Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Fishing Report: 7th February 09 - St Osyth, Essex

As seems to be the norm in recent years my Christmas Flattie crusade went completely down the pan. The fluctuating temperatures, way too much rain and the sharp bouts of frosty weather have either confused the Flatties or the fish are just not there any more. I tried one daylight session at Brightlingsea with Stuart a few days after Christmas, when the prom front should have seen us take at least a few fish, but it just didn't happen and we managed not even a bite between the two of us; the only action of the day was watching a huge scrap boat coming into the river.

A lonely night session a few days later produced nothing more spectacular than a small Whiting and the first week of January saw my first Cod session of 2009 turn into yet another depressing blank, so it wasn't exactly the most exiting start to the fishing year. Thirty years plus throwing bait at the sea teaches you that these bad spells come every now and again and that things will look up in good time if you persevere, but when the weather is cold, the nights black and the wind blows right through you from the north a few naff sessions can dampen the enthusiasm of even the keenest angler amongst us, myself included.

With a never ending list of things to do on the website I decided to have a rest for a while and set to sorting out some more suppliers and getting the online cart in order; it took me a lot longer than I expected and in the end it was a good month before I had the site where I wanted and decided on the spur of the moment to fish a few hours over the top of the tide amongst the rock groins at St Osyth.

Starting at about 6.30pm on a freezing cold day I originally intending to walk up to the bird reserve end but with temperatures dropping decided that it would be a bit foolhardy, not to mention hard graft in all the cold gear required for the nights fishing and a change of heart saw me setting up two rods in amongst the rock groins in the hope of better results than my first session of the year.

Fishing both rods with frozen Black Lug and Cuttlefish baits I started the night off well landing a Codling of about 1.75 lb on the second cast but that was pretty much the end of my luck for the night the only other action being just on the turn of the tide when I hit a slack line bite which saw me connected to another fish for 30 seconds or so before it swam straight in towards me and dropped the hook. I spent the rest of the night without so much as a bite until my last cast when I managed to contact another fish and thought for one foolish moment that I would be heading home with a brace of fish to my score, but it just wasn't to be. This fish again swam straight in towards me and about 20 yards short of the beach stuck me into an immovable snag which resulted in a lost fish and rig. Such is life and as it was now midnight and the cold had started to get to me I decided to take the hint the fish were giving me and headed for home and a warm bed.

Quite clearly the fish are still feeding on the sprats as the fish I did land coughed a few up on the beach. If anybody is thinking of fishing at St Osyth in the near future I'd suggest using a lead lift as the beach as obviously had a good scour lately and this has left quite a number of small snags showing close in which tend to catch you out when you least expect it.