Hi Tanguy. For start I must say you have a very cool first and last name. Have you ever caught marlin? It would be very cool if you did!
Hi Robert, I’m lucky and proud to have this name. For the moment I’m still waiting to target this specie and i am planning a trip especially for it. But I’ve been lucky enough to see one of this pretty wild things not far from our boat… And I feel impatient to be connected with this beautiful beast.
Tell us a little bit about yourself… Job, your fishing experience… Little bit about everything.
As many of us I’ve started fishing when I was young during weekends and holiday time with my family. From then it never stopped. In ´95 things have changed. I became really addicted to lure fishing when I met a japan guy called Hiroshi which made me discover casting, finesse fishing and much more. In the same time this guy became wholeseller for famous high end Japanese brands. In the same time I discovered bass fishing thru the Black Bass France association (where Franck ROSMANN, my actual colleague was the president) and I became complete fanatic about this fish…! I was spending all of my time on the water to catch them and discover all of the fishing methods for this exclusive fish. Quickly after I started working for Hiroshi during several years and then became general manager for Lucky Craft Europe. After this experience where I was completely focused on bass fishing I’ve opened my mind and changed company to work with an Italian one, named Pro Tackles. I started the distribution in all of France for Molix, Keitech, Ever Green, Imakatsu, Major Craft and much more. But I also opened my mind in fishing and started to concentrate myself on catching any species on lures. It was great experience where I needed to learn everything about pike, perch, zander, trout,LRF, seabass, and so much more again. I was living in Paris at that moment and missing the south west side so much. This area was definitely the best for me! Seaside is 45 minutes away from Bordeaux town. There are 4 big lakes close to seaside too, some nice and wild river at the opposite side, the area is probably the best for bass fishing, and we‘re 200 kilometer far away from Pyrenees mountain and Spain! Cannot imagine a better place in France! ;)
About Sakura brand, achievement… Lures in fresh water as in salt water.
5 years ago I moved to Bordeaux with a new job in Sert Company for SAKURA brand were my friend Franck was working since the beginning, 10 years ago. He was in charge of fresh water and I took care of salt water especially for the rods where Sakura is a very strong leader on French market. But our experience and knowledge combined with our management policy made us want to upgrade Sakura brand to a next step with hard lures, soft lures, and much more. Since that moment we are working on and improving the Sakura range to offer the fishermen the best products at reasonable prices.
So sea bass.
In France the sea bass is a very famous fish and it is targeted by lure fishermen since the beginning in the early 2000. I can easily say that this specie is more famous than pike, perch, or bass since that time. The main reason is because this fish is good to eat… Now the things are changing step by step. More and more fishermen are releasing most of their catches. They also stop fishing during the spawning period in winter (from January to April). Since last week the European rules have also followed the interest of this fish and stopped the commercial fishing during the spawning period. It’s a real good news because the sea bass stock in Atlantic is getting down for some years now and everybody is concerned about it!
Here in Croatia sea bass is very popular fish for sport fishermen as a worthy opponent. People here say that big sea bass in clear water is impossible fish to catch on an artificial lure… Of course, there we enter a relm of mythical stories about this predator. What do you think about that?
When water is really very clear you have different options or possibilities for sea bass. This is my opinion what you should do:
– Target night! Because at night the sea bass will be hidden by darkness and feel secure. Then it can become less spooky than during day especially in summer time when people and tourist spend many times on the shore. Also the baitfish will be concentrated at some places such as harbors where the light will stock shrimp and food for baitfish and it will attract sea bass too.
– If you’re fishing in day you should use a longer leader than usually. 3 to 4 meter at least and using fluorocarbon leader is better than nylon or direct braid line.
– For the lure I suggest you to focus to small lures for sea bass. As 75 to 100 mm soft lures like Slit shad and similar length for hard lures during normal sunny day with transparency water. When you have combination of shallow + clear water it makes fishing really tough anyway.
We can see a lot of short movies on youtube of you guys catching sea bass with ease. So one most popular argument about your sea bass is that you catch them on open sea were water is murkier than in the Adriatic. So is that true?
No, it isn’t true. The water can be very clear in open sea. Usually open sea is clearer than close to the shore. When water is clear we have to fish deeper or with finesse method or with lighter jig head. The feeling of how easy fishing can be in Atlantic is mainly due of very specialized fishermen and also because of the tide. Tides we have affect a lot the fish’s activities. The periods were the sea bass are active in a spot is usually short and intense, then they move and if you’re not able to follow them they disappear easy.
