Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Illex Element Rider S230M

Ahhn well 2017 is at the doorstep ......which means new goodies and discontinued models see sunlight. However sad to see the Delivrance series gone and a couple of the Element Rider Series like the was my first rod love first cast! Firstable would change the technical details
of it, instead 7-28g should be 7-50g...can cast up to 65g but start wobble a little. I caught pike,perch,bream,bass,wrasse,pollack,mackerel with it in all sizes. Ultimate cross over rod for anything really. Its a 2 piece rod, the top section is perfectly sensitive down to 7g and even small perch fun to catch with or any small rig for bream in slight current,love it. But......when u fishing small lake for pike and there is also a chance to catch a decent one with  180-200 shads the backbone just locks down.......this yellow stick has a serious power in it for a "28g" rated rod . Probably in some shape or form you guys might came a cross with this model,  was a resident in the catalouge for long time :D

Im personally dont like stiff rods.... just need a little softness. Pretty cool that nearly all old Element Rider rods has a little bendiness just enough to not loose your fish and the strikes with them are the 250XH, absolute beast!
Favourite lure with the 230M?......has to be the 150 Nitro Shad Golden green 21g head on the drop 6m....coolest takes and strikes ever.

However i think its an absolute amazing rod, my favorite so far ...what a stick to have really! I think if I break it that will be end of the world just to be dramatic. Here are some more pictures of this beauty.....tight lines ;)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Predator Tour Ireland Killaloe 2016

Uhh where to start was a pretty intense 5 days behind. Still buzzing really much , made so many memories thats incredible. Met with all the people who I knew in some shape or form by social media and many others who dont do social media. As a first women who entered it , by the day came closer and closer to the competition my excitement turned into "I really started s@@@t myself ...what I gonna do between all those fishermens  like one tiny girl, what if they not talking to me or laugh on me"....but tell you one thing I didn't felt any different between them, perhaps everybody came over to introduce and shake hands and change story's and memories ....everybody was a super friendly gentlemen...thank you guys!

So I was like "oke this is really cool " hahaha the next big butterfly in the stomach  was the following morning when we arrived to the boat checks, there was so many cool boats its incredible! You guys really pulled out the big guns.....die hard lure anglers, I was really happy to see that, I love my lures and tackle myself so much. So another scary moment went past....and if you think its easy to compete  against all those super anglers, you are already wrong! But at the same time you itching to get to the start line and head off to the spots and just waiting tense to hear Mr. Molenaar  say " GOOOOOO!!!!" And all the engines fired up and booooom off we go!! Super absolute loved it the start!

I thought its all gonna be secret how we getting on , but everybody asked as we float past like "how you getting on" so in the middle of the comp you have some ideas about you doing bad or not. Hahaha which was silly of me because at the end of the day you will see the score charts anyway.
My favourite moment was when we found a shoal of perch under the boat and I nailed my PB 32 cm Derg perch.....deep down in 60ft of water, I loved it like in real tournament style, first small lures send down charge up the smaller ones so if any bigger one around they will bite because they really competitive about food, so in a second after a few 25+cm I changed my 3 inch lure to a 15cm shad and send it down ...then boom my rod is doubled over, then again and again, I couldn't believe it its all happened less than 5 min, there must be some monster perch down there because lost one which i couldn't moved off from the bottom at all with a 28g lure rod, will be back after them soon! 
On the pike screen we didn't do very well only jack and on the 3rd day  I lost all the dozen fish I hooked.....its a really tough game where every inch is count and loosing a fish not a good omen like...but that's  fishing as they say. Even lost our trout as well on the troll so really I think I was just really really unlucky and no idea why.

Fishing wise it was a slow days for everybody but they still manage catch some good fish and all the teams was so happy when fish was in the boat the end this is what it is all about and you can see it on the faces, I was over the moon with my 2x pike and 3x super perch too hahaha didn't go far with them on the ranking at the end but they made my day.

And the battle was started all over again next day, but before that of course heading to the pub and between a few pints and dinner the banter was flowing. Secretly this was my favorite part, probably because the fishing was slow and all the cool conversations totally made up for it at the end of the day. Shared and heard lots of big fish memories and lots of tackle talk, exchange some info about fishing from different  parts of Ireland, I love travelling and fishing around Ireland and so many places I heard about so im really looking forward in the future to catch up with you guys and fish together for a day or two one day.

