May 31, 2010

Honey Trapping for Giant Herring !!!

December 2009

I felt a bump on my lure and struck hard. All hell broke loose as my reel screamed and my rod jerked downwards. My Shimano Stella 4000PG was tested fully by this most worthy opponent.
With little effort, the fish had already stripped 70 metres of 20lb line against a tight drag in just seconds. I prayed hard for the hooks to hold. Every time the fish jumped, it fell back into the water with a gigantic splash. There was nothing i could do but hold on and pray for the best.
As last, the fished stopped it's mad dash. I was gaining ground albeit rather slowly. I started to coax the fish in slow and steadily.
With a bit of mastery rod work against the pylons and lots of luck, we managed to land (and release) the biggest Giant Herring that i had ever seen in my life.

For 2 hours that night, we had almost non-stop reel screaming action with the Giant Herrings averaging 5 kilograms each but only 1 was landed. It was a one-sided battle with the anglers being brutalized.

A ridiculous amount of lures had already been lost in just 2 hours of fishing - we must have lost over 20 fishes that night, some of them larger than the one landed. Many were lost due to thrown hooks when they jumped. The Herring's mouth was extremely bony - which made it difficult to find a soft spot for the trebles to dig in.
The rough surface of the Herring's mouth made it worse as our 40lb fluorocarbon leaders were worn through many times.
Other casualties were due to the Herrings cutting the line when they ran against the barnacle-covered pylons supporting the dock.

The lure of the moment is the HoneyTrap 95S. It was simply made for the job. Fishing in approximately 8 metres of water with a steady current flow, the HoneyTrap was perfect for working the different depth ranges via steady control of it's sinking rate.

The Giant Herring were fast, crashing baitfishes at the surface before disappearing back into the depths again. It was a constant challenge to locate the exact depth these silvery speedsters were holding at.

I suspect we may have chanced upon a congregation of Herring which for some reason were harboring there at that particular time.
If my guess is correct, I will be putting up more pictures of these magnificent sportfishes at the end of every year.

Below is a general description of how to work the HoneyTrap 95S. I hope it will bring similar success to thinking anglers around the world:

The HoneyTrap sinks with an attractive shimmering action which alone, is sufficient to draw strikes. Never take your attention off when fishing the HoneyTrap as the strike might come any moment, especially on the drop.

Sink the lure, twitch it a couple of times and continue to let it sink. Repeat this action.
Make several fast cranks on the reel handle to imitate an escaping baitfish and let it sink again.
The trick to using the HoneyTrap is to impart sudden but short movements with plenty of pausing to allow the lure to shimmer while sinking.
It is a superb lure for fish holding in the depths right beside pylons or close to underwater structure, an area few conventional lures can reach and stay in.

On a constant retrieve, the lure sways with a narrow side-to-side action. This action works well in very clear waters, especially when targeting pelagic species such as Trevally, Queenfish & Mackerel.

I like to cast right into baitfish schools, let the lure sink till it is below the bait school, crank at a constant speed for several revolutions, allow it to sink before cranking again. If there is a predator feeding on the baitfish school, chances are it will take a shot at the HoneyTrap.

Because of prime areas the HoneyTrap can access, it is recommended to fish with slightly heavier tackle than usual. That includes upgrading your treble hooks and spilt rings to heavier-duty versions. There is an extremely high chance to lose your HoneyTrap fishing right next to structure when you hookup a big one as these fishes tend to dash instinctively for cover when they feel the hook.

Imagine hooking up a 10 kilo Barramundi or a 5 kilo Grouper right at the base of a pylon, there is no surprise to what the fish will do.

Goodluck !!!

Catch report from Wee Lee