Monday, 18 May 2009

Fishing Report: 17th May 09 - River Colne, Essex

With the river the colour of pea soup after all the high winds I couldn't resist trying my luck upriver for the Bass as it generally fishes well in these sort of conditions and offers a little shelter if you pick the right spot. I'd initially intended to fish a spot nearer to the car park but as I made my way along the sea wall I passed one angler already heading up and came across a couple of lads on the first part of the saltings and so decided to be unsociable and head further up to a mark that I'd been intending to revisit for some time and which used to be one of my favourites for Eels when I was a lad.

In those days you didn't catch Bass at this particular mark because they were generally beaten to the bait by the hoards of Eels that flocked to it, but with the Eel becoming a rarity on the river many of these marks are becoming good for the Bass .... the theory proved to be sound one on this particular afternoon.

The mark is one of the more hazardous ones to reach and fish and is not made popular by the long walk and the gullies that have to be negotiated but I arrived in time to cross the gullies before they flooded (cutting the mark off at high tide) and had myself camped in shelter behind some short scrub with the Ragworm baits in the water about 3 hours before the 5.30pm tide.

The bites started immediately and the first two casts resulted in two small Bass lying in the long marsh grass. That remained the tempo for the session apart from a short lull at the top of the tide and bites came steadily throughout the session though with me fishing my usual large hooks and baits it was a forgone conclusion that I would miss a good proportion of the smaller Schoolies.

Just after the turn of the tide the rod smacked over and a sizeable fish put in an appearance. As usual for the Colne nothing to shout about but plenty big enough for the pot, although it was a bit of a “stretch”. The next cast resulted in a similar bite and another fish of a similar size to the previous one came into the shallows only to ditch the top hook of the pennel as I attempted to swing him onto the saltings.

The bites continued on through the ebb with the fish still biting as the water dropped too low to fish anymore but that was it for the better fish. I ended a very pleasant if windswept session at about 8.30pm having managed about a dozen small Bass ranging from 10 to 35 cm as well as the sizeable one and a token Eel of about 4 oz which took severe revenge on my rig, needing to be cut free in order to release it.