Tried to squeeze as much picture as I could at least one from each team but there are lots of pictures up so here is a few of the boats..they class like, loved the start when we all head off, next year will bring the drone down and record the start from the air will look super cool .

The prize giving presentation was one of the best thing ever really.....we had local ladys playing live Irish music from the start 7pm all away trough dinner, it was amazing like everybody together sit down to get dinner with an entertainment like that ..... perfectly represented the "Irish atmosphere" loved every second of it :D

Some fun pictures of the organizers .....massive massive thank you to Herman Molenaar to put this event together, I really really enjoyed every minute  locked together with all those crazy fishermens!
I had another unforgettable  holiday from the beautiful Lough Derg and Killaloe!

Tight Lines: Gina 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Lough Derg shallow monsters

Lough Derg August 2016

112cm monster Irish pike

Its really hard to found the words after this 3 days. I sit in the Starbrucks waiting for my train just like roughly half year ago on the exact same chair and I even think that the lady behind the counter the same as well. However I got the same shivers as after I first visited Lough Derg. The feeling that still cant believe or its just didn't sink in yet that …..yeah I had my Irish monster pike! Not only one but 2 this time.

Pierre and Ricardo

But this trip was a little bit different then the last one. Pierre collaborated with the Black Bay Lodge so when you book your trip you don't have to look for accommodation separately which is really cool and make things a lot easier. The Lodge run by a few Italian guys and they hospitality are top class! Really friendly, funny and familiar atmosphere. Also have to mention that they are very very professional in any level beside the fun and laugh. The food was amazing, Ricardo made proper mushroom risotto at first day when I arrived, not only the risotto was lovely and properly done in Italian style, but he also hand picked the mushrooms for it from the close forest. He even manage to bring the French and the Italian style together on the boat for lunch …..home made and smoked parma ham in freshly baked baguette.....really what else you can wish for?! And of course they guiding service cover lot of guests in same time so when we pull the boats in and its time for dinner everybody sit down in the massive long table and share the storys of the day beside dinner which is awesome social experience, I met with French, Italian and Belgian clients too and it was super laugh beside the dinner table.

Ricardo's hand picked mushrooms for dinner

The gear they using: well this boats fully kitted up with all the modern stuff. They have 2x Crestliner Fish Hawk 1650 with 100hp Mercury Engines behind them also 2x Humminbird Onix10, one on the front deck and one on the back deck, connected with the Minnkota Terra's....pretty awesome set ups and they flying on the waves between the spots! They also have a few more smaller boats which kitted up the same just lighter version....all matching and lined up for the next mornings, candy for the real pike hunter when you see them like all lined up, my heart was pumping very fast when I first saw these beasts.
If you fly here from other country you dont need to bring a gear, they have BFT, St.Croix rods and many more to choose from and also high quality baits which proved well on the pictures that they works. I love my tackle and I travel on train so I had my rod with me the Illex Delivrance Deep Strike and a few big 250 Dexter Shads, I love them and they get me a huge fish!!

They do fly guiding as well and float tube fishing for pike and trout, so really its up to you what you want they have everything to provide you a great sport. But only lures or fly, no dead baiting! A challenge for any diehard lure angler!! This is like in the army when the fishing begins, Pierre will make you sweat, but if you do exactly the same what he says you pretty much guaranteed a good fish! Cast cast cast, retrieve slower, retrieve faster and cast cast cast to cover as much water as possible, you will be glad to hit the lodge at 7pm because your arms and back will be break throwing those big baits of the drifting boat!

We did shallow water fishing in a depth of 1m, with Pig Shads and Dexter Shads rigged with BFT Shalow Screw and max 7g BFT Flex Heads most of the time. I had my Costa's on Copper/Green Mirror and I could see down to the bottom on the drifts, we saw fish following the lures in crystal clear, right to the boat and some of them took the lures in last minute.....its priceless when you see a massive shoulders coming after and in last minute they flair they gills open that huge mouth and just swallow the bait, and you in! The fight is so intense because you cant give them any line to go back between the weeds, just get on your knees when they try to charge under the boat, rod half way in the water and just try muscle the fish close to the surface again.....and its not ends then because they cant go anywhere they jump and shake the heads like mad and pull everything to try to shake the bait out. Incredible close face to face combat with this monsters.....I mean like just imagine the 1.10m and 1.12m pike they between 20-30lb fish following your lure and they take it right front of your feet and you see it all.....this was just something else, I dont think I can found a world to describe it …..I have my whole body shaking after when I released all my fish. These was just the 2 biggest fish of the trip, I also had a 1.04m and lost count the 90cm+ fish which all between 12-17lb!

