Updated: a day ago
Light rock fishing or LRF is a relatively new form of angling. It is the process of using a very lightweight tackle to catch small species of fish. LRF originated from Japan and has become very popular within the UK. The reason for this is that larger species have become scarce within European waters due to overfishing.
Lrf fishing is prevalent within species hunt competitions. Anglers can quickly catch many species using simple, straightforward setup methods (this will be discussed more later in this article.)
Exceptionally light rods are used within LRF. Generally, these miniature rods will not cast a weight heavier than several grams. The reason for this is that the rods do not need to be thrown far. This is due to the species targeted living close to shore. A great example of a rod and reel suitable for LRF is the 1.6m telescopic sea fishing rod and reel.
LRF fishing uses tiny lures to attract fish. The equipment setups are much simpler than the average beach casters setup. Due to the size of the equipment, you can do LRF fishing almost anywhere. The reason for this is that travelling with this equipment is not a significant issue.
Braid vs Fluorocarbon Line
Braid is very strong and has a thin diameter helping you to cast further. Fluorocarbon is almost invisible, abrasion-resistant, sinks well, but it has a thicker diameter. The wider diameter means that you should not exceed a 4lb breaking strain to get the best out of the line. It is up to personal preference what you will choose with benefits and negatives to both.
Species That Can Be Caught Within The UK
The following is a list of species that can be caught within the UK when light rock fishing:
The following is a summary of the most common LRF species -
The scorpionfish are approximately four inches in size. They feed on small fish and prawns. Despite its miniature size, the sea scorpion can attack and kill larger species than itself. It has adapted to its surroundings with its superb camouflage ability. The sea scorpion can very easily be mistaken for a small rock.
Gobies are small fish species that are very abundant. They live within waters less than twenty metres deep. The head of the goby is significant, and its body tapers away into a minor point. Gobies lifespans are very small (approximately one year.) There are various types of gobies, sixteen in total.
Blennies, once again, this fish species is small with an elongated body. They have similar features to eels and hide close to rocky terrain. Blennies are generally bottom-dwelling fish. There are a massive amount of different blennies types.
The European sprat is an abundant fish within the UK. They form into large shoals and feed on tiny larvae and plankton. They are small silverfish, an essential food source for marine wildlife such as gannets and herring gulls.
There are nearly two hundred types of dragonets. This fish species lives over sandy or muddy areas. The females colour pattern is very dull, and the males colour pattern turns bright and multicoloured within the breeding season. Smaller dragonets can sometimes be confused with gobies.
The shore rockling is a mottled brown, small, elongated fish. This catfish-like fish has three barbels on its head. There are three main types of rockling species: the shore rockling, the five bearded rocklings and the four bearded rocklings.
Location and Geology
There are various beautiful locations for LRF fishing around the UK. Harbours are brilliant starting marks for any light rock fisherman. Harbours easy access, shelter provision and large species variation means it is a must for any beginner.
Fishing at different depths will help increase the chances of catching multiple species. LRF can be carried out amongst any rocky coastline. Other great spots to try light rock fishing is around artificial places such as piers. Overall, anywhere with good shelter, rock structure, or hiding places for smaller species are great locations to try.
Methods and Techniques
There are not many methods and techniques for LRF. The lack of variation means it is hard to differentiate yourself from other LRF fishers. This means you must choose the correct lure suitable for the type of fish you are targeting. The kind of fish will affect your choice of lure from
colour, size and weight. A top tip is to purchase lures with amino acids in them. This is because the miniature species do not hunt by just visual representation but also smell. It is essential to choose the lightest possible lure you can use within the fishing conditions. This is because a lure that drops slowly through the water column will look more natural. Therefore, a fish is much more likely to hit it.
LRF Jig Head Rigs And Techniques
From my personal experience, I highly recommend a jig head LRF rig. I feel these are one of the most versatile and effective LRF fishing rigs. These rigs are extremely cost-effective. They are simple to set up and can be used with simple techniques.
How To Setup A Jig Head Rig
Jig heads can be purchased for 20/30p in any good tackle store. Jig heads are a small weight with a barbed hook attached. These hooks are used to represent your bait’s head. For LRF fishing I recommend a two to three-gram jig head. This weight allows optimal casting distance as well as being small enough for miniature species to consume.