Monday, 5 November 2007

Fishing Report: 4th November 07 - River Colne, Essex

Despite a terrible return fish-wise on the long hike to the spot on the River Stour the previous day, I decided on a short session on a local mark using some of the Stour Ragworm that were currently lodging in my bait tanks. The sight of the gulls working the previous day had turned my mind back on the subject of Bass and I thought there might be the odd one or two to be had from my home patch. I had noticed that the water was clear when I had visited the previous evening to get fresh water for the Ragworm in the bait tanks, so rather than use the standard beach casting gear I decided to have a go with my 3lb tc Carp Rod and fixed spool and fish light-line tactics the same as I would in the summer. As I had plenty of it, bait would be bunches of head-hooked Ragworm fished on a "popped-up" 3/0 hook, in an attempt to avoid the attentions of the local crab population.

When I arrived at my chosen spot at about 4:30pm, four hours before high tide, the water was flat calm and the weather was clear. Despite the fact that I had summer tackle with me it was obvious that it wasn't summer and as the sun started to drop in the sky the temperature dropped with it! The river had taken on a distinct winter feel to it and after quickly setting up and casting out I settled back to watch the rod top with the sunset in the background and listen to the river's "winter song"; the calls of the flocks of Brent Geese which echo across the river valley, letting us anglers know that it is time to put summer methods aside and prepare for the winter gales and the Codling.

The first recognisable bite came about half an hour later and resulted in a tiny Schoolie which was only just about bigger than the bait. It was followed about ten minutes later by it's twin brother and I began to think that a lively evening was on the cards. Just as I was getting used to the idea of a fun night with the baby Bass the firework display started on Mersea Island and for about forty-five minutes the fishing died as various rockets exploded in the sky and bangs echoed across the creek, causing great upset amongst the Geese and the flocks of waders.

By the time the fireworks died down the fish seemed to have been well and truly put off and the initial flood of the tide up to the rocks I fish from, when the best chance of a sizable fish is to be had, was already over; my opportunity had gone and the atmosphere had been spoilt by the fireworks. I fished on until about 7pm managing another small Schoolie and a small Whiting before finally the chill started to get to my feet and I decided it was time to call it night and headed home for a very welcome plateful of Sunday dinner.