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Author Topic: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17  (Read 338 times)

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Offline Liam Muizelaar

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Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« on: March 13, 2017, 05:10:28 PM »
I have done a more detailed account in the past regarding druridge bay as a fishing venue - you can find this via the below link.,4387.0.html

Due to the success of a recent session using continental rods, this is a good opportunity to go into the tactics used at this venue - which may come in useful for those thinking of visiting and adding to their species count for the year. Being a flat beach, there can be little doubt that the main target species here are of the flatfish variety. The usual Flounders, Dabs and Plaice are found in abundance along with a bit of a novelty in the north east - the Turbot. Highly localised, these fish use the beach as a nursery, which gives local and travelling anglers alike the chance to pick up something a bit different. 

Continental Rods
With the recent boom of continental style setups in recent years its no surprise that these rods have started to win favour amongst the match fishing community. Continental rods are generally 3 piece rods up to 15ft long - made from a high modulous carbon blanks tapering fast into fine, sensitive tips to provide superb bite indication, which naturally is one of the main selling points. They're designed provide good bite indication while still maintaining the ability to throw heavier weights over long distances through the use of fixed spool reels - which is where the extra length comes into play. These are not the type of rod you need to pendulum and swing in order to achieve massive distances (although it is possible). As fixed spools are generally used with finer mainlines/braids and tapered leaders, a simple overhead thump will see your lead shooting off to the horizon at a pleasing speed. 
I've fished continentals for a little over 3 years and they are my go to for a variety of situations. There are literally 1000s of different rods available, and while continentals were usually employed for beach fishing, there have been innovations in the market in recent years to build rods capable of fishing over mixed and rough ground from lower rock ledges. Some popular innovators in the UK include TronixPro, Veret, Vercelli, Yuki, and Sonik. Rods vary from ultra light blanks for smaller leads and baits, through to heavy powerhouses capable of comfortably throwing 7ozs plus bigger baits for rays and hounds. All have something in common however - they are designed with bite detection at the forefront!

Rigs and Baits
End tackle requires a little bit of finesse as well if you want to make the most of the sport available. While the fish are in abundance, they are generally small and by all accounts - if you get a sized fish its a good catch. For this reason, scaling down your gear is a necessity.

Use 2 or 3 hook flappers - ideally with 1 hook trailing on the seabed in a 1 up 1 down fashion. Hooks should be fine wire (kamasan B940s are ideal) and small - i like size 4 or 6 as these are small enough to match the smaller flatfish available but also strong enough to hold onto something a bit bigger as bass and seatrout can frequent this beach too.
Use as light a lead as you can get away with and ideally not grip leads - you want a bit of movement when targeting these fish. I like watch leads as they dont roll around as freely as plain bombs, but still move steadily with the tide and kick up sand - in turn attracting the fish.

Bait is down to your own discretion - but in all honesty my best success comes with fish baits, apart from when targeting the bass or plaice when ragworm will really come into its own. The important thing is size. A very thin, inch section of mackerel is all you need here and will tempt the bigger flounder and turbot as much as it will the smaller fish.

The Session

With a good weather outlook for the weekend a plan was set in motion to once again hit Druridge Bay. Preferring to fish the beach over low water, myself and Andy agreed to meet Gary and his mate on the beach for 9am. We were greeted by bleak sunshine and a moderate temperature - negating the need for the old faithful bassboots smock! Over the course of the day the sun burned through brilliantly which made for some nice fishing conditions.
The sea state wasn't bad either - about a 1ft swell lapping at the edge of the beach which, for turbot at least, is pretty much perfect, although not the best for bass. If its like a mirror here - turn around and go somewhere else! The beach seems devoid of life when there is no movement.

The continental rods are out in force today and i've got 2 different rods with me - a 14'4" Sonik Gravity surf and a new acquisition - the Cobra GT from TronixPro 4.5m. GT stands for Glass Tip, which is spliced in for added bite indication. Do not be fooled however - the rod is a grunt, with loads of power in the blank. I've thrown 6oz leads with it already and i'm amazed with the recovery and handling.

