Stephenson Holt Author

Sea Fishing Lures for Prostate Problems.

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The novel follows the exploits of an angler who has recently returned to sea fishing, and in particular, lure fishing in the U.K, after many years of devoting himself to others.

Having been diagnosed, at age seventy with prostate cancer that had spread to bone areas, every day becomes more precious, the family that haven't had a family holiday for some years is sent to Greece and to the sun, while our author, manages ten days in Cornwall, England, lure fishing each day and describing in words the feelings running through him.

Chapter one is reproduced just below the list of products described in the book, so that prospective readers can get a flavour of the whole book. The chapter is followed by a list of the references that occur in that chapter, including the items of fishing equipment used. Links to these products are not allowed in the kindle version of the book and are therefore reproduced here for clarity.

Items discussed in Chapter One.

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1.I took a while to choose a rod and my main priorities were that it had to be lightweight, (because of my recent, muscle wastage,) to be good at casting light lures, and to be economically viable in case fishing became impossible at a later date and it would then be seen as a money waster. I chose the Penn Wrath 2 spinning rod in an eight foot length (a good all-round sort of length) which has a casting weight range of 15-40 grams. (an ounce is 28 grams.)

Penn Wrath 2 Spinning rod

2. The lures, various, are kept in a double-sided box by Milepetus which has 14 Grids and is made of clear hard plastic. It measures 30.5 cm length x 22.9 wide and 7.6 high. It is excellent for quickly finding the lure required, turning the box to get the preferred lure sections uppermost, and opening the box to extract the lure, all while standing knee deep in water.


The bag that the lure box (plus pliers, two books of traces, tide timetable and measuring tape) is kept in is the Doorslay Fishing Backpack that can be fixed at the bottom strap holder on the left or right to suit the angler. With this lightweight, single strap bag on your back, it can easily be slid around to the front of your body so that the lure box is available without taking the bag off. I tried this on a couple of trips but then returned to the other provided strap that fixes both ends at the top, so that the bag sits on your hip.


The bag has loops for a rod but I prefer to carry my rod in my hand and and use the loops to store my landing net while changing spots.

Milepetus lure tackle box.
Doorslay fishing backpack.

3. The BZS silver, sea fleck, mackerel feathers come as a group of 5 Packets and are brilliant imitations of small sand eels. They employ a 2/0 hook and should be kept on their card and in their packet until needed. When needed, take out the bottom loop and attach to your weight, then use the weight to lower the trace as you unravel, to stop any tangles from hooks grabbing other hooks. I attach the top loop of this trace directly to my swivel at the end of my braid. I know others find fancy knots form a better bond between braid and leader, but I have always found a small swivel and two blood knots are ample. P.S. for those about to ask, my fluorocarbon leaders are all small enough in length so that the swivel doesn’t try to go through the top eye of the rod.

4. I have changed the trebles for singles on roughly 50% of my lures, mainly for ease of removing the lure from the fish to return it, partly though because lures with trebles, placed together, try to bond together forever. The single hooks that I use as substitutes for the trebles are Savage Gear Inline Single Hooks that are 2/0 in size and come in packs of eight.

5. The reel I chose for light spinning was the Shimano FX, Spinning Fishing Reel.

My preference was for the 2500 size. Again, good quality but without spending a fortune just in case fishing becomes impossible in the future for health reasons. It has a front drag and I always use the line clip provided. I have to admit that I had no idea that the line clip existed until seeing a similar reel on YouTube where the angler put his fingernail under the clip and placed the end of his line there to stop braid unravelling during transit. The spool takes 150 yards of ten-pound breaking strain braid, and I use Reaction Tackle braided fishing line, coloured yellow for visibility (mine not the fish's). I have written in this book that most bass anglers seem to use braid of 20 lb. and upwards with the same leader size, but having come from a course fishing background, I like to use the smallest gear I can get away with.

Shimano FX2500 reel
Reaction Tackle Braid

Items described in Chapter Three.

Life Jacket.

Phone case.

3. Momolures. My favourite bass lures are called Momolures six-inch live sticks, from Momolures, which look to me like a fat, white lugworms with a flappy tail that will wiggle and wake up a dozing fish. The beauty of this lure is that it is, or is capable of being fished, weedless and so they are in my lure box with 5/0 hooks of the ordinary type,  also the weighted hook type and also one with a jig head. The ordinary and belly weighted hooks come with the packet of sticks but the jighead comes separately from Rui Jia Xiang.  

Momo lures bass stick
Momo lure hook
belly weighted hook

Ordinary Hook Only at 15g.

Weighted belly-hook at 19g.

