Fiiished!

Had the opportunity to get out today to try for an autumn bass  but to be honest the winds weren’t looking very favourable with light northerlies usually meaning flat seas and little or no movement in the water. But with only maybe a handful of opportunities in the coming weeks to get out I couldn’t pass up this chance so I was up early doors and heading down to Dorset in the dark. I was really unsure where to go and it was only on the way down I finally decided on  a rockier mark than I’ve tried of late and it turned out not  too bad a decision.

After arriving at the car park I headed off but on seeing the sea it confirmed my worst fears that conditions might not be conducive to bass fishing at all – it really was flat with little movement in the water…

It did not exactly scream fish and so it proved all the way through until daylight. In the dark I tried a Komomo II in Akakin worked slowly which I’ve done OK on in low light in the past but that was fruitless, then as light hit I went for a Gunfish on the surface but it just wasn’t happening.

I moved on round the coast and found a  slightly deeper channel between some rocky outcrops but before I fished I had five minutes out to grab a quick drink and a bit of sustenance for breakfast. I pondered during this time and decided it was time to bring out the Fiiish Black Minnow. Now, I’ve spoken about these in a previous post but today I was well armed with them and had made sure that they were properly rigged. When I say well armed I had the 90, 120 and even 160 versions all with shore jig heads. The only problem with the 160 version is that fully rigged the lure is 53grams –  my rod has a casting weight of 10 – 50g…. I decided on  a few tentative casts not putting any undue pressure on the rod. I would not be doing this on a lower rated rod believe me!

The lure cast fine with a good  action in the water and on the third cast, on a very slow retrieve, no more than 20 feet out, the Black Minnow was hit…. fish on! It felt a better fish than I’ve had recently with a couple of decent head shakes and dives for cover but with minimal drag set on my reel it didn’t get too far and soon enough a nice fat 60cm+ bass was on the rock roughly around the 5lb mark though it was a very fat fish so it may have been a bit more…

It was hooked pretty well through the  scissors of the mouth, it had certainly nailed the Black Minnow. I had a few more casts at this spot but no more takes came so I fished on round the shoreline… again with no further action. A slight change was needed so I decided to scale down to the 120 Black Minnow version and almost immediately I was getting hit by wrasse – that was not what was needed …

Changed back to the 160 and the annoying wrasse hits stopped – this 160 version is just big enough that it seemed to put off the wrasse – the small one’s at least! Fiiish do a 140 version of the Black Minnow as well which might be the answer to my casting weight issue and keeping the wrasse away….  if, that is, they can sort out a shore jig head which at the moment I don’t think they do? I stand to be corrected on this!

By now the morning was getting on and it was very pleasant in the sunshine, I met one other angler but he had not managed anything so far during the morning. I had no further joy either so after fishing all the way back, changing back to hard plugs for a while, I called it a day and decided to head home.

Here are a few more pictures of the day…

Komomo II Bora Mullet – not successful today!

Dorset coast…

Recent rockfall…

So, a decent bass and a few pesky wrasse to show for my efforts plus a few more things learned about the Black Minnow in particular.  In all honesty it was far better session than I expected today given the benign conditions and proof that the bass can still be had as we approach the Winter months. Not sure when I’ll be out next but I remain hopeful I’ll get another opportunity before Christmas is upon us.

Until next time…

Another stroll along Chesil…

With a long weekend booked off to spend a bit of quality time  with the wife it would have been wrong to have gone fishing… and so it was at 5 a.m yesterday morning on our first day off I was walking Chesil in the dark hunting my quarry! In fairness I had sown the fishing seed a while back and it was greeted with a  favourable response – she’s a good lass really!

Conditions were good with a south westerly blow, clear water with a decent fizz in it and cloud cover – I was hopeful. On went the Zonk in Hot Shad but nothing was doing as daylight broke so decided to change tact and tried on the surface with a  Patchinko and then a Gunfish but still not a sniff. The water by now was  starting to get really white with the surf coming in so it was back on with a Zonk – the Pearl Rainbow one this time … half a dozen casts and  50 or so yards along the shore later and the first of two quick fish were accounted for. Again, only schoolies but good scrappers on the light gear and stunning fish nonetheless…

IMG_1289

This, I thought, was encouraging but as quick as the fish arrived they were gone again, a fellow angler I spoke with later had much the same experience with a couple of fish then nothing.

