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Offline JV

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Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« on: September 07, 2012, 02:10:56 PM »
Winter cod

This article was wrote with the intention of helping our members hook and land bigger cod.


Winter cod are caught when onshore storms hit the coast with fishing under the cover of darkness often the best time to target them. Great baits are lugworms, ragworms and shellfish cocktails, with bigger fish baits generally taking larger cod from deep water marks.

The most important thing  about winter fishing for cod is hitting the shore at the correct time and place, sounds obvious but sea anglers who are new to the sport often get this wrong.

Here's ten tips to find those cod.

1/ Go fishing a day or two after an onshore storm has subsided, a nice lazy swell that you can fish into comfortably from the beach is ideal.  This is what sea anglers refer to as a dying sea.  Food has been dislodged and the fish have come in close to mop up the free offerings.  I find a swell of 3ft to 6ft ideal for most venues.  Check out surf conditions for your local beach at http://magicseaweed.com/

2/ Fish during darkness or into chocolate coloured water, cod like the security that darkness and low visibility gives them when entering shallow water, especially on beaches.
Darkness brings fish in closer.



3/ Deep water often gives the best chance of bigger fish, ends of piers, deep water rock marks or steep beaches are normally good places to try.  A beach that is shallow at low tide can often be deep enough for cod at high tide so try then.

4/ Use rigs that are strong and don't tangle, thin mono tangles easier than thicker mono.  I recommend using swivels that are 80lb breaking strain minimum and mono of 60lb to 80lb throughout your cod rigs.  A tangled rig won't catch fish and a weak rig will lose fish, remember this! A heavy mono hook length won't put a big cod off from taking a bait.

Big fish need strong terminal tackle.
Below a pic of a 45lb cod caught on a pulley rig by my pal Nicky Robson, 100lb breaking strain swivels, 80lb mono throughout and no crimps. Crimps!, I hate them.



5/ Check your local paper or sea angling website for catch reports, find out where the fish were caught and when, remember this info for the next time tides and sea conditions are similiar. Don't go chasing fish in reports that have already been caught days before, the fish will often be long gone unless sea and weather conditions are exactly the same so use your head and wait.

6/ Always have a bait supply at the ready, buy yourself a bait fridge and keep it in the shed or out house, keep your own fresh bait and look after it until conditions for cod fishing look ideal and use it then.  Back up frozen baits of bluey, mackeral, black lug and squid are a good alternative to worm or crab when the weather or tides ar poor for bait collecting.


7/ Fish places that are fishable...sounds obvious but too many sea anglers go out in massive storms and fish into huge breakers or swells that are just too big for their chosen venue.  This endangers lives and your unlikely to catch anyway..... it only takes one big wave and your dead,  just remember no fish is worth a life.  If it looks dangerous go elsewhere and you'll probably catch more in a sheltered spot anyway.   Look for areas on beaches or between rock gullies that have calmer water to fish into, this will be safer for you and it's normally where the fish will be found anyway. Cod don't like to be thrown about in huge breakers that are smashing up the shoreline they seek out calmer spots between or well behind the breakers.

8/ Pulley rigs are best for big cod, they're strong and easily made.  Avoid rigs that are made using crimps at all cost! Crimps equal weak points, don't use them unless your after small fish.  Big cod have big mouths so use big hooks, even small codling can swallow a 6/0 hook with ease.


9/ Low water marks often fish best on the first hour or two of the flooding tide, beaches are generally best on the flood tide to high water. On beaches look out for darker calmer water between the breakers that give away the presence of deeper holes, this is where you'll likely find fish.
 
10/ Support your local tackle shop and buy what you need for each session from them. This actually saves you money in the long run because your not holding onto thousands of hooks and miles of line that will ultimately rust away or degrade before use. It's great to have a supply of bait and tackle at your local sea angling shop so support them as best you can.

Tackle

For the beach use lighter tackle and lines for further casting distance.  Always use a shockleader tied to your mainline, when using a 4 ounce weight, use a 40lb shockleader, 5 ounce a 50lb shockleader, 6 ounce a 60lb shockleader, etc...as a rule of thumb up your shockleader's strength by 10lb per ounce of weight! A shockleader is a length of heavier line tied to your lighter mainline that cushions and makes safe the force of a swinging lead weight.

Rods and reels

I use a penn 525 and century tip tornado designed for beach work, but any beachcasting reel capable of holding up to 300 yds of 15lb mono made by abu, penn, daiwa or shimano is a good choice as is any rod designed for the beach that's made by century, daiwa or zziplex.


Yellow mainline is an excellent choice when fishing during darkness simply because you can see it easily and keep your line tight. Everyone has their own choice of lines but Daiwa Tournament in hi viz yellow is a great line for the beach.


