|Lots of different ways to store a pirk|
plus hokkai rig - simplest is just to wrap
it round and tie it with a rubber band.
|The bog standard pirk plus hokkais rig used all|
over the north east for cod.
I also found the big shad attracted a better stamp of fish. This fish had a few goes at a Storm Giant Jigging Shad before ending up in the yak. Sometimes if you feel a nip, it's wise to reel in and check they haven't bitten the tail of your jelly lure, thereby rendering it useless.
Unfortunately, although we lost fewer rigs overall, that improvement tended to be offset by the far greater initial cost of the big shads compared to a traditional pirk. Even with home cast lead heads and cheap jelly bodies, we still weren't curing the problem because no matter how well designed the lead head is, if the hook is exposed, there is every chance that you come up against the kayak fisherman's worst enemy: the pot rope! Even if your fishfinder shows these up in mid-water, on a fast drift / tide it can be hard to get your tackle up in time to avoid them and the fishfinder doesn't always pick them up when they're close to the bottom.
|Homemade shad heads: expect heavy tackle losses and arm yourself with enough for the year!|
First stage is to look for a replacement for the hokkais. Hokkais are simply a better form of the old fashioned mackerel or cod feathers. Yes, they have glowing beads and a few glittery bits, but basically it's the same idea that is very difficult to rig weedless. Luckily, over the last decade or so, ultra light rock fishing has become popular in Japan (and here too). This has meant we now have an excellent choice of tiny paddle tail jelly lures that can be rigged weedlessly. These are the Reins Rockvibe Shad 2" UV Super Glow B63 and the slightly larger 3" Neon Wakasagi:
|These are from the Reins freshwater range, with the right hook they can be rigged weedless.|
So that's hopefully going to cure the pot rope snags. It's true that these won't have the resistance that hokkais do, but even hokkais get torn up after a few mackerel. The tiny paddle tails are cheap (10p each) and easy to replace.
Now to cure the shad problem. I still want a big paddle tail, but there's not much out there that can be easily rigged weedless. But early last year, my prayer's were answered when the first "daddies" of the Fiiish Black Minnow range came on sale. At 16cm, it's quite a long lure (a near perfect launce imitation in my opinion), and with a maximum head weight of 60g it remains to be seen whether they'll keep their depth in a really big tide or an uptide drift:
|The big daddy of the Fiiish Black Minnow range, 160mm with a 60g offshore head. The perfect launce imitation?|
That's it! Hopefully a cod and pollack jigging rig that is snagproof on the bottom and against pot ropes. Of course if you're travelling at pace, I would still expect the tiny paddletails to snag up against a rope as the soft lure only barely covers the hook point. We'll see. I'm confident it'll catch, and I'm confident it'll be better than the rig I was using last year, where every hook on the shad or hokkais was exposed.
And that's what it's all about isn't it? Trying to do things better, to make it easier to catch more fish.
Tight lines for the coming season!