Thursday 20th Oct. You would have thought it was mid-summer; blue sky, blue sea, a dazzling white surf rolling in, warm and sunny, not a breath of wind. On second thoughts you might not have thought it was summer. Given it was well into October I’m sure that if Keats had been with me he would have been inspired to write the sequel, Ode to Autumn II. The sand was clear of all debris, that’s because it was all in the water; every cast became festooned with weed, masking the baits and causing the gripper lead to be torn free. Two hours later I conceded defeat without even a bite never mind a fish. If Gerard Manley Hopkins had been with me, he wouldn’t have been inspired to add to his “Rose mole all in stipple upon the trout that swims” because he wouldn’t have seen one, would he? With plenty of bait left I stopped off at another nearby spot and set up the two rods before making a start on the coffee and sandwiches. Two hours passed without a bite and it looked like I was about to blank when a gentle rattle resulted in a small dab accompanied by a sandstar. A slightly bigger dab followed a while later, then a surprise mackerel; I thought I had caught my last of the year last time out. This wasn’t to be the last of the year either. Not much happened until darkness and coolness descended and a dogfish and pollack was followed by a last cast double of a small pollack and dab.
Friday 21st Oct. Despite a recent report entitled Last Chance at the Wrasse, I thought I might risk another go since there was still an odd summer mackerel about. I just gathered a small supply as I didn’t expect to need too many, mistake! This crab spot, like another I mentioned some time ago, seemed to have been harvested recently by someone who didn’t bother putting the stones back right way up, not good for future bait supplies. If they ever get round to introducing a seafishing licence, it should be accompanied by a rigorous written exam! Off to the mark and the first half hour failed to produce any bites to the float-fished crab but then casting to a different spot and off we go; first up was the best of the day, another specimen ballan at 4lb 14oz. This was the first of 5 more ranging from about one pound up to 3lb 13oz along with three corkwings for variety. All of a sudden the bait bucket was empty and with 9 wrasse caught, 3-4 throwing the hook and numerous missed bites, it was clear the wrasse were still in residence and eager to feed. I dismantled the wrasse rod and resorted to the beachcasters but these yielded only a glut of small coalies and another mackerel, perhaps this was the last of 2016?
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