Saturday, 18 September 2021

Lessons From The Guv'nor

I like to think I'm a reasonable angler, but sometimes you fish with people that give you a reality check and give you a proper lesson.

I bumped in to The Chesil General earlier this week. He's a proper gent and has been helping me out with info on his patch in Dorset. 

It was a slow day, very pleasant but after a couple of hours I was biteless. The General then had his first fish, a red mullet, a fish high up on my "want list".

Next cast he had a double shot, a dab and a plaice. Hmm. Still nothing for me.

I was casting a fair old way but was dropping probably ten or twenty yards short. Sometimes a few yards makes the difference.

We both then put fresh mackerel out for a ray of some kind ( I need spotted, undulate and the much rarer blonde ). Half hour later The General leans in to a decent fish which turns out to be an 11lb blonde. Superb.

I was just a tiny bit envious. I finished up with the consolation prize of two black bream. Much better than nothing.

I picked up several ideas and it made me realise how meticulous some of the very best anglers are.

Next day I was back and had a better day. I wangled a thick lipped mullet on bread after drip feeding them for an hour. So exciting in gin clear water. Lost another better fish too.

The bottom rods remained motionless until one of the tips gently nodded. Felt like a decent bream but turned out to be a rare codling. Excellent.

An hour late it was dark and the poxy strap congers were about in numbers. My chance of a red mullet had gone, or so I thought. A slack liner and it felt nothing like a eel. It wasn't, it was a red mullet. Well chuffed.

Fishing has not been easy, but there's enough around to make it interesting. I need one of those rays next.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Helping Your Buddies

An interesting week. Hungry Boy Chris came down to try for his first mullet on Monday.

We started with trotted, twitched or popped up maddies and after half an hour watching fish ignore our offerings I suggested a change to a baited spinner.

This really can be a deadly method. The drawback is that it can put the fish down after a short period. First cast I had a follow. And the next. Then hungry Boy shouted that he was in on his second cast. A few minutes later his first ever mullet was in the net. Chuffed ? I'll say.

I had two takes, both of which failed to hook up, then later on lost a decent fish on the popped up rag.

Anyway job done and everyone happy.

Thursday me and Conc drove to Norfolk, a 4.5 hour round trip in pursuit of bass. Perfect tide, decent weather....very very slow fishing though.

However, the silver lining was that Bureboy Waaaak Baines joined us to try and catch his first bass and we spent the evening chatting and catching up. The tide was making the rod tips nod and Waak enquired as to whether they may be bites. No, you'll know when you have a bite.

About an hour in, his pike rod whacked over viciously as a decent bass took off at speed. As he played the fish I shone the headlamp in the margins looking for the fish. I was somewhat surprised when he wound a 3lb bass to within a foot of his rod tip, in the manner of a rank beginner ! 

As expected, the fish fell off into the surf, I thrashed around trying to grab it, getting soaked in the process. A wave took it away, never to be seen again. But never mind, first bass ever in the bag ( not literally unfortunately ).

Half hour later he was in again, this time properly landed and photographed.

Good work chaps.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

It's Not All Wine and Roses

Oh no sir, not at all.

I needed a sand goby for the species hunt and found out the Colne and Stour are full of them. Loads in the brackish marshland ditches too. That's all I have to say about the sand goby.

Yesterday me and Conc fished a pool on the river for bass, mullet and if we were really really lucky, a sea troot.

I got a tiny bass, lost three sets of gear and had a snotty eel,  which was another for "the hunt". I don't want any more though.

The lack of both bass and mullet was surprising as we've been catching regularly in daylight.

I did have a crashing take on a spinner in full darkness. I'd like to think that was a sea troot, but who knows ?

Here is a picture of a horrible eel. 

This coming week the targets are a thick lip mullet and some proper bass.

Toodle pip.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Far From The Madding Crowd

Well, almost. I exaggerate, but this last week in August has surprised me a bit. Yes, in the usual spots it's heaving, but walk a bit and you will avoid most of The Great British Public. Damn good show too.

I'd caught a couple of tub gurnards on the bottom rods so decided to try and catch one on the light spinning gear. I cut off a couple of sabiki type feathers and baited them with a tiny bit of mackerel and worked it various ways through the water.