The wind had increased and there was a decent swell coming in now which made it harder work but it still looked very tasty for bass…

I really did expect to see some fish running the waves and maybe catching a few but it was difficult to make out whether they were there with the amount of white water being thrown up now. Nevertheless, I tried surface and sub-surface lures again all they way back in hope but it wasn’t to be and I had to accept my quick fire double as the only fish of the day.

Here are a couple more pictures from the day…

Not sure if I’ll get out again this weekend, but hopefully I can get out again before the month is out – that will be work and  weather dependant so I live in hope!

Until next time…

Autumnal fishing…

Managed to get a pleasant few hours in this morning down at Chesil Beach with  a few fish to boot. I had been keeping an eye on the weather all week with the run of north easterlies due to break today  and for once the forecast held firm giving me the opportunity to go for it… an early start though as I wanted to fish high water down to low – high was around 5:30 a.m. I arrived bang on time, got my kit together and headed off into the dark… it was chilly.

Once I reached my preferred starting point it was a case of walking and casting and in the early darkness I opted for the trusted Zonk in Hot Shad flavour. Just as the light started to come up I had a hit but this was no bass and sure enough the first of about a dozen mackerel was found to be the culprit.

Like all mackies they do have a tendency to go nuts…

Same mackerel when it had decided to quieten down a bit…

It was obvious why they were there too… there was lots of evidence washed up with tiny bait fish strewn along the tide line of the shingle bank.

I was struggling to get past the mackerel to be honest – as well as the Zonk I took them on Gunfish at the surface and then the Duo Tide Vib Slim 140 deeper down though my hopes were raised when I had a more familiar take from a bass on the Duo lure. I didn’t get to land it as it shook itself off in the surf close in but, all the same, it was more encouraging. Lucky it wasn’t of any size otherwise I would have been less benevolent with myself!

A couple more mackerel followed but then finally I got my bass tally off the mark – nothing big but it put up a decent scrap nonetheless and was again a victim of the Duo Tide Vib Slim…

A word on the Duo lure, it seems to work well at this venue where it’s a relatively clean bottom and all the bass I caught on it today were by the sink and draw method allowing the weighted nose to sink fast. I’ve really enjoyed fishing this lure this year – it’s a bit different and in big surf it really does come into it’s own – casts well and doesn’t get bullied by the waves.

Another bass of similar size followed before a couple of other lure anglers caught up with me – they had similar success with mackies and small bass. By now it was getting on for 11 a.m. and I’d walked  a fair way so decided to about turn and fish my way back – I changed the lure back to a Zonk and immediately had  a take from a bass but it was another one that shook itself off in the surf and thankfully again it was no monster. Plodded back a further half mile and the Zonk was hit again and this felt slightly different with a lot of manic thrashing – the offender soon identified itself as a garfish… another lively customer!

Next cast and it was bass time again which thankfully didn’t unhook itself – like all they bass today they were not much to write home about but good sport on the lures…

One more followed but by now I was tiring so decided to call it a day and trudge back to the car into an annoying and increasing headwind! It was not the most pleasant walk I’ve ever done!

Here are a few more photos from today…

The Chesil sky today…

ChesilSky

The Megabass Zonk in Pearl Rainbow…

IMG_1259

Down at water level…

IMG_1261

So, as I say, a pleasant few hours and nice to pick up a mixed bag of fish – just need those bigger fish to play ball! Not sure when the next trip out will be but hopefully sooner rather than later – I reckon there’s some good Autumn ‘bassing’ to be had yet!

Until next time…

A Welcome Dorset Foray

Firstly, an apology for the quality of some of the photos – schoolboy error  on my part…. forgot to wipe the lense before I started!

Onwards and upwards though and today was my first chance to wet a line since the Cornish jaunt – this time it was a bit closer to home but it was still an hour’s journey down to Dorset. There was a trio of us fishing today – regular sparring partner Nobby and another pal Richard Cake of Dorset Fishing Rods fame. It was an early start as the weather was forecast to deteriorate as the day progressed so we wanted to make the most of the better conditions…. that meant the alarm going off at 2:45am and a large coffee to go. Arrived around 4:30 with Richard meeting us soon after though we were then slightly delayed as Mr Cake seemed to have a few problems deciding which of his many lures to pack….. anyone who knows Richard will understand why his own blog is called ‘Lure Addict!’.

