Sunday, 30 October 2016
Like many fishing winters for me this last one has been one that really didn't come together at all. Although I managed a couple of short sessions there really wasn't the time with the tackle business taking off in a big way and a few badly planned hours by the beach, mostly way too tired to be fishing, ended in the expected result ... a few small fish and a loss of my usual enthusiasm. It seems very strange that being surrounded by fishing gear day in day out that I should find myself with even less time to fish, but that's exactly how things have been.
My one outing to the beach with a rod since Christmas has been to test a new product, a custom ABU side plate which performed really well, but it wasn't until the Easter bank Holiday that I had the opportunity to lose the world for a few hours, hook up with fishing mate Stu and head up towards the Bird reserve at St O for a few hours of drowning bait and putting the world to rights - a trip long, long overdue!
Friday, 16 October 2009
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.