I'd only been fishing a few casts when I had a hit and the first gurney was on. Pretty little fish which are great fun on light gear and very aggressive. I ended up with five all around the same size. Good fun.

The following evening I got my sole, plus a plaice, some decent mackerel and some scad, all of which went on the barby for a fishy extravaganza.

Pics a bit crappy but was pleased to have those flatties in consecutive casts.

Next day was a mini species hunt which resulted in dozens of corkys and ballens, tompots, rock gobies, dragonet and at last a ballion's wrasse. Another one on the 2021 species list.

That's it for a while. Well, a few weeks anyway ๐Ÿ˜†

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Win Some, Lose Some

Despite it being kid's holiday season I'm back out west, in the camper in a field five minutes from the beach for a eleven quid a night. Not bad eh ?

I was aiming to increase my species count as it's coming up to prime time now.

Tides are building, high water around dusk, just about perfect. First hour passed without any bites, then a couple of knocks that resulted in a tub gurnard. Only a litlun, but another species added.

Shoals of whitebait were being harried by predators so a light spinning rod was set up and very quickly I was catching some big mackerel and the occasional scad. Lovely.

As dusk approached I started catching dogs, pout and the inevitable, hideous, slimy turds that are strap conger. After a stream of these creatures I had a different kind of bite and as I wound in I was convinced I'd got a big sole. Twenty yards out it went solid. Snagged. Bastard !

Snapped off, cheesed off, I called it a night.

Next day I was back in glorious evening sunshine on an almost deserted beach. In southern England. In August. I'm glad people don't like walking.

First cast with a huge fillet of mackerel, hoping for a undulate or small eyed ray and within a couple minutes the rod tip pulled down and sprung back. Great start, the rod hooped over in a satisfying curve with just the odd thump on the tip in typical ray style.

As the fish appeared in the surf it had changed from a ray to a bloody great bass. Well chuffed !

Cracking fish. I think I'd swap it for a big sole though.

Monday, 16 August 2021

Down In Da Hoooodzzz

Bit of urban fishing. Not really my thing at all, but there's some monster thick lipped mullet feasting on the tasty turdy titbits.

We head to the shite pipe, in the heart the rundown city, where feral yoofs roamed unhindered by the feds. 

Actually, it's that run down there's nobody at all about and the interesting aroma from the pipe probably discourages 99.9 per cent of the population from coming within a mile of here.

There were loads of mullet about, cruising around, swirling and generally sticking two fingers up at us. I drip fed bread mash for a couple of hours but no interest whatsoever.

We did have some ridiculously small flounders though. We were hoping for a goby or anything to add to the species list.

Back to the south west in the camper on Friday, standby for some proper reports.

Can't wait.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Magnificent Muddy Marshland Mullet Magic

Should have been a red top sub editor eh ? Although I'm not really suited to it as I'm not obsessed with house prices and immigrants, coming over here, etc, etc.

Anyway, mullet. Plenty of thin lips about, I've been having short sessions fishing with Conc and Baz.

Last night Baz tried fly fishing for them for the first time. Picked a most unsuitable day, cool and windy. Very few mullet visible.

I had a nice keeper sized bass on maddies on a tiny hook, Conc had another eel( his third eely evening in a row, lucky bloke ) anฤ Baz pulled a rabbit out the hat ( sorry, mullet not rabbit ) in the shape of a 4lb 5oz thin lip which took his shrimp like fly as soon as it hit the surface and led him on a merry dance

Incredible fight on a light five weight rod, took him seven minutes to get in. He was well chuffed, as we all were for him. What a fish to get you off the mark.

On Sunday me and Conc fished on another cool evening. No mullet showing, so we fished slightly deeper water with popped up maddies or ragworm.

Plenty of fish about though, two good mullet for me, best one 3.5lb ish. Two mullet, a keeper bass and two eels for Conc, although he was using two rods, one of which was ludicrously over powered for fishing on a tiny river. To be fair, the bass he had lifted the rod butt off the ground as it took.

I almost forgot, I had a flounder too.....

So, some pretty decent, social fishing in the past week, really enjoyable stuff. I'm having another go tomorrow in what is forecast to be lovely weather. Can't beat the summer.