Off the mark!

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It’s March – water temperature is still low, forecast north easterly winds, flat sea, average tides, bright sunshine and probable gin clear water…. it is not ordinarily conditions I would get out of bed for at 3:15 in the morning but there’s only so much cabin fever this weak willed lure fishermen can take and despite all of the logical reasons not to go I did set my alarm for some ridiculous hour yesterday, I did drag my sorry butt out of bed and I did get on the road to Dorset to be fishing before first light… and you know what – it was worth it! In all honesty, although I knew the odds of catching were pretty slim at this time of year it was not a completely forlorn hope – I know a few lure caught bass have been had this February in Dorset which is encouraging compared to any recent season I can remember. Besides, I just needed to get out there and check the coast out, try a couple of new lures, and generally blow a few fishing cobwebs away.

So, I pulled into the car park maybe 45 minutes before first light… it was on with the wading kit and rod lured up ready to fish the moment I reached the waters edge. The trudge down to the water is not nearly as emotional as the trip back up believe me! Once down the water was as expected – fairly flat but with that keen north easterly blowing it was whipping up patches of wavelets… and it was darn cold too! I had on one of the new lures that I wanted to try out – the Patchinko 100 in Deep Purple. Obviously this lure is no stranger to catching bass but this colour was one I hadn’t tried before and I fancied giving it a go at first light… the thought process being the dark profile on the surface might be a winner? Well, it was a winner – I had been very careful to make as little noise as possible at the waters edge, no head lamps on with my intention to cast into the shallower margins to start off with and it was on just the second cast, worked in fairly close, that I connected. I did hear what I thought was a small splash, and then for a split second thought I’d got snagged but when the drag on the reel kicked in and the rod looped over it suddenly dawned on me I was actually into a fish! I hadn’t been expecting it so quickly that’s for sure! It gave a good account of itself for an early season fish and though I didn’t measure it I’d estimate it was 54-58cm (4lb bracket) – surprisingly not as lean as you’d normally expect the bass to be at this time of year. Swam away strongly on release… what a great start to the season!

Apologies for the picture quality…

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That though, as they say, was that. As soon as the light was up it was clear the conditions were not going to be any more favourable – the north easterly wind picked right up and the water was getting clearer and clearer by the minute with no swell at all. I honestly didn’t mind though – just being out was enough, to catch on a new lure colour at first light was a complete bonus… I love it when a plan comes to fruition! Knowing when to call it a day can be difficult sometimes but not today…. conditions were getting tougher and tougher so I spent a lot of the rest of the morning just walking, taking things in and snapping some photos of this magnificent stretch of coastline.

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Great to be back out there, very encouraged to open my account for the year in less than ideal conditions but time will tell  whether this is going to be a better year than recent ones… we’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next time…

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