And thats me, sitting on the train back to Dublin and yeah when we stopped on the Limerick Junction I was in debate that what if I just get off here and go back with the next train, but im still on the train and just had a wee tear come down when the the train take off again, its not only because the fishing, well of course its the best destination for it but its reminded me how much a country girl I am and this is something I cant just deny. And the views, the mountains the forests the lake Derg itself, lots of animals on the fields, the people around and they not just put up friendly because you are a “ fish junkie tourist”.....its in they nature, small villages Scarrif and Killaloe with super atmosphere around with super people and excellent fishing!
And now back to the city where nobody give a monkey and the people hunting pokemons! One day I know I will end up around Lough Derg, I think I'm in serous love with this place.........but until that I think I will start to plan my next trip for the winter deep water monster hunt!

Cant say thanks enough for Pierre and Ricardo I'm over the moon just soooo soooo happy with my fish and everything. Hope to see you guys soon again!

And thanks guys who put up with reading my report I know its long a little ;)

Stella the donkey :P

The view of the lodge's living room

Tight Lines


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Be aware of the Hardware

Well what am I about to do? ;) First I had some really cool lures arrived a few days ago from my friends in Denmark, Dan and Rudi from the Illex Team Anglers was that  super kind to send the new Illex 20cm UV Dexter Shads because they wasn't available just yet in the UK, so here they are the first ones crossed the boarders and landed in my tackle box.

Which means I need to get some hardware to gear up the new lures for the weekend to try them, finally after a long long wait. Well should know that I'm probably one of the most suspicious person about wire and hooks and rigs, in the last 2 years specially. The short story was basically that more than 2 years ago I lost a (possible) fish of my life time because (don't saying the brand because i'm polite) after nearly 10 minutes fight I still didn't see the pike but the hooks on the jig head is just straightened out and my fish swim away without showing herself.
So I was a little bit upset (furiously jumped up and down, rod throwing far away and first in my life cry after a fish)......but never mind as they said, but since of this happened 1.) I never touched the brand again, 2,) I determined to found the perfect, strong as possible and still finesse looking, no rusting at all so I can use on fresh and salt water as well, don't damage the shads etc.....hardware outfit to gear my lures up with. I might put my expectations high but after using this set up nearly for a year without a fault I could found in those products, I finally can say yes I found the perfect outfit! So I decided to write my thoughts down about .

Mustad Ultra Point Big Game Jighead

First place the jig heads.....lots of brands lots of different styles! In my case that jig head what I could bend with hand or pliers going to the bin. So this criteria reduce quiet a lot of options. The next one is, how the lure sits on them, I was notorious with glueing the shads to the head because I hate when the lure slips  after one take, but the problem was that the lures been raped off from the hook after a fish or two, because the glue, there wasn't any flexibility left to move just rape off. So the slim or one little gap to hold the lure type of jigs was off the cards as well plus hardly can found any in size what has the gape big enough and the weight is between 10g-25g. 
Then I came a cross with the Mustad Ultra Point Big Game jig heads! They where perfect, top quality in sizes 6/0 to 10/0 and between 10-25g. The other positive thing is that when I rig the lure up with them the lure sits perfectly, no slipping at all, super grab in the material and during the fight or have a very hard take the lure able to twist a little bit but still don't slip down at all even after a several fish landed. Of course when going home and do the usual tender loving care just take the lure off the jig head a little bit of Mend-It and off you go jigs back and ready for another good few fish to fool.
I like using jig heads even with or without  an additional small treble hook just right behind the jig hook, 70% of fish hooked in the lip on the jig hooks, so no deep hooking or harm the fish at all....easy to unhook as well.

Vision Wire Line

The next stop was to found a good wire for traces and additional treble hooks. I don't like crimps, don't know its maybe just me but i never really trusted them. Then start using heavy fluorocarbon leaders with strong knots, which i still using in bright clear conditions but I wasn't happy with the diameters and the size of the knots....just didn't look nice and tidy. Knot2Kinky.....well bought a spool but that was the worst thing what I ever see or try to do anything with ...way too stiff and most of the time just killed the action of the lures. Then started to think what is the fly guys using for pike leaders, that must be light weight so they can cast and also a finesse looking stuff because the fish seems don't bother. Yes the Vision Wire Line, it was a slightly more expensive what I expected but hell worth every penny! Open the pack see how to use it ....well it says on the packet "make a loop and twisted around 8x times  then melt it with a lighter" and that's it. I made one but didn't trust it for a first look (really that's it???) then try to pull a part with literally everything , couldn't break it a part with man power! Super stuff love it really, a bit of shrink tube to the joints and job done also so flexible the shads moves perfect on it, just could recommend.

