Saturday, 29 September 2007

Fishing Report: 28th September 07 - Bateman's Tower, Brightlingsea

Every now and then we all have stupid ideas which, when they pop into our heads, seem perfectly sensible; the idea for this session was one of my most recent stupid ideas. It started with an email from Stuart during the week, "What you got planned for next weekend fishing-wise?". With hindsight he probably wishes he had never asked! The equinox tides were upon us and this meant big tides, strong currents and, if past seasons were anything to go by, the chance of a decent size Bass from the Tower. I suggested a night session over a 2:15am high tide and Stuart couldn't resist.

We arrived at the Tower at about 11:15pm just as the rain started but the winds were light and we were still confident of a good night. I set up one rod with Ragworm fished at range for Bass (though I wasn't confident of seeing one till the ebb) and the other with a three hook paternoster baited with Mackerel strip and Black Lugworm, hoping for maybe a Whiting or two. For the first two hours of the session the light rain came and went and I was kept busy with the odd Whiting to the Mackerel strip plus a Codling of about 30cm but, at the point the current really took off, the fish suddenly went off the feed and weed started to become a problem. Another half an hour and the tide was over the top of the Tower (much earlier than I had expected) and we were forced to retreat onto the grass and stop fishing; and to make matters worse Stuart had yet to catch.

By the time the tide reached it's highest point it was pretty clear that it was much higher than the forecast 5.3 meters, possibly due to the low pressure, and we were now cut off on a small grass island of about ten feet square. As if there wasn't enough water around the rain had now got much heavier and we were copping a proper soaking. About an hour on the ebb the water had finally dropped enough for us start fishing again. Stuart had discovered a leak in his wellies and the pair of us were like drowned rats but the thought of a decent Bass kept us going.

By about 4:00 in the morning it dawned on us that all hope of a decent Bass had gone. The rain was still tipping it down, the tide was fast disappearing and the only fish to show up during the ebb was a Codling 1cm short of the limit to Ragworm on one of my rods; poor old Stuart had the hex on him and hadn't managed a fish at all which is very unusual. My total for the night was two undersized Codling (the first I have caught from the river in some time) and five Whiting; no sign of any Bass at all.

Despite all this there were some plus points. My new Shakespeare Salt waterproofs had proved well worth the money I had paid out for them and kept the water out all night, and Stuart had been impressed with his new rod, a Zziplex 4500, which he was trying out for the first time. Stuart now has next choice of venue so I hope he picks a better night than I did!