Penn Challenge Part 2
I thought I would add some detail relating to the gear and tactics as well as my new experience of sea fishing in the amazing Penn Cup!
As I mentioned in the last blog I am predominantly a Coarse and Fly angler and have limited sea fishing experience. So my invite to the Penn cup in
Thanks to a crash course from Mike Thrussell our Penn consultant (and sea fishing guru!) regarding the gear required and also tactics I did have some idea what to expect before we left the dock on the first day.
Mike recommended I take a Penn Waveblaster 20-30lb Boat rod that proved to be extremely versatile and also provide some great sport as it did not overpower the fish I caught.
I coupled this with a Penn International TRQ 100 reel that was a joy to use and also and handled the abuse of 6 days fishing in such a harsh environment, these reels are bomb proof!
We used 30lb Penn International braid that balanced the rod and reel perfectly and added a 15ft length 60lb International shockleader. Mike explained this shock leader provided some stretch to the rig and also helped when lifting fish into the boat.
By far the best tactics for Coalfish and the smaller cod (up to 10lb) was jigging with ABU Sillen Perks. Most of the time we used the 250g versions and the best colour seemed to be White / Blue. This sport was frantic and these tactics proved the most effective in terms of points scoring in the competition.
However with the guidance of Mike we found that the best tactics for catching the bigger cod and Halibut was using big Shad Jigheads. This style of fishing was defiantly less frantic in terms of the number of fish caught but the average size of fish was higher and the tactic was far more enjoyable.
Best catches where when we fished the Shad slowly and close to the bottom in depths from 30-60m. The natural action of the Shad meant we only had to reel the lures up slowly from the bottom for a distance of say 10m then let them back down again. This method accounted for my first ever halibut of over 20lb (the fish was safely returned) and my highlight of the week!
Special mention must go to our team mate Andy Williams. Andy is also an inexperienced sea angler so was in the same situation as me. However he listened to Mike’s advice and stuck to using this Shad method instead of the Perks. In fact he developed a very relaxed style of fishing that involved suspending the lure near the bottom and doing nothing! I guess the general movement of the boat as it drifted gave the lure enough action and his relaxed method proved deadly! During the week Andy caught the biggest cod between 20 and 30lb all on one stripped red Shad nicknamed Percy!