Monday, 30 June 2008

Fishing Report: 29th June 08 - River Colne, Essex

Spurred on by my recent good session with Ipswich's "townie" Mullet and with a week off work to play with I decided that it was high time I got back to the river to see if the local Bass were ready to play. With little rainfall of late the freshwater levels seemed to be getting back to normal and I was hankering to get to my favourite upriver Bass marks for a bit of peace and solitude; just me, the river and of course the fish. Rather than fish one of my regular marks I decided to chance a session at a mark I had been eying up for a couple of years now but had never got round to actually trying, hoping that this new mark (much further upriver than I usually fish) would provide better sport than my more usual ones had of late.

The main problem with these upriver marks is the short period you are able to fish (unless you want to be fishing up to your thighs in mud!) which is made even more difficult by the way the tide disappears on the ebb about 3 times faster than it rises; in fact on many upriver marks you are only able in practice to fish for about 2 hours. I was hoping that this new spot would overcome a lot of these problems as it offered fairly firm ground underfoot allowing you to fish much earlier in the tide and is in casting range of the main channel, where hopefully the Bass would be following the first influx of salt water upriver to feed.

With the tide at 9.15 pm I arrived on the mark in bright sunshine and was set up and chucking out my first baits by six, whole squid on one rod and the hot favourite, Ragworm, on the other; both fished out in the deep water of the main channel. For the first hour things were very quiet except for the odd passing yacht and a period of pandemonium amongst the wading birds as a Sparrowhawk shot across the salt marsh, but then the first bite came to the Ragworm and a little schoolie came up the beach. Two more small Bass followed on consecutive casts to Ragworm but just as things were starting to liven up three idiot jet skiers came through close in at a good few more knots than the 8 knot limit, heading upriver. They passed back down the way they'd come a few minutes later even closer in than the first time, typical of the selfish attitude of the people that ride these bloody things and that seemed to put pay to the fishing for a while.

The tide was well and truly on the ebb before the next bite came, again to Ragworm. This time a slightly better Schoolie of about 30cm came up the beach, accompanied by the calling of nearby Owl, which seemed to be having a duet with another one across the other side of the river. Another Bass of about 30cm came out next cast just as the main run of the ebb had started to ease and then all seemed to go quiet on the fishing front.

I fished on for another hour but by now the water was disappearing fast and the crabs were stripping the baits clean in about ten minutes and so at about 11pm I decided to call it a night, but not before putting out one last cast on the Ragworm rod as I packed up the one that had fished whole squid all night (without so much as a nibble). That decision turned out to be a wise one as, just as I was packing up the first rod, I had the best knock of the night to the Ragworm. A very brief scrap in the shallows saw my last and best fish of the night on the bank, a 45cm Bass; my first sizable Colne Bass of the year.