On the water at last….

Well at long last I got myself on the water again – first trip of the year and long overdue at that. In fact it turned out to be quite a pleasant few hours and I certainly exceeded my expectations on the catch front bearing in mind the time of year. I was pleasantly surprised. The launch site was the Elmore slipway at Lee-on-Solent – a familiar venue and not too adventurous for my first paddle of 2011!

I was ready to go at 7am and conditions were excellent with a light south easterly blowing. Here’s the yak pre-launch:


I reached my mark about a kilometre off shore in good time and sent my baits to the sea bed – a strip of mackerel on one rod and good old ragworm on a wishbone rig on the the other. I really wasn’t expecting much action, it was just nice to be back fishing again to be honest.


It was half an hour before I had my first bite and it was on the ragworm. It was a bite that was slow to develop but when I eventually struck into it and felt the dead weight I knew it was likely to be only one thing – a ray. It felt heavy in the tide and it was indeed a thornback ray that surfaced by the side of the kayak. I was a little surprised to catch it on the ragworm but was pleased with the result – it was probably around 6lb in weight so a good start to the year.


After the quick picture I baited up again and sat back contemplating what a relative surprise the ray had been and waited for my next bite – it didn’t take long and this time it was a small but pristine bass.



Several more schoolies followed which kept me busy – all caught on the ragworm.

Conditions remained excellent, in fact the Solent was something of a millpond for a while.


Not a lot was happening with the fish baits I was putting down but the worm was still producing as the infamous Solent pout came on the feed. They were all tiny and hammering the worm baits that I was putting down, even had them on a double hook up on the wishbone rig! The thought did occur to me they’d be excellent live bait size for bass so maybe something to try later in the year.


All in all a pleasant first trip of the year, good to get back into it and even better not to blank. Hopefully it’s a sign of a good year on the fishing front….. and dare I say it no red Solent weed to contend with either. Got the bug again now and already looking forward to the next trip.

Until next time……

The upgraded Trident RodPod hatch cover

Overall I have been really pleased with the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 but there has always been one small bug bear and that was the RodPod cover. The original cover, whilst functional, is a bit on the flimsy side and I can’t help but feel only a limited amount of thought went into it’s design at the time. Thankfully, Ocean Kayak has now brought out a new RodPod cover which was definitely needed in my opinion and on the basis it can surely only be an improvement on the original I have recently invested in one.

The cost was circa. £50 which on the face of it seems expensive for a piece moulded plastic but I thought it was worth the punt nonetheless…… only time will tell but my first impressions are that it has a lot more going for it than the one shipped with my yak a couple of years ago.

I should say first off that I believe the new upgraded RodPod cover will fit all older models of the Trident kayaks so there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues. If in any doubt check on the Ocean Kayak website to be sure! The new kit includes the new hatch cover itself, straps and fasteners, the trim lock to keep the hatch waterproof and installation instructions.


In brief, the cover is infinitely more rigid than the original and has a plethora of pre-drilled holes and mouldings for attaching things such as Scotty rod holders, GPS mounts, and such like. There are also a couple of inserts for small bits of tackle, lures, etc. with a metric and imperial ruler either side of the cover. The underside of the hatch shows the injection mouldings.


The first job was to remove the old hatch which was a two second job. I didn’t remove the existing straps and buckles – there was no need – they are in good order and exactly the same as those you get in the kit anyway. This way I have spares too!


Next job was to drill a small hole on the inside rim to thread the existing cord through that attaches the hatch to the yak. Once that’s done the next step was to add the trim lock to the cover – it clips on tightly to the hatch and provides the water tight seal between the RodPod and the cover – you do need to trim it down to the right size though.


The cover is then ready to fit over the RodPod hatch. The fit is a lot tighter than the original hatch was which I don’t think is a bad thing at all.


Here it is with the straps in place…..


Just to prove the pre-drilled mouldings work I attached my GPS mount to give an idea of how things can be fixed to the cover.


I need to have a think now about how best to use the mouldings but I think a bait board will be added for one and maybe a drink holder of some description.

All-in-all it seems a vast improvement on the original cover but as I say the proof will be when I get out there and use it ………. which hopefully will be in the very near future now.

Until next time…..

This time last year…..

It was this time last year that  I was just thinking about my first yak trip of 2010 – a time to blow away a few cobwebs and get some paddling, and more importantly fishing, under my belt. I really had hoped to get out over this winter and try for some winter species but it has been impossible with my current workload and family commitments. C’est la vie!

Anyhow, looking back at that first trip last year I thought I’d share with you a few pictures of that first session. My mate Nobby and I had managed to snatch a day to get ourselves on the water and although the fishing was slow it was a cracking day out. We decided we were going to head to Dorset and see what was about and in particular somewhere along the Purbeck coast. After stop offs at Kimmeridge Bay and Lulworth Cove we eventually ended up at a new venue for us a bit further along the coast at Ringstead Bay. It was a cracking early Spring day and a smashing venue with a small inshore reef.


Here are the yaks on their way down to the waters edge…


We were fishing on the drift and as I’ve already said the fishing was mighty slow but the coastline around here is very scenic so it was pleasant watching it pass us by. We drifted to the east as far as Osmington Mills and then back west as far as the headland you can see in the first photo. The ground here is a mixed bag – rocky in places and then clear ground as you head out a bit further.

Here’s Nobby doing his stuff…


After a fruitless time using live worms I had switched to fishing with a soft plastic one and unbelievably it paid dividends if with a slightly surprising result. Here is my first yak caught plaice and a definite first catching one on a soft plastic worm – it turned out to be the only fish we managed between us all day!


Despite our best efforts that was it and mid-afternoon we decided to call it a day and headed back to shore for a brew before heading home.


It was a great early Spring paddle and nice to look back at this as I’m itching to get out again now! Hopefully, I will have a window the weekend after next as long as the weather plays ball – even if it is just a local session to get me back in the swing of things!

Until next time……