Wrasse Being Removed on an Industrial Scale !

Posted: 10th April 2017 by admin in News
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It’s great to see the Angling Trust campaigning to stop the wholesale removal of Wrasse by commercial Fishermen to be taken to Scotland to be used as “Cleaner Fish” for toxic Salmon farms.

We absolutely love our Wrasse Fishing here at Luretour so we are horrified by the actions of commercial fishermen who seem intent on stripping the South West coast of all it’s beautiful Wrasse…full Angling Trust press release below

Wrasse FiiishAngling Trust calls for immediate precautionary halt to wrasse ‘cleaner fish’ gold rush

Members of the public fishing recreationally should be extremely concerned over a new and rapidly expanding commercial fishery which threatens the South West’s wrasse populations.

The Angling Trust is calling for an immediate suspension of the fishery supplying live, wild-caught wrasse to the salmon aquaculture market where they are used to remove parasitic sea lice from farmed salmon.

Official government figures from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) show that in 2015 89 tonnes of wrasse species were caught and used as cleaner fish as an alternative to traditional pesticides to manage sea lice numbers.

Many of the wrasse are being taken from the inshore waters of the South West of England. Wrasse are highly important recreational angling species and play an important role in the resident and tourist angling activity which supports thousands of jobs throughout the South West of England and which was valued at £165m to the regional economy back in 2005 (1). Generations of young anglers fish for wrasse as they enter the sport and recent years have seen an exciting new development of specialist lure angling for wrasse.

Landings data from the MMO (2) shows that the value of live, wild-caught wrasse at prices as high as £150 per kilo makes what used to be a ‘trash fish’, or one only used as pot bait, the single most valuable wild capture fishery in the UK compared to wild sea bass and lobster that can fetch as much as £15 -17 per kilo.

With no controls on how much can be caught, and very little known about the impact on wrasse stocks and the ecosystem, sea anglers are hugely concerned that wrasse stocks in English waters could be decimated by the rush to profit from this hugely valuable, yet totally unmanaged, fishery.

Little is known about the sustainability of wrasse populations and what impact commercial scale harvesting will have on marine ecosystems where wrasse play an important role. However, anecdotal evidence suggests the hugely expensive operation of shipping wrasse live from the South West of England to Scotland is only necessary because localised Scottish wrasse stocks have already been depleted by the demand from salmon farms.

Official figures from the MMO add to the confusion about the extent of the wrasse fishery with the aggregated monthly landings for 2015 being reported as 89 tonnes with a value of £5m (3) and the annual statistical report for the same period reporting over 40 tonnes landings valued at £1.1m (4). Yet despite the huge discrepancies in MMO data being drawn to their attention the MMO have not been able to provide any explanation but it is clearly a very significant new fishery. More accurate data at local level are also hard to come by.

The Angling Trust is writing to the MMO, the Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) and the Welsh Assembly Government to request immediate measures to stop the live capture of wild wrasse for the aquaculture market using the precautionary approach under section 153 of the Marine & Coastal Access Act until there is sufficient evidence to establish: 1) whether it is sustainable, 2) what impact the removal of wrasse has on the ecosystem, and 3) whether the removal of an important recreational asset for anglers in the South West of England to supply the Scottish aquaculture market is in line with the IFCAs’ obligation to manage sea fishery resources sustainably. In addition, the Angling Trust is calling on the use of wild-caught ‘cleaner’ fish to be included in the environmental impact assessments of any aquaculture operations.

The Angling Trust has repeatedly called on the salmon farming industry to increase the pace of movement towards farming salmon in closed containment systems to keep them away from wild fish and the naturally occurring parasitic sea lice.  The decline of wild sea trout and salmon stocks throughout the West coast of Scotland and beyond has been clearly linked with infestations of sea lice from salmon farms.  Chemical treatments of farmed fish have been increasing rapidly and diversifying in recent years due to resistance building up in sea lice populations.

