Friday, 4 May 2012

Jura For Breakfast

Image Above: Angry pike on a blue home made wobbler (Devil Minnow)

I wonder sometimes if I manage to catch fish despite myself. This morning I was out at six to test my devil minnows and a few other things. The lake was quite, save for a couple of dog walkers so I had the place to myself; it was a little overcast with a light breeze almost perfect testing conditions.  I set up my rod and bait caster failing to adjust the brake for a heavier lure, needless to say I spent twenty minutes after my first cast sorting out the bird’s nest I had created on the spool. The scissors came out and my line got a little shorter. After I put my spool back in I also failed to tighten the locking nut creating another bird’s nest a few casts later which stopped the lure in mid-flight but only briefly as the snap link on my trace snapped and my sinking lure sunk out of sight. The shock also managed to send the level wind out of sync causing it to stall on one side.

There are many words in many languages that describe my feelings at that moment, chose your own.

Luckily I carry a spare fixed spool reel so I wound on the line from my bait caster and not having a spare trace I put a split ring on where the snap link had been. This was not the best solution as I had to open the split ring every time I needed to change lures so I opted to limit my selection and forego a full testing session.

My rod which is actually designed for a fixed spoon reel felt like a different animal and I was soon throwing a blue devil minnow the length of the lake.  After about an hour of covering empty water I saw some movement close into the bank and cast almost parallel to shore.  The lure was running a little over a rod length out from the shallow shore when a pike bolted from under the bank about six feet away a grabbed hold. I stepped straight into the water and after only a couple of turns on the reel I was holding a four or five pound angry pike.

I thought it best not to tempt fate and packed up; the cold from sitting on the bank messing with fishing reels had worked itself into legs and fingers. I am not a drinker but a guy I know told me the only way to warm up quickly was whiskey and chocolate. At home I didn’t bother to find a glass but took a swig straight from a bottle of Jura, single malt and remembered when I used to fish in the Atlantic with the island of Jura as a backdrop.  Just one swig of whiskey, more lures to make and a clear head required.

Image Below: looking back to the Isle Of Jura (on horizon)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Son Of....

Image Above: Pine Devil Minnows

Despite all the things I have piled on my plate I actually got back to making some new lures based on my prototype devil minnow. I redrew the drawings and made some router templates from them and then cut out ten blanks, from these only five were worth using as it has been a while since I have used a router. I got hold of some ‘redwood’ which in this country is Scots Pine. Although not a hardwood it is no bad to work with but it really doesn’t like being cut across the grain.  The shape came out a little boxier than the original but the dimensions matched pretty well. 

Rather than use lead I opted for nontoxic fishing weights, something I have wanted to do for a while. Having yet to decide colour schemes I went a bit mad with this lot and sprayed whatever was in the can adding halved plastic beads for eyes. I still have a lot to learn about making these in volume and a long way to go with finishes and colour schemes.  So I am off to the lake to test them out.