Thursday, 3 July 2008

Fishing Report: 1st July 08 - Wet Docks, Ipswich

I had planned a day at Sandgate in Kent but the Mackerel fishing curse struck again, the plans all went to pot and so I settled for a couple of hours on the Wet Dock after the "townie" Mullet. On my last visit I had enjoyed a cracking evening of sport but had lost three out of the five fish I hooked at the net, not least because the landing net I generally use is quite small; this time I brought along a specimen size landing net (a remnant from my Carp fishing days) to make netting a little bit easier. I also tend to "bully" fish a bit and this may well have been a factor in the lost fish so I decided to leave the 3lb Rogue Carp rod behind in favour of my Drennan Spinflex which, being a lot lighter, would mean I would be less likely to rush in a fish before it was ready.

I arrived at the dock at 6pm to find that a large sailing boat was docked right where I intended to fish, however, there was plenty of room so I simply fished a bit further up. Although there were no fish showing on the surface within ten minutes of starting (with my usual 1oz wedge fished as a baited spoon) I had a pair of Mullet follow the lure in, though neither could be persuaded to take the Ragworm on the hook. I continued to be frustrated by the fish for some time. Maybe there was too much disturbance or maybe they just weren't in mood but for whatever reason they would follow the bait in, they would mouth the very end of the worm, they would even nip off the tail of the bait right under my nose but no matter what depth or speed I fished the baited lure, they simply would not take the hook.

An hour later, just as I was thinking I was heading for a blank, a decent fish hit the bait hard about 30 yards out and promptly headed in the opposite direction. The Spinflex bent double and the reel screamed on the fishes initial run and then, as I find most decent fish do on light tackle, begrudgingly the Mullet allowed itself to be guided gently back towards me. Within a couple of minutes or so I had managed to get it about ten yards out from the dock wall but at that point it saw me and then the fireworks really started! It lunged, it rolled, it splashed, it bored down to the bottom and it even leapt clear of the water once or twice but eventually it was in the net and up on the dock. It was at that point I realised I had an audience of about a dozen onlookers, most of them amazed to discover that there were actually fish in the dock. It dragged the scales down to 2lb 14oz and after a few photographs (by the wife) and a very brief question and answer session with the audience it was lowered back into the dock with the landing net and shot off across the dock.

For the next 45 minutes or so things went very quiet on the Mullet front, perhaps because of the commotion of landing the first fish. I did see a shoal of a dozen or so fish pass right beneath me, hugging the side of the dock, but apart from hooking three small Bass I had not a sniff of further action from the fish until I managed to persuade a follower to take the bait at the last minute just under the rod top. This fish was noticeably smaller than the first but it didn't seem to stop it putting up a fight. It chose to fight at close quarters, preferring to go round in circles under the rod tip rolling and thrashing as it went rather than run as such and although less of a spectacle than the fight with the first fish it still wasn't ready for the net for a good few minutes. As with the first fish, I had attracted an audience and again I answered questions as I unhooked, weighed and returned the fish, which tipped the scales to 2lb 4oz exactly.

By now the sun was getting low in the sky and the air temperature was starting to drop, both of which do nothing to improve the Mullet fishing here and so, after a few more casts just for the hell of it, I decided to call it a day. The bigger net had made all the difference as netting the fish was certainly made easier (though not exactly easy) and the lighter Spinflex rod had forced me to play the fish out properly, rather than use the brute force of the Carp rod to get them to the net. Weather and time permitting I will be back to fish the dock very soon and to be honest, if it wasn't such a journey for me to get to, I would most probably fish the place every week; Mullet are one of those fish that never become boring.