Not bad in the end…

Since getting back from Cornwall I’ve only had time to briefly wet a line but that was only for a couple of hours locally when conditions weren’t really right so it was nice to get a few hours under my belt yesterday down in Dorset. I was especially keen to get out as I’d managed to pick up my new rod from Richard at Dorset Fishing Rods on Saturday and was obviously desperate to try it out!
Things didn’t start well though! The plan was to fish from low up which would mean getting there late morning and then fishing the afternoon – with high water around 6 o’clock. I left home in plenty of time at around 9:30 in the morning but traffic was awful taking me two hours to get to a venue that usually only takes me just over the hour. No dramas though, I was still in plenty of time to fish the rising tide. I got all my kit together and began the trek to the first mark I had in mind and about half an hour later I was ready to fish. New rod, first cast – fish on! Only a small bass taken on the Feed Shallow so it went straight back – rod christened! Second cast – bang! Feed Shallow hit again and this time it was a slightly better fish which came in just over the 3lb mark. I thought at this point it would be a good photo opportunity for the fish and new rod……  trouble was where was the camera? I had it at the car and it was only then it dawned on me I had left it on the damn car roof while I was rigging up. The air went blue as I slid the bass back and hastily departed on the trudge back to the car park praying the camera was where I left it. Luckily, there it was – exactly where I suspected. So, camera safely in backpack, off I set again back to the mark still cursing myself for my stupidity but also somewhat relieved that it hadn’t been removed!
It was about an hour wasted by the time I got back to my original spot and to top it off the fish had moved on so I did the same moving on around the coast to marks that had previously been productive. Not today though – it was really slow despite trying shallow divers, deeper divers, surface plugs and soft plastics with just a solitary take on a Megabass Zonk from a small pollack that dropped off as I pulled it up onto the rock I was fishing on. I did get a couple of snaps of the ground I was fishing which for all intents and purposes looked ‘bassy’…
IMG_0740 IMG_0742
Late afternoon, a bit disconsolate I decided to head back and fish the top of the tide in a couple of bays I’d passed on the way out where there had been banks of weed washed up at low tide. It was a good decision because on turning the corner into the second of the bays there were gulls working the surface which I knew would be worth checking out. Anyone who reads in particular Mike Ladle’s fishing diary will know that these rotting weed banks often harbour maggots which get washed out as the incoming tide hits them and this was exactly what was happening here. There were mullet cruising around extremely close in lapping up the maggots being washed out of the weed and crucially there were bass there as well! The problem was deciding on a lure that I could use that could cope with the weed and maggot soup before me. Usually I would have gone with a Slug-Go or X-layer but I didn’t have the Tex-Poser hooks to use with them so a hard surface lure was all I had in my armoury that I thought might work.  I tried the GunFish and Z-Claw but they were still pulling in chunks of weed so I changed tactics slightly and put on a Kimono II and cast beyond the weed and retrieved with the rod held high so the lure was working by just skimming the surface and creating a wake behind it – it worked a treat! First bass was only a small one…
The second was a bit better at 3.5lb…
Another in the 3lb bracket followed before the best fish of the day, and indeed my best bass this year, came in at precisely 5lb 2oz…
It was a great last hour of the day making it  six bass taken in total for the day plus a couple of near misses where fish crashed into the lure but didn’t connect. Impressed with the Kimono II – it’s got a hell of a wiggle on it and worked really well for me with the rod held high over the weed soup!
It was a shame to leave but with time getting on I decided to depart on a high and walked back to the car having a chat with a couple of other lure anglers on the way. It had been a good day in the end after the traffic and camera incident earlier in proceedings and I drove home content with the afternoon’s work!
I haven’t said much on the new rod because I plan to put my thoughts on it in a separate post  but suffice to say, based on it’s first outing, it is everything I had hoped for and some – thanks Richard!  Will try and get round to that post in the near future.
Until next time….

2 thoughts on “Not bad in the end…”

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