Best time of the day?
The best moment of the day is the first hours of the day and last hours of the day. But when the weather is cloudy and really windy, close to the tempest, water will be dirty and sea bass can become very active during this period. If the fishing conditions aren’t comfortable at that times you have to keep in mind that the biggest sea bass are usually caught in such conditions in Mediterranean Sea.
Night sea bass fishing?
As I told you previously to me night fishing is = harbor fishing. Not only sea bass are concentrated to the light of the port. You can catch blue fish, seabass, barracuda, when you’re using sea bass lures. But if you’re using tiny to small lures as LRF or Rock Fishing style you can have a very funny fishing moment! Whatever you target, important is to catch something and have fun ;)
Very common claim is that sea bass lure presentation is very similar to zander fishing… Do you think there is truth in that?
I really agree with it. Just the depth, lures colors, and jig head weight are changing. But if you’re going in saltwater with your zander equipment and fishing style you have real good chance to catch sea bass.
What is your favourite strategy when fishing for sea bass?
There are no rules for me and to be honest I don’t have any strategy. The only way to go is to be minimum adapted to the situation and condition you’ll face. If you’re fishing with stick bait in open sea without birds and chase… In that moment you reduce your possibilities. If you are using a big soft bait of 200mm + 90 grams jig head in one meter depth…. You reduce your possibilities. But it doesn’t mean that you will not catch fish… It means that you don’t give you much opportunity to catch. Personally I love fishing with light tackle and jerking soft plastic such as L16 Koneel, but if the fish aren’t receptive to this lure I have to find another solution. I also love so much top water fishing with stick baits but we cannot use those lures all the year….Or we can do it…. But I love to catch a fish too much to experiment! Especially when my time on the water is so reduced.
The advice and key are the following: observation. You have to examine everything! Your environment, the waves, the water movement and current, winds, birds, baitfish, chase, all nature! Then you have to share! Talk with your partners, explain your feeling, what you’re thinking, joke! And finally you’ve to be on the water! If those 3 matters are combined you’ll understand fishing, learn more about, grow your experience and respect!
While fishing from coast, in desire to find good sea bass spot… What to look for?
If I´d be living in Croatia and have to go fishing from shore the first spot that I´d try would be the harbor and the pier, the beach but only at sunrise and sunset and outflow of river or water in the sea… Then if there’s nothing, I´d probably dive to see what’s happening down there.
Fishing from boat… Is it enough to find a school of baitfish, or?
If you can find the baitfish you certainly did the biggest part of the job. It is important to know where the favorite prey of the sea bass is. In France the favorites are the crabs and sand eel. But surely it will be different in Croatia?
I also forgot to tell you one important thing! When you’re targeting new species, whatever it is, you should not focus on big fish. Those old boys are too smart! You must try to find the small ones, and understand how they react, follow them thru the season. Then you’ll know more about them and you’ll become more intelligent to face the older ones ;)
Hard baits vs soft baits?
Both are complementary. It is a complete utopia to believe that hard bait is better than soft bait and reverse. Hard lures are absolutely necessary for shore fishing. Topwaters as Naja and Pop’n Dog are perfect for sunrise and sunset. Minnows and jerkbaits such as Smart Minnow, Reefsand Minnow and Ruty Minnow 95 and 125 are a must have for boat and shore. For shore you should have the longer (which will be heavier too) Smart Minnow. Smart Minnow 145 and 165 mm are deadly effective! The Rush Diver long bill minnow are good for casting and for trolling too. Your favorite Slit Shad is perfect for your water as they can be used with very light jighead because the tail paddle is really thin. So you can use it in shallow water and in slow retrieve. Also the colors pattern choice is huge and offers you much possibility for fresh and saltwater too. My favourite one is the L16 Koneel. It is a soft sand eel that needs energic jerking action to have unpredictable dart action which drives the fish crazy! My favorite is 150mm Koneeel rigged on 10 and 14 grams jig head…
The L16 shad are needed to search for fish in current area, or fast drift. Its powerful vibration helps the fish to find this lure quickly. You just have to find the right jig head weight for your depth. Don’t forget the casting jigs when you go for salt water! Those are the best to gain the meter necessary to be in the strike zone when you’re fishing from the coast or when fish are too shy to chase close to the boat. All those are always in my boxes, with some new development prototypes too ;)
Soft lures.. Swimbaits vs. soft jerkbaits? When and why?
