Just sometimes you do the research, make a plan, gather up the necessary tackle, everything comes together and you get a fantastic result; this wasn’t one of those times! The weather forecast demanded a fishing response so Chuckaroo and myself met up at the waterside, no sleeping in cars this time. For a change, we were launching from the south side of the bay. About 5 mins out from the slip a shoal appeared on the sounder so we stopped to try for mackerel. A few drops soon had an adequate supply in the bait box so we headed for our chosen mark. We took a couple of drifts over the mark to get an idea of the bottom, picking up a small dab and a small ballan wrasse, a lovely hue of crimson which had faded a bit by the time I got a photo, in the process. Unfortunately, the breeze was starting to increase and the waves and wind prevented the anchor from biting properly so we had to abandon that plan. I must take some blame here as I thought I had enough anchor rope but obviously didn’t, a trip to the chandlers is now on the “to do” list. “Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself”, give a fisherman enough rope and he’ll anchor properly. We tried a few drifts over some rough ground with feathers, baited feathers and jellyworms but despite plenty of evidence of fish on the sounder, only an occasional pollack came to the boat, my best making 4lb 4oz on the scales, a bit smaller than Chuckaroo’s unweighed best effort. The sea was getting a bit lumpy so we headed for a more sheltered mark where we drifted flowing traces over sand. We both had 7-8 thornbacks in the 2-4lb range with an odd doggie thrown in, nothing exciting but at least we were getting a few fish and getting a bend in the rods. By now it was time to head in; the launch site is very shallow with minimal slope so it’s hard work getting the boat back on the trailer. Fair play to Chuckaroo, whatever else about him, he’s a handy winch-man!
Monday 15th July. Carpe diem,(Seize the Day), said the Romans, Chuckaroo must have studied Lingua Latina at school.
This morning started off with a gentle breeze and by the time we gathered enough mackerel for the day it had died away to almost nothing. This tempted us to head out a bit but on the way out the breeze shifted almost 180 and grew in strength giving a bumpy ride. We cut our losses and headed closer in to try a few drifts over a promising looking reef; some fish on the sounder but none to the boat. I might turn the sensitivity down in future as I don’t know which is more frustrating; fishing blind or knowing there are fish down there but unable to tempt them. Any opinions? If the rough doesn’t work, try the smooth. Off to the sand then and down went the booms and flowing traces with flashing spoons and mackerel strip. Almost immediately I started hitting the thornies, Chuckaroo opened his account shortly after and a couple of tub gurnard up to 1lb 4oz joined in the fun. I had about 10 thornies in total (not all at this mark) the best reaching a satisfying 9lb 1oz, my best this year. I measured her at 80cm and later at home checked it on the Angling Addicts weight to length converter. According to this site, she should have been 21lb. I wish! I used to think their figures were quite accurate, not so sure anymore though when I checked a dab, their weight matched my scales exactly. Having had some fun with the rays, I suggested a nearby mark for a few pollack. All we managed was a ballan wrasse to Chuckaroo, no sign of fish on the sounder. The day was passing and we decided to try one more mark for some dabs. This spot has produced some decent dabs in the past but little else apart from a few doggies (which were conspicuous by their absence today). We soon started getting a few dabs though nothing spectacular. The long drive home, the "need for feed" and the prospect of work in the morning were starting to nag at Chuckaroo but it had turned into such a beautiful evening that it would have been a mortal sin to go home so soon; “One more hour”. Chuckaroo must be glad he waited for he put in a magnificent 20min spurt to steal the day. The dab mark gave me a couple more thornies and 6-7 dabs while Chuckaroo boated his best thornie of the day at 5lb 13oz (thankfully smaller than mine!), a fine 34cm dab at exactly 1lb (matching Angling Addicts table) and a beautiful painted ray at 8lb 5oz. The photos don’t do it justice, lovely markings and a scrap that leaves the most willing thorny in the shade. I was delighted to see it; we had some great painteds to well over specimen size a few years ago but none in the last couple. I hope this wasn’t a one-off.
One last roll of the dice; Chuckaroo fancied a nice fresh mackerel for supper or breakfast so a quick drop at the mackerel spot and I got a single mackerel and the smallest pollack I have ever had on feathers, I’ve used bigger sprats for bait.
So that was it for the day, biggest fish was my thorny, best fish was Chuckaroo’s painted and with Chuckaroo fed we headed in.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.