Well at long last I got myself on the water again – first trip of the year and long overdue at that. In fact it turned out to be quite a pleasant few hours and I certainly exceeded my expectations on the catch front bearing in mind the time of year. I was pleasantly surprised. The launch site was the Elmore slipway at Lee-on-Solent – a familiar venue and not too adventurous for my first paddle of 2011!
I was ready to go at 7am and conditions were excellent with a light south easterly blowing. Here’s the yak pre-launch:
I reached my mark about a kilometre off shore in good time and sent my baits to the sea bed – a strip of mackerel on one rod and good old ragworm on a wishbone rig on the the other. I really wasn’t expecting much action, it was just nice to be back fishing again to be honest.
It was half an hour before I had my first bite and it was on the ragworm. It was a bite that was slow to develop but when I eventually struck into it and felt the dead weight I knew it was likely to be only one thing – a ray. It felt heavy in the tide and it was indeed a thornback ray that surfaced by the side of the kayak. I was a little surprised to catch it on the ragworm but was pleased with the result – it was probably around 6lb in weight so a good start to the year.
After the quick picture I baited up again and sat back contemplating what a relative surprise the ray had been and waited for my next bite – it didn’t take long and this time it was a small but pristine bass.
Several more schoolies followed which kept me busy – all caught on the ragworm.
Conditions remained excellent, in fact the Solent was something of a millpond for a while.
Not a lot was happening with the fish baits I was putting down but the worm was still producing as the infamous Solent pout came on the feed. They were all tiny and hammering the worm baits that I was putting down, even had them on a double hook up on the wishbone rig! The thought did occur to me they’d be excellent live bait size for bass so maybe something to try later in the year.
All in all a pleasant first trip of the year, good to get back into it and even better not to blank. Hopefully it’s a sign of a good year on the fishing front….. and dare I say it no red Solent weed to contend with either. Got the bug again now and already looking forward to the next trip.
Until next time……