Except the sand eel and eel shape soft lures that needs to be animate with energy (jerking and twitching) for the shad soft bait I use them slowly with minimal action. The paddle tail will move water by itself and it is well know that this movement is so much effective.
The sand eel shape (L16 koneel or Majikeel) or minnow shape (Slit finesse) is perfect to fish in baitfish ball or sea bass school. If sea bass are active you have to twitch or jerk it alternatively with some stop. Then your lures will evaluate to different depth level and it will help you to know if the sea bass prefer bite near surface, in the baitfish ball or to the bottom. The advantage of those lures is the crazy evolving action that creates panic action in baitfish ball. This action can create activity and increase the predators’ aggression.
The L16 Shad are truly a fish finder. They can cover quickly a very wide area without a lot of energy spent in animation. They are working by themselves with effective tail beat. I must say that it is perfect to locate the fish (depth and zone) in spread area. Conversely the Slit shad it better to fish slow when you know where the fish are. It is like your last weapon!
Sea bass colors?
All the natural pattern are effective in salt water. I have a high preference for Aurora Blue, Aurora Black, Ghost Minnow, and Pearl White… Everything in the blue, green, metallic, and white tones. But Pink (like Laser Pink color) or Yellow (like Pearl Lemon color) can be really effective when water is muddy in winter or windy condition. Soft baits are another story, the natural and transparency color are totally the best! What is important to the colors for hard and soft lures is the contrast in the color. It must have 2 different tones that are opposite. Except for the white… Because we always need an exception ;)
Me and my friends recently visited special place on Adriatic coast, Neretva river delta. On other locations in Croatia sea bass is very shy and if we are talking topwater fishing, only thing I could consider throwing is some lure with small surface action and without rattle. But there on Neretva… Even in small harbors and shallow water they are very aggressive towards big noisy lures. What could cause such a big diference in big diference in their behaviour?
It is the mystery of fishing that makes each spot and location different. In France we’ve have similar type of comportment. For example at Atlantic Side, noisy stickbaits are very effective but not that much at the Mediterranean side. But in Mediterranean sea all the silent and discrete stickbaits are popular and effective. Again, at the outflow of the Rhône river were water is more muddy and forage fish density is higher and noisy stickbaits are better than the silent ones. In this case I will tempt to say that this phenomenon is because the bait fish density is higher than in the other place. Then the sea bass and others predators are satiated easily so when you’re using noisy lure you trigger aggressive reaction, not feeding reaction. If the lures aren’t swallowed in mouth and fish are hooked outside the mouth it means that this is aggressive reaction.
One person told us that you are expert in finesse fishing for bass. Have you applied this way fishing in sea bass fishing? And if yes, how good were the results?
I´ve tried to use some similar methods during summer conditions (super clear water, sunny day, many tourists in water…. Probably the worst condition to have good day) and I must tell you that it is working very well. I think if you are using same kind of method in Croatia it will work too. It means light weight jig head (for sea it means 5g to 10g), and not big softbait (75mm to 100mm) and fish slowly. Not too far from what we’re doing in zander fishing… It’s a kind of mix of different kind of fishing finally ;)
Our favourite lures for sea bass are Slit shad, Slit finesse and Naja… Do you share this pick or you have some other favourites?
I have plenty of lures from Sakura to cast for sea bass such as Spinback jig, Balatuna, Majikeel, and some new prototypes too. But I cannot fish only with my products, if we wanna grow I have to use the lures from our contenders to raise my experience and find out what to improve in our range of lures.
Your sea bass equipment? Rod, reel…
For the shore fishing I use a SHÜKAN NEO 8’6’’MH with Alpax FD 4008, but sometimes 7’6’’ in medium power can be good too. I love this series because it is very versatile. From boat to shore you can do what you want with it so it’s really convenient.
Also for boat the SHINJIN NEO in Long Range (the 7 feet to 7’8’’) series are great and to find a rod entirely built with Fuji equipment at this price is really tough or nearly impossible! For the reel.. Since last year I use RYOBI SLAM because its light weight makes it very comfortable and the strength and drag is enough resistant for sea bass fishing. One point important to me too is the line and for this I use the 8X Sensibraid in 0.12 to 0.16 depend the fishing style. For finesse fishing the 0.12 and for shore or soft lure fishing I use the 0.16mm.
This is it… We hope that you will visit us in next year as we have some really nice locations for our fishing adventure. Big thanks from all of Sakura fans (and there is more of them every day) from Croatia!
First of all I wanna thank you for your support, your work and your kind welcome! And I look forward to see you soon in Croatia ;)