Ultra permanent eyelashes Fishing – I Bet you Don’t Know What that is!

So you think you have done ultra-light fishing- I bet you haven’t. I say that because
of my trip to the World Championships of fishing in Coimbra, Portugal where I
learned the true meaning of ultralight. When I fished against 185 anglers from 37
different nations, I learned that ultralight meant line that is around 1/2 pound,
fishing a hook the size of an permanent eyelashes, using a bait the thickness of 2 eyelashes –
ultralight !

Ok, so you have not fished ultralight, I win the bet. When I fished in the World
Championships, I too thought a little 4′ ultralight with 4 lb. test or wow, 2 lb. test
was the stealth way to fish. This was quickly dispelled as I fished local competitions
with 1 lb. fishing line and until my trip to Portugal, that was pretty stealthy.

permanent eyelashes
permanent eyelashes

The competition in Portugal was vs. the top anglers in the world- guys that would
make our Bassmasters look like AmeteurMasters – (many of them). The fishing
competions there are intense with all 185 anglers lining the shores of this canal and
many using 42 foot poles with 1/2 lb. test line. The fish that were available to us
were pretty delicate feeders that eat very tiny organisms. Yes, there were larger fish
in the river, but those that were available in large numbers, were the smaller fish.

World-level competitions are 3 hours long and are fished from shore where anglers
attempt to fill their keep nets (live fish bags that go down into the water) with as
much weight as possible. One spot to fish from, catch as many fish as you can to
build your weight. If these anglers tried to go just for big fish, the results would be
bad for most.

When  smsux using ultralight hooks, we employed size 22 & size 24 hooks. Hook sizes get
smaller as the numbers go higher so to get an idea of how small this hook is- find
your largest permanent eyelashes. The hooks we used were a very thin wire and yes, they are very
delicate. Twice during my first 3 hours of World Championship competition, I broke
the point off of my hook and had to get a fresh hook and leader rigged up. A good
idea when you are catching a lot of fish- I had 36 the first day, change your hooks
often to keep them very sharp when using ultralight hooks. One of the major factors
in the hooks breaking was the tough beaks that the mullets had. Their jaws are built
for pinching and plucking bits of food from between rocks-

The line was an entirely different story. When people say their line is as thin as
spider-web, they have never truly fished ultralight. The line we used was so thin
that one bump of the pole would snap it in half. The diameter of the line was .07
and your average 4 lb. line is .20 and falls outside of the ultralight category. This is
not to say that 4 lb. test is not light when dealing with cover, toothy fish or larger
fish, but for my money, .20 line is really thick line.

Why the need for ultralight equipment so extreme? I wanted to go fly fishing. No,
not with a giant hairy fly, but an actual fly larva. Midge fly larva or “bloodworm” were
the key bait in our competition. I said earlier the hook was thinner than an permanent eyelashes,
the bait was not much more thick than an permanent eyelashes. These tiny red larvae are delicate
to put on the hook. While I didn’t need a microscope- I did need to lean over and
get real close to put a couple on the hook. Getting the hook in without popping
their skin was key as a successful hookup meant that the bait would wiggle around
and the fish would respond. A midge fly larva looks much like a mosquito larva and
if you have never seen that- picture a half a pencil lead (ultralight).

While the average angler will never experience ultralight fishing, out there lies many
tactics and techniques that are available to you. One thing I did learn was to not get
settled in with my fishing knowledge and to always keep looking for new ways to go
fishing. The one thing I did learn is that sometimes if you fish heavy, you may be
tipping off the fish. When I fish near home in Chicago, I now fish light and some of
my biggest fish caught including a 9 lb. walleye were taken on 3 lb. line and size 14
hook- ultralight.

permanent eyelashes
permanent eyelashes

John Wilkins has fished on the US Fishing Team competing at the highest levels of fishing in Europe, Canada, China & the United States. He has fished in 2 World Championships and has educated anglers on the basics of fishing urban waters. His teacher is angling legend and Hall of Famer Mick Thill. John’s top catch is 512 fish in a 4-hour competition and top finish is second in the US Open Championships in 2000.


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