Blue Runners in the Morning
So after quite a while of not catching anything (but still enjoying the time spent) I arranged with a friend to go to Herzlia marina early one Saturday morning and fish from the breakwater there.
We got to the breakwater about an hour before first light and made our way down the rocks to the water's edge. We tried poppers, pencils and minnows but nothing until just after 6am when it was already quite light, just before the sun started to rise over the top of the breakater.
I had already clipped on a Rapala X-Rap 10, after trying a small Halco Roosta popper, and after a few cast I had a fish on.
I wasn't expecting to see a small blue runner as I thought the X-Rap was too big for them but here it was, firmly hooked in the mouth. At exactly the same moment another angler fishing next to us also had one but his was on a small Kastmaster type lure. Then Omer switched his minnow for an 11g Thomson Nordic Herring (a small metal casting jig) and almost immediately was into his first of five blue runners. I switched to a 22g original Abu Krill (the new Abu Garcia ones tend to rust quite quickly in salt water) and was soon into another blue runner.
An original Abu Krill and a Nordic Herring
Over the next half an hour or forty minutes we had 9 blue runners between us and, although not that big, were enough for the frying pan and a spicy sauce. I usually practice catch and release but the blue runners are abundant at this time of year and so a few for the table won't have any adverse affect on their population.
Cleaning the fish before heading home
By way of interest, the X-Rap was rigged with two Gamakatsu single lure hooks and the first blue runner had the belly hook firmly embedded in its mouth. I mention this as the belly hook was rigged facing upwards, to reduce snagging on shallow reefs, and I wasn't sure if it would allow a good hookset - that first blue runner gave me confidence to continue rigging them facing upwards!
A modified X-Rap with upward facing single hooks
We did try again for blue runners on a couple of consecutive Saturday mornings but we didn't hit any more shoals like that first time. No reason to give up though especially when there are reports in the Israel Fishing Forum of others at differing locations having good success.