Momo lure with bighead

Jighead at 27g. by RuiJiaXiang

RuiJiaXiang jighead jig head

Jigheads in box.

Bombarder float

FFT Beads in various colours.

Savage Gear Surf Seeker in treble or single hook choice.

Savage Gear Surf Seeker. These lures are designed with a heavier tail section than the head section. Having clipped the lure at the head, the item becomes javelin-like as the heavy tail end cuts through the air on the cast. It’s recommended that the retrieve is stopped periodically, as the lure is further designed to spin through three-sixty when not being retrieved, flashing the colours of top and bottom as it spins and then flashes again as it comes out of the spin. The lures in the photo are 35g but I use the slightly shorter 30g also.

Waders.

Chapter One.

I’m alone on the end of a pier, or to be more precise, a granite breakwater. I shouldn’t be here alone and promised my wife that I wouldn’t stay away from others, but on the other hand, I am wearing my self-inflating buoyancy aid. If anything untoward happened and I ended up in the sea, then apparently the aid would position me with my face upwards, so that I would be able to breathe even with a head injury. There is even a loop on the back to allow the RNLI to hook me up into their boat which is all of a hundred metres away. I have not tested any of this, but I put it on because I’d sort of intended to fish from the nearby rocks and admit the aid is a bit over-the-top for pier fishing.

 

I could have fished from those rocks that sit alongside my pier, with its submerged rock, weed, and patches of sand below the rocks and under water, and looking very Bassy, but I’m wary about being cut off by the tide, or falling and breaking a recently-found-to-be brittle bone area. This is, after all, my first evening after a long drive of two-hundred and fifty miles and I’ve been up since four this morning. Instead, I decide the pier is safer for now and I can send a hook-weighted, weedless lure over the rocky area to maybe search out a bass or even a pollock.

 

Opposite me, across the water and at my back, is the famous Smeaton’s pier. (1). On its end it has two anglers, with beach-casters, large weights, and the ability to cast long distances into deep water of around thirty feet at high water. I am not jealous and instead I take pride in my eight-foot spinning rod (2), box of lures in my bag (3), and the ability to move around quickly, if needed.

 

The tide is flooding and is the highest tide for a month, the sun is due to set in two hours so we are approaching perfect conditions for Bass fishing, and at six-thirty it’s maybe an hour off high tide at the moment. I watch another weight and smelly bait as it’s cast way out from Smeaton’s Pier, while I scan the top of the water between there and my position with my polarised-lens sunglasses and notice it boiling with bait fish and maybe sand eel in front of me, but on the opposite side of the pier to the rocky side where I’ve been fishing. I know from many previous visits, going back to nineteen sixty-three, that the seemingly boiling water is over a sandbank, where at low tide, children play while the tide comes in around them and they revel in the fact that they have to wade to reach safety.

 

Think like a fish - always and at all times think like a fish - a shoal of school bass, or more likely mackerel, have driven bait fish inwards towards the harbour. The baitfish reach the sandbar and are forced upwards, forced to compact, and for them, jumping out of the water seems a safer bet than being eaten.

 

My bet, because the boiling water covers such a large area, is on a shoal of Mackerel. I’m here, alone, in Cornwall, for ten days, that’s ten breakfasts needed, and so my lure is unclipped from my flouro-carbon leader and four feathers are clipped on (4) with a one-ounce weight below them. I am aware that some anglers fish a weighted, hooked lure at the bottom of their feathers, rather than a weight, but I worry that my extremely light rod may not take five mackerel, fighting in different directions. The first cast catches fish.

 

One Joey mackerel is too small and goes back into the sea to grow, the other one is over the regulation twelve inches and is despatched and placed in my fold-up catch-bag ready for breakfast tomorrow. Mackerel fillet on toast with thick Cornish butter between the two - the thought makes my mouth water. Soon the mackerel are coming out in twos and threes, each fighting in a different direction, nullifying their flight and making it easier to bring them in. The shoal must have pushed the sand eel or bait fish into the bay and this bottle-neck, between main pier and my minor breakwater, is pushing them further into St. Ives harbour.

 

Looking around, always looking around, I notice that the holiday makers on The Wharf Road on the harbour’s edge scurry about as if in a shoal, looking for food, looking for a restaurant that isn’t full, some giving up and settling for the easy option of takeaway pizza. Most pizza comes from the posh pizza wagon at the town end of the West Pier, the pier that I’m on, most taking their boxed food back to their holiday accommodation. Some though are eating on the pier, enjoying the warm August evening, and I notice a young woman picking off pieces of crust and throwing them into the water. Mullet? Something to investigate at another time perhaps. For now I am a hunter-gatherer and need to eat breakfasts.

