Two or three weeks ago the cold of winter seemed like a distant haunt. The sun was beaming down and we hit 24 degrees at the peak of the day! It felt good real good! After spending the winter working outside it gave me a new lease of life. Soon after a my first session on the rocks was due. It was mid April and I often get my first fish of the season around this time. Conditions weren’t ideal but we still managed 5 fish between us and things looked good.
Friends continued the form and landed more fish in the following nights but I couldn’t get out.
I bided my time and waited for the next set of spring tides. The offshore winds weren’t ideal but to our surprise there was a nice swell rolling in. Conditions there for looked perfect but I still feel you need the Southerly wind to properly bring the fish in. Fishing was slow and the ever painful weed that litters these waters was present. We hoped at some stage of tide it may ease off and relieve us the pain of picking it off our lures in the pitch black, only using touch to know if you had managed to remove it.
Finally it began to ease off and it wasn’t long before I felt that tap on the rod I had been waiting for all evening. Like lightening through my body my reactions where super sharp to lift into the fish. A spirited fight ensued and a small fish was landed through the rocks. Somewhere mid 40’s but it went back without a photo, we where hoping for bigger fish.
Straight back out there and with more confidence in the group we fished on. The weed held off and the tide was dropping. Neil was next into a fish that shot off along the rocks and cut him off. He wasn’t impressed but there was nothing he could do. I changed lures from a 14gm Savage gear to a 4inch white one up shad on a 9gm jighead. Allowing me to keep the ideal retrieve speed needed as the water level lowered over the reef. It wasn’t long and I was in again. This fish was taken further out and after a few turns of the reel handle. This felt a better fish but didn’t really have the power to be anything big. I slipped up the rocks a healthy 55cm fish and my first 50+ of the year! Not the 60+ I had been hoping for but a very welcome fish all together and good to get the ball rolling.
I then had a brief period off and with some South westerly winds emerging in the forecast I fancied a session in some tasty conditions. The water conditions where ideal but the building winds where not and fishing into the darkness looked like it could be difficult.
I took a small fish in the daylight and Blair dropped a couple at his feet before we moved marks and fished into the darkness. The wind was difficult and fishing over really shallow ground as the tide was rising I opted for a shallow diver,the Seaspin Coixedda 100 that had bought me some recent success. Even this was difficult to keep contact with but one retrieve it just felt right as the lure really gripped in. I slowed the retrieve down just a little bit and It got nailed but a few head shakes in the swell and the fish got free, leaving me questioning the single hooks. Only time will tell on this but every know and again these things do happen.
And now… Where has spring gone? The wind has kept blowing and growing, one minute south westerly bringing rain and one minute easterly but really hard and over this last weekend the ground swell on monday was huge and reminiscent of winter storms. The overall air temperature has dropped and working outside it felt like winter again. The sea temperature has come to a halt and at the moment it’s sitting around 10.5 degrees. Even though the fish are here I feel everything is still a bit behind and this recent cold spell has slowed natures progress forward into summer. It was only last week that I really noticed the first Swallows and don’t recall seeing many Daffodils over the last month. Though I have seen a number of bluebells appearing recently. Is this a good sign for the year to come? Even though there are a lot of fish showing know all around the country when things do start to really get going will we end up with a really good season? Has the ban on pair trawling over the breeding season implemented this year had a positive effect on the fish? I hope so and I am feeling confident we will have a good year. Lets just hope the weather gods are good to us. All I ask for is the some ideal conditions though getting around what mother nature throws at us is all part of the challenge year in year out.