Tuesday 10th. After a couple of months away from the sea at pike and trout, it was time to head for the salt again to see if any rays were about; they were this time last year! Tuesday saw me step out of the car into a fresh if not cold easterly wind but once down at the water’s edge, the wind was less of a problem. The usual 2 rods with 3-hook flapper and small baits on one, large bait on a single hook rig on the other, were set up and cast out and the waiting began. It took almost an hour for the first fish to show, a flounder, to the flapper rig. The next couple of hours produced another four flounder with the best nudging 32cm interspersed with three small turbot to 25cm, the first turbot of 2018. This mark tends to produce mainly dabs with a few turbot so getting mainly flounder was a bit unusual. The fish came a couple of hours either side of high water after which the bites died away; eight flat fish but no rays.
Wednesday 11th. A different mark today, wind at my back, what little wind there was. It was one of those dull, heavy, dead days, no swell or wave on the water and little or no movement in the air. The only thing missing was the sound of a chainsaw whingeing in the background. Anyway, get the rods set up and wait.....and wait......and wait. The rod tips sat motionless hour after hour. The baits came back totally untouched; I could have fished the whole session with 4 strips of mackerel. Eventually after four hours, the flapper rig rod registered the gentlest of nods, just one dip of about 1cm, and then stillness. After a few minutes I reeled in to check the bait and felt some resistance. A small thornback came gliding through the water and in an instant I was converted from mere fisherman to catcherman! A quick measure and picture and back he went. Once again I find small baits on a scratching rig more effective than the “dedicated” long trace, large hook and bait. That was it, no more bites in the next hour and a half so a quick text to She Who Does Not Make Sandwiches; Get the spuds on, I’m coming home!
On my recent travels I have seen a lot of dead animals along the roadside, pine martens, otters, and yesterday alone, 3 badgers and 2 hares, so it was a treat to see a live hare running past behind me at the fishing mark and then, setting off for home, a badger emerged from the left side of the road, ran along in front of me for 40-50 yards and then ducked under the fence to the right.
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