Attempts are being made to supply the aquaculture market with captive bred wrasse. However, the complicated lifecycle of wrasse means that this is still far from being a reality at a significant scale. The general public should be alarmed that wrasse stocks could be destroyed by uncontrolled commercial fishing pressure and a lack of control measures from fisheries managers.

David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Head of Marine, said; “Members of the public fishing recreationally for publicly-owned wrasse stocks in South West England will be appalled to learn that wrasse, once of no commercial value but a highly valuable species to those fishing recreationally, are now being targeted and transported live up to Scotland to help remove sea lice from the environmentally damaging salmon farming industry. The impact of this rapidly expanding fishery on localised wrasse stocks, and on the functioning of the ecosystem, is currently unknown. Precautionary measures must be taken to stop this emerging and unmanaged fishery from wiping out vulnerable wrasse populations before the impact and sustainability of the fishery can be established.”

Malcolm Gilbert, Conservation Officer for the Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers, said; “Alarm bells are already ringing throughout the recreational angling community. Anglers were denied keeping any bass to eat for the first half of 2016 and are again in 2017, with a one bass bag limit for second half of the year. Yet it was anglers who have consistently demanded from government a more restrictive management approach for what was primarily an angling species before the escalation of commercial fishing threatened stocks. Will wrasse be next in line?”

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Popular Lure Comp Zandermania has announced a massive prize fund for 2017 that includes £500 for the winners, a weeks fishing Holiday, rods and reels from Ardent Angling, top of the range luggage from Flambeau, sales from Reuben Heaton, Pro Lure sets from Rapture and Pro Team hooks sets from Trokar, as well as exclusive winners shirts. It’s not only the winners who will be in the prizes either, the top three all win a fantastic prize package and all 20 anglers in the top ten teams receive some great prizes. The full list of what is on offer can be found on the new Zandermania website HERE

 

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With all the Fishing trade shows on the horizon and new products to showcase, this is the time of year that the major manufacturers start publishing their new catalogues. We love a good flick through a lure fishing catalogue here at Luretour. So we thought we’d list the links to online lure fishing catalogues all in the one place to make your browsing easy…here is the first batch we have come across ! Just click the pic to link through to the catalogue you want to browse.

Daiwa

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Storm Lures

Click the pic to link through to the Catalogue

Click the pic to link through to the Catalogue

RAPALA

Click the pic to link through to the catalogue

Click the pic to link through to the catalogue

RAPTURE

Click the link to view the catalogue

Click the Pic to view the catalogue

FOX RAGE

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

SPRO

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

SALMO LURES

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

FRENCH TOUCH FISHING

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

WESTIN

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Click the pic to view the catalogue

SAKURA

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Z-MAN

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

GUNKI

Click the image to read the catalogue

Click the image to read the catalogue

ILLEX

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Click the image to view the catalogue

SAVAGE GEAR

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

SHIMANO

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

BIWAA

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

CRAZY FISH

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Click the pic to view the catalogue

FIIISH

Click the link to view the catalogue

Click the link to view the catalogue

DUEL

Click the link to view the catalogue

Click the link to view the catalogue

RIVER 2 SEA

Click the link to view the Catalogue

Click the link to view the Catalogue

DAM EFFZETT

Click the pic to view the catalogue

Click the pic to view the catalogue

 

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Tackle changes so quickly these days and many if not most of the “reviews” to be found in fishing magazines and on the web are little more than a case of the reviewer handling the product for an hour or so and then deciding if it is good or bad. So proper long term tackle tests are few and far between. We hope that proper reviews, where the products have actually be tested in real life fishing is what makes LURETOUR worthwhile. So when I came across an old copy of the LAS magazine “Lure Angler” containing a review I wrote of the Flambeau AZ8 X-Large Tackle System way back in 2009 It struck me that since I am still using the bag regularly, it would be a great idea to do a follow up review a full eight years later.

I had already used the bag for a full season before writing the original review from 2009.

I had already used the bag for a full season before writing the original review from 2009.

What’s It All About ?

Ok before I let you know where the bag has failed and where it has stood the test of time, let’s give you a rundown of exactly what the AZ8 is all about.

The AZ8 in it's new dark red livery.

