While putting away a selection of garden tools recently, I noticed something in the corner of the garage; a beachcaster! Memories came flooding back and overwhelmed by nostalgia, I determined to “Go Fishing” so with two of the aforementioned items (beachcasters, not gardening tools) along with all necessary accessories I took to the road in an unusual direction, east. A brief stop at a spot where “lug can be dug” seemed to suggest otherwise so I called in to a shop where “bait can be got”; slightly to my surprise, frozen lug, sandeel, crab, squid and mackerel were all available. I already had some mackerel so just topped up with some lug wrapped in cellophane and vacuum packed. I parked up and loaded up with rods, tripod and tackle box, took the short walk along the pier. Three small bats were flying up and down feeding hard prior to imminent hibernation, hopefully the fish would do likewise. I had to move slightly from the obvious spot as somebody had obviously just relieved himself there, something I have never done (nose elongates by 2 cm). I was expecting/hoping to get small flatties, at least that’s what I got the only other time I fished here. I tackled up accordingly with both rods kitted out with 3 hook flappers and carrying small baits of mackerel and/or lug, one sent well out onto the sand and the other close in by the edge of the rock armour protecting the pier. Sit back and wait, after 20 mins I reeled in the close rod to find the hooks cleaned and possibly polished; crabs no doubt as it was calm enough to see any bite. With fresh bait, the rig was sent out far and the other rod retrieved; same result. This feeding of crabs continued for an hour until I saw a definite rattle which developed into a couple of determined tugs. I reeled in and could feel extra weight, a 5 bearded rockling, frequently known as a blank-saver. Next cast I felt a slight knock as the rod bent and it was only when I took up the slack and settled the rod in the tripod that I realised that the tip ring had disintegrated. So I was down to one rod, probably wouldn’t affect the catch rate much but the crabs weren’t going to be as well fed. I started reeling the rigs in a yard or two at a time to try and fend off the crabs and was rewarded with a couple of delicate nibbles but no fish. The hooks came in clean and I was only using size 4 hooks, even a small dab could manage that. Eventually I hooked something, a pin whiting, well I had already saved the blank so the pin was superfluous to requirements. While I was glad to get the frozen lug, at £9 for 10, they were a bit pricey to waste on crabs and pin whiting so after three hours of fresh air I packed up and the lug would be saved in my freezer for better times. On the way home I slowed down as I could see a large dog at the side of the road, in fact as I drew level I realised it was a female fallow deer, the first one I have ever seen. As fishing trips go, it wasn’t the best with a busted tip ring and only a small rockling and pin whiting to show for my efforts. Still, it was good to get out, I think….
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