A slow August

August has been my worst month for a few years now and just never seems to produce many good fish. This year may have been different but unfortunately I have been so busy with work I just haven’t found the time to get out and only done 4 or 5 trips. Each trip has produced Bass just nothing of any size still sometimes it’s just nice to be out…

One morning on the river produced a few tiny fish that I took on the Salt skimmer, It was the lure on my rod at the time and It has grown on me a lot this year so I decided to stick with it. Within the first few chucks I took a couple of tiny fish. Still the lure was working and there was fish about. I couldn’t see anything of any better size moving around or taking stuff off the surface so a change of mark was in order.

A hard scramble and a climb plus a dodgey slip that almost ended badly I got myself into a better position. There wasn’t anywhere to stand as the tide was so high but I managed to balance my self on a fallen down tree that got me close enough to the water to fish and also provided a pretty good feature for any Bass taking cover… First cast with the skimmer and the wind took my line a bit and as I wound in the slack to start working the lure a better fish probably around 3lb tried to nail it unfortunately because I was taking in the slack and not actually working the lure properly the fish missed and didn’t come back for more…

As the tide went out I got off my perch and proceeded to make a rollie in between the fallen tree, as I was doing this I noticed a Kingfisher fly past and land only 15-20ft away. I realised this was probably going to be my best opportunity to photo one of these stunning birds and dropped the rollie for the camera…

Now it’s not a great photo but without a really good SLR and a decent lens I doubt i’ll ever get a better one. Still the tree boarder gives it a nice touch…

Soon after it started to rain and as the morning grew on the fishing died a horrid death, I moved marks again as the tide dropped and allowed me to cover more ground but it just wasn’t happening. The only thing I could take from the morning was my encounter with the kingfisher, being able to see one so close for a few minutes was still pretty cool and certainly made up for the poor fishing.

The next session was trying to cure a dreaded hangover on a sunny sunday afternoon, fresh air, a bit of a walk and some fish is normally my favourite way of washing away the blues from the night before. Neither me or Tim where feeling to clever today and big cliffs and hills where not on the agenda and we opted for an easy mark that may produce a bit of sport…

Things where quiet to start with but soon a commercial rod and line angler turned up in his boat and that gave us some hope that the fish maybe heading in our direction. Then it all began… Just not on the Bass front. Mackeral everywhere and something that has been so abundant this August but it never fails to get me a little excited as you can always bet the Bass probably aren’t too far behind or there may be some big fish lurking below…

Baitfish where getting washed all up the beach and including a few Mackeral that Tim took for tea. I was trying to work the edges of the shoals with surface lures keeping an eye out for any larger swirls and boils. We followed the shoal along the beach until we reached a favourite reef of ours. The Mackeral shoals just grew larger and larger, I focused my attention on fishing over the reef and almost instantly was rewarded with my first Bass and OTT taken on the Seaspin ProQ90. I opted for trying to match the hatch with size and this little puppy fitted the bill perfectly. I was working the lure pretty slow and started to take small fish consistently over a specific part of the reef. Tim wanted to get in on the action but wanted to try a larger topwater to try mimicking a Mackeral. He stuck on the ProQ120 and instantly had some interest at range but no hookup. We kept seeing the odd better size swirl on the edges of the shoals as they moved about so it certainly looked as if there where some better fish in amongst them but we couldn’t get a hook up. I had taken 6 tiny schoolies on the ProQ90 before I decided a change was needed. The Salt Skimmer was my choice as It was probably the best casting lure in my box and I wanted to see if I could tempt anything at range. This didn’t happen but on speeding the retrieve up I did get  a better take off a bigger fish over the reef but once again no hook up… It just seemed to be one of those days… Tim meanwhile stuck on the little ProQ90 that I had been using to try and nail a fish but unfortunately the action died and all he could manage was this…

One last shot for freedom? A desperate baitfish but cleanly hooked in the mouth? Crazy!?

Then on the bank holiday Monday we where forecast some onshore winds and I coudn’t turn down the opportunity to get out there amongst some prime conditions. I tried a local mark to me with no luck at first light before heading home for some breakfast and getting charged up for the long day ahead. Unfortunately I was a bit late on getting to the first mark and missed my favourite part of the tide. Conditions did look really good though apart from the annoying bit of weed in the water that caught your lure on nearly every cast. When it’s like this I always start to get easily disheartened as you know as soon as you have weed on that lure you might as well bring it in and re cast… I should have really put some more effort into finding a better solution to the problem but I just stuck with the 42gm Savage Gear Sandeel as I needed the distance and weight  to fish in the wind and swell…

So the first mark didn’t pay off and rather than waste anymore time I decided to head back to the car and make another decision and to try and not miss the tide at where ever I was going next… On the way back up the wind picked up and the rain came in… I couldn’t even look at the coast as it was stinging my eyes so much and I had to walk with my head sideways… A big fail! Still smiling though and not one to give up I made it back to the car just as it decided to stop raining!! Some food was in order and time to make a plan. I chose some rocks not a long drive away and somewhere I haven’t fished in these conditions but only on calm days… I was intrigued… It turned out the walk was longer than expected and being soaking wet to start with on the outside I was also pretty damp on the inside now too… This is where the weather man got it wrong and blue skies started to appear… The sun started to pierce the clouds, this was nice but I was kitted up for rain and not a bright hot sunny summers day! I took my coat and hoody off and attempted to dry them, the mark looked pretty awesome but also highly dangerous. White water was the order of the day and there was a big swell breaking over the reef. Unfortunately it was bigger than the last mark and I couldn’t get to where I wanted to without risking my life. I played the safer option and fished into a gully further back.

 

To my surprise after 30mins or so of fighting through the weed I got nailed. The fish was taken fishing Sink and Draw with the 42gm SGS again and this gave me some confidence that things may pick up but after another 30mins it wasn’t looking good. I moved across to the other side of the reef and managed a few casts before I noticed the time and headed off to meet Carl. The walk back was the worst, soaking wet, blistering heat and absolutely knackered it was the most painful I have done in a while.

I got to the car park in time and met up with Carl, we headed off to another mark and Carl’s confidence was giving me a bit more hope. My enthusiasm was dying at this point and was praying Carl was just going to nail some fish so I could sit back snap some photo’s and then pull one out myself. Unfortunately it didn’t happen for us and despite some stunning looking conditions and by far the best I had seen all day the fish just weren’t there or at least in the numbers we had hoped. Carl did hook a decent fish but it went straight across the reef and snapped his braid. I finally changed my lure and opted for shallow diving hard plastic the buginu 105 and took Carl’s advice of fishing right over the top of this shallow reef. I couldn’t get a great distance fishing with my back up reel and 30lb braid but I was pleasantly surprised while holding the  lure in the backwash at the bottom of the rocks it got nailed, all be it by another tiny schoolie but still a fish… That was it though and after the long day I had I was done for and home was calling, Carl was going to move to another mark for dark but as the rain started to make another appearance there was only one sensible option and that was home.

Another day… Just bad timing, finishing work late and arriving to find some perfect daylight conditions that where just too dangerous to fish in the dark… A few chucks and back in the car to head for home. Still that sunset was something else!

Work is still manic at the moment but with September beginning i’m hoping for some better fishing, time to put some more hours in now before winter settles in too quickly and before you know it 2014 is over… Now where’s my 70!!??…

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