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For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
A tale of three trips.
Over the past week-and-a-half it has been pretty grim for fishing. After the first few fishable days, successive periods of heavy rain have put a damper on the river fishing and accompanying strong winds have made lots of coastal spots difficult or dangerous to fish. However, we've done a bit and caught one or two fish.
I went to the coast on two occasions and my pal Bill went once. I made the mistake (as it turned out) of going to a spot where the wind would be offshore, while Bill braved the elements and it more or less payed off. Anyway, here's the results. My first trip was, as usual, at the crack of dawn and conditions looked OK. The tide was ebbing but pretty high (falling from 2m to 1m) so access to the best ledge mark was impossible. I stayed on the first ledge and fished with an unweighted EvoStix lure. While I was fishing in the dark I only had a couple of tentative plucks (I surmised that they were garfish or small pollack). Eventually, as it began to get light, I had two better bites, both close in under the uptide side of the ledge. The first one was well hooked and turned out to be a small bass in reasonable nick. Soon after returning the first fish I had another bass bite but this one did not stick (again it felt small). By now the tide was dropping so I packed in. On the way back to the car I had a few casts off the small sandy beach, but no further action was forthcoming.
Over the next few days the wind increased and I thought about fishing at the weekend, but didn't get up. Bill was made of sterner stuff (well - he's younger and fitter than me! That's my excuse.) He fished one morning on an exposed rock mark using one of his nose-weighted SlugGills and told me - "Gale force winds, torrential rain, hail, lightning, sunshine. Could have arrived much earlier, but after yesterday's 50mph winds I wanted to be able to see the waves coming at me. Very rough to start off with and I thought a miserable blank was quite likely. I was surprised to catch my first fish within 10 minutes then another shortly after. It rained so hard at times it was impossible to fish facing into it, I couldn't see....caught a 3rd fish just after 07:30." To take a break from the weather he had a walk along the shore, but the conditions were awful so he returned to the first spot at 09:00. He says that "... after 09:30 kelp started to drift in, I could see some good sized fish writhing around in it. Caught two more bass of similar size to the first ones and left at 10:30 with fish still present. I was amazed that all the fish were only in the 2.0-2.5lb range, every one fought like a four-pounder." There's no doubt he richly deserved his success (I wished that I'd got myself out of bed).
The third trip was me alone (again). Being a glutton for punishment I intended going back to the same spot where I'd caught my small bass. I arrived in the dark with a rising tide, so before walking to the rocks I tried from the little beach. By 06:00 I hadn't had a sniff. As it began to lighten in the east, I walked along towards the ledges, thinking that I might be able to fish where I had before – NOT A CHANCE! As I approached I could see huge swells breaking over the rocks and with the tide still making I chickened out and turned back towards the beach. As I walked along I had a dozen or two casts - nothing! It was quite light by now and I noticed a flock of gulls (black headed and herring) on the water in the south corner of the sandy shoreline where I'd started. They were clearly picking something off the surface? I wound in and hurried back. On my third cast into the spot where gulls had been I had a small bass which took only a couple of metres out. I landed the fish, took its picture and popped it back. Now I was hopeful, as the gulls were still hanging round and feeding. I fished on but there was nothing else (I tried quite hard) so I packed in and went home. Better than nothing (but I should have braved the weather and gone with Bill).
My first fish taken uptide of the ledge.
One of my pal's five, well-deserved bass.
My second, pathetic fish coated in sand from the beach.
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