Saturday, 31 May 2008

Fishing Report: 30th May 08 - River Colne, Essex

Plan A
A planned trip to Wales to combine a family holiday with a bit of fishing had gone terribly wrong this week due to car troubles and with the absolutely atrocious weather putting a further mocker on things I was well overdue for my fishing fix. The forecast for the day was the first rain-free one for over a week but the high winds of the week I thought would have left too much colour in the water for lures so I opted for a short early morning session with beachcasting gear and frozen sandeel and peeler as bait.

As it was, it was the wrong decision. Although there had been some reasonable winds during the week, because of the wind direction (mostly northerly) and probably the high amounts of rainwater in the river, the colour had dropped and I realised pretty much as soon as I arrived that I should have tried spinning after all. However, rather than abort I set to making the best of a bad lot and just as I sent the first baits out was surprised to have company in the shape of another guy using up some left-over bait from the previous day on a boat trip. I usually prefer to have the river to myself but on this occasion I was glad of the company as it turned out to be a very quiet session fish-wise.

Despite bashing away at it till high tide I managed not even a bite but there were small Bass everywhere forcing shrimps and bait-fish out of the water in front of me. The local Terns were also very busy fishing along the shoreline so quite obviously the bait-fish were up in the water, closely followed by the Bass. In the end I called time at the top of the tide and left the other guy (who up till then had only a missed bite for his troubles) to it, handing him my remaining three frozen sandeel as I went.

Plan B
Not put off by the poor result of the morning session, after a few hours kip and something to eat I was back again with the lures for the early flood of the evening 8:30pm tide. The rain had held off and we had even seen the sunshine a few times during the day but the breeze had got up a bit so I wasn't surprised to see a little more colour in the water than during my earlier session. The local promenade was way too busy and so I worked my way up the river, stopping here and there and trying various lures in the hope of some Bass but it was slow progress. Eventually I ended up on the salt-marsh with not a sniff of any action and then after a brief rest retraced my steps in the hope of catching up with some fish on my way back.

The bait-fish were obviously still about as the Terns were very busy working along the stretch I was fishing but it was only when I was halfway back towards the promenade that I found some Bass striking on the surface. Finally after ten minutes of trying this lure and that I had some success in the shape of a 34 cm Bass which took my faithful old white Redgill fished behind a wedge and despite being undersized (and quite thin) the little fish made a very reasonable show of it. In truth I was unlikely to ever lose it but the sight of a fish leaping clear of the water as it takes the bait is exciting, no matter how big it is! Unfortunately that was the only real excitement of the night. Once I had put the little Schoolie back for another day I continued to work back towards the promenade but although I saw the odd small fish on the surface I had no more takes and headed home just before dark.