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Author Topic: advice for holidaying anglers fishing near valetta, sliema etc  (Read 19691 times)
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phildean
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« on: August 19, 2008, 13:54:03 CET »

 Smiley Hi, this isn't meant to be a detailed instructional, it's just a short piece of advice based on my recent stay at the waterfront hotel GZira, on the town boundary with Sliema. 

Firstly, it is hot, especially in august when I was there.  Success is mostly had in the few hours after sunrise and before and into dusk.  I didn't do any night fishing as there are too many great bars and restaurants to visit.  I'd leave my room after about 5am and fish until 9.30am, I thentried to steel an hour whilst my wife was getting changed at around 6.30pm. 

The most common bait used by shore anglers that I could see was bread, normally mixed into a paste with cheese or anything else that takes their fancy, squeezed onto a paternoster pair of hooks fished to hand under a heavy sea float on a whip style pole of between 5 and 7 metres (its at least 3m deep through most of the harbour and at the Fortina hotel was at least 4m straight down. It is weighted about 3 inches (8cm) above the hooks.  The rig has to be whiped out (literally) and the bait re applied every 30 -40 seconds.  Though effective it is repetative and most put ins do not result in a hook up, the bait being pludered by tiny fish before the bigger ones can get to it.  The method can also result in foul hooked fish due to the speed of bringing the rig out of the water.

a similar rig is used but without the float and with a larger weight.  The angler waits until the fish pulls the tip down before lifting into the fish, this is also effective but has the same downsides as the float.

On my first morning on stepping out of the hotel, armed with a box of coarse fishing tackle and a 3.3m telescopic rod i realised I was ill equiped to follow these styles if I wanted to fish on the bottom.  I did have minor success fishing mid water , particularly with the weighted method fished where the water was only 3m deep (outside the waterfront hotel thankfully), however the frustration of having bait robbed made me reduce the size of hook down to a size 24, and the fish caught on thqat method, though numerous, were so small as to be insignificant on my rod, i decided a change of plan was needed.

Thankfully, on this first morning I had the almost immediate benefit of the maltese incredible generosity.  I asked a young chap who was ledgering with a similar sized telescopic rod , what he was using for bait?  After a short chat he insisted that i take a full packet of a preserved shrimp with me.  This packet lasted me a couple of sessions and was an absolute boon.

I rigged this up to the small float rig with a size 16 hook.   On the first bite I was into a fish, a small wrasse of about 1oz (25g).  This was followed by small bream and more wrasse, the largest going to about 3oz (75g), still small but at least I could tell I had them on.  The little fish were still stripping the hook, but my hook up rate increased dramatically.

Again, i got a bit bored of small fish and changed to a size 6 hook fished with a running lead.  I cast this out between the two larger Captain Morgan boats, just beyond the length of them.  After a 10 minute wait I got a strange twitch.  I struck into something which started gliding towards me with very little fight.  I landed a gurnard type fish (one of the boat crew called it a flying fish but I don't think it fley out of the water),  it made a croaking sound like a french grunt. At a little over 8oz it was my best fish of the day.

Nothing else came to the ledgered bait other than occasional small wrasse which gorged the hook, so i changed back for a few more small bream, it was nearing 9.30 and the fishing was slowing down, so I called it a day and went for a late breakfast.

DAY 1 fishing over, day 2 to follow.

(NB this will also be posted on Anglers Net in the UK for any UK anglers looking for info there, but will have a link to this site)

www.anglersnet.co.uk



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skip
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 14:18:16 CET »

Phil thanks for posting your experiences. Was interesting to read as I know absolutely nothing about shore fishing beyond what I read here and there. I haven't gotten into it as I prefer being out with a boat, at least if I catch nothing I got to enjoy the ride there and back!

