Catch Fish with
16 October 2002
Since returning from holiday I have only managed a couple of short sessions down on the coast. The first time I tried plugging in the middle of the day. Conditions were reasonable although the sea was a bit coloured and despite flogging for an hour or more I had no bites. A few days later there was a ferocious storm so, as the wind dropped, I went down to the beach for a bait fishing session.
The amount of kelp washed up on the previous day was incredible. Mountains of weed were spread along miles of shoreline. I walked for quite a way looking for a good spot to fish but eventually I returned to the beach a hundred metres from where I had parked the car. The walk was encouraging because among the piles of weed were a great variety of animals ripped from their haunts on the sea bed. Presumably there was also lots of potential fish food in the filthy water which was surging onto the beach.
As I walked I picked up sea squirts, sponges, sea cucumbers and sea mats - still alive and kicking. Some of these would certainly have made a decent mouthful for a bass. I baited up a 4/0 hook with a whole calamari squid and lobbed it ten metres out into the filthy swell. The bait was quickly swept round to the edge by a strong cross-current so I added half an ounce of lead and lobbed out again. I was really hopeful as these were just the conditions under which I have taken big bass (and conger) on bait. However, apart from one '?blenny' bite all I caught was a series of edible crabs. These crustaceans fell on the bait as soon as it had reached the sea bed and unless they were reeled in they quickly demolished the squid bait. I shall probably have another try this weekend and as soon as the river clears it will be worth having a go for grayling and pike.
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A colonial sea squirt.
A large solitary sea squirt.
A sea cucumber.