 

Once ten mackerel of legal size have been despatched, I stop. The beach-casters are still pushing baits far out into the bay and appear not to have noticed me, or the mackerel, but then, I’ve been too preoccupied to notice anything they may have caught. I’m sure that even if they hadn’t wanted to catch mackerel for food, like me, they still would have wanted to top up their bait store with this oily fish. What to do now?

 

The weight and feathers come off, on goes a solid-bodied, top-water but shallow-diving lure, these toothy fish are not going to ruin my soft plastic lures or bite their tails off. The lure is a subtle mackerel colour on top, but crucially, bright, pearly white underneath, to stand out hopefully in the oncoming dusk, it also has beads inside it to draw attention as it dives as the front lip takes it downwards. I stop reeling in, it floats upwards and I jerk to make it dive quicker on the next reel in. Variety is the name of the game. I cast to where I think the shoal is at its most populous and where a large mackerel may fancy eating a smaller cousin. On the YouTube videos, where I re-learned about modern fishing methods, the presenter always knows the model and maker of the lure, names it, and adds that they are not sponsored by the manufacturer. I wonder if this is in the hope of receiving a box of lures so that they are sponsored? It’s not something that I can do because as soon as the lure is out of the packet, and the packet discarded, its name disappears into the ether. My theory is that I choose a lure to do the job I believe it is capable of doing, not because of its name or its manufacturer.

 

My lure is hit on the second cast, the trebles having been changed to two single hooks (5), and either the underbelly hook, or the tail hook, seems to be well bedded in. Immediately, fishing becomes a whole new experience. Gone is the hunter gatherer feeling of obtaining food and my head is now filled with sport. My feet are firmly planted on the Cornish granite rock pier, but my head is transported to a Welsh river, with nobody around for miles, and it’s me against the trout on the end of my line that has taken my fly. This is what a single mackerel, on a single lure, on light gear, can do to an angler’s head.

 

Unfettered by other mackerel with their need to escape in different directions, this loner can move wherever he wants to, can zig and zag across the water, and is clearly not in the mood to give in yet. Braid spools off my fixed-spool reel (6), and I allow it without tightening the drag, this lad needs to tire himself out a bit, against the bend of the full length of my rod, before any attempts to land him. When he pauses, or swims towards me, I raise my rod and then wind like hell on the rod’s descent, and eventually he tires and comes within distance of my hand on my line so that I can hand-ball this tired-out fish up onto the pier.

 

He deserves the privilege of a landing net really after that fight, and if I’d been on the rocks he would have had that privilege. I unhook him, thank him for the fight, and allow him back to his shoal. He was bigger than any fish taken on my feathers, but I stopped when I had enough food for breakfasts, and although I love mackerel breakfasts, having one for an evening meal as well would be a bit extreme. My Fitbit tells me that my pulse is a hundred and ten, so from experience, I sit and breathe deeply until the numbers come back down into the seventies.

 

I think my fighter tells his mates that it is all a trap, because the fishing slackens off dramatically at the tides full height. I’m tired after a long day of travel and it’s time to go back to my one-person holiday let that my wife booked for me. She won’t be there to clean the fish, a job that she does much better than I can, she is on her way to Greece with the rest of my family, including single parent daughter and grandchildren, but that’s a story for another time, maybe in the next chapter.

 

After filleting ten fish, I’m left with more waste that I have fillets, so I bag the waste up and leave my humble abode. I could of course dump this bag into a waste bin and thereby drive any early morning seagulls mad with the inability to get to the meal, but instead I return to my fishing spot. It’s dark now, too dark for sea gulls to be feeding, and the tide is ebbing. My bag of offal and bones is emptied into the water, to be eaten by other fish, crabs, lobsters, maybe a young conger, I’m sure it will all go back into the circle of life. The dirty carrier bag is discarded into the general waste bin on the Wharf Road. If I had one criticism of this area, it would be that the bins are all ‘general waste.’ Being from Wales (2nd in the league table of world countries for recycling) (7), I have become accustomed to dividing all waste between separate waste bins, leaving a little general waste to be collected once every two or four weeks.

 

Back at the holiday let, four sets of fillets go into the fridge compartment and the other six into the freezer section. The plan is that as each breakfast is consumed, a backup fillet will move from the freezer to the fridge part, to be used in four days time. That’s the theory anyway.

 

My plan is to shower before going to bed. I know I’m not desperate for sleep because I had two one-hour power naps in service stations on my travel down here. That is why it is a surprise to wake in the morning, fully clothed, lying on top of the bed and not even having closed the curtains. I’m only a little confused about where I am because a flock of seagulls seems noisily intent on letting me know I am on the coast. 

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