If you go down to Misterfish in Gzira you can probably buy those shrimp there and the guy gives good advice.
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Granitu
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 15:15:20 CET »

the big fish you caught is a gurnaw... i am happy to see that you caught a decent fish on your holiday, but to see something more productive changing place to a more rocky environment may yield some parrot fish which are frequent to catch at this stage of season
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Good season so far.....
phildean
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 17:53:04 CET »

that was only day 1, on day two I decided to have a walk over to St Julians armed with shrimp and some bread paste I arrived in the bay below the Barracuda restaurant at about 5.45am (its only a 10 minute walk up and over the hill behind the hotel but I was late getting up due to too much CISK). 

I fed some bread crust and fished a small speck of prawn on the hook.  My first fish was a good bream, about 10 oz (250g), there were a shoal of large mullett in the bay so I tried bread crust but they knocked it off the hook so i decided to outwit them when the shops had opened (i've fished for mullett alot over the years so have some tricks up my sleeve).  The prawn on the bottom was turning up a snapper like fish.  Suddenly the rod whipped round and I struck into.....nothing, the line had parted behind the hook.

I changed down my gear and coaght a very small bream which I put onto an 0/1 hook under a bubble float and put this out.  The hook was fastend on with 20lb ( about 9kg) line.  After an hour of watching the float dipped, i struck and bumped a fish.........bother.

I cast out again but nothing.  At 9am I went back as we were going on a trip.  Day 2 over, but that evening I picked up a croissant from the star cafe in my hotel for use on day 3, I wanted a mullet.  I also called into the tackle shop opposit Manoal Island Filling Station and collected a box of worms as my prawn had run low.
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blueskip
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 19:55:18 CET »

All good stuff Phildean, I will be doing the same at the end of September at Marsascala, but I have sent beachcaster, boat rod, 3m spinning rod, umpteen fixed spools & multipliers & lures over to Malta, in the container my son had his furniture shipped out in Cheesy
I intend to fish early morning with a leger rig, & a float with breadflake, then later on in the day I am going to head towards the Blue Grotto with some honking great heavy lures & surface poppers to see if I cant persuade some of these pelagics to hang on to one of them.
I look forward to dys 3,4,5,6! Shocked
blueskip
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phildean
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 13:32:16 CET »

thanks, day 3 arrived and, having learnt some lessons (i hoped) from the previous day I arrived below the barracuda with plenty of bread, croisant and some small rag worms.

I threw out some whole small bread buns to float about about 10m out and set up the rod with a clear carp controler float about 2m above the hook, the hook length being attached with a double blood knot.  The hooklength was 5lb fluorocarbon and the hook a size 14 carp hook.  There was no additional weight, the float being held in position with rubbers.

As bait I'd tied on one of the bread buns with a half hitch just above the hook and put croisant on the hook.  The greasy consistancy of the croisant means it floats well but doesn't get soggy and fall off as quickly as bread.

A lot of small fish attacked the bread and I had a couple of acceidental captures, one small mullet and one of the small bream (very small, the hook shouldn't have fit in its mouth.

at about 7am some larger fish starting trying to make the bread break up. I watched my piece of croisant and the bun it was attached to.  Eventually a pair of lips went round it, SLAM, the rod went round and I was into a decent fish.

I tried to keep it away from the shoal but the quality of the rod didn't help (if you are taking rods over take a decent 3 piece 1.5 tc carp rod, shimano may do a take apart), eventually I landed a lovely mullet just under 2lb i'd guess ( under a kilo), but the fight had knackered any chances with the bigger fish which had dispersed.

I set up the rod to fish for bits with worm, caught a couple and set these up under a float.  Nothing happened, I changed depth, fiddled about, did all the usuall, but before long it was 9am and was getting hot, time for breakfast again.
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blueskip
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 19:12:03 CET »

You certainly seem to be persevering with the live bait under the float, if something does take it, you can look out! Shocked if that 2lb mullet gave you the run around imagine what a 2kg barracuda will do to you Shocked
Have you thought about heading west & trying the deep water on the west coast? it seems that's where most of the bigger fish are caught, but like you, I will enjoy breadflaking & legering in the ports for a couple of hours. I cant sit around a pool or a beach all day, it drives me mad, will you give us a definitive guide to the best baits, best place to get it, & methods, before you come back, it will save me & others lots of time on the "learning curve", I look forward to "Day 4" Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 20:44:03 CET »

