Keeping track…

It’s been a bit of a frustrating start to the year on the fishing front – what with a few recent blanks, the inclement weather and to top it all off the end of last week I put my back out… especially frustrating as I had plans to get out on the kayak this weekend but there is no way I can lift it on and off the car at the moment let alone paddle any distance.

I did try a spot of lure fishing locally on Saturday morning but the water was more or less yellow, it started to rain heavily and for the start of May it was bloody freezing! I lasted about an hour before heading home for breakfast with my back griping even more – in retrospect a pointless trip but I was desperate to wet a line!

Anyway, I’ve rested up the last couple of days and with tomorrow being an extra day off work for me I have a plan – if the back plays ball – to try again with the lures…  but with the dogs in tow it will be a tad harder to concentrate on the fishing! With this in mind I’m planning to head to unchartered territory for me which is Chesil beach. Not sure exactly where along Chesil yet as it’s a big old beach but I will use tomorrow to give a small part of it a recce and of course take the dogs for a healthy long walk.

This brings me nicely to the point of this post. There is probably no more  a renowned fishing mark on the south coast than Chesil but for someone who has never fished it where do you start? Yes, you can do your research, if you’re lucky get some information from people that know, but there is really no substitute for getting out there and finding it out for yourself – there really aren’t many shortcuts and personally working something out for yourself is a lot more satisfying when things then do come off. That doesn’t mean I will go unprepared – I always try to give myself the best possible chance of catching… and there’s one piece of kit I’ve found I am using more and more frequently with my lure fishing and that’s my GPS unit loaded with BlueChart maps.

 

GPS

Originally, I’d bought the unit to use with my kayak fishing not only as a safety aid to track positioning on the water but also to mark spots where I’ve taken fish, interesting features in the water, etc. Not rocket science but it made sense to take it on my lure fishing jaunts and begin to mark fishing spots even down to individual rocks, places I’ve taken fish, routes to marks… you catch my drift! Over time hopefully it will give me a decent picture of where I’ve caught and where I haven’t – obviously to be considered bearing in mind other factors such as the conditions and tides.

My particular unit is the Garmin 60Csx and has been loaded with MapSource BlueChart software which links to the unit via your computer. You can transfer maps, tracks, waypoints, etc. between the two as you would expect. BlueChart  itself maps things like wrecks, significant rocks, and no end of other nautical information but the biggest plus in my book is it charts water depth. This means you can see where drop offs in the sea bed might occur and it follows that these are the sort of places you might find fish waiting for their next meal? Here are a few screenshots to show you what I mean…

This screenshot from BlueChart shows the changes in water depth at a particular spot…

BlueChart2

The blue flags in the picture below are waypoints I have marked that I wanted to try out…

BlueChart3

The yellow dotted track in this screenshot is the route I had taken along the coast with the blue flags marking prominent rocks I’d fished from…

BlueChart1

Finally in terms of screenshots, the blue flags below show the spots I have marked offshore when fishing from the kayak…

BlueChart4

So, as the rain continues to pour down outside, this afternoon I will probably spend a good block of time looking at Chesil on BlueCharts to see if I can pick some likely spots along the beach where there might be drop offs or features to give me a bit of help in my fishing reconnaissance mission tomorrow! You never know I may even be able to put a waypoint or two in with ‘Bass caught here’ marked against it?!! I hope to report back as such!

Until next time…

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