Tuesday 3rd. Having been concentrating my efforts recently on trout and boat fishing, I thought it was time for a bit of shore leave. I arrived just before low water and, in no rush to get set up, I had a walk around to stretch the legs. About 40-50 yds out I saw something pop up to the surface; an otter. By the time I got the camera, it had disappeared but a few minutes later I noticed a couple of fish exiting stage left, pursued by an otter, (you didn't really expect a bear did you?). I got a quick shot of him just as he surfaced for air. That was all the excitement for a couple of hours as bites were non- existent until eventually a very hesitant tremor registered on the rod tip. This failed to develop any further so I was surprised on reeling in to feel some resistance, a nice little spotty ray, 3lb 4oz and my first shore spotty of the year. I hardly need say that it took a small bait on a #4 flapper rig in preference to a nice big juicy slice on the bigger hooked clip down rig. Ten minutes later the flapper rig produced the first of 4 dogfish before tempting a second spotty ray at 2lb 8oz. At one point, things were very quiet so I retired to the car for a coffee. A small bird, probably a rock pipit, flew down and perched on one of the rods. I tried a bit of lrf; this produced a 25cm launce on a mini-sabiki rig, (they put up a struggle on the lrf rod!), numerous small pollack and 2 blennies to mackerel strip. They weren’t big fish but they added to this year’s species list. There was a lull in activity, broken by a Fishery Patrol rib passing by, presumably checking for illegal nets? Some float-fished shell-on prawns accounted for three ballan wrasse with the biggest going 2lb. The wrasse were not exactly throwing themselves at the bait, I could actually see them approach the offerings and mostly turn away though I managed to provoke one into taking the bait; what the fly-fisher would call “the induced take”. At one point, I could also see a few fish, definitely not wrasse, darting about at the bait on retrieve. A quick change to the lrf sabiki rod produced a mackerel for one more species and some fresh bait for tomorrow.
Wednesday 4th. This time I arrived half way through the ebb tide, another hot, sunny day. It was a very slow start with a wait of almost two hours before the first half-hearted bite. Sadly this failed to produce a fish so with low tide approaching, I switched to the lrf rod and almost at once hooked and lost a mackerel. At the turn of the tide I managed to get 3 launce before they moved on. Half an hour into the flood, the dogfish started to feed with 5 coming to hand over the next 4 hours, all but one to the flapper rig. The wind then shifted direction and became very blustery and surprisingly cool. I stuck it out for another 3 hours but with no activity on the fishing front I decided to quit. I must say I have been disappointed by the lack of flatties, this mark is usually good for dabs with other representatives of the family putting in appearances quite often too. Over the two days, the fishing was fairly slow but any trip that produces a couple of spotties isn’t bad.
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