Soon enough we were trudging the shore and before not too long we were casting out into the dark into a decent but not too challenging south westerly. I think we were all fishing Zonks to start with – I know I certainly was with the Hot Shad variety the choice I had plummed for given the conditions. There was not a lot to report until the light was upon us when Richard took a schoolie to get us off the mark . All the time the wind was steadily increasing so I changed tact and decided on something with a bit of punch and slim profile to try and cut through the wind – the choice was the Duo Tide Vib Slim 140 D-27…

This proved a good choice and coupled with Richard letting me try out one of his excellent  9’6” rods as opposed to my own 8’6” I was able to get better distance into the head wind and that put me on the bass. My first hook up I lost in the surf though I did see the fish and it was only a couple of pounds at best. Encouraging and it was looking ‘fishy’ now with good colour and a bit of fizz in the water as the swell and wind increased. A hundred yards along the shore and ‘bang!’ the lure was hit again and this time the fish was landed safely – a lovely conditioned bass again around the couple of pound mark…

Not long after that I picked up a smaller schoolie and that was it for a while but at least I hadn’t blanked!

We stopped for a few minutes to refuel ourselves at what turned out to be the furthest point along the shore we ventured. Here’s the lads taking a breather, with Richard once again sorting through one of his many lure boxes!

Once we started fishing again we had the ‘incident’ of the day with Richard having the misfortune of a juvenile sea gull snatching his brand new lure… this was not good! The bird was less than impressed but with a bit of gentle winding and coaxing we managed to get the bird under control…

Chesil 30092012-1

And ready for treble hook removal…

Chesil 30092012-2

All was well in the end with Rich practising his strict ‘catch and release’ policy…

Chesil 30092012-3 - Copy

We fished back as best we could with a few more schoolies to boot. Richard was getting up close and personal with one of them!

By now the head wind was making lure fishing extremely difficult with the swell getting up as well so we took the hint and trudged back to the car – not easy with the wind as it was and the shingle underfoot!

All-in-all though a smashing few hours fishing despite the weather deteriorating as it did and especially good to catch up and fish with Rich again – top man. Already thinking about opportunities to get out again in the coming weeks – prime time for some better bass as they feed up before heading offshore so I definitely need to manufacturer a fishing window or two!

Until next time…

Cornwall Trip… Day Five – The Last Hurrah!

Cornwall Fishing 2012_14

So, final day of the trip and we had two extra bodies with us… Paul and a mate of his Steve who had not fished before! Paul had plenty of kit though and soon had him kitted out ready to rock and roll. It was to prove a slightly damp experience for Steve!!

We headed north of Newquay, grabbed a pasty along the way and then bobbed into a well known lure fishing shop in the area to pick up a few supplies. A short trip from there and we were at our chosen mark.

Conditions were bright but there was a fair westerly blow coming in which meant a hefty swell….. it did looked ‘bassy’ though with some nice gullies and white water swirling around. We would be fishing a flooding tide from low up so we were able to see some of the channels the sea would be reclaiming and it looked good. We split up with Nobby and myself heading a bit further round from the other guys and then down the rocks and as close to the waters edge as we dared. Here’s a couple of shots of the ground…

IMG_1210

IMG_1212

The swell coming in was getting progressively bigger as the tide flooded in and we both took a couple of waves to wake us up a bit! It wasn’t long before Nobby had a hit on the lure of the week the Savage Gear sandeel but it didn’t stick. Encouraging though and within a few casts he had a bass of around the 3lb mark to show for his efforts – the best of the week as it turned out – he really did have the best week on the fish front out of all of us! Next cast he had another hit and this time it ripped line from the reel, the rod was bent nicely and this seemed like it may well be a decent fish before ‘ping’ and the line went slack….. the air went blue. On retrieval the lure clip had given out so the trusty sandeel was gone! Me – same lure, same tactic – not even  a sniff!!

By now the swells were getting pretty hefty and somewhat dangerous so we decided to head over the headland to a spot in the lea of the wind and prevailing seas… what a difference – it was near on flat in comparison! I’d decide to throw on a Tide Minnow and give that a bash and first cast ‘bang’ fish on… if only a small bass and it saved a blank at the end of the day!

