I had a great park up near the beach over the bank holiday weekend and decided to stay put for a couple of days.
On the Monday morning I got up early for a quick dawn session. I wasn't expecting much as the tides were tiny but had a gurnard, scad, mackeral, gars and two of the smallest small eyed ray I've ever seen. Another one to add to the 2022 species list.
Later in the morning I walked in to West Bay to see Cocksy, Phil and Mick who were nodding about in the harbour, along with other members of Colchester SAC on their annual trip. They were lined up like schoolboys fishing a few feet away from each other, all after mini species.
The walk back along the beach and cliffs is stunning, especially on a glorious mid September day like this.
The next day I moved on the a real campsite. Yeah, a real campsite with proper showers and bogs. Luxury.
It's a beautiful twenty minute walk to the rocks from the site and in the evening I took the light gear down for a bit of float fishing.
Absolutely loads of ballan and corkwing wrasse under the rod tip with the odd pollack too. A bit further out I had a garfish but the big surprise was a cuckoo wrasse, the first I've ever had from the shore in the UK. Two Dorset mates said they'd never heard of one from the shore either. Well chuffed.
The walk back up the incredibly steep hill didn't seem too bad after that and I celebrated with a highly recommend Lidl beer. Oh yes, pushing the boat right out.
A couple of the wrasse had these hideously repulsive parasites on them. They took some getting off with forceps. I fed the disgusting things to the gulls.
To give my species tally a boost the following day I had a session on Swanage pier. If you're at all interested in species hunting this place is superb. great for kids too, as with light gear it's a bite a chuck, fishing straight down amongst the pier supports.
There's bass, gars, mackeral in the bay too, chasing the millions of prey fish.
I had the usual ballans and corkys, pout, pollack, rock gobies, loads of tompots, sand smelt, a herring and a ballion's wrasse on yet another lovely day.
It really was perfect, no wind, sunny, silent. You could here the people talking on the beach half a mile away.
In the late afternoon as I walked back along the cliffs and fields I turned and looked and saw the whole bay lit up in that lovely soft orange September light. The more beautiful it is this time of year, the more melancholy it feels.
Turdy is coming down to fish Chesil this weekend, forecast looks decent, fingers crossed for an enjoyable few days.