Saturday, 29 November 2008

Fishing Report: 22nd November 08 - Clacton on sea, Essex

Initially this weekend I hadn't planned to fish but I'd been working my butt off on the online store and really needed a break. The strong winds had dropped off steadily during the day but were likely to have left a good bit of colour in the water which I reckoned would bring the Codling on the feed and so, although the weather front had turned round to come in from the north (bringing with it a sudden drop in the temperature) I decided on a spur of the moment trip to try a few hours at the Gunfleet Sailing Club yet again in the hope of adding a few more Codling to my tally.

I arrived at about 6pm with the tide almost finished with the flood expecting to see the seafront scattered with angler's lights but to my surprise things were relatively quiet (perhaps because of the weather forecaster's promise of snow) and yet again I managed to get into my favourite little corner, right by the Sailing Club slipway as I have done on so many winter sessions in the past. Further up the promenade there were other angler's lights but for some unknown reason the Gunfleet stretch was very quiet and so it was that I set up my single rod and flung my first Cod bait out over the large swells that were pushing into my little corner of the seafront and sat back to enjoy the solitude that as little as a decade ago would have been impossible on a winter Cod session.

The last hour of the flood was very uneventful and at the top of the tide I had only two average sized Whiting to show for my efforts with the large baits of Frozen Black and Squid. I took the opportunity for a break in concentrating on the rod for a drink and a bite to eat over the slack period at the top of the tide and then, as I watched a shooting star (or more likely a bit of space rubbish re-entering the atmosphere) flash down to the horizon a decent rattle on the rod followed by a slack line signalled that the ebb tide had started and that the Codling were, at last, on the feed. Although sizable the 42cm Codling that resulted from the take didn't take long to get in and a minute or so later I slid it up the slipway on a convenient swell and it was mine; a nice fit little Codling with an unusually pale colouration was destined for the frying pan.

Things then went quiet for a little while and apart from the odd bite which I presume were probably small Whiting the rod didn't move. As the tide started to fall away I began to think that was going to be it for the night then two Whiting turned up in quick succession, followed a couple of casts later by another Codling, just undersized. Half a dozen casts after the Codling I lifted the rod into what I thought would be another Whiting and was surprised to find myself attached to something that was tugging back and a couple of minutes later was pleasantly surprised to see the best fish of the night slide up the beach, a very clean, plump Codling of 55cm which had obviously just taken the bait and sat there in the now weakening current. It makes you wonder how many Codling we miss simply because we expect a furious bite from them every time.

I had another cast after I had sorted the Codling out but by now I was beginning to feel the cold a bit. I hadn't expected it to be quite as cold as it was and so hadn't put my thermals on under the waterproofs; now I was beginning to suffer for it! As usual towards the end of a session I got the digital camera out to take a quick few pictures of the fish and it soon became evident that the camera was feeling the cold as well; I managed four frames and then the screen went black (which turned out to be the CCD dying) and with that final bit of encouragement I decided it was time to pack up and head for home.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog, lots of good info.

Capt. Matt