Owner Super Needle Point ST-36BC

The treble hooks....well same story really! I usually used Owner Musky trebles in 1/0 from USA, but sometimes they not available or don't be here (UK) in time etc so found one from here to replace when I'm stuck to get some of the musky special. The Owner Super Needle Point ST-36BC hooks are near same strong as the musky version of them so I was really happy found them in here. Used in smaller size for plugs before on salt water and they are rock and rust proof, top quality, love them.

BFT Flex Heads

One of my easiest found was the BFT Flex Heads, probably because they out not very long ago. My favorite type of rig to use for the bigger shads 20-25cm such for Pig Shads, 210 Illex Dexter Eels, 250 Illex Dexter Shads. Perfect just screw in and add 1 or 2 treble hooks, keeps the big lures in perfect balance and they are literally un-destroyable too......heavy duty and finesse looking bit of kit to use. Tried one other cheaper version but they wasn't in balance with the lures, the spirals didn't hold and they just looked big because the weight.

So there is my thoughts about terminal tackle hope you guys found it useful. :)
Here is some more pictures how I rig them on the lures and how they look like on a 15cm Nitro Shad, 20cm UV Dexter Shad and 25cm Illex Dexter Shad.



Thursday, 21 January 2016

Illex Warriors

Came a cross with the brand about 2 years now in the Ireland and since using them with very much success.  The inspiration to write this post didn't came from  to say how good this lures or how shiny they guys knows that anyway ;)
I just found an interesting thing about they durability. When I have a soft plastic lure and I catch a lot of fish on one I like to call it a "veteran" and put it away as it's served his time very well and give me lots of fun and lots of fish.
The wears and tears on them is massive but they still together and if I wanna rig them today and make a cast they still be able to catch a fish, but to be honest I will be a little sad to loose them after all this time, so retire them nicely. The second reason is that every time I get them out of the box I get all the great memories coming back from the fish what I did caught on them.

Last year I had a 150 Dexter Shad in Rudd colour which made it to the veteran stage after over 60 pike I caught one this single lure. At the start I called the lucky lure and take care very often with some Mend-it of course, but after a while the painting stared to wear off, so that was the moment when she went to the veteran box. I think the material is now about 80% Mend-it after a while I used that much to repaired but after this lure seen hundreds of predator teeth and still in one piece it's quiet an impressive development for the material what is made of.

The other lure which made it to the box only a few days ago, is the Illex NitroShad 150 in GoldenGreen colour, rigged on the 25g Nitro Shad head. Now on this lure I caught multiple species and I had it rigged like this nearly a year.  The first fish I caught on it was a sea bass on the Channel Islands, because this lure originally designed for them on salt water and have to say this lures are the queen of the currents. Although the bass hasn't got big teeth's the little small ones are able to shred the material big time. Spinning closer to the shore I hooked and landed Ballan Wrasse on it, and the wrasse is famous to chomp your lure in half with their powerful jaw , but the lure still in one piece.
Another species of the sea was the pollack, same teeth structure as the bass , but ones you found a shoal of them  you can get a great sport and land a lots of them I did and the paint coating and the hooks is still sharp, which is very impressive again when it's up to choosing tackle what is up and hold in the battle.

I moved back to Ireland and as well known in winter season the pikes move in to the deeper areas so I really need something to cut down quickly the depth and hold close to the bottom while retrieve it back, so I get the NitroShad out of the box ad clip it on. Seems perfect for the job and second cast I was in to a pike. Proudly can say in that session I manage to land on this lure 28 pike up to 16lb which is excellent fun on light gear ( rod: Illex Element Rider S230M 5-28g). The next trip after weeks we went back to the same water and without hesitation my first lure choice was the same, now the conditions wasn't good as last time but I managed to land 14 pike up 11lb on the same set up which made my day really and I was super happy.
The teeth marks as shown on the picture became all over on the lure and leave lots of damage but this lure is still gonna catch at least 20 more fish if I still spin with it tomorrow.
The decision has been made and he going to the "veteran box" as well to hold the great memories.

And of course some of them are didn't make it. :)

Tight lines ad happy fishing guys ;)