The AZ8 in it’s new dark red livery.

The AZ8 is the biggest in a range of 5 tackle bags that make up the Flambeau AZ range, which run from the AZ2 Satchel which holds just one 3000 size box and one 4000 size box, right up to the AZ8 itself which holds (and comes complete with)  6 x 5004 size boxes, 1 x 4006 size box and a 00220 spinner bait box.

One of the Flambeau US guys showcasing the AZ Range

One of the Flambeau US guys showcasing the AZ Range

So the AZ8 is the big daddy of the range and certainly you can pack a lot of stuff in, fully loaded the bag will swallow up a lot of guys whole lure collections and acts as a great tackle station for keeping your stuff organised. The downside of course is that packed with all those boxes full of lures (particularly if there are a lot of soft plastic and jig heads in there) the bag can become very heavy and not that comfortable to lug around all day. Of course if you are using it as a boat bag, then this isn’t a big problem, but as a carry bag, fully loaded you could well be inline for a hernia ! However one of the strengths of the bag and what is in my opinion one of it’s best design points is that the 5004 size boxes that come with it, fit inside the box both vertically and horizontally, so there are a lot of different ways you can load the bag neatly..here’s a couple of pictures to illustrate.

Flambeau studio shot showing the bag fully loaded with the boxes supplied, with the 5004 boxes stored "vertically".

Flambeau studio shot showing the bag fully loaded with the boxes supplied, with the 5004 boxes stored “vertically”.

My standard configuration for using the box when carrying any distance. 2 x 5004 boxes stored horizontally with a deep 7004 box for big hard lures.

My standard configuration for using the box when carrying any distance. 2 x 5004 boxes stored horizontally with a deep 7004 box for big hard lures.

So as you can see the bag will easily accommodate 4 x 5004 boxes inserted “horizontally” (or in this case 2 x 5004 and 1 x double deep 7004) and there is still quite a bit of room which can be really handy for stuffing in a spare hoody or sticking your coat in there if you end up getting too hot later in the day. There is also lots and lots of space outside of the main compartment, with a big gusseted pocket on the back which is perfect for a flask of coffee and your sandwiches, as well as the double drop down pocket on the front, sunglasses pocket (which is a great place to store a spare set of pliers) and two nice sized side pockets. In short, this bag has as much storage space and anyone could reasonably need !

Being big enough to store a shed load of tackle is one thing, but being tough enough to carry it without broken straps, burst seams, knackered zips and ripped material is another…so how has the bag actually stood up to 8 long years of constant abuse ?

A little dirty, a little saggy, but basically still in near perfect shape after 8 years of abuse !

A little dirty, a little saggy, but basically still in near perfect shape after 8 years of abuse !

You have to hand it to Flambeau, this is one tough bag ! I am very, very pleased to report that after having to put up with me for 8 years, the bag is still in near perfect shape. The chunky zips are all smooth and in perfect working order, the seams are still all tight, there are no rips in the material, the bag is still waterproof and on the whole looking pretty damn good considering the muddy banks, car boots, wet boats and bad weather it has coped with. It has been dropped off a bridge accidentally, it has had a boot lid slammed down on it and it’s even been pee’d on by a passing jack russell. It has had very few hooks stuck in it over the years as the lining material seems to be pretty hook repellent, but those that have been embedded have been simple to pull out with pliers, leaving very little damage to the bag at all.  Another nice feature is the rigid plastic base which protects the bottom of the bag and means that you can put the bag down in all sorts of wet conditions without worrying that it will be soaking up water.

Don't stare at the plastic base for too long..it makes your eyes go funny !

Don’t stare at the plastic base for too long..it makes your eyes go funny !

C’mon something must have failed !

OK, ok nothing is perfect and there are two areas that have come a cropper in those 8 years. The first was really user error. I slammed the boot down after putting the bag in on a particularly wet and rainy day and the strap got trapped leading to one of the clip connectors that let’s you remove the strap getting snapped in half. Too be fair the other one is in perfect working order, and it was easily replaced by a cheap carabiner, so if you can avoid smashing this particular piece of plastic with a VW Passat boot you should be fine.

