Like a cheap coffee

October 25, 2014

Following a recent storm I was eager to get out. On arriving the sea was like the colour of cheap coffee from a roadside café, but after a couple of hours staring at motionless rods I was starting to think that maybe it was too coloured, when bang in quick succession the following decided to make an appearance. The first came in at 7lb 15oz despite juggling and standing on one leg and was still feisty when it came to its picture being taken.

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The second weighed 4lb 15oz (what is it with the missing once, and does it really matter?)

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And the third a good 2lb + which went straight back without a picture. Really keen to get back out again I was back out on the next tide and unbelievably into another good bass, which at just over 27″ made 8lb 3oz

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This was turning out to be a great month so I was back out for more, but that has been it. Despite 4 trips I’ve not had a touch but I’m keen to keep going while the weather holds to see if I can connect again on the next set of decent tides.

All bass were returned to provide sport for future generations

 

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In quiet reverie

August 9, 2014

Sometimes you miss it, sometimes you even kid yourself that you don’t need it anymore but then you catch yourself wishing you had made that tide, wishing you had made the effort. Well tonight I made that effort and let me tell you it was great to feel the breeze and smell of the sea air after what feels like weeks of hot, humid weather.

With my rod already made up, I made my way past mackerel hunters lined up like match anglers along a canal. If they had keepnets they would all be empty. The spot I wanted was vacant, exactly 36 paces back from the dog leg. Before the winter storms this particular area had a build up of shingle covering the snags that are always eager to devour any tackle that stray too close, but for now I have to be careful, as it could be a while before I can cast into this area with confidence again.

Before turning to walk back my 36 steps I notice the familiar appearance of someone sat down looking across the sea, I wasn’t positive enough to wave hello but was sure it was someone who has really helped my fishing over the last few years. A quick 36 paces, bait up and I was fishing close-in with rod held in hand.

I was right and later we got talking, still without the confidence of silence created over time but with that wonderful enthusiasm of shared interests. In fact at one point we could have been leaning across a fence with a ciggy and a cup of tea, bemoaning our lack of success before parting and wishing that our paths will cross again with bass laden tales.

Left alone in the dark now with only a pair of anglers to far away for company, I was pleased I had made the tide and leant back listening to the gentle swell, smelling the sea air and feeling the breeze on my face.

Sometimes, in quiet revery

when day is growing dim

the heart is singing silently

A sweet unwritten hymn

Just a quick update on my last trips.

Two long evenings spent with the feathers in the hope of stocking up the freezer with mackerel. Similar tides and conditions-ish to two weeks ago when I managed to bag a few. However they just weren’t there and not just for me either, many other rods joined in hope no doubt spurred on from earlier forum reports but they too left empty-handed.

If we’re not careful this will be worse than last year and that was poor, but overfishing has to take an effect eventually. Lets hope the Icelandic’s start to bow down to political pressure and reverse their decision to increase their catch quota by 300,000 tonnes… the banking crisis has hit us in so many ways.

Anyways, last night I took two of my meagre stock of mackerel to try for an early bass. The conditions could not have been better and it was just me and the sea on one of my favourite spots. Having fished and tested this area earlier in the year for mullet I was able to fish close without the threat of snags. During the evening and into the night a succession of fillets and head’s were ignored up to and during the prime time, but I stayed on as it all felt so right. Not for a bass (but there is always hope) but for that wonderful moment in time.

Two soon-to-be-men appeared on their bikes and parked up for a small social. Cheap drink eagerly clutched in a white plastic bag they climbed a steep wall that in later years they will look back and wonder just how did we manage that. With an elevated view across the sea they spoke about life, friendship and their futures in front of them all the while not aware of me fishing below and to their right.

I think they were slightly surprised when I appeared from the dark but we wished each other a good night and then carried on with our journey’s.