Phildean have you tried going to the local supermarket, & getting a bag of mixed seafood from the chiller or freezer cabinet? I have done that in Spain, & in Rhodes, & its always caught for me. Wink
Normally it has prawns, shrimps, calamari, octupus, mussells, & clams in it, I bought some from Tesco on Monday ?3 for two bowls (bogof) it was as much as I wanted for supper in one dish. You can usually get it cooked or raw, I have always chosen the raw for fishing, a pack of that, & a packet of preserved shrimp, & a good old "english" white loaf, & we would never get you to come home again! Grin
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phildean
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 13:26:10 CET »

day 4 came and it was time for a trip, we were booked on a Malta Highlights trip, starting at the Blue Grotto (very deep water and guys seemed to be fishing the pole and bread tactic), going up to Mdina (lovely but wanted more time to go round the palaces which look fabulous instead saw the "Knights of Malta" video was OK but I wouldn't rush back)) eating a crap meal in a restaurant in Rabat (not impressed) going to a group of craft shops (my god how dull) going in the church at mosta (stunning- a must see) and finally getting back to the hotel.

I got back for about 4.30pm so headed out at 5pm whilst "she who must be obeyed" had a lie down.  I sat in front of the waterfront with a link ledger rig with the last of the worms.  After a couple of bream and a Burqax (Painted Comber) I was being hammered by tiny bits again.  I had a walk up to the Fortina to see a huge shoal of pinhead sized fish next to the shore.  These were being targeted by large black fish 9I assume bass), large grey fish with a blue stripe (similar to Jacks or Tuna, when I say large they were at least 5 or 6lb (3kg ish), there were also a thin gar type fish hitting them near the surface (needle fish for the yanks), and some of the bream working them to the surface and taking fish at that point.

I had a rubber shad with a jig head in my box, much larger than the pin heads, but I hoped the bass type fish might have a go.

I worked this around the shoal and a couple of the larger fish did show interest (I always wear poloroids so could sea quite well in the incredibly clear water, even in the harbour), but nothing hit.


I resigned myself to fishing worm on the bottom and trying to entice some of these predators by giving the worm some motion by jigging it.  This did result in a lot of takes from bream and combers, up to a few oz (say 75g) but none of the larger ones.

I headed back to the shop for some spinners and smaller rubber "eels" and then went to wake the boss up before finding solace from the afternoons shopping trip over a nice meal and a few hopleafs.

Re the testing other places.

Andrea is pregnant at the moment and didn't want me wandering far,  I would have loved to have sat a big bait on the bottom near the blue grotto, possibly a mackrel flapper type bait as there must be some big predators down their, and I equally would have loved a trolling trip, but neither were allowed this time, I will next time I visit the islands.
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blueskip
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 18:02:44 CET »

I will make sure that I put some mother of pearl Delta Eels in my suitcase, they are great, reallistically coloured & are great worked on a bubble float Wink
Sorry you got hijacked for the Malta highlights tour, all that fishing time wasted. Where are you getting your shrimp bait from, tackle shop or supermarket? are you using frozen or preserved, I hear the preserved holds on the hook better.
Best of luck on Day5, hope "er indoors" is ok, nowt worse than being pregnant when its hot, my missus was always "crotchety" when it was hot when she was pregnant, come to think of it she still is, & its been 30yrs since she was last pregnant! Angry
I hope you manage to get a decent fish before you come home, you deserve it for the good reports! Smiley
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phildean
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2008, 09:57:42 CET »

Thanks, it's the preserved shrimp which is tougher than normal and does stay on the hook better.

Day 5 started, as usual, warm.....I walked up to the Fortina and set up with 20klb line through to a drilled bullet and a size 6 hook onto which i slipped a worm.

