Saturday, 29 September 2007

Fishing Report: 22nd September 07 - St Osyth, Essex

With a new Zziplex Bass Rod and 6500 Mag Elite to test out I was desperate to get on the beach this weekend. With the weather forecast to be nice I decided to fish a 9:20pm tide at St Osyth, as usual deciding to pack light and fish the bird reserve end of the beach. I arrived at about 5:30pm (just as the last of the nudists were leaving, thank god) and set up two rods with the intention of fishing one at range and one short for anything that should take a fancy to the bait. It was pretty obvious that the spot had been fished very recently by the angling litter left behind; there was a good selection of bait wrappers and Gemini rig packets (see photo) and quite frankly the muppets who left them should be ashamed of themselves.

As I was setting up, occasionally watching the Terns that work along the shore, I noticed something in the water about 200 yards off the beach and was encouraged to see a Seal was feeding right in front of me. I always find it strange that many anglers moan about the Seals; they might put fish off the feed for a while, but they generally don't linger and if they are feeding close in it is a sign that the fish are too. Personally, I have no problem sharing a swim with a Seal.

Despite the Seal the bites started as soon as the sun started to drop. Nothing frenetic, you understand, just a steady trickle of bites to one rod or another and the occasional fish. The pace continued over the tide, and by the time I packed up at 11pm I had four sizable Whiting to take home (nice when they're really fresh) and had returned another five undersized fish, two Whiting, two Pouting and a tiny Bass. The bulk of the fish were taken at short range on Mackerel, Lugworm or a combination of both, with only a pair of the Whiting (both at the same time on a Pennel rig, one on each hook) and the Bass being taken on the long range rod baited with Ragworm.

The new rod and reel behaved impeccably. The Zziplex, which I built myself, is light and really nicely balanced and with good weather will probably see a lot of Estuary and neep tide work over the winter. The Mag Elite (the 2007 Gun-Metal Grey model) also lived up to expectations, with a couple of minor criticisms. Firstly, ABU seem to have removed the numbered gauge on the mag settings which means you have to count the clicks as you set the brakes and, as with all ABU CTs these days, the handle is more suited to a cement mixer than a fishing reel; both niggles really but ABU do seem to have gone backwards slightly from the Green Mag Elite.