Thursday 24 June 2021

I Love a Gurney

Well, who doesn't love a gurnard ? They're stunning looking and taste great, although because they do look so extraordinary I usually put them back. Yes, totally illogical bollocks I know.

On Chesil hoping for the Grand Slam of Gurneys ( yes, Ive just made that up ), red, tub and grey, all if which I've caught here before.

It turned out to be a slow day, but with sunny weather, no weed and no human within about two miles of me could I complain ? No.

I ended up with four beautiful reds. Nothing else but I was well pleased.

Then back to the camper for food, cider and football on the radio. What more can a man want ?

Actually, don't answer that.

The Species Hunting King

No, it's not me. What do you mean you knew that ? No, it's Richard at Poole Bay Guiding.

Richard helped me find some fish on the Kennet and Avon canal back in the spring and this time I was on his manor.

He put me on to a mark in Poole Harbour where I hoped to bag either a gilt head or black bream. Or both if I was greedy.

I parked the camper a few yards from the water and unusually didn't have to walk three miles to the spot.

First chuck out, the rod tip jagged firmly down and a minute later a barbeque sized bream surfaced. No, it wasn't the size of a barby, it was suitably sized to eat on a barby. Get it ?

What a great start. I re cast and minutes later another bite, this time a stronger fight, resulting in a cracking gilt head bream.

What a stunning looking fish.

I continued catching on and off and ended up with two gilts, six black bream and three bass. Cracking session.

Heavy rain was forecast for the next day. I was go to sit in the van and sulk but Richard offered to take me out on the hunt for, amongst other things, a goldsinny wrasse. How could I refuse ?

It was peeing down. First spot we had lots of gobies, ballan and corkwings. A move across to the other side resulted in bigger ballans for us both.

Richard was feeding bread mash to get the mullet feeding, which he succeeded in doing. Generously, he handed me the rod and first cast I hooked a thick lip which I ended up losing. I was gutted. But not as much as him. I was expecting him to say " I'm not angry, just disappointed " and then put me on the naughty step.

He then told me to move a hundred yards along to some steps where he said it would be a wrasse a chuck, with the chance of a goldsinny. He was not wrong, there must have been hundreds down there. 

I must have had forty corkwings and ballans when Richard came up and said keep at it, you'll get one soon. Next fish....yes, a goldsinny. And next cast another. OK not a massive fish, but another for the species list.

We then went on the hunt for a sand goby which unfortunately were conspicuous by their absence. Richard spotted what he he said were small pollock. Small ? They were like pin heads ! But I needed one for the hunt. Size 16 feathers did the trick and a micro pollock was in the bag. A very small bag.

Next stop a mark near the ferry where we fished in some places I wouldn't of even considered putting a bait. What an eye opener this was.
Plenty of tompot blennies, shannys and wrasse. Great stuff.

What a fantastic day. The bloke is a whirling dervish, he doesn't stop. Certainly one of the very best anglers I've ever fished with and a thoroughly nice bloke too.

He dropped me off at the camper and while I crashed out , wet and knackered, pigging out on food and drink, he walked out in the pissing rain and carried on fishing.

Different gravy Brian.

To See the World in a Grain of Sand

Yes, I've used that quote before. Anyway, from huge tope to the hunt for mini species.

I'm out west on the hunt for more species. I started float fishing over the rocks in the usual manner and had plenty of small ballan and corking wrasse, plus a rogue mackerel.

Walking along the rocks, peering in to the gin clear water I lowered a tiny piece of ragworm between some rocks. Tiny fish appeared immediately, but until I changed to a smaller hook I  couldn't catch one.

Size 14 and a scrap of bait and bingo, fish straight away. A little shanny. Ugly bugger.

More shannys followed and some tiny wrasse. Sight fishing for them was great fun.

Next day I turned up with light gear and had eight species including a sea scorpion, tompot blennies, black goby, rock goby, sand smelt, pout and dragonet. Never in the field of human history has a grown man had so much fun catch tiny fartarse fish.

Some of these fish are incredible looking creatures. 

Thursday 3 June 2021

The Adventure

Wilfrid Thesiger ? Ranolph Fines ? Christopher Columbus even. None of those had an adventure like I did the other day.

Yes, total bullshit but it's my blog and I'll please myself.

Me and The Turdster set off to probably the remotest place in Norfolk in search of a tope from the shore. We were tipped of by local legend LB so were feeling confident.

We set off early evening, an hour after low water so we could cross two creeks before continuing our four mile walk to "The Spot" . It's an incredibly beautiful area, but you are cut off for eight or nine hours which meant we'd have to sleep overnight on the beach.

No problem eh, with temperatures in the 20s by day ? It certainly was a cracking evening, albeit very windy, but that was forecast to die right off to next to nothing by dusk.

We started off catching a few bass and then it was time to put out a tope bait.

First cast I had a solid knock that definitely wasn't a bass. Rebaited, lobbed out seventy yards and five minutes later the tipped pulled over and kept going.

I'll spare you most of the details but after ten minutes or so we saw the fish zipping up and down the beach, thrashing like mad as it entered the shallows. The Turdster was on it like a flash, grabbing the wrist of the tail and dragging it ashore.

It looked massive and probably went 35lb plus. A few pics and we put it back hoping for another fish or two. It was not to be although we did have some bass and smoothounds on the tope baits.

By midnight it was bloody freezing and still horribly windy.

We got in the sleeping bags, the bivvy bags, a shelter and kept all our "winter" clothes on and were still cold ! In June !

A couple of hours sleep ( well, rest ) and it was time for the long trek back.

A great night but once a year is enough !