Tuesday 17 May 2022

Know Your Patch

The mullet have "got me" again. I really enjoyed the canal fishing, wish I had any one of the GUC, Monty or Llangollen on my doorstep, but as soon as I got back I went and had a walk to stretch my legs. 

Inevitably the walk was along the estuary. And on the flat surface were fins sticking up, bow waves and swirls. Mullet.

Of course, the next evening I was down there with the fly rod. Much of the time they are just mooching about and your chances of catching one are slim, but as soon as the tide turns, they queue up to push up river, waiting for the shallows to become deep enough for their passage.

I cast that smegging fly all evening over big groups of active fish without so much as a sniff. Enjoyable as it was I had a back up plan for the following day.

I returned with the fly rod, but in addition I had my nuclear option, the deadly baited spinner. Two hours on the fly, couple of pulls but that was it. Very few fish showing too.

On went the No 2 Mepps baited with a bit of rag worm. Bang! First cast and a fish, not big, couple of pounds I guess, but welcome.

In the next ten minutes I had another couple of fish, before all activity died off.

This place is a low water mark, but the other day I followed them up river as the tide flooded. The trouble with this is that with more water as the tide comes in they're less concentrated. Also, most of the time they revert back to cruising about slowly and aimlessly and I've found them impossible when they do this.

A couple of hours watching for activity with a cast every now and then and I got the feeling that it wasn't going to happen, so I made my way back slowly, still observing and hoping.

I looked over some very shallow mudbanks and saw several fish flashing. Then another. Then a couple of swirls. That's more like it.

The bank stick-landing net handle was pressed in to service as a stinging nettle scythe as I made my way down in to the reeds.

First cast and would you believe it a fish. Second cast another. Then a lost fish.

I moved a few yards further down, made a long wind assisted cast and while retrieving saw the tell tale bow wave following the lure. A moment before I lifted the lure out the fish crashed into it with some force and proceeded to jump clear of the water five or six times. A big fish too.

I slackened off the clutch a bit and eased the fish into the net. A really long fish of 58 cm, weighing I would guess maybe four and a half pounds. A very big thin lip mullet. Well chuffed I was.

I ended up with five fish, including another decent one. The activity probably only lasted half an hour before they disappeared to wherever they disappear to.

A great little session made better by it being beautifully sunny and warm. You can't beat fishing in shorts and T shirt. Having to wear wellies and getting battered by stinging nettles is "part of the job" in these parts.

The Mepps strikes again.