Andy and Gary are using Viper GTs, again from TronixPro. These are lighter still and its another beautiful rod - and at a great price at £99-£109 depending on which you go for. Its a great rod if you're thinking of trying a continental on a budget and Andy has comfortably thrown 5oz leads over long distances when targetting black bream on the Lynne Peninsula.

Mine are paired with Penn surfblaster 8000 reels - loaded with 12lb mono and a tapered shockleader which is 70lb at its thickest end.

I've opted for a 1 up 1 down rig with size 6 Kamasan B940 hooks. The Cobra is baited with small slithers of mackerel for the turbot and thrown out at distance - the Gravity is baited with single ragworm and lobbed in close in case there is a bass about.

The first 2 hours are fishless unfortunately which is a bit unusual - with loose kelp and weed causing a bit of a problem in the tide. Eventually this clears and Andy lands the first couple of turbot of the day. Both were at really close range - 15 to 20yds just behind the 3rd surf breaker.
These fish can come in really close so it pays to experiment with distance until you find them.

Following suit and with both rods now on fish baits, its not long before i break my duck with a few small turbot and flounder - followed by another bigger flounder that would have been competition size. All these fish are being released however.
Having all but given up on a potential bass - both rods are now purely fishing with slivers of mackerel and the sport is consistent, all of us bringing fish to our feet each cast. The sport is enjoyable through the use of these lighter rods as well, given that we can see most bites even by the smallest of fish.
As we're pushed over the first gully in the beach i lob my bait into the small back eddy thats caused by the oncoming tide and within minutes a nice sharp tug registers on the Cobra and im into something that feels a little better. Im happy therefore when a belter of a turbot comes over the waves and ends up at my feet - tipping the scales at 1lb 3oz. This is a big turbot by druridge standards and just goes to show if you put the effort in you can still catch something of substance from this flat beach.

Afterwards we continue catching small flounders and turbot until about 2 hours before High tide, when things begin to quiet down and we decide to call it a day.

Another eventful day on the beach. Andy has put together another GoPro video which can be seen here
The following users thanked this post: BrianJ, DALE19, HCL29

Offline ELTEL

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 06:06:16 PM »
cracking report Liam from my favourite beach and very close to my favourite spot :) :) :)

Offline juliogeordio

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 07:06:11 PM »
Sound advice Liam. A lovely spot to fish and defo one of my favourite beaches  .cool.
Bass in 2017 - 17.
Bass in 2018 - 0 (I've not tried yet!!)

Offline DALE19

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 07:35:23 PM »
now thats a cracking report and advice well done that man  smiley32
nowt again as usual ,just giving worms swimming lessons officer

Offline Thunderpants

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 08:13:49 PM »
Excellent write up as usual Liam. Very informative. Thats a cracking turbot too, only just short of being a new sar record. Well done mate!

Offline DubberGaz

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 07:49:27 AM »
Great fishing article there Liam, very informative! Thanks for doing it  .cool.  I have the Gravity Surf 14.4 and love it for clean beaches, very light to use and you can spot the smallest of bites. I've never tried watch leads so will have to get some of those to try.  Cheers Gary.

Offline Liam Muizelaar

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 09:52:19 AM »
thanks as always lads - appreciate it. It was an enjoyable session and a nice change from what we can probably all call a dire winter season.
Roll on the road trips for this year!

Online BrianJ

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 09:56:47 AM »
Great report, pictures & very informative.
Druridge is a lovely beach to fish & can always throw up some good catches.
Thanks for sharing Liam.
I will only be out for a couple of hours pet.

Offline kayos

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 11:28:02 AM »
Great report and a belter of a Turbot - congrats on both.

Offline HCL29

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 01:56:18 PM »
hi m8t, a 1st class report,good weather  .sunny.good pictures and a good session,congrats on the turbot and a very good read smiley-lol.gifti(tight lines)
why buy fish? when you can have so much fun catching them.

Offline Lichtie

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Re: Using Continental Rods - Druridge bay 12/03/17
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 02:37:17 PM »
Great report , and info on the area , looks a great flattie beach

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