Saturday, 19 April 2008

Fishing Report: 17th April 08 - St Osyth, Essex

It had been a good while (over five months!) since I last fished and having just finished building myself a new Tip Tornado Sport, I was itching to get back in the swing of things fishing-wise and give the new pole a try-out. With the tide at 11pm and work the next morning it was never going to be the most adventurous session of my fishing career, so rather than travel any distance to fish I opted to minimise travelling time and make the best of the extra time on the beach by heading for nearby St Osyth, hoping that the reports of Codling still showing along this part of the coast were not just another fisherman's tale.

I arrived at 6.30pm to find that I had the beach to myself (excellent!) which meant I could fish in the third bay from the ramp, my favoured spot at this end of the beach and with the forecast 3-4 cold easterly wind putting plenty of colour in the water, I tackled up quite confident that I might just be in with a chance of a spring Codling or two. After a few practice casts with the rod (just to remind myself how to cast) I set up a bomber rig, piled on some big Lugworm baits and sent the whole lot out as best I could given that I have not cast a rod since last November (Note to self: I must practice my casting more often). Now anyone who fishes this beach regularly will no doubt tell you that it is one of those venues that 'switches on' after dark and my experience of the place is no different. Normally I find myself effectively killing time while it is light, waiting for darkness to fall and the action to start but this session was to be the complete opposite and so it was that shortly after the arrival of fishing pal Stuart (who had popped down for a chat) at 7pm I got my first decent bite which turned out to be a small Codling of about 25cm.

Despite this early fish I was still convinced that things would only liven up after dark so it was a complete surprise when about forty minutes later (while I was still putting the world to rights with Stu and not concentrating) the rod 'knocked' and then sat back with a classic 'slack-liner'. The fish continued to swim right into the beach and only really started to fight about 20 yards out and after a brief tussle in the surf a nice plump spring Codling of about two pounds sat on the beach. Granted it was nothing tremendous but it wasn't even dark yet and after five months off anything sizable will raise a smile; if the beach was up to its usual standards I was in for a very good night once it got dark I thought. As the light started to fade another rattle provided fish number three, not the second Codling I was hoping for but a good sized Pouting all the same of about three-quarters of a pound. At that point Stu decided he was heading off home and seemingly took my luck with him. As darkness set in the expected run of bites that usually come never appeared and I fished on till about 10pm taking only one other fish, an undersized Whiting, which hung itself on a huge Lugworm bait on a 3/0 hook.

Despite it not being the most exciting session I've ever had (or the warmest - that easterly was damned cold) I can think of a lot worse ways to kill a Thursday night. The new rod lived up to expectations and behaved impeccably, providing good bite indication in the wind. Despite being a powerful rod it also cast very smoothly and didn't feel at all top heavy as a lot of 13ft rods do. Add to that the bonus of a nice bit of fresh Cod for my tea and it was, when all is said and done, a very nice way to get myself back into practice ready for the forthcoming Bass season.