Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you ‘blank’!

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What a smashing weekend and that includes blanking not once but twice over the period! The venue was the same both days but the methods different. That venue was Kimmeridge and it’s rocky ledged shoreline.

First off, I’d been promising my nine year-old son Billy I’d take him rock fishing again when the weather got a bit better and when he came home for the Easter holidays with a homework project to do on ‘The Coast’ the opportunity was too good to miss. So, with the weather set fair we headed out early on Saturday morning for a fishing and fossil hunt on Dorset’s Jurassic coast. We arrived at Kimmeridge at 6:30 a.m. with the early bird bass fisherman already on their way home for breakfast – the one’s I spoke to hadn’t caught which wasn’t promising but we thought we’d chance our luck all the same.

It really was extremely calm – as calm as I’ve seen it there which really doesn’t help when your quarry is bass especially this early in the year – they like a bit of movement in the water but it was just too still and absolutely gin clear. Nevertheless we hiked along the coast for a few hours and it was good to see Billy honing his fishing skills – his casting has got a lot better since last year.

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We walked round past Broad Bench and as far as Long Ebb, near the impressive Gadd Cliff, fishing with various lures to see whether we could tempt anything but alas it wasn’t to be. Billy did find a lot of ammonite fossils which he took some crayon rubbings from for his project so he was happy enough. They’re quite impressive the fossils down there…

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It’s smashing rock hopping along this part of the Dorset coast and good exercise as well!  When we turned to head back the water had got pretty low and it was useful to mark a few points on the GPS where there were gullies, rock formations and other interesting features that might yield a bass in the future. Even managed some underwater snaps in some of the gullies……

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By 11:30 a.m. we were in the car heading home – no fish but a cracking morning and a useful fishing reconnaissance mission for future trips although I didn’t expect to be back so soon!

The second of my fishing jaunts this weekend was planned from the kayak on Sunday afternoon/early evening with my mate Nobby and with the weather holding firm we decided actually Kimmeridge was the way to go so Sunday afternoon I was in the car back on my way down there again! We weren’t disappointed though……

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We arrived around 3 p.m. in the afternoon and after Nobby had a couple of tyre problems with his C-Tug kayak trolley we were rigged up and ready to head out.

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We were only lure fishing and planned to hug the coast fairly tightly – trolling on the way out and then plugging on the drift when closer inshore. It was the first time either of us had fished this venue form the kayak but something we’d talked about for a long long time. The sun was out, there was a gentle swell and it really was idyllic conditions to be paddling in…… it was certainly jaw dropping against the backdrop of the cliffs.

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We headed on, passing a couple of other kayak fisherman on the way, and giving Broad Bench  plenty of space before turning into the main current. Although conditions were calm the current itself was running pretty hard. We paddled onwards towards Gadd Cliff where we drift fished along the edge no more than 50 yards from shore in 15 – 20 feet of water.

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Again, it was gin clear and you could see the rocks and kelp beds below so maybe not ideal for the bass we were after. It was here that Nobby picked up his first fish of the session – a pollack – nothing huge but a fish nonetheless. I literally ‘plugged’ away fruitlessly but somehow  it really didn’t matter in these surroundings!

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We drifted our way back into Brandy Bay, past Long Ebb and then headed out again to get round Broad Bench where Nobby picked up a couple more pollack – the fishing Gods weren’t shining on me today I tell you! I tried a few soft plastics in close above the kelp and close to one of the GPS waypoints I’d marked the day before I did get one nibble but no firm take. Time was getting on by now and the sun was heading down beyond the now distant Gadd Cliff so we headed back into the slipway after a steady scenic paddle in.

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De-rigging, a couple of chaps in a cuddy type boat came in having been out in deeper water – they’d been into a few mackerel and a couple of bream which was good to see but no bass for them either. It probably is a bit early for the bass which will hopefully start showing in the not too distant future when the mackerel appear in greater numbers. Then the sun gave us a final cracking view of the bay and beyond – I took this shot just as we were about to leave…

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Definitely somewhere I want to fish more of from the kayak and at only just over an hour away from home it’s well worth the effort when the conditions are right. I think next time Nobby will be wanting me to drive though……… on the way home he had his second tyre incident of the day with a suspected puncture to deal with! Not such a happy end to an otherwise fantastic day.

Here are a few more photos from the day – thanks to Nobby for these.

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Until next time……

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