For tackle hungry rock marks where there's no need to cast far I use a penn 535 reel loaded with 40lb mono, there's no real need for a heavy shockleader when casting short distances with a heavy mainline but care as ever must be taken if other anglers are nearby. Rods need to be powerful, look for purpose built rock rods made by century, daiwa or zziplex.


Berkley big game monofilament line is in my opinion by far the best choice for heavy rock fishing.  Load your reel up with this and you'll have very few problems.

Rigs

I only use pulley rigs when after winter cod simply because of their strength. I'm not really interested in catching loads of small fish, it's the big fish that we're after and once hooked on a well built pulley rig you will rarely lose them.  Inferior rigs will lose you fish, if you don't know how well your rig was built, then build your own and have confidence in it! 

Take a look at this video by Alan Yates who describes how and why pulley rigs work much better than I can.  
Go Fishing: Alan Yates on pulley rigs


Items you need to make a simple pulley rig.

Three 80lb two way swivels
Two beads
60 to 80lb monofilament line
A link to your lead
Silicon hook tubing for your upper hook.
Two Sakuma manta extra hooks, one 2/0 the other 3/0.  Hook choice and size is yours really but this would be my minimum size and I'd even use a 4/0, 8/0 combination when using big fish baits for large cod.




I make my pulley rigs out of two slightly different lengths of mono, the first at 80cm to my weight and a shorter length to my hook at 70cm.  Notice there's no clip to streamline my pulley rig on this set up, the reason being that I use an off the ground pulley bait clip when casting at range.  Short lobs are fine without any kind of streamlining at all.
The off the ground bait clip below.



A great idea that allows you to cast a pulley rig off the ground without the hook coming off the bait clip but which then releases the hook on impact with the water.

When fishing into heavy kelp from the rocks where short lobs are required you can use the set up below just above your weight, simply tie a weak length of mono to your weight from the lead link and hang your weight on the gemini genie rig link at the bottom.  The lead will release on impact with the water and if snagged allow you to retrieve rig and fish.  It must be stressed however that this tip should only be used when short casts are required and other anglers aren't close by.


I'm no expert at catching cod but I have got a good track record of landing the bigger ones from the shore  lol so try what I do and some day you may be lucky enough to land a beasty! If anyone would like to add to this article, please feel free to do so.   cool
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Chris s

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 09:34:14 AM »
Quality info mate,nice one cool

Offline al.thain

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 06:49:56 PM »
nice write up  cool
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Offline BrianJ

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 09:50:03 PM »
Great write up Dave. Hope we see lots of great cod reports this winter.
Looking for my first double figure cod this winter.
I will only be out for a couple of hours pet.

Offline Nicky

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 09:59:30 PM »
Great read Dave mate this will help out alot of anglers on the forum if they follow the steps  cool
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Offline JV

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 10:10:29 PM »
Thanks lads, that's what we're here for...to help others who are new to the sport.  cool
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Bigroppa

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 05:33:38 PM »
I also prefer the pulley rig when cod fishing but i also add 2 rubber beads. Ive found when lifting fish, the hard beads can cut into the knot. Great way to protect them.

Offline Lichtie

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 05:58:40 PM »
Great advice JV , i'll try and take it in and hopefully put it to practice this winter.

Offline CHOPPER

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 11:34:05 PM »
Great Read JV, I'm back for a couple of weeks over the festivities and can't wait to get the winter gear out and hit the rock marks!  Tight lines for the coming cod season!!
Chopper

Offline Blanked again

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 12:43:21 PM »
Great article JV. This is something i will be looking to put to use over the coming months.
Tight lines
Davy

Offline JV

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 05:37:35 PM »
Thanks lads it's great to know people read these and find them helpful.  .cool.
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline regpude

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 06:32:59 PM »
is it true sea SEA ANGLER (alan yates) want you to write your own article for the n/east every month . only joking  . verry good advice given and well explained .tight lines  .fish. .fish. .fish.
old timer.good at winding members up.ps,but will help out anyone best i can.

Offline JV

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 06:38:01 PM »
is it true sea SEA ANGLER (alan yates) want you to write your own article for the n/east every month . only joking  . verry good advice given and well explained .tight lines  .fish. .fish. .fish.

 
 smiley-lol.gif I did use to write for sea angler in the monthly marks sections. I've stopped doing it now though to concentrate on my job that pays the bills and this website to.
 
Here's an article I did write, got into an american sea angling mag..... http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1x3j1/InternationalAngler/resources/14.htm
"For we are the Vikings tamers of the deep" Check out my blog http://viking-valhalla.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline eddie t

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 11:13:46 AM »
Great read that dave nice one mate.  .cool.
Feel free to take a look at my blog.
My blog. http://edds-fishingtales.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline greggthe1

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Re: Sea Angling Spotlight: Winter cod
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 04:28:52 PM »
Cracking read Dave. Great to see top anglers sharing their knowledge :-)  smiley32
I beat the cod challenge!

 

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