…forever the optimist

December 31, 2010

Another year torn from the calendar of life. I once read somewhere that as our metabolism slows it feels that life and events will seem to move faster – how very true. Looking back on what was my worst ever year in sea fishing (a great time to start a fishing blog!) I still find I have many fond memories.

It’s a good job I don’t go fishing simply to catch but I also go to enjoy what nature has to offer. I have seen some amazing sunset’s and sunrise’s this year and a storm that simply took my breath away, even now I am so grateful that the camera was able to capture some of its aura. I wrote a few years back that sometimes its great  just to get away from it all and suggested that maybe it was an age thing, but it would have been nice  to have caught one bass!

courtesy of google

its just an age thing

My two children have also grown another year older and to my regret look unlikely to follow in the fishing footsteps. When they were both still young my dear wife told me many times not to take them,  just wait until they ask to go – but how could anyone not enjoy fishing?

I should have listened.

My plans for next year? Not sure at the moment, I may have a good go for the mullet, but that will depend on how the bass fishing starts. I definitely need to try out a few new spots and revisit some of my older haunts. I stuck too rigidly to my usual venues and paid the price for thinking that they would come good. I may even try to better my 2 lb roach from a local carp lake that I just know must hold even larger. And I keep meaning to have a proper season on the Avon…

That typifies the beauty of angling, I can’t think of another sport that has so many variables to keep an angler forever the optimist, you just never know what may take the worm on the end.

For those who have read some of my ramblings this season, thankyou.  May I wish you and your families a  Happy New Year.

Distant memories re-visited

August 25, 2010

... its just an age thing

 August 2, 2008

I opened the car door and got out, what’s this no wind trying to force the door shut?  Blimey.

A quick walk along the beach confirmed that the conditions were just about perfect. The sea had a nice colour with a slight chop running along the shore line. Things were looking good.

I set up my rod and cut a large fillet from a side of a frozen mackerel. I found myself admiring the clean-cut and thought to myself I really should have sharpened the knife ages ago! A 1.5oz lead was attached to a simple running ledger and a size 4/0 completed the outfit. A gentle lob out and I was fishing.

There are occasions lately that I’m finding that I just need to go fishing, it doesn’t matter whether I catch, and recently I’m not even that bothered about the weather. Maybe its just an age thing.

The sun, still low in the sky turned the clouds into fantastic shades of red giving us a great parting, and maybe just a promise of a better day tomorrow. The last of the geese flew past, noisily showing their appreciation of a rare glimpse of summer. Time had past and it was starting to cloud up and turn blustery, however tonight I didn’t mind. In the gathering darkness I was glad I bought along with me an extra top, and was soon enjoying its warmth against the steadily strengthening wind.

Now I was alone standing on the beach just listening to the rhythmic pounding of the waves, it wasn’t that long ago I stood here listening to the fizz of the mackerel shoals hitting the whitebait and wishing I had brought my rod with me. The sun was hot that day, too hot…

Was that weed on my line? The rod felt heavy and out of sync with the waves. Suddenly I was alert and waiting, but after a few anxious moments I started to think that maybe I was just getting tired and imagined it. No, there it was again. My heart started to race and I was willing the bite to develop further, the rod nodded again and instinctively I struck and stepped back at the same time… fish on!

In the dark I could see white water being created as it tried to make its break for freedom, and just for a split moment I thought that I had hooked into a bass that I have been waiting for a very long time. However the initial power of the fish was subdued and I was soon using the next wave to help me beach it onto the shore.

The size by most people’s standards was probably small, but this was the 2nd biggest bass I have landed in over 30 years. Sure I have hooked and lost larger, but at that moment I couldn’t care less. A quick photo and weigh before I carefully carried the bass to the water’s edge. Unusually I had to hold it upright for a while before it suddenly seem to realise that I was going to return it, as it dashed forward into the waves just in case I changed my mind!

I considered a recast, but the wind was strengthening still further and the thought of a warm home became very appealing.

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