Still searching

January 10, 2013

It has just turned slightly chilly as if a front may be coming in. Rain? I hope not, I’ve been here for about an hour now, set up in the dark sat back and had been enjoying the almost spring like conditions.

I nearly forgot, a belated happy New Year to you and your families. I hope it was a good one.

Bait today is squid fished close in as usual, in the hope of a late bass. The chances are very slim but I have a hunch that they hang around a lot longer than we realise and the only way of finding out, is to try.

This is my first trip out this year and like the last entry I’m writing it ‘live’ as I’m fishing. The conditions are absolutely flat calm with a grey mist rolling in from the island, the sky and the millpond sea have combined into one bank of grey. Just then to my right the furnaces of the nearby docks must have been lit as two great flames burst from the chimneys, the grey is making a great backdrop.

I don’t normally fish this spot over high but I have a feeling that I could be cut-off and be in for a longer than expected session. Just looked at the time and its now 9 o’clock and high was 8.40 so my fears are unfounded. I’m sure it was a 4.6m tide today, so I’ve made a mental note for future trips.

Just changed the squid, I’m trying to do this roughly every 20 minutes to keep a fresh scent in the area. The ‘old’ one is then cut up and used as ground-bait. That way the freshest scent is always your hook bait.

Not a touch yet. Strange these trips, even though you are not expecting to catch after a few hours you start to feel a bit disappointed. That’s our hobby for you – forever the optimist. Most strange, a man has walked along the shore line towards me and then just disappeared. Just checked and due to the recent land slips it means that you can now climb to the top. That would have been a good one in the half-light earlier – a man in black vanishing with no trace.

Haven’t checked the time but I’m now in the throes of last-cast’s, I’ve just baited up heavily after a little time spent casting further out. For some reason I’m feeling very confident, no idea why.

No action in the last-cast-hour infact I’ve not had a touch all day. Feeling pretty certain that I was fishing correctly, so it could be a case of trying another state of the tide in different weather conditions, or was it simply that the bass were not there? Realistically I’m only fishing for one or two loners so the chances are very slim, but then I often feel that’s the case in summer!

I will keep trying for as long as this weather holds.

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This glorious weather always manages to catch me out, so why should this year be any different? I flog the water to death when in reality the season starts late June early July, but it hasn’t stopped me checking the forums for the first reports of Bass being caught.  Already the first of the Mullet are showing and Smooth Hounds have been caught, so things are looking promising for an early start.

It is also encouraging that the water temperature has remained around the 9 degree mark, this is in direct contrast to the last two years when the cold winters have really dragged down the temperature. Maybe it the long days of sunshine, but I am feeling really optimistic for a great year. A friend of mine who knows a few commercial boat owners, has said that catches of bass were really poor last year as they believed that they had stayed in deeper water because of the low water temperature. Could this mean a bumper run of Bass this summer?

Lets hope so.

A returning summer visitor slowly made his way down a small channel carried by the incoming tide, eager to see its size I must have shown myself as it quickly about-turned and speed off in the direction it came from. Its appearance complimented the summer like conditions and I was sure that there would be others to see as I set up two light carp rods for a chance of a Plaice.

It was only a quick visit so I was soon sitting behind the rods waiting expectantly for the plaice to move in on the increasing tide. I had managed to find a spot sheltered from the wind and it really was lovely to be out. A sprightly retired man his face already tanned from a life outdoors passed with a small dingy on a trailer. ‘Lovely day to be out,’ was his greeting as he weaved passed me before leaving his boat by my rods to take his trailer back. Quickly I grabbed my camera as he had left one of those shots, but for the second time in two trips my camera told me to change batteries, despite being fully charged last night. Grrrr.

With the skill of an old hand he was rowing out with a strength that seemed out of sync with his age and moored up against a beautiful teak sailing yacht.  Soon he was busying himself on deck and I imagined that he was getting ready for the first trip of the year.

The small mound of rag worm in the newspaper by my side slowly reduced in size as each new cast sent out a fresh scent trail, however not a movement came from my rods and my mind started to wander. The amount of wildlife  today was staggering, together they all appeared to be noisily appreciating the warm summer like conditions. In amongst it all two swans were starting their mating ritual which would have made for some excellent pictures.

The putt-putt sound of a diesel engine broke my almost sleep like trance, on looking up  the teak yacht was now puffing out smoke,  it crossed my mind how strange that this pollution seemed so right in these natural conditions. My bait supply was now finished and it was time to pack up. The summer visitor appeared to be alone but it won’t be long now before this year’s angling can start in earnest.