Friday, 16 October 2009

Fishing Report: 2nd October 09 - St Osyth, Essex

I'd originally planned a trip to the Bird Reserve end of the beach on Saturday night but a quick look at the weather forecast Friday evening changed my mind and so I headed off at the last moment to fish the flood on a midnight tide, deciding to fish amongst the rock groynes to maximise my fishing time. As well as my usual Frozen Blacks (which I reckon is a top bait for the Codling) I was also trying a first for me, salted Ragworm. I'd had half a pound or so left over from a previous session and rather than waste them I decided I would try salting them but to be honest I wasn't that hopeful that they would catch.

By the time I arrived at the beach at about 7:30pm things had roughened up a bit with a SW breeze and it was obvious from the off that the Whiting were not anything like as thick on the ground as my previous session; they came out steadily throughout the night though really nothing of any great size with the general stamp of them about 8oz, though it does have to be said that they seemed to really like the salted Ragworm.

The positive side to the reduction in the Whiting hordes is that it does give the other species a chance to go for the baits and it was just as I was resigning myself to a so-so session that one of the rods bent over and I was into something better than a Whiting. I was hoping for a Bass but it wasn't to be, though I was hardly disappointed to see a Codling appear on the beach - it went about 3lb I reckon but was a terrible "stretch", should have gone about 5lb and would normally have gone back to put on some weight. Having taken the hook way, way down there was little point in returning it however and it had to come home for the pot all the same.

Things continued with the odd whiting showing till just on the top of the tide when a good bite on the salted Ragworm turned up a real treat for me, a Sole. I catch them rarely (mostly because I tend to fish for Bass or Cod with big baits and hooks) and this one was well worth catching; it tipped the Avons down to 1lb 8oz at home, not my biggest ever but not far off and certainly a meal to look forward to!

Normally I would have liked to stay for the ebb but with things to do in the morning I couldn't stay and so reluctantly started packing up at midnight. Just by way of bonus as I was packing one rod up the other had a good hit on Black Lug and a very, very lively Eel of 12 oz or a pound hit the beach in a very bad mood. It was entertaining to say the least; the damn thing climbed up my arm, attached itself to my leg and at one point had its tail wrapped round the rod butt! I have never come across such a pissed off Eel and considering that I have been catching the things regularly man and boy for over 30 years and can normally deal with them easily, it made me look like a complete beginner! Having completely failed to get it under control I was relieved when it eventually came off the hook by itself and slithered down the beach back into the water leaving me to scrape off the slime, pack the rest of the gear and head home for a few hours sleep.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Fishing Report: 18th September 09 - St Osyth, Essex

The beach was calling again and with a good tide and an excellent weather forecast for the Friday night I headed, yet again, for the Bird Reserve end of St Osyth, a favourite spot of mine. I decided to be a bit adventurous and walk from home in Jaywick but in hindsight it was probably a tad too adventurous as my feet were just not up to that sort of distance at the moment (I'm showing my age) and I suffered for it terribly the next morning; actually if I'm truthful none of me was up to going that sort of distance with 2 rods and associated kit and it is a lesson very much learnt!

Anyway I arrived at my favourite spot about 4 hours before the tide and sent both rods out with a variety of baits. Within 5 minutes both sets of gear had returned to the beach with a fish on every hook and so it pretty much continued throughout the flood. Frozen Blacks, Fresh Lugworm and Frozen Sandeel all accounted for Whiting and in truth it didn't seem to matter what bait you put on the hook or where you cast it. About two hours before the top of the tide I had a flurry of small Bass in amongst the Whiting, all to Ragworm and an Eel of about 8oz (again falling to Ragworm) joined the party just at the top of the tide, as the Whiting action died off a little.

I was hoping that the ebb would maybe bring perhaps a better Bass or maybe a Codling but it wasn't to be. Fishing at range was virtually impossible with a huge upsurge in the amount of weed about and within minutes the gear had to be brought back in with 2 foot or so of that horrible thin weed adorning the mainline by the leader knot - mind you I was still pretty much getting a Whiting a chuck even then. To keep the fishing a little more refined I decided to try for a Bass at close range (away from the dreaded weed) but even here the water was full of Whiting, albeit that the fish here were a much better size than most I had already taken on the flood.

I eventually tired of the Whiting at about 3.30am and headed home. It makes a nice change to be able to say that I really was too busy to count the Whiting. I know I had 5 Bass and the Eel and a conservative estimate (based on some (very) rough calculations) of about 50 Whiting, although most were only about 5 - 7 inches long. The walk home became a bit of a slog and at the end of it I was glad that the streets were deserted and there was nobody around to see me hobble up my driveway like an old man, though I have a theory that it was the extra weight of the 10 million sand hoppers which stowed away in my rucksack for the journey home (the beach was alive with them) and which duly took over the kitchen as i gave my reels a rinse when I got back.

I was not popular with Mrs Blakdog in the morning, she is not a fan of wildlife in her kitchen!!!!!!!!