Sunday, 4 May 2008

Fishing Report: 3rd May 08 - St Osyth, Essex

I hadn't fished with pal Stuart since last Autumn so when he invited me for a session at a favourite spot towards the bird reserve end of St Osyth beach I jumped at the chance, not least because there might be the chance of a Bass or two to be had. With both of us having family commitments over the bank holiday we opted for the only night convenient for the both of us and chose to fish the flood into darkness on an 11pm tide.

Another winter has seen a lot of change at this beach with much more of the old sea wall and road losing its battle with the sea and more and more of the natural saltings beginning to show. While the loss of the road may make this once very convenient fishing mark a lot more difficult to get to it has, in my opinion anyway, made for a vast improvement with a much more natural coastline, a lot more wildlife (particularly the dune plants) and a lot less competition for fishing space. I've always liked this beach but now that it is slowly turning back into the wild and desolate place that it should be it has become all the more attractive to me as I'm not a particular fan of the shoulder to shoulder type of fishing to be found on the more popular and convenient beaches.

After the long walk from the car park we managed to get ourselves to the mark and fishing by about 6:30pm. There was very little depth of water in front of us but it had been stirred up well and was the right colour for a good session at least, although the south easterly wind that had done the "stirring" was pretty chilly. Keen to make the most of the session we both set to it with two rods and a variety of baits. We hadn't expected much to come out on the early part of the flood as this beach is notorious for fishing better in the dark, and we weren't disappointed on that front. Regardless of what bait we tried (and we had a fair selection) there seemed to be very little in the way of fish to be had, although Stuart did manage a couple of very small Codling. As darkness fell the only action I had seen was one small Codling to Ragworm and having to save my rod from a flight down the beach as Stu managed to catch my line whilst back-casting, but we both kept at it sure that something better might show as the night progressed.

Despite bashing on with Peeler Crab, Ragworm, Squid and Sandeel baits till the top of tide the fishing didn't improve at all with only more small Codling falling to Stu's rods and two further Pouting (including one that took a whole squid!) falling to mine. At the top of the tide I had my best bite of the night, a slack-liner, which took me straight into a snag and with the chilly breeze getting stronger and little improvement in sport we decided enough was enough and called it a night.

Although this session had not been a particularly good one we consoled ourselves with the thought that every angler, no matter how good (or lucky) they are, has to suffer a few duff sessions every now and again. And so it was, that by the time we were half way back to the car we were already deep in conversation about summer Bass sessions to come, float fishing, spinning and the dream fish that would possibly come our way, the only interruption being a chance encounter with another beach regular, a Fox; working his way across the dunes in search of his supper.