Fishing Strand Reefs

In this article, I will go into some of the details needed to get into it. The focus will be primarily on edibles.

First and foremost, you are either going to love it or hate it. It’s not for everyone and is not easy; otherwise everyone would be doing it. That being said; you won’t know unless you try it.

In this article, I will go into some of the details needed to get into it. The focus will be primarily on edibles.

SAFETY

I do not recommend going on your own. It can be very dangerous. Slipping and falling could happen, getting washed off the rocks could also happen and there is the ever present thought of sharks (of which there are, and some of quite nominal size). Therefore I would recommend going with at least a buddy or two.

We are often swimming from rock to rock. Always stay close to your buddy as anything could happen.

Be certain to check the tides, wave size and period. You will only have a few hours to fish, so make the most of it by getting tides, waves and barometer correct. Also be sure to check wave height as anything over 2m is a big no no!!!

GEAR

Besides the obvious rod, reel and terminal tackle, there are a few basic things needed that will help, these are as follow:

  • WETSUIT:  A farmer john wetsuit will help with buoyancy when swimming.
  • SECOND SKIN: To help with chaffing.
  • QUIVER: Through my experience, there is only one jacket and that is the Quiver double yoke.
  • BOOTS: A good pair of boots is of utmost importance.
  • SHIN PADS: Some think this is too much, but trust me, your shins will thank you.
  • RODS: Any light 12ft rod will suffice. Longer rods become heavy as you have to hold the rod at all times.
  • REELS: A good quality multiplier like a Shimano 15/30 or the adrenaline X-Master Pro 30 type reels will be good as the reel will take a good deal punishment. Do not take the newer reels like the new multipliers or ANY grinders. I have seen it first hand from friends that have taken grinders out and within a few weeks had to literally throw it away.
  • LINE: this is a topic that is a bit touchy – it all depends on personal preference. I personally use braid on my multiplier and will never go back to mono.

You will still need a belt buckle with at least 3 or 4 containers to keep bait and traces.  You will also need a belly bag (blad sak) to keep water and a few extras, like sinkers and leader line etc and for your fish too.

Now, let’s get to the fish.

SPECIES TO TARGET

There a fair few different species to target throughout the year. During summer months, the main target species are:

Cob (Kabeljou)

This species can be caught on either bait or lures – bait being the most productive. The bait could be a variety of things from fish bait to octopus and chokka. I do not recommend swimming with spinning reel, as they will not last.

Look for the ginger beer colored water – that will be the best bet for this species.

This has to be one of my favorite fish to target, when it’s on it is ON!!! The feeling of being pulled flat and a proper fish pulling some drag on the reefs whilst trying to keep your footing as a wave or swell comes over is an adrenaline rush like no other.

Elf (Shad)

A variety of lures and mainly fish baits for this species, lures would be any spoon/spinner or hard plastic.

Leervis (Garrick)

This gentleman of the sea can be targeted not only from our shoreline in Strand, but also from the reefs and makes for an exciting fight as they dart in between the reefs. You need have your wits about you, as a loss of concentration can mean a lost fish in a matter of seconds.

These fish can range in size from 30cm to over a meter in length. The bigger fish tend to get hooked in the bodies and therefore, utmost care should be taken to revive the fish. These fish can also come in such numbers in the Strand that it makes landing a fish very difficult to land amongst the many fishermen wanting to land their own fish.

The reefs can get very crowded at times. With 8-16 guys on a set of rocks all casting in the same direction and landing a fish from the reefs is exceptionally difficult with so many guys on the rock and also guys on the beach. It has happened to me that whilst battling a good sized fish, guys from the beach cast over your line not knowing you are fighting a fish and I have lost numerous fish this way.

I am not going to get into traces as each person has their own way that works for them.

WEATHER

Keep in mind, these are summer species and the weather and conditions that are needed will differ drastically for the winter species.

Cob does prefer 3 days of good SE with ginger beer colored water. There have been instances where I have caught these fish in clear / greenish water color, but this is not the norm. Even fishing in the strong SE is good, but it can be tricky having to balance on the rock while the wind tries to blow you off the rock and the waves and swell do the same.

For the Leervis (Garrick) and Elf (Shad), SE is also very good, but the South pushes bigger shoals closer in shore and makes it easier to get to the fish. That being said, this not a given and you would still need to go out and look for them as they do move around quite a bit.

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