Summer came late this year and there are no signs of people stopping. Personally, I don’t stop fishing just because of a bit of sun, ok, who am I kidding, it’s a lot of sun, practically Mercury when summertime fishing, but hey, it has not stopped me since coming to Dubai.
The truth of the matter is there’s the warm weather that practically stops the majority of the people from fishing, but it doesn’t mean the heat stops the fish from swimming.
For years only a handful of people fish the summer, a few years onwards and we finally see the whole year getting fished.
Since the tuna fishery in Fujairah has been discovered to blow up in the summer, people (or at least people with the money to spend) have been going out and fishing for them. The land-based anglers have learned to drop their gear size down to Ultra light with quite a lot of people adopting ultra light tackle to use for the whole year.
The fishing here has certainly grown. Each year you see more and more people doing all sorts of things and more importantly, the summer is being fished through.
As the temperatures go up, the lure size goes down – it’s a rule I live by over the years here. At one point in my fishing life, I went way too light – Flies. If you are a fly fisherman or ultra light fisherman, the summer is a wonderland if you are able to find good spots; it’s a time for exploration and learning. The fishing is challenging but quite rewarding.
Summer is when Silver Grunter are abundant as well as several types of Sea Bream. The strange thing is, they move into shallower water in the summer. Although you catch them in the same areas in the colder months, they seem to thrive in the warm water and you catch more of them in the summer. Bigger fish such as Golden trevallies and their cousins, the Orange Spot Trevallies are also busy patrolling the shallows and are great targets for light and ultra light tackle in the summer. There is also a run of big horse eye scads in certain places and are great fun on ultra light tackle, especially when you add kids to the mix.
Going light means a lot of things to a lot of people, quite literally, part of my summer survival is to lighten everything, from the amount of tackle I take with me, it gets narrowed down to the smaller stuff. Soft plastics, small lures and very light jig heads start to get loaded in the tackle box.
There are quite a few good lures from different manufacturers; all of my tackle is from Rapala and Storm so most of what you will see in the pictures is caught using lures from those two brands. But of course, there are other brands out in the market and it is up to you to look for the ones you fancy using and one that suits your style and budget.
Light and Ultra Light tackle usage is on the rise. There are a lot of perceptions and no one actually knows exactly where the other starts and stops. Instead of pointing out what is what, I will discuss what I have and what I use it for.
I have a few light combos – they are mostly filled with 4-6kg Sufix X8 or the new 131 – 13 strand braid. Most of them are filled with 4kg. The ones I use from shore are on 3000 and 4000 sized reels from Shimano and are mostly long rods – 9’6” feet or longer; The shorter ones are used off the kayak as general purpose combos.
I love using long leaders for a lot of reasons but to keep things short and succinct, it has a lot to do with me not using a snap at the end of the leader and I prefer cutting my knots and retying rather than using a snap – I trust my knots more.
I double the rating of my line to choose the leader – so 4kg mainline, and a maximum of 8kg leader and nothing more. This helps me keep everything streamlined and balanced – remember, I cast with a very long leader so it helps me keep the knot bump to a minimum.
For my use, fast action rods are generally used for casting plugs, while slower rods are used for soft plastics and top water lures.
For my ultra light, I predominantly use two outfits – all 8’6” rods. Depending on my use they are paired with 2000 or 1000 sized reels from Shimano. All the reels I pair with these rods are spooled with 2kg or 3kg line and nothing more. Leaders are 4 and 6kg – and nothing more.
These are as per international game fishing standards and classification as Ultra Light. Above 3kg line is already in the “light” category and it doesn’t matter if you are using mono or braid.
Longer rods give me more distance and it helps me avoid lateral abrasion on the line caused by the line hitting the edge of a drop and rubbing on the sand. Although most of the time, the abrasion you get from this is in the microscopic level, it stacks up over time and this will cause your line to snap when you hook a good fish – a longer rod means I would be able to clear the drop when I fight the fish – this is why you will see me use long rods even on heavier tackle.
Light tackle lures are sold everywhere these days – but the ones used in the summertime are almost always soft plastics. I almost never use anything over 20 grams in the summer with 10g and under being the usually used weight for jig heads. For plugs, I rarely go over 15 grams for my light setup and rarely venture above 8g for my ultra light.
With daytime temperatures going over 40 degrees centigrade, the fishing hours in the daytime are usually in the early morning hours before the sun becomes unbearable or in the later hours of the afternoon when the heat starts to become bearable…for most people. Although it is true that the heat becomes a force to be reckoned with in the mid day hours, fish don’t really get subjected to the same kind of punishment – although they go to where the temperatures are more to their liking, it would be easier to figure out where they are, most times – and even then, there are spots where you see lots of them swimming around, sometimes, in water less than a meter deep.
I’m not going to tell you exactly where, but there are places like this all over the country and finding these spots is one of the fun things we each go through for fishing. It’s great to finally see more people fishing in the summertime – it was our best kept secret, but I really don’t feel bad about the secret going public – just remember guys – if you go out there in the summer, take a lot of water with you and once you can’t stand it anymore, rehydrate as fast as you can and don’t try to be a hero – call it a day. ■
Till next tide change,
The Fishing Kit
Our fishing pro who shares his experiences and expertise with OutdoorUAE through his regular column. firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Kit Belen
Photos: Kit Belen
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