The broken clip was easily replaced by a cheap carabiner

The broken clip was easily replaced by a cheap carabiner

The clip on the other side is still in perfect nick..so if you avoid actually smashing it with a car boot lid they happily last 8 years !

The clip on the other side is still in perfect nick..so if you avoid actually smashing it with a car boot lid they happily last 8 years !

The second is the elastic bungees on top of the bag. To be fair I was never really sure what they were for and I did have a habit of sticking jumpers under them and also the handle of my dead stick rod when fishing on reservoirs. In the end the elastic got a bit baggy and annoying and I just cut them off. No big loss. ( In fact I notice looking at pictures of the latest AZ8’s that Flambeau themselves have removed the bungees !!)

Note there lack of bungees on the top of the bag now that I've cut them off. The sexy bag next to it is one of the new "Portage" range of bags that Flambeau have just released.

Note there lack of bungees on the top of the bag now that I’ve cut them off. The sexy bag next to it is one of the new “Portage” range of bags that Flambeau have just released.

So would I be happy to reccomend the bag ? undoubtedly the answer is yes. I’ve had a number of items of luggage by other manufacturers wear out and become pretty much unusable in just a couple of seasons, so to last pretty much unscathed for nearly a decade, is a real sign of quality in my books.

For UK Sales email  euoutdoors@flambeau.com

For more information see https://www.flambeauoutdoors.com/Fishing

 

 

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Photo 28-01-2017, 11 20 54

zman-finesse-trd-25

The Zman Trd fished Ned Rig has been a much talked about lure in the last 18 months

There has been a lot of publicity about “ned-rig” lures and the amazing fish (particularly perch) that have been caught using the technique with Z-Man TRD lures. I fished the Ned rig with Trd’s myself and it can be a deadly method for better sized fish, particularly in pressurised waters. I’m no expert though, because by and large, most of my lure fishing these days takes place on canals where perch over 1lb are an exception and although there are a good many bigger zander in these waters, I like catching as many fish as possible and even using the finesse sized Trd’s which are just under 3″ I find that a lot of perch in the 15-25cm category  just peck at the tail and don’t fully inhale the lure, leading to missed bites. So fishing Trd’s has been a bit hit and miss for me and I haven’t really given it the time and effort required for a new method. However the concept of a lure that sits up off the bottom, wafting about enticingly made a lot of sense to me, but ideally I’d like it to be a lure that swims more realistically than a Trd when it’s retrieved and ideally something that is smaller, and less rigid, to make it easier for smaller size perch and zander to inhale it easily. Thankfully that lures exists..it’s the Z-Man Scented Leechz.

ZMAN-LEECHZ-ZMAN-BLACK-GOLD

The Leechz is 3″ long but because it relatively flat and tapered it folds very easily and is therefore much easier to engulf for a medium sized perch than an equivalent sized Trd. What’s more the Leechz actually has an amazing, undulating swimming action when you work it with the rod tip on the retrieve, making it just as effective a fish catcher when it’s on the move, as it is when it’s sat, tail-up, on the bottom. Photo 28-01-2017, 11 24 41

Plop a Leechz rigged with a jighead into a beer glass  and you will soon see how effectively the tail stands up, add a few little twitches via the rod tip and you have perch breakfast.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to be fishing with a leech imitation in a canal. Let’s face it, most canals are not exactly bursting at the seems with invertebrates and insect life. Due to the amount of boat traffic that most receive these days, your average canal is muddy and the majority of food stuffs available for a hungry perch are various freshwater shrimps, bloodworm and water woodlice….and leeches ! Catch yourself a pike or a zander in the middle of winter that has been sat on the bottom and what is it covered in ? That’s right…leeches. So it stands to reason that leeches being relatively large and juicy must be a major food source for perch and zander, when they are not busy eating fish. pike leeches

Take a look at canal caught pike or zander in the middle of winter and very often you will find they have a good number of leeches on them like the pike pictured above.

