Monday, 28 April 2008

Fishing Report: 27th April 08 - River Colne, Essex

It had been a crap week as I had unfortunately lost my long time fishing and digging companion Jack, my Black Labrador from whom my online nickname comes. At just short of fourteen years old he'd had a good innings for a Lab, but all the same it was a choker and I needed a couple of hours by myself for some quiet contemplation; just me and the river. As the weather was beginning to warm up and the water clarity was looking reasonable I opted to try a couple of hours spinning further upriver hoping to maybe hook up with an early Bass. If all else failed it would give me a chance to try out the new Okuma reel purchased for the forthcoming summer season.

As it turned out the Bass were in no mood to play, but then nor was I. However a couple of hours by the beach on my own did the trick and it cheered me up a bit. The new Okuma Interceptor Pro seemed to perform well and felt smooth on the retrieve with a very reasonable line lay considering its low price tag and I'm hopeful that it will last a damn sight longer than the Cardinal Freerunner it replaced, which lasted only one season. ABU should hang their heads in shame, particularly as spares are not available! If all else fails at least the Okuma has a five year warranty!

Although for this session I opted to stick with the faithful 3 inch white Redgill fished behind a Bass Wedge (I wasn't really in the mood to get too technical) I've also been making some additions to my plug collection, adding a number of new patterns which I intend to try out this year. As I've rarely done well in the estuary on any of my current plugs I'm hoping a move to some different patterns will bring better luck, basing my choices more accurately on the bait fish and fry that I see in the river year after year.

Top of the list has to be two new X-Rap Rapalas, both of which are reputed to have a fantastic action and I'm hoping that the X-Rap Subwalk, which walks the dog a few inches below the surface will finally bring some success with the local Schoolies as I often see them feeding on bait fish just below the surface. I added the Luck Craft 11cm Flash Minnow to my lure box quite simply because of its scale pattern, which realistically resembles the local Mullet fry on which the River Colne Bass often prey and an Owner Tango Dancer joined it on the recommendation of a fishing pal who fishes the West Country estuaries. To be quite honest the Tango looks like no fish I've ever seen so we'll have to see how that one does.

Last on the list was an unusual lure. Although I've caught very few Bass on the surface in the past, I've always enjoyed fishing with surface lures simply because watching a fish hit the lure right in front of you is the biggest rush there is. The Maria Bull Chop is unusual in that it is a surface popper that sinks (they normally float) and planes to the surface as it is reeled in. Weighing in at 40 grams means it will get out there, allowing me to cover more ground and I'm hoping it will allow me to fish a surface lure slowly in the hard current of the bigger tides by allowing the current to plane it to the surface rather than the retrieve, but only time will tell.

Anyway, plenty of new stuff to try out this year, and a lot of creeping to do with the "Fishing Permissions Officer", she that must be obeyed. Unfortunately I will be doing it all without my old friend.