IMG_1213

This is where Steve had his fun and games! He had perched himself on a rock not far from the tide line but his inexperience probably told in that he misjudged the incoming tide and when he went to get off he took a dunking!! It was deeper than he thought! Obviously he learnt the error of his ways and took up residence on a much safer rock a bit further round the bay…. wrong!! He was again fishing away but it wasn’t his day and as he climbed down from the rock it was swimming time again I’m afraid! He was under the mis-apprehension that we had not seen his second episode in the drink but alas for him it was all duly noted and remarked upon with Paul and Nobby chuckling quietly on their fishing platform…

IMG_1214

There were no more fish to show for our efforts and the time had come to put it to bed for the day and indeed for the this year’s trip. We headed back to Paul’s to wash the kit down, have a quick brew and then we were on the road home to sunny Hampshire.

All told it was another great trip – plenty of fish if not of any decent size – think we may have been a bit early for the bigger one’s in this neck of the woods. Nobby and his Savage Gear Sandeel definitely took the plaudits for the week that is for sure! Great company, lots of laughs and a real tonic after a summer when I’ve not fished anywhere near as much as I had hoped. Mustn’t grumble though as thoughts have already turned to next year and where we might turn to for our annual fishing foray… Cornwall again? Maybe, but perhaps the time has come to try somewhere a bit different – we’ll see. Hope you’ve enjoyed the write up of the trip… my thoughts have already turned to when I can get a decent session in somewhere in Dorset… it’s addictive this lure fishing lark!

I’ll leave you with some additional photos from the trip…

One of Nobby’s bass…

Cornwall Fishing 2012_4

My good self at the trusty fishing wagon for the week…

Cornwall Fishing 2012_7

A small hard lure caught bass for Mo…

Nobby fishing…

IMG_1201

Decisions for Mo on what lure to use…

IMG_1200

A lure change for Nobby…

IMG_1209

A Sakura ‘Magic Eel’ caught pollack for me…

IMG_1207

Some of the fishing grounds…

IMG_1205

IMG_1206

IMG_1211

IMG_1215

Until next time…

Cornwall Trip… Day Four – Sometimes it pays to moan!

IMG_1204

A full day after the Cornish Rattler experience, followed, by the Tribute beer evening, and then coupled with his cold Nobby was still whingeing on about how rubbish he was feeling when we woke up on day four!! He obviously got bucket loads of sympathy from Mo and myself!

The plan was easy today – literally drop down to a local mark and fish the rising tide again and if the winds got up go give the south coast a go. Simples! We headed down the cliffs in the morning some of us more easily than others…

Cornwall Fishing 2012_3

We found a tidy mark with some nice gullies and I decided to stick with the hard lures but it was a bad choice as it turned out with Nobby straight into the pollack on his Savage Gear sandeel and Mo picking up a solitary mackerel. Not a sniff on the hard lures for me and as the wind picked up and tide came in we were once again starting to have fun and games with the waves…. it was time to move and we found a bit of shelter a bit further round the bay and once again Nobby nabbed a couple of small bass and pollack. Nothing for Mo or myself!

Finally, we agreed a change of scenery was in order… Nobby dripped on about how rough he felt all the way back up the cliff path to the car and we decided to head to the south coast. After a quick pasty lunch we were fishing in much calmer conditions – too calm in fact – there was still not a lot happening for either Mo or myself but guess what? The moaning member of our party was into a fish again and this time a real surprise….. a sea trout! Nothing big but it went like stink leaping clear of the water on a couple of occasions!

Cornwall Fishing 2012_5

At this point Mo and I came to the conclusion the fish too were fed up of Nobby’s whingeing and simply snaffling his lure in a suicidal manner because they couldn’t take any more of him whining!! Sometimes it does pay to moan I reckon?!

We were back mid-afternoon and ready to head up the coast for our final day on tour. We packed up and left the North Inn – heading up to Newquay and the grand hospitality of friends Paul and Carol. That meant another night with a couple of ales to consume and some great food for which I thank Paul and Carol! The proper bed was very welcome as well – top notch!

Tomorrow was to be the last day of the trip so we were hoping for a good one!

