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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In our France holiday, today was the day that Mary my wife, went off to Paris, by TGV, and I stayed behind with kayak fisherman Alain and his wife, Claude who live near La Rochelle, at the north east corner of the Bay of Biscay. This arrangement was made many months ago and our plan is that I will stay here for about a week, fishing, mainly, and meet Mary in Paris on 21June before we head homeward.

Alain and I saw Mary off on the train about 09:30 and by 10:15 or so Alain and I were standing on a beach ready to launch our yaks. For me this was the first kayak fishing expedition outside of Australia, and for Alain it was the first time he'd fished with an Australian.



Launch point, zoomed out and zoomed in


Alain and the two yaks. He's a pedaller. He loaned me his spare yak. an Ocean Kayak boat designed around an electric motor, but I was equipped with paddle only. What a nice guy! And a super keen and competent fisho, too.

Anyway, the word was out that the meager, a close relative of our mulloway (jewfish) were active around the bridge pylons. In fact, Alain had nailed a PB specimen two days ago (I saw it). Soft plastics with very heavy jighead in 15m or so of water (running tides) were the bait of choice for everyone that I came across. Initially we were the only two yakkers out there, but one other turned up later. A variety of power boats, all with fishos aboard, was visible from the launch point.

Having seen no action at our first hotspot, Alain and I headed for another bridge spot where I drew the first actual hookup, a cuttlefish, which managed to free itself from the hook while we were discussing in a mixture of English and French, whether to keep it.

We worked this spot over pretty well and Alain actually hooked and almost boated a meager but it spat the hook at side of the yak.


Alain playing his first hooked fish which managed to escape.

By the time we made our way back to the main bridge pylons, we'd put in several hours for no fish in the yaks, although others had told us of captures earlier. Anyway, back at the main bridge, near dead low tide, current still running north to south we continued to work the pylons, gradually getting closer and closer to our launch point. Still no fish in the yaks.

Then we saw a couple of bent rods and more, so joined the mob who'd found the fish and the fun began, at last. In short order we got two fish each, quite good sized meager, ideal for eating at this size, I'm told. Some pics:


My first ever French fish, a meager.


My second, slightly larger. Note the yellow tinge to the mouth interior.


Alain, acknowledging Australia 2, France nil.


Then he hooks up and nets one.


Alain, happy to be on the board.

So we finished up with two each in what turned out to be a beautiful day on the water.

Alain reckons we're going to hit them again tomorrow…

Thanks for reading AKFFers; tight lines
 

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So it doesn't matter where we are, we all do the same thing. That was good of Alain to show you around, I'm sure he got as much out of it as you did, well done, thanks for sharing.
 

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Amazing to get a yakking leave pass when you are in France.

cjbfisher said:
The meager doesn't look very much different to a jew at all. Are there any differences, or are they the same? Is there a minimum legal size for them over there?
Wondering the same. There was a post from Italy a while back wher (I think) a green fish seemed the same as a Taylor. Seems the Euro's have Mulloway as well.
 

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Great stuff Kev, that is an excellent way to get to know a country.
They do look identical to a jew, strength of colour in the mouth could just be dietary.
Size ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In response to several questions:

Is the meagre a jewfish (mulloway) or even a teraglin?

mulloway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyrosomus_japonicus

meager, meagre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyrosomus_regius

teraglin: http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/28_14902.htm

According to my research the teraglin has a crescent/concave shaped end to the tail while the mulloway's tail end is vertical. Based on the info in the websites above and the obvious tail shape of the meagre I reckon that the meager, or meagre (?) is closely related to the mulloway but is a different species.

Legal limits. According to my host the number of fish allowed to be kept is not legally limited, but no meagre kept must be less than 45cm, although these limits apparently do not apply to professional fishermen, to Alain's annoyance.

Our fish were in the 55-65cm range, but Alain's best, caught the day we arrived, went 81cm. Larger specimens are known, but there seem to be many in the size range we got.

Kev
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wrassemagnet said:
Nice one Kev - I'm curious, is that a treble stinger attached to the jighead I see in the last photo of Alain?
Well spotted, Jim.



These were the lures we used. Alain makes them himself, but buys the tails. Amazingly, he glues the tails to the home made lead head. I glued a couple on myself while helping him to assemble the lures the night before last. This glue has a very man-made chemical smell even when dry, but the fish don't worry about it. Neither do they seem to worry about the colours, a point on which Alain and I agree. Note that there is no hook shaft down the centre of the tail. The single treble hook is attached securely with strong braid. The jig heads weigh between 35gm and 53gm, with the heavier models being used for deeper water, stronger currents.

Interesting, eh?

Kev
 

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That is very interesting Kev, with that free floating stinger you get 3 possible points of contact with the meagre's bucket of a mouth and no spine would give the plastic more action I guess.
 

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Looks like a orangemouth corvina to me (Cynoscion xanthulus)

Cool fishing, Kev!
 

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Very jealous Kevin, wish I could have joined you guys! I was in fact a bit further down the coast - near Biarritz, on the way back from a week long business trip in Spain. Have a great time!
Cheers
Nick
 

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salticrak said:
Scott said:
To my mind, they look like a trag as opossed to a jew. Mind you living in Tassie it has been a while since i have caught either.
That is exactly what it is mate, we used to catch em commercially in Cape town, local name over there is ''Geelbek'' translation- yellow mouth.
That's a fish I have not heard of for a while - a Geelbek! Actually, I thought a Mulloway/Jewie was similar to our Cob/Kabeljou, back in S Africa?
 
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