Swagtrout

Seatrout, cod and pike fishing in Denmark

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In the long and dark winter evenings I have experimented with tying a release tackle for my spin fishing on the Zealand coasts.

Like many other anglers I loose a fair amount of the fish I hook on to. I don’t keep exact statistics but my guess is that I loose 30-40 % of the fish I have contact with. This has always been something I´ve accepted as part of the game but then two years ago I got Jens Bursells and Rasmus Ovesens book “Havørred – Refleksioner på Kysten” as a christmas present. Besides some admiration for the many trouts those guys catch the book also sparkled some thoughts about my own fishing and the number of fish I land and loose.

In the book Jens Bursell demonstrates how he tie a “release tackle”. This tackle replaces the normal large single or treble hook tied to the end of line, with a tackle consisting of two small treblehooks that are tied parallel with the lure. Bursells own statistics suggest that this tackle will drastically increase the percentage of landed fish to 85 % and he has a lot of arguments that I won’t get in detail with here. But it sounds fantastic right? The downside is that the release tackle takes some time to master and a lot of knots and practice is needed to tie the perfect tackle. I haven´t learned to master it completely yet but I am getting there and last Saturday I tried to fish with the tackle for the first time in Kalundborg with no contacts. Today I tried the tackle again and had my first contact on the tackle. It was one to remember…

Wind and white water on South Zealand

I arrived to the chosen spot on South Zealand at 8.30. Only a light western wind was blowing but there was a lot of swells on the surface after some heavy winds these last couple of days. On half a meter of water I could catch a glimpse of my waders boots and there was great movement in the water. It would be perfect conditions if it wash´t for all the eelgrass and kelp in the water. After almost every cast I had to remove eelgrass from the small hooks. S**T!

It took me about 10 minutes before I decided to go to another spot. “But wait” I think… Before going there I just need to try a reef 100 meters down the coast. I walk out there slowly with limited hope and make a short cast while I consider where a trout might be feeding on the reef today. The next cast I make is only 20 meters and after 3 meters I hit the bottom. Or is it?… Now the bottom starts moving slowly and I raise the rod and feel the nods. The hooked fish seems pretty calm about the whole thing. Slowly but steadily it starts taking line and I loosen the break so it can go. It immediately takes 15 meters of line but not in an explosion. Just a calm and steady pull. I follow it over the reef and starts gaining some line before it starts to pull again. This time 20-25 meters of line again. My adrenaline is pumping as I am thinking about the release tackle… Will the six knots involved pass the test?

The fish comes close after 6-7 minutes and I can see that the small treble hook is perfectly fastened in the jaw with two hooks. Now I feel more safe and after two more minutes of wrangling I can net it with no problems. A perfect, fat 66 cm silver torpedo weighing 3,5 kg. What a beauty. Time will tell if I have as great stats with this tackle as Jens Bursell but a great first test none the less and the tackle passed it well. A splendid morning and a beautiful fish on the reef.

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