Clear water frustrations

Managed to blag a day off work yesterday with full intentions of getting out on the kayak in the great weather of late but bad planning on my part meant I left things too late to get myself organised and so my plan was changed to try another lure session in The Purbecks again to see if any bass were showing.

With the Kimmeridge area out of bounds I decided to try a mark to the east which has produced for me in the past so the alarm was set for 4 a.m. in anticipation. This all went to plan and I was parked up and ready for the hike down to the mark by 5.30 a.m. and I was sending my first cast out about an hour before sunrise… it was eerily quiet with flat water barely lapping the shoreline.

First lure on was a Komomo II Joker Flashing Plate which I was fishing over a shallow area where a small stream ran into the bay and second cast – bang! – the lure was hit… but in a blink of an eye it was gone – frustrating but encouraging nonetheless. I worked the area hard for the next half hour but disappointingly there was not a hint of a fish around. As it got light I moved round the bay on to more rocky terrain and tried my luck from there – there was little movement in the water and it was ridiculously clear but I  plugged away for another hour or so without a look in.

By now the tide was on it’s way in and the water was a little deeper in places so I’d switched to a Megabass Zonk working the fringes of gullies and out of the blue I got  follow but no take… definitely a bass which followed right up to the point I couldn’t wind the lure any more before it got spooked and was gone. I cast out again in the direction the fish headed off in and again what looked like the same fish followed the Zonk in. I just couldn’t get it to take the lure in the clear water despite varying the speed of the retrieve. After several, more casts it was obvious that this fish was well and truly spooked and had made off. I carried on amongst the rocks and in a shallower mark tried the Komomo II Sardine and first cast, another follow but again no take – this was very frustrating! It really got me thinking though and I tried as many different retrieval speeds as I could, scaled down the lure size, tried surface lures, soft plastics but nothing could entice the fish to take.

I carried on around the coast with the sun starting to blaze down but it was so calm and clear I just knew  it was one of those days where I could have been there until nightfall and not had a sniff. This picture doesn’t to the water clarity justice but it will give you an inkling of what it was like…

So, after a promising start and a few follows I was beaten for the day and headed back along the shore and up the steep climb to the car park.

I’ll have to read up on other’s idea’s for lure fishing in such clear and bright conditions to see if there is something I’m missing!! Still, it’s early for bass here and to see a few fish around was encouraging.

Lovely spot though and at least I managed to get some semi-decent photos…

Rocky marks…

Waterfall…

An impressive ammonite fossil on the walk back…

Blue sky, rocks and clear water…

No fishes but hopefully the coming weeks will prove a little more fruitful.

Until next time…

Early Dorset foray…

It’s been a while but I finally managed to get my first lure session of the year in today. Plan was to head down to Dorset and blow a few fishing cobwebs away along with trying some new bits of kit I’ve accumulated over the winter… if there was an early bass around, or anything else biting come to that, well, that would be a bonus.

Arrived just as dawn was thinking about making an appearance…

It was fairly chilly with a noticeable breeze coming off the cliffs but only a small swell coming into the bay. The walk round to my favoured starting point soon had me warmed up though. There was already two or three anglers dotted along the shore but it seemed eerily quiet with hardly any movement in the water. As it got light you could see the water was crystal clear  which did little for my hopes of getting an early season bass especially as it was neap tides so little tidal range either to stir things up. I did kick into  a few lumps of washed up seaweed and there were a few pockets of maggots which it’s well reported the fish will come in for if the weed get’s washed back into the water.

I started with shallow running plugs such as the Komomo II, Feed Shallow and Sasuke over the ledges but all was quiet so I gradually moved round the shoreline to find deeper water where I stopped for breakfast and a coffee – not a bad spot…

IMG-20120318-00050

Over my coffee I decided to give some soft plastics on jig heads a go using a sink and retrieve method and within a couple of casts I had a fish on… not a bass though but a plump wrasse which was no real surprise I guess on the soft plastics…

It put up a scrap for all of about fifteen seconds but at least it meant I hadn’t blanked! The soft plastic was an orange Grass  Minnow on a 5g jig head

I kept moving on along the coast and alternated between some deeper diving plugs and trying out a range of jig heads with different types and colours of soft plastics but it was very slow in the clear water. It was a beautiful day though and I used the time to explore further along this stretch of coast than I’ve hiked before…

 IMG-20120318-00048

IMG-20120318-00051

The further you walked along the shore line the deeper the water became and with the visibility good you could see way down into the rocky depths – ideal for diving I would have thought!

I fished a couple of accessible marks but nothing was yielding until on the way back I managed a second wrasse again on the same variety orange Grass Minnow. This seemed to be the colour to use for the wrasse in this rocky location – I’d tried a couple of other colours without a sniff. This wrasse was equally as plump as the first, put up a better scrap and was a bit more colourful…

IMG-20120318-00052 

IMG-20120318-00054

That was the end of my fish catching exploits for the day despite more plugs and plastics being cast out. I did spook a couple of bass in the shallower ground as I headed back to the car so they are there but just didn’t appear to be interested today. It is early season for them in this neck of the woods and probably need to wait until they’ve finished their spawning and water temperature creeps up a bit before they show in any numbers.

Before I finish, a couple of footnotes on new kit I tried out for the first time on this jaunt. Firstly, the new Greys Platinum breathable waders gave good first impressions though I probably need a few more outings in them to really test their durability. What I am disappointed in though are the Greys Platinum wading boots I bought last season – already they are showing signs of wear and tear and I’m not particularly hard on kit plus wash it down religiously after use – looks like I will be looking again at boot options in the not too distant future. Interested in what other’s opinions are on what a decent pair of wading boots might be?!

However, what I was really impressed with was the Overboard rucksack I got over Christmas and I mentioned in a previous article. I know it’s only a first outing but it feels strong, it’s cavernous inside, importantly it’s very comfortable for a long day hiking, and does exactly what it says on the tin in respect of it’s waterproof qualities – keeping all my kit bone dry despite me taking a two or three rogue waves. It would be an excellent bag to take out on the kayak as well – something I will try out and report back.

So, nice to get back in the swing of things fishing-wise, a good trek along beautiful coastline, pleased with new kit and already looking forward to the next opportunity to get out!

Until next time…