I jigged this along the bottompicking up the odd small fish as I went .  A few bass were lurking but I couldn't see the baitfish.  I changed down to a size 20 hook with a sliver of worm and hooked a small silver fish about 6cm long.  A short change later and he was set up about 2m below the float.

The water was very very clear, I watched 3 times over a half hour period as the bass approached the bait only to leave it just at the last minute.

I changed gear again, this time for a rubber silver shad  with a 25g jig head. after another 30 or 40 minutes I was bored and had had no takes.  I went back to the worm but this time on a size 10 hook.  A few wrasse, combers and bream, the largest going to 100g, but nothing large.

Eventually it was back for breakfast and a chance to make plans.

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lazyfisherman
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2008, 12:11:54 CET »

Makes nice reading phildean. It is very interesting to read how an angler accustomed to a different way of fishing is managing to adapt to a completely different fishing style.
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phildean
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 10:07:58 CET »

I would have killed for an 8# fly rod and a range of lines and a box of flies, something would have worked, I'm certain of it, most of the fish i watched were more interested in a moving bait than a static one.

Day 6 was a brief trip as I had to catch a boat at 9.30 which meant my wife's 1 hour prearation to get up had to start early.

I went straight for the worms at the fortina with the lead weight and a size 10 hook.  The water wasn't as clear as before and I was straight in to fish up to 4 oz (100g).  They were coming quickly and I soon got bored (i do), so I changed to a larger hook (size 1/0) and used one of the fish, lip hooked, as bait.

I worked this, sink and draw, for 25 minutes before the rod was nearly ripped from my hands.  I was on 20lb line again but the crap structure of the rod really didn't help ( a bad workman always blames his tools, I know), after what felt like an age, but was probably less than 5 minutes, i finally dragged the fish along the surface, but having no landling net had to reach down.  It was a bass type fish, and knowing they have some nasty spines in the UK, I didn't want to handle it.  Using long nosed forceps I removed the hook with the fish still supported by the water.  It flicked its tail and was gone, it's half eaten meal was halfway up the line.

At about 4 - 5lb (say 2kg), it was my best fish by some margin. 

I cut the last foot of line off and re tied the rig and fished with a handline down the edge with worm for some bait.  I was soon baited up again but nothing else showed and it was soon time to call it a day.

The trip was a round the island boat trip on one of the captain morgan boats.  Though I love malta I wouldn't recommend this on a hot august day.  There is no entertainment but there is a commentary however for the hour or so that you are sailing from before the Blue Grotto up to the beaches to the north, there is nothing to see, which would have been find had there been dancing etc, but sat in a little chair, crammed in between other tourists, in the raging heat, it was not fun.  If you are going to do this journey go on one of the sailing boats as they at least had some music and weren't quite as cramped. We finally arrived at the blue lagoon on comina which is very clear water.  I fished from the side of the boat but the fish were hook and line shy and the 20lb rig I still had on was not going to work.  I added a small hook and caught some pretty yellow fish with blue lines, all less than 1oz (25g), before coming back across the north of the island.

I would do the comina/blue lagoon trip but wouldn't choose the round malta tour as a way of getting there.

Day 6 over, not much left,  Day 7 was a trip around Gozo which is lovely and also seems to have some fantastic fishing potential, that was a very enjoyable trip including the anciant temples, only a brief stop at some shops (30 minutes which was livable) and a chance to see some of the stunning churches, I'll type up day 8's report tomorrow.

cheers
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shanook
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 17:22:00 CET »

hey phidean I reckon by the time u nave to go back home u would have collected enough knowledge to give lessons. Seems u are making the most of your holiday mate. Hope our seas will give u more trills to take back as memories. Speaking of memories may I ask why u are not taking and posting pics of ur hobby togehter with views
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phildean
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 18:28:04 CET »

i have a canon EOS 350D which was bought with the insurance money from my last camera when I went fishing............whilst it still had the photos of the vatican on the card...the wife was not happy, so no fishing with nice cameras any more.
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