Until next time…

Cornwall Trip… Day Three – ‘Rattled’

Cornwall Fishing 2012_8

Well, what can I say… it wasn’t quite the early start we’d talked about the night before over the few pints of Cornish Rattler that were consumed. In fact one of us (Cough! Nobby! Cough!) was in a particularly bad place as he had developed a cold and it was this of course which was making him feel rotten…. nothing to do with the cider consumption in the slightest you understand. As he was feeling slightly jaded and it was taking him a while to get going Mo kindly offered us a brew in his caravan to try and piece a plan together… this did nothing for Nobby’s poor state of health as Mo’s caravan has been decorated as what can only be described as a ‘Purple Pikey Palace’ which frankly just gave Nobby more of a headache!

Eventually, we had a plan to have a quick fish  where we’d been the day before before taking a trip further along the coast. So, after a quick fry up to soak up the cider and  a bucket of headache pills for Nobby we hit the road.

At the mark the wind had swung round to a north westerly and the swell coming in was bigger than the day before so we had a few fun and games dodging waves… this did nothing for Nobby’s state of health though he was first to catch here on his trusty Savage Gear sandeel – he looks happy about it though doesn’t he?!

IMG_1202

We managed a few more small fish here before we decided to make the move further round the coast to an interesting looking cove which involved a fair trek down to the shore line. Mo and I tried to access a mark in shallower water whereas Nobby headed out round towards the headland. Mo and I were out of luck – you simply couldn’t get safe access to the ground we wanted to fish so we set off to catch up with Nobby… we were just on our way when we heard a few yelps – he was in with a better sized pollack and the biggest fish to date – again on his trusty Savage Gear sandeel.

Cornwall Fishing 2012_13

We joined him on the outcrop in some increasingly emotional conditions with some big swells hitting the rocks. Luckily I managed to pluck another bass from the white water, again on a Savage Gear sandeel, but that was all we had at this location and by now it was getting too dangerous really.

Cornwall Fishing 2012_15

In truth after day two’s exploits we were all feeling it and after a mere six or so hours fishing we called it a day and headed back to base camp for a cuppa in the ‘Purple Pikey Palace’. After that, pie and chips in the pub washed down with a couple of pints of Tribute and we were ready to get our heads down… well, Mo was anyway… Nobby and myself did the honourable thing and did our bit for the Cornish beer industry until closing time!

I for one slept like a baby and didn’t hear the overnight rain that had clearly fallen when I peered out of my tent on the morning of day four.

Until next time…

Cornwall Trip… Day Two – Dropped a pollack!

Cornwall Fishing 2012_16

Despite the couple of ales and Mo arriving in the early hours of the morning we were all up and about reasonably early ready to fish the flooding tide. So after a hearty fry up we headed to our first mark which was fairly local to where we were staying and just off the coastal path. Conditions were good with a bit of a breeze, and at the first mark good colour to the water with a bit of white water swirling around the rocks for good measure. There was a shallow-ish  channel in amongst this which looked very fishy but despite a single dropped hook up for Mo it failed to yield us anything at all on either hard lures or the soft plastics which was a bit disappointing.

We fished our way round to a prominent rock where the water looked a bit deeper with a decent sand bar clearly visible beneath the waves. At this point we were all fishing hard lures but I changed to a Megabass Xlayer and almost immediately it was slammed into by what felt a decent fish. I was hoping for a bass but the lurching to the rocks told me otherwise and I wasn’t too disappointed when a very decent pollack surfaced. The problem with where I was  fishing was there was no easy point to land a decent fish so I needed to enlist Nobby’s help to grab the line and lift the fish up and over the rocks…… you can guess what’s coming next…. the braid caught on a razor sharp edge and in the blink of an eye the braid snapped and the fish was gone… still with the Xlayer in it’s mouth. I hate losing fish like that but it’s part and parcel with this type of fishing at times.

It was a good sign though and not long after, with a change to a Savage Gear sandeel, Nobby hooked  a bass followed by a small pollack. In the next hour or so we all hit into school bass and pollack on the soft plastics but in particular the Savage Gear sandeel Nobby was fishing with was proving extremely deadly taking the majority of the fish – a recurring theme on the trip as it turned out!

IMG_1193

A couple  of mackerel joined the bass and pollack party before things slackened off again so we walked on round the coast but without any further joy until we returned to the original mark with the shallow channel where we started to hook up again. Nothing big but fish all the same including my one and only hard lure catch of the day – a very small pollack taken on a Rapala X-Rap… I was hardly in raptures about it!!

