Monday, 2 June 2008

Fishing Report: 1st June 08 - River Colne, Essex

I had planned a few hours lure fishing the previous evening but as is so often the case family commitments made me late and I'd only managed about an hours plugging amongst rock groins without any success. Despite that I had seen a Bass of about 2lb hitting Sandeel on the surface and that (along with a good weather forecast for the next day) was enough to encourage me to try an early morning session on the Colne.

As promised the rain had held off overnight although it was still quite cloudy when I reached the first spot I wanted to try, the end of the local Sailing Club's slipway, about 5 hours before high tide. The slipway allows you to get right out to the low tide line and fish a narrow gulley, a natural fish gateway, as the water just starts to flood in and I'd hoped to maybe pick up an early Bass or two but after an hour it became clear that it just wasn't going to happen.

There may have been a lack of Bass at this spot, but there was certainly no shortage whatsoever of Mullet and I watched fish after fish, some of them a good size, work their way into the pool then following the tide as it advanced over the mudflats. Had I have had some Ragworm I would have tried a baited spoon but it was sod's law that I hadn't bothered this morning so that was that, the Mullet would have to wait for another day.

Once the tide was high enough I moved to Westmarsh Point (known locally as "Splash Point) which often turns up a Bass or two. You could see the bottom in three feet of water and I set to work with a white Redgill but after an hour with no takes or followers I realised that I was flogging a dead horse here too and set off for the sea defences further upriver, where I spent the rest of the morning till the top of the tide.

The whole foreshore along the rock sea defences was alive with huge shoals of bait fish which could be seen dappling on the flat calm surface and the Terns were having a field day. There was also a Seal and a Cormorant fishing and both of them seemed to be doing well but surprisingly there didn't seem to be any Bass cashing in. I fished various spots till the top of the tide at about 11am and tried Redgills, Plugs and Poppers but all to no avail. The river seem to be deserted Bass-wise, perhaps because of too much fresh water in the river which was evident from the clear scum line through the main channel which is caused by the mixing of large amounts of fresh river water with the incoming tide.

So, yet another lure fishing blank on the Colne. I did however have the opportunity to briefly meet and chat with another Bass fishing hopeful, Andy, who has recently moved to the area and contacted me via this site for some local information. He was heading up onto the salt marsh for some light ledgering, float fishing and some peace and quiet - he ended up with nought just the same as me but did report that there were masses of small fish "bothering" his float fished baits so it seems that the river is full of fish food and the Bass will have plenty to eat when the salinity levels get back to normal. Obviously that assumes that the rain will ever stop!


Anonymous said...

Do you need a rod licence to fish the River Colne? Where does this fishing start to become productive? I was considering fishing near to Wivenhoe but have never seen people fishing this stretch but have seen plenty of mullet about.

Blakdog said...

You don't need a licence to fish the tidal part of the Colne and can fish right up to Hythe Quay in Colchester. It's a challenging river but you can get Bass along the Wivenhoe stretch, though I don't generally fish that far up. Eels and Mullet are everywhere but the Mullet are truly wild and difficult to catch although a mate of mine used to get a few by the old loading jetty at Arlesford Creek on maggots. If you want easy fishing then the Colne is probably not going to be your cup of tea.