Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Rhubarb and Custard

Rhubarb and Custard, for those old enough to remember it was that classic wobbly cartoon from the late 70's featuring the adventures of rhubarb the dog and Custard the cat. This classic cartoon was drawn by Bob Godfrey, who incidently I met at a party at my brother-in-laws house. Did you know that the characters were based on Tony Hancock and Sid James.

Rhubarb and Custard incidentally also happens to be one of my favourite puddings.

What has all this got to do with fishing! I had booked a trip with Lyle Stantiford on Supernova out of Weymouth wrecking for cod. Sailing time was two hours as the wrecks that we would be fishing were 20 miles offshore. The sea was calm and we were in for a scorcher of a day.

Tackle was a 12-20lb class outfit matched to 20lb braid and a 30lb mono leader. An eight foot flowing trace of 30lb flurocarbon with a six inch sidewinder lure was attached below a six inch boom. I used a light mono loop to attach the 10oz lead as a rotten bottom but most of the lads used a twist of wire (the sort used to tie up freezer bags), top tip! Lyle suggested that we use orange lures as that is what the cod seem to prefer

The skipper positions the boat to drift over the wreck and on his command the lures are lowered to the bottom before being retrieved slowly. The key difference between wreck cod and pollack is that cod live closer to the wreck and to catch one has to live dangerously and only retrieve 15 turns before lowering the tackle back down. Like all on board I snagged the wreck several times during the course of the day. As with pollack I found a slow retrieve best.

I was on board with a great bunch of lads and we all caught cod during the day. The largest fish was a real beauty of 17lb with most fish being in the 10-14lb bracket. I was lucky enough to catch four cod with two doubles at 13lb 4oz and 10lb 8oz, a pollack and a couple of big pouting. Pouting are viewed as a pest and the lads called them flobbers, no idea why! Unfortunately I lost what would have been the biggest fish of the day, either a big cod or maybe a ling when after several minutes it fell off, just as I felt I had got the better of it. It still hurts!

Another top tip I learned today is to bleed fish by cutting through the gills as it stops blood spoiling the flesh. I must also get some cable ties as most of the lads used these through the cods gills to identify whose fish was who's in the fishbox. Know anywhere that stocks cable ties in pink or some equally outrageous colour!

It transpires that Cod also like Rhubarb and Custard, well the orange sidewinders were in the rhubarb and custard colour!