All in the dark!

IMG_1616

Last minute decision yesterday evening to go for a quick session in Dorset this morning….. it had to be an early start so I could get back for my son’s football – probably a 3 hour fishing window at best! So with the alarm set for some un-Godly hour and kit by the door I was set and thankfully I managed to drag myself out of my pit as planned.

Arrived and was fishing by 5:30am – a good hour and a half before the sun was up and it proved to be a good move as all the fish I had today were taken in the dark. I find it best to use a familiar lure  in the dark so I have confidence in it’s action…. this meant it was on with the Feed Shallow. As if to prove a point first cast I connected with a small pollack.

Two casts later and another hit – this time from a small bass that cleverly unhooked itself when landed and flipped itself back in the water! Damn – no photo!! Not to worry as ten minutes later an ever so slightly bigger fish was landed and snapped!

IMG_1617

Followed by another small pollack all within the first hour and under the cover of darkness…

IMG_1620

There was not a lot of movement in the water and as the light came up with the rising tide it became very apparent the lack of movement there actually was – next to none….. and with clear water it didn’t look promising for the rest of this short session.

I was joined by another lure angler – Bill and his dog – for a few minutes and I was thankful of Bill’s presence as I had one of those ‘Doh!’ moments when I managed to crack off my lure when casting…. my complete brain failure! I had just changed to a Seaspin Pro-Q 90 surface lure too but luckily, Bill, with great skill, managed to cast to it and pulled it back in for me – cheers Bill if you ever read this!! It was nearly doubly lucky for me as minutes later there was a swirl behind that very lure from a fish that narrowly missed!

That was the last action I had though on the near bite front and with all  the fish caught in the dark it has certainly given me food for thought for future sessions especially where conditions are fairly benign.

So, I headed back home for a bacon sandwich before taking my son to his football match… he lost 2-1! Doh!

Before I finish here are a few other pictures from my early morning Dorset jaunt…

IMG_1615

IMG_1619

IMG_1621

IMG_1624

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…

Cornwall in June

Cornwall-20120604-00042

Great family week in Cornwall but only managed to squeeze in a couple of short fishing sessions though to be fair the weather didn’t help at times. It never amazes me how one day the seas can be clear, blue and tranquil and the next the polar opposite… more of that later in this post.

As for the fishing it had to be about finding somewhere safe to go with my lad Billy who is certainly showing a keen interest, which I’m of course pleased about, and is something I want to actively  encourage with him. It can be difficult with some activities, as like most kids his age these days he loves his electronic gadgets, but when it comes to fishing he does show a genuine interest which I shall duly nurture. It does help when he catches and in our two short sessions he was the only one to catch so it is he who has the bragging rights in our household at the moment… albeit was only a small pollack!

We were staying near Lamorna in the far west of Cornwall at a place called Burnt Toast Cottage which was located in a cracking spot above Lamorna Cove no more than ten minutes walk down to the coastal path. We were joined for a couple of days by my pal Nobby and his wife who coincidentally were visiting friends in Cornwall so we took the opportunity one of the days to take the rods and a few lures with us to have a go along the coast between Lamorna Cove and Penberth.

The coastline is pretty rugged and you do have to exercise some caution finding the right places to fish from but luckily the first place we tried was an easily accessible boulder strewn cove. It was a bright day with only a little movement in the water but a lot of weed – after about an hour of fishing hard lures and soft plastics around the cove we had nothing to show for it so made our way up the rocks and back to the main path. Here’s the view back across the cove from up high…

IMG-20120604-00036

We headed back eastwards and found a decent safe spot for the three of us to fish nearer our start point. It was a fairly deep mark so in between keeping an eye on Billy I tried out the new Lucky Craft Slender Pointer lures I’d recently acquired… good action but no fish to show for my efforts! Neither Billy or Nobby were having much luck either but that changed when Billy, who was fishing with a Grass Minnow softie on a 5g jig head, gave a cry of “fish on Dad”! It was only a small pollack but he was chuffed to bits… and so were Nobby and I come to that! Here he is with the blank saving pollack…

Cornwall-20120604-00039

That was as good as it got on this short sortie despite fishing our way back round to Lamorna Cove itself. Pleasant enough though and great to see my lad catch like that – happy days!

Later in the week, in between a couple of rainier days, Billy and I managed one more session on a trip to the north coast of the far west Cornish peninsula. While Rebs took the dogs on a walk round the coast we had an hour to wet a line. The spot was idyllic with beautiful clear water over rocks and sandy ground. I thought there might even be mackerel around but in the hour we had… not a sniff of a fish. Here’s Billy giving it his best though…

IMG_1014

To give you some idea of the ground here is a shot of the coast from high up as we walked on round the coast…

IMG_1026

And that was pretty much it on the fishing front as on the last two days of our break the storm hit which was spectacular in it’s own right. Here’s a view of Lamorna Cove the day before the wind and rain came lashing in…

IMG-20120604-00044

… and here it is from down at the car park as the gales hit…

IMG-20120607-00067

IMG-20120607-00064

The photos don’t really do justice too how big the seas actually were but it certainly was a stark reminder of the awesome power of the sea and the respect it deserves.

So, a great week in Cornwall even though fishing was limited and one of the highlights was definitely Billy catching that small pollack just for the look on his face – magic moment.

It’s back on the work treadmill for me now for a few weeks though I’m hoping to get out fishing in the next week or so… weather permitting that is!

Until next time…

A load of pollacks!

Day off today meant the chance to fish but with light easterly winds it’s never the best conditions to be honest. It was a bit of a dank and wet day as well so I decided to experiment a bit and try a spot in Dorset I’ve fished before but only really one area of it.  If I caught then all the better.

It’s a bit of a trek down to the shoreline and then my plan was to head east for a kilometre along the coast. It took a while as the terrain is not the easiest but soon enough I was fishing though the dankness continued…

There was a bit of movement in the water but it was gin clear all the same. First few casts on the Feed Shallow were uneventful so I switched to a Zonk and started to get follows from wrasse, some decent sized one’s too, but none taking bar this smaller one…

There was no sign of bass though so I decided to head back on myself and then west from my original start point. I walked right round to areas I’d previously fished and immediately took a small pollack…

Followed by another and another and another, they were there in plague proportions and taking any lure I threw out there – lost count in the end how many I had  but eventually I did manage a couple of schoolies to add a bit of variety…

More pollack followed but no more bass so as the light went I started the long hike back – it was still drizzling as it had been all day!

All in all I shouldn’t complain, good to still be catching bass this late in the year albeit they were only schoolies  and although the pollack were a pain in the backside at times they were fish nonetheless!

Here are a few other pictures taken today…

  

Until next time…