So in theory the Zman Leechz should be fantastic fish catchers in canals…but how has it worked out in practice ? In fact it’s been pretty good. All the evidence we have shows that both perch and zander are “inhalers” so faced with a static or slow moving prey, they tend to just hoover their meal up by expelling water from their gills and sucking the unsuspecting food item into their mouths. This means as anglers we should be making it as easy as possible for them to do just that. That means that most of the time you should be using as light a jig-head as possible when fishing, sticking a 5g or 10g jighead on to your lure just makes it so much harder for the fish you are after to hoover up your lure successfully

Anyone who doubts that perch inhale their prey just needs to watch the start of this video !

So I rigged the Leechz up with 2 and 3 g jigheads for my testing and headed out to a stretch of canal that I have been doing well on lately. I am pleased to say that the lure got pretty much instant success. Hopped slowly and long the bottom with 5-10 second pauses to allow the lure to settle and wave it’s tail around, quickly produced a quality perch, followed by a couple of much smaller ones that would have been much less likely to have been successfully hooked on a full size Trd.

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A quality perch falls for the Leechz

The Zander quickly followed suit and a couple of them fell to the Leechz, while being retrieved as well as when static on the bottom which was nice to see. What was pleasing was that all the fish had totally engulfed the lure and most were hooked fairly far back in their mouths, in fact I missed virtually no hits in the first few hours of testing, but managed to bank a dozen fish. IMG_1705Despite the fact that this fish had a battered tail and was blind in one eye, it still smacked the Leechz hard.

Since that first testing session I have fished with the Leechz a lot, it seems like pretty much the perfect cold water lure as it works best when fished slowly with plenty of pauses, so is ideal for lethargic, winter fish whose metabolism has slowed right down.. Fish it with a nice light jighead of 2-3g that has a decent length of shank and you will find that bites ( or should that be sucks !) are positive and there are very few bumped fish and missed hits. Although I tend to favour the darker more classically leech-like colours I have found that in clearer water the sparkly silver “Blue Steel” colour scheme also works really well, although I suspect the fish think the lure is a small fish, rather than a leech in this case. In conclusion this is a lure that I rarely head to the canal bank without and which I feel really helps me catch more fish in cold conditions when bites can be hard to come by. I’m actually really looking forward to trying it out in the warmer months, when I can move them a bit more quickly, we’ll see if the fish respond just as well !

Zman LeechZ are available from The Lure Lounge, via the link below

GET YOUR LEECHZ HERE !

Photo 28-01-2017, 11 21 09The “Blue Steel” version is a great lure in clearer water and a must for Ben Stiller fans !

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So you want to catch some big perch this summer ? Well clear water conditions call for highly realistic lures and a different approach. Unless you have the luxury of fishing an exclusive private water, then the chances are the big perch you are after will have seen lots and lots of lures already. They will have grown wary of standard soft shads, spinners and cranks, so you need to add something “next level” to your armoury. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Westin Mega Teez  and Mini Teez !

The Mega Teez is next level !

The Mega Teez is next level with it’s awesome tail action

The Mini-Teez has a concealed air chamber that helps it suspend beautifully when drop shotted.

The Mini-Teez has a concealed air chamber that helps it suspend beautifully when drop shotted.

The Mega -Teez has a fantastic action that perch find fascinating, so be prepared for aggressive hits and when a subtler approach is needed then rig up a Mini-Teez on a drop shot rig and it’s inner air chamber will hep it suspend beautifully just like a real baitfish.

But don’t just take our word for it..listen to Europe’s best lure angler Luc Coppen !

FANCY A SPECIAL LURETOUR DISCOUNT ?

If you want to get hold of either of these lures or a whole host of other fantastic lure fishing kit, then you are in luck ! LureTour has secured a special discount for our readers at The Lure Box all you have to do is type Luretour into the discount code box when completing any order and you will get 10% discount. Click the link below to go direct to either the Mini Teez or the Mega Teez on the Lurebox’s website

MINI TEEZ

MEGA TEEZ

Don’t worry id the colour you want is out of stock…new stock is arriving soon !

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