It’s been 4-5 weeks since I last was seafishing and I was keen to get out. Originally, having just spent a considerable sum on engine servicing, trailer repairs etc, I had hoped to take the boat out for the first time this year but was experiencing a touch of Lateral Epicondylitis in my right arm; that’s Tennis Elbow to those who are unimpressed by medical terminology. I don’t play tennis but blame some over enthusiastic hedge trimming. She who refuses to make sandwiches advised taking it easy and prescribed a course of Ibuprofen and no boating. The casual observer might think she is a caring sort but despite groans of pain at each stroke of the butter knife, I still had to make my own sarnies. So on the calmest day for weeks I headed for the beach to dig a few lug (so much for resting the elbow). There is a patch of rock and stone nearby where I often gather small hardback crab for wrasse but when I had a look, most of the crab-holding stones had been turned over by a previous visitor and left upside down and out of place, result? No crab but plenty of seaweed about to rot.
I eventually got to my mark and set up my usual pairing of large single hook rig and three hook flapper baited with lug, frozen mackerel and some not that fresh shop mackerel. It was fairly bright and totally calm, neither swell nor breeze, and with a soon to be ebbing tide expectations were low. It was comfortably over an hour before the first bite which I didn’t actually see, I reeled in to check the large bait and in came a good dab, 34cm and 14oz. It must have been just sitting chewing the bait. With fresh bait on, I lowered the rig into the water at my feet to move the leader knot to the side of the spool and out shot a pollack to grab the bait. No monster at 37cm but when I had cast out the bait again, I set up the lrf rod to try for a few more pollack. A further 4-5 pollack resulted with the best going 41cm and just under 2lb, good fun on lrf. A few small coalies showed as well. Meanwhile the flapper rod registered a couple of twitches, nothing very committed but in came a nice double of dabs to 34cm. The fishing remained slow so I set up a float rod to fish lug over the boundary where rock and weed met sand. Nothing much happened for a while until I was busy rebaiting one of the other rods; looking up to check the float, there it was....gone. I could just about see it deep under water but the rig was well snagged. Sustained pressure lost just the hook so I replaced that and kept a closer eye on things. Soon enough it dipped under and I struck into a small corkwing, the first of the year so another box ticked for the species list. Another corkwing and a small ballan, again the first of the year, followed before the float went quiet. A dogfish on the big bait and another dab (30cm) on the flapper finished the action for the day so with the wind getting up and the rain coming down I packed for home. Nothing spectacular but with a few good dabs and six species it was good to get out, the elbow held up well so hopefully on the next decent day I’ll get afloat and next year I won’t even watch Wimbledon!
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