Light Rock Fishing (LRF), is a modern ultra light lure fishing style born by Japanese anglers. It was introduced to the UK a few years ago, via a group of Bass fishing guides from the Jersey Isles, who were looking for a way to increase their fishing season, once the Bass fishing tailed off around November.
Countless hours of research ensued, as they tried to translate information from Japanese forums and videos on Youtube, in the quest to gain more knowledge about this exciting new method.
Over the last 2 years there has been a rapid growth in the UK as more and more anglers want to sample this no stress, multi species, lure fishing fun. A prime example of this was on a recent episode of Keith Arthur’s “Tight lines” on Sky Sports which was devoted to LRF; this has been great exposure for the sport and will no doubt contribute towards it’s popularity for years to come.
LRF has opened up a new dimension to the anglers, allowing them the opportunity to fish for species never before targeted with conventional lure and bait tactics. This modern light approach has opened anglers attitudes, fun can be had from all species regardless of size or quantity. Enjoying the true essence of angling!
This is a great way to get people into fishing, especially youngsters. It requires very little skill or fishing knowledge to start catching fish. You don’t even need to learn to cast! Surely this would hook more people?
What species can I expect to catch?
Everything! Here’s a list of species my friends and I have managed to catch so far this year.
Gobies, Dragonet, Blenny’s, Wrasse, Flounder, Turbot, Allis Shad, Rockling, Pouting, Mackerel, Poor Cod, Mullet, Sea Scorpion’s, Bass, Pollock & Coalfish.
This method can also be used in freshwater for the like of Trout and Perch! One question I get asked a lot from guys unfamiliar with LRF is “why do you want to catch those little tiddlers”? LRF is not just about catching small fish, yes you can fish in rock pools & harbours etc embarking on mini species hunts, but that’s not just what LRF is about. Fishing with ultra light tackle will give you the best possible presentation of ultra light lures & jigs, occasionally weighing less than 1g!
It’s quite remarkable what has been caught so far on LRF tackle, 6lb plus Bass, 3lb plus Wrasse & 4lb plus Pollock. I even read on Facebook a guy had managed to land a Thornback Ray around 6lb!
How awesome is that?
The most important aspect of any type of lure fishing is to balance your tackle. Trying to present a 1g jig using 30lb braided mainline and a 9ft 15-50g casting weight rod is going to be difficult. Yes you will catch fish, but scaling down will allow you to present these ultra light lures in a more natural way, give you more feel, fish more efficiently and ultimately catch more fish!
So what tackle do you need? A balanced outfit!
Rods best suited for the job are generally between 6ft and 8ft in length and with a casting weight ranging between 0.5- 8g. You then have to decide between solid tipped or tubular tipped. Solid tips are very sensitive, more durable and offer better visual control. Tubular tips have a faster recovery once compressed, ultimately allowing you to cast further. They also transmit more feel. The choice is yours but personally I prefer solid tips for the extra durability.
If you just want to have a go at LRF on a budget, check out the very affordable Rockfish ULrods by Tronixpro, these offer unmatched value! Another couple would be the 6ft Snowbee Raptor, which is solid tipped and the Savage Gear Parabellum, which is a tubular tipped alternative.
The most suited for the job are 1000, 2500 or 3000 size reels, Choose accordingly to balance your rod and what fits into your budget. Shimano Aernos, Shimano Exage, Shimano Alivio‘s & the Catana 2500RA offer great value!
Braided mainlines from 4lb-8lb with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader of lesser breaking strain is my usual set up. Although 2lb-5lb fluorocarbon straight through will do the job well. Berkley Nanofil is great for LRF as it has the same qualities as braid (no stretch) but is great at avoiding the dreaded wind knots and wrapping round the top eyes due to its stiffness.
Here are the benefits which may help you in choosing a mainline. Braid offers a better strength to diameter ratio and better casting. fluorocarbon is heavier than braid and will help keep in contact with the lures in windy conditions, it also has better abrasion resistance. Braid is more common in the UK but overseas Fluorocarbon can be the preferred line choice for LRF.
Marukyu Power Isome is a hybrid bait/lure, pumped full of fish attracting additives that make the fish bite and never let go. These little bio-degradable pieces of soft plastic fish biscuits are absolutely deadly! Pink and red have been my most successful colours but they all work. Fish them whole or in sections as small as 10mm.
Berkley gulp fish fry, Ecogear grass minnows and other mini lures and jigs are also popular for LRF.
I prefer coarse fishing hooks to nylon and some split shot for weight over jig heads. You can put one heavy single split shot an inch from the hook or for better presentation use a few smaller split shot “shirt button style” this prevents any hinging. I also find the hook up ratio better with hooks to nylon. You can even scale down as small as a size 20, no fish will escape these!
Harbours are awesome LRF venues. They offer easy, comfortable access and tend to be nurseries for juvenile fish. Great sport can be had but be prepared as you do get the odd bigger fish, a 1lb plus Pollock, Ballan Wrasse or Coalfish will go like stink on this tackle!
Even the smallest of rock pools can have mini species inhabiting them. Try tapping the lure & split shot off the rocks to cause vibration and disturb whatever is lurking in those nooks and crannies and hover the lure above any wee hidey holes.
Tip – do stay as far back as possible to avoid spooking them.
Just remember there are no boundaries, you can use your LRF gear in freshwater too, canals, rivers, ponds and Lochs! Just get out there and give this ultra light lure fishing a go, its great fun!
If you fancy trying LRF and are still unsure, feel free to contact me via facebook & Twitter or my blog and I can offer my advice and answer any questions you may have.
I hope this inspires you to get involved with LRF!