Slow start continues…


Second trip of the Spring down to Dorset yesterday – more, as it turned out, for a recce and refresh of what this particular area was looking like after the Winter break. It was a solo trip with my pal Nobby deciding against it after looking at the benign weather and in fairness, in that respect, he was 100% right! Still, I had the opportunity so wasn’t going to waste the chance of having a go and at the very  least having a stroll along the coast checking things out.

The first thing to get back used to was the alarm going off early and dragging myself out of my pit at 2:45 am! Once I’m up I’m OK it’s just that initial step of pulling the covers back that’s the hard part – madly I do love being up this time of day and it’s great for getting anywhere quickly with no one else on the road.

Arrived, kitted up and set off just as the light was beginning to change. Unfortunately, the short cut to the place where I would normally have made my way down to the coast had the gate closed off due to land slippage…. luckily I was aware of this before I set off so had already resigned myself to taking the tougher shoreline route round. Only a minor inconvenience  and it wasn’t long before I was fishing though the conditions were not encouraging – as forecast it was fairly flat and water was almost aquarium-like in clarity.


Nothing was happening early doors with little sign of life in the water if I’m perfectly honest but nevertheless I continued to walk and fish. What was noticeable was the amount of land slippage and cliff fall there has been over the Winter in this area of Dorset – parts of the cliff do look a lot more precarious in places than I’ve seen before so something I’ll be aware of when fishing here over the rest of the year.

There were some decent, fairly fresh clumps of kelp washed up underneath the cliffs but there were no flies present  so no maggots either….


Moved on further round the coast with not a sniff on either the hard or soft plastics I tried ranging from Feed Shallows, Gunfish, Komonos to Sluggos, Wave worms, Flash J Shads or the Black Minnows. One good thing about the clear water on these early season sessions is it gives you an opportunity to see the action of the lures underwater which was great for me with some of the new soft plastics I’ve acquired recently. In particular I like the colour and action of the Flash J Shads – hopefully they’ll be fish catchers – they look like they should be…


I’d almost given up on the fact there were any fish in the sea when I had a knock on the Black Minnow which had the tell tale signs of a wrasse. Next cast out confirmed it with this small fish…


It saved a blank I guess but whilst I always respect them they just don’t give me the buzz that catching a bass does! Returned safely I moved on and cast out again and immediately got hit again by a wrasse…this one could have been the twin brother of the one I’d just caught…


At this point I decided to turn and fish my way back. The tide was turning and the wind had swung around a bit creating a nice chop on the surface but it was still very clear water. This did look slightly better though and encouragingly I started to notice the odd mullet or two cruising around so no doubt there would be a few bass in amongst them I suspect. Alas,  there was no further fish action to report though and by lunchtime I was back at the car ready to head home.

We could do with a run of south westerly winds now in this part of the world just to create a bit of swell and fizz the water up a bit… might get those bass moving inshore? Hopefully, after the next set of spring tides they will be there!

Finally, this was a second outing for the Maxpedition Sitka sling bag which you’ll notice I’ve ‘pimped’ with a pouch and Hampshire badge!! I’m liking this bit of kit a lot – plenty of storage, comfortable, doesn’t feel bulky with easy, quick access to everything I need when fishing. Thumbs up so far!

Until next time…

A head banging experience…


Well, the first session of the season did not turn out quite as planned though it had it’s moments even if there were no fish to report… and yes, first session equals first blank!

Nobby and myself had been in a bit of a quandary where to fish but the temptation of Dorset was strong and so we decided to head that way despite not hearing of any bass being taken from the shore there to lures so far this season. It was a lovely morning and  place to be come what may so a useful early season recce at the very least was to be had.

Arrived, got our clobber together and marched off to the coastal path which had changed somewhat since the last time we visited this venue with one of the infamous Dorset landslips taking account of an area of the path down. Slight detour required but no other dramas on the way down… what we could see was gin clear water with very little movement which was not ideal. At the shore, after a few minutes deciding which direction to head, we decided on due east towards a prominent headland.

Up close water clarity was as clear as I have ever seen it down here and several shoals of mullet could be seen cruising around…. shame there weren’t any bass amongst them though. Started with the old faithful lure’s like Feed Shallow’s and  Zonk’s but not a sniff for either of us… it had the feeling of being an unproductive day so I decided to switch to soft plastics and in particular some new one’s for me. First up was the Wave Bamboo Stick Worm rigged on a hitch hiker hook – this is a weedless and weightless  set up so ideal for shallow ground rigged like this – it bounces along nicely in and out of the rocky gullies – liked it and it casts superbly for a soft plastic worm with no weight… think this will be a winner (famous last words!). Next up was The Arrow Flash J shad which again I rigged with the hitchhiker hook and that too had a superb action in the water… I see no reason why that won’t catch over the course of the year either.


All said and done though we were not getting any interest from bass, wrasse or even small pollack whatsoever and a quick dunk of the hand in the sea told you all you need to know about reasons why the fish aren’t that active yet…. water temperature is still damn cold!

So, we marched on round the coast and then the main event of the day occurred. Nobby was probably 50 yards ahead of me so I was walking to catch him up when climbing over the rocks I lost my footing and I was over… stupidly using my head to cushion my landing! Yes, there was claret and I’m nursing a nice bruise as I write this for my efforts. Thankfully, I always carry a first aid kit with me so we were able to deal with it easily…. a valuable lesson though and a reminder that it’s probably the most important bit of kit you can take with you. Here’s the cleaned up head this morning – doesn’t look much but the bruise is smarting a bit today… excuse the greying hair!

Head wound 2

More disastrously, once we’d sorted the head wound I thought I’d snapped the tip ring off my rod but on closer inspection it had just popped off. Luckily we were able to slide it back on 90% of the way and it was a good snug fit meaning I could carry on fishing – was lucky there! Repair required but nowhere near as bad as it could of been and a quick text conversation with Richard at Dorset Fishing Rods has since pointed me in the right direction.

We carried on fruitlessly along the shore but it was beautiful out there so I wasn’t complaining…. it was just nice to be out and trying out some new lures and other kit.


On that note a quick word on the Maxpedition Sitka sling bag… this was it’s first fishing outing and early impressions are terrific. Was exceptionally comfortable to have on all day and was great not having to take a bag off my shoulder every time I wanted to change lure or such like. It’s spacious and rugged too and all in all I think I may well have found my ideal solution for a fishing lure bag. We’ll see…


That pretty much was it it for the day apart from a steep hike back up the cliff face and a trudge back to the car in the sun. All in all valuable lessons learnt once more and nice to get back in the swing of things after the long Winter lay off….. just need the bass to show up now!

Until next time…