Cornwall Fishing 2012_12

A few more bass and pollack and we were all done for the day. We trekked back up the coastal path to the car and headed back to the North Inn.

Surprisingly, we’d been on the go for nearly ten hours and despite the decent dropped pollack it had been a great start to proceedings catching a few and checking out the new ground. So, after cleaning up our kit we felt we deserved our pub grub and over a refreshing Cornish Rattler cider we reflected on the day and our plans for the following morning.

Day three was to prove a  mixture of  joy and pain for one of our party!!

Until next time…

Fishing at last…

It’s been a while but finally managed to get out for a lure session with my pal Nobby on Sunday. Headed down to Dorset early afternoon with plan to fish the flood with high water around 9pm. Finally got there after a bit of a  marathon trek in the car and then the usual hike round the foreshore.

Conditions were quite bright but the water was pretty murky with plenty of weed washed up – on the face of it things looked good but to be honest it was a hard slog… neither of us having a sniff all afternoon despite trying just about every lure in our boxes.

As we hit the evening there was a distinct change in the weather with the water chopping up as the tide really started to flood towards high water and we were saved a blank when Nobby managed to land a small bass of maybe a couple of pounds. Despite my best efforts it wasn’t happening for me!

Here’s your man playing his fish…

IMG_1135

…and here he is victorious with his bass!

IMG_1139

IMG_1137

So, not a huge amount of action on the fish front but still good to get out after a frustrating summer fishing-wise to date. Will be putting that right early September when off to Cornwall for a week trying to get amongst the fish!

Until next time…

Back on the kayak at last…

IMG_0947

Finally managed to get some time on the kayak today albeit with an early start to fit it in around work commitments. Window of opportunity was from dawn until around 10 o’clock in the morning and with the weather forecast set fair it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I can’t remember the last time I went out fishing on the kayak – it’s certainly been a while – too long if I’m perfectly honest!

Anyhow, my thoughts were to get on the water by 5 o’clock to give me about five hours fishing time. Venue was one fairly local to me in The Solent and I was hoping to have a bit of sport with the smooth hounds and  pick up some mackerel if they’ve made there way to The Solent yet! Conditions at launch were idyllic – flat calm with only a very slight breeze…

IMG_0944

Fished two rods, one with hermit crab and one I took a chance on using squid… the smuts do like it but so do the damn dogfish and you can guess what was the first fish to come aboard the yak this morning…

IMG_0948

There was a bit of low cloud and mist hugging the coast and it was cool for the first hour but nice to see the sun rising nonetheless…

IMG_0957

It wasn’t long before the smuts made an appearance – not big at all but good fun all the same. Both the starry and original flavour made an appearance – three in total in fairly quick succession interspersed with a couple more pesky dogfish. Here’s a couple of the smuts…

IMG_0951

IMG_0954

I rarely use a rod to catch mackerel from the kayak and just use a hand line that I attach and leave out under the kayak. Things were pretty slow on that front though but I did eventually pull up a single very small mackerel which I decided to use as a live bait to see if I could tempt a bass – it didn’t work and the live bait soon became a dead bait! Undeterred, I wasn’t going to waste the mackerel but guessed a fillet would only attract the dogfish so opted to try the head and guts and that did pay dividends when up came a 50cm bass of probably 2.5lb… dinner sorted!

IMG_0958

IMG_0959

Encouraged by this I concentrated on the trying to get another mackerel on board but they were not playing ball at all with the feathers. Time was getting on by now and I had packed one rod up when the crab rod started to rattle – definitely not a smooth hound bite and it didn’t seem to be a bass bite either… irrespective, I connected but was gobsmacked to find a greedy mackerel had taken the crab! That’s a first for me without  a doubt! This one I decided to keep for another day but as it happened it ended up in the smoker tonight and damn good it was too!

IMG_0963

So there you have it, nice to get back out on the yak even if only for a short foray on local waters. Final fish count was four doggies, three smuts, two mackies and a bass! Hopefully, can get out a bit more over the summer and for a bit longer all being well… definitely will if this week’s weather continues. Off to Cornwall for a family break in a weeks time so that will probably be my next chance to fish though that will be back on the lures from the shore – looking forward to it though!

Until next time…