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What the devil is coup fishing I hear you ask? Well it is the Spanish method of pole fishing or sometimes referred to as wrist fishing as the rod remains in the hand at all times. This style of fishing employs a telescopic rod, the rod has neither rings nor reel. So the length of the cast is dependent on the size of the rod and the line attached. The rods are manufactured in the following lengths: - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 metres. The line is attached by either a knot or single ring on the tip of the rod. The total line including the terminal rig should always be half a metre less in length than the length of the rod. For example if the rod is 5 metres then the line should be 4.50 metres long. This enables you to fish with the hook approximately 9.50 metres away.
This style of fishing is suited to rock outcrops where fish are searching close in for food. A good tip is to buy a product either called `enguado´ or `brumeje´ this is canned, minced anchovies and sardines. Mix this with some fine sand and bread to make a paste and throw it in to the area you are fishing to attract the fish to the area.
There are two ways to set up the end tackle for this form of fishing. One is to connect a ball shaped weight to the line 20 to 30 cm up the line depending on the depth of water you are fishing and tie the hook to the end of the line. A length of 0.35 or 0.40 mm line is usually heavy enough. The other is to use either a bubble float or slightly weighted float and tie a hook to the end of the line. Dead fish bait is mostly used: - squid, prawns or sardine. This is good for catching Mujol, Oblada and Dorada.
You can also use bread on a ten hook bread rig; this method is especially good for catching Salpa from rocks.
The technique takes a little time to get used to after surfcasting as I found out especially when using a weight. My first cast very nearly saw me follow the bait into the water! With no reel you have to be accurate when casting and allow for the length of the line plus the length of the rod then allow for the angle you are going to hold the rod at. It is very easy to cast out then lift the rod to draw the line towards you and get snagged in rocks especially when the sea is choppy as it was this day. It is not a problem with a float set up but it is best to be cautious to start with. I practised a few casts then after a while relaxed a little and waited for a bite. When it happened I panicked, and after trying to hold the rod with one hand while I instinctively went for the reel handle that was not there, I lifted the rod higher and eased the fish towards me then raised the rod straight up and swung the fish out of the water. Now you realize why the line is half a metre shorter than the rod length. A decent size Dorada was the reward for my efforts and I will definitely be coup fishing again as it was good to try something different for a change.
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