Everything You Need to Know About Blue Runner Fishing.
Dawn is starting to hit the sky. A row of rods, marked with bite indicating bells and stick lights, are pinned to the beach, slightly tilting towards the sea. The roar of the crashing waves sounds thundering and the eyes suspect every movement of the tips of the rods; waiting for a royal bow. And then it starts: The far rod savagely bends and the spool starts screaming, the fish on the end of the line is starting a battle for its life. A second before I reach the rod, after a long run, it suddenly straightens and the line slack. I think to myself "is that it? Is the fish gone?". I take the rod and start retrieving in a fast tempo and all of a sudden…Yes! I feel some thing on the end, strong aggressive bunts. The fish is heading my way and I retrieve, then it tries to turn right, swimming parallel to the cost line. I look at the other rods and they are still. Now I am devoted to this fish, which is close enough for me to spot its tail hitting the water and its shiny silhouette cutting through the water, constantly changing direction. Finely I manage to land it on the beach. A great smile of satisfaction spreads on my face – I did it!
The fish I caught is a Blue Runner. It is a pelagic fish which migrates along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and reaches certain spots annually in large schools of thousands. It reaches the size of about 3.5kg, yet some larger specimens were spotted. The first schools reach the beaches of Israel at late spring and stay all through the summer, until the late autumn. Usually the first catches are by anglers who go spinning and just at a later stage the fish start biting on static bait.
This fish is especially strong compared to its size. It is active all through the day though the best hours to catch it are about an hour before dawn and a few hours after, and also towards dusk including one hour into night time. Most beaches are suitable for Blur Runner and it is always a nice adventure to find new beaches you never fished. Once you find a good beach, stick to it through the season and go back to it next year – most chances are you will find them there again.
Blue Runner is physically built for fast swimming – it has a pointy front and a V like tail. The schools patrol along the beaches in search of minnows and small squid. During the night the schools tend to stay deep and towards day time they reach the shallow waters. Consequently, you might catch Blue Runner during night fishing from a boat.
So, which type of beach is most suitable for Blue Runner? How far should one cast to get bites? These questions tend to stay open, though there are a few key rules. Sandy beaches are the ones we caught the most Blue Runner in, usually casting a bit after the surf. Water depth varies according to this method: the waves break when they reach the height which two times the depth of the water. Generally looking at a sandy beach, this spot is cardinal for all types of beach casting fishing methods: it sets free many creatures living in the sands (small crabs, worms etc) and therefore attracts many fish. Focusing on reaching this spot is a good start, yet it changes from beach to beach and depends on sea condition. Like many predators the Blue Runners swim within the waves, taking advantage of the surf and surprising their prey.
In rocky beaches, Blue Runners Petrol the horizontal line close to the rocks, looking for their prey and attacking it as it peacefully maneuvers from place to pace. These beaches are recommended for anglers who go spinning due to the inconvenience of handling sinking rigs in a rocky area.
After we talked about the fish – let's talk about the fishing
Bait – Blue Runners feed on small fish and different shells and squids. Therefore, bait such as squid, octopus, prawns and crab would be most suitable. Blue Runners have a narrow mouth with tiny teeth. Bait should be designed according to the shape of the mouth in order to let the fish swallow it whole. Fishing with live bait is also an option that could, with enough patience, lead to an extreme fishing session with furious bites.
Hooks – Every type of hook would be suitable. Starting with extra sharp Japanese circle hooks, going on to simple hooks you can get at every fishing tackle shop. The most important feature is the hook's sharpness and its strength. This I can surely insist due to a few fish who just straightened the hooks in while trying to escape.
Rigs – There is a variety of rigs which would fit. Blue Runners do not tend to be shy, so just a simple rig with one long (60 – 70 cm) leader after the sinker would do the job. If you are into further adventures, you can fit two or three shorter leaders above the sinker. A Pulley Rig can work as well.
Main Line – You can either fit a 20lb braided line on your spool, or use a 0.35 – 0.40 mono line. Note that if you go for the first option, it is always recommended to use a shock leader so you can cast further without loosing rigs due to intense tension.
Reel – Every medium level spinning reel that can take a minimum of 200 meters of your line will be enough. Once you start targeting Blue Runner seriously, you might find out a specially equipped high spool reel for extra long casts would do the job better. For those of you who are loyal to your conventional reel – that goes as well, but not so popular in the Mediterranean.
Rod – Usually between 3.90 to 4.50 meters casting rod would do the job. Recommended casting weight is 100 – 200 grams.