgered cheese paste towards a far bank tree with low overhanging branches. Although this looked like a good spot a bite did not develop. I didn’t hang around too long and after half an hour reeled in to search out another spot.

This sequence of events was repeated a couple more times with similar results. With the unseasonably warm afternoon sun beginning to fall behind the trees on the horizon I was starting to wonder if I should have considered another bait option to prevent a blank.

Arriving at what was to be my penultimate swim, I flicked out my cheese paste into a deeper hole that I had located on a previous session. After placing the rod on the front rest, the quiver tip settled for a minute before showing a subtle bite which I instantly stuck into.

The battle curve of the rod assured me that this was what I had been waiting for. After a spirited fight I slid the net under a plump chub of 4 pounds 7 ounce.

Cheese Paste Chub

With light fading I re-baited and cast into the same hole. I had a feeling that there was a chance of another fish. Shortly afterwards I struck into the tiniest of bites and connected with what felt like a heavier but different fight. The result was a pike of around 6 or 7 pounds hooked fair and square through the top lip.

Hooked fair and square through the top lip

On five separate occasions over the last three months, I have been unable to land the pike that have latched onto roach and dace I had been reeling in on 3 lb float tackle, breaking the line before getting to the net. On this occasion the 6 lb line was kept clear of sharp teeth until in the net.

Walking back to the car, wondering why a pike had bothered with my paste, I remembered that I had added a few drops of crab flavouring to the mix to spice things up. Well, it definitely gave me a cheese paste surprise!

 

Fishing – Jamaican Style

A recent holiday in Jamaica gave me the opportunity to try something I hadn’t experienced before – Deep Drop fishing Jamaican style.

A mornings fishing was booked and I was looking forward to it. Speaking to the captain the night before, he suggested that we try trolling lures for Marlin, Kingfish and Barracuda as he had found a weed-line 6 miles out and the fish would be there!

Settting off from Montego Bay at 6am the sun was just coming up.

Montego Bay sunrise

The captain set his course in the direction of Cuba. We were on the lookout for signs of fish, typically birds diving or weed lines. It wasn’t long before we found sea birds diving and did a pass through the area with the trolling rods. But no luck.

Feeding birds raised our hopes
What seamed like halfway to Cuba we found the weed-line.

The weed-line was found
Typical lure used
A teaser was also used

Anyway, the long and short of it is that we had two chances; both screaming ‘takes’ ended with fish falling off within seconds. Jamaican’s don’t get too upset by these setbacks and tend to go into chill mode, so when in Jamaica…..

Chill Out – ‘Yeah Mon’

A chilled out captain suggested we revert back to the first plan which was deep drop fishing. This is basically dropping a bait over the edge of the boat 300m below. The rods are jerked up and down to attract a fish to bite. When you get a bite the hook is set and you then let technology take over. The reels are fitted with small electric motors to get the fish up quickly, otherwise it would take ages. The reels get the fish up to a point where you eventually take over and play the fish for the last 10m or so.

Deep Drop reel packed with technology

This is fishing Jamaican style and not what I expected. But I did mange a few Red Snapper.

Red Snapper fish Jamaican style
Sit back strap in and haul

Seven hours later I was back on dry land looking forward to a cold beer. I have to say that although I didn’t get that Marlin the whole experience was very enjoyable, while catching the Red Snappers saved the blank. It was certainly a memory I will not forget quickly. Thanks to Captain Martin and his crew.