Washing away the winter blues… Since the storms hit us hard in December I haven’t been inspired to get out and instead opting to get some jobs done and hopefully maximise my time when the conditions suit. Whether it’s getting out on the boat or hitting some tasty conditions on the coast….
We recently managed a day locally just to test out the new boat a 3.5m Honwave. We needed to see if my 8hp was going to be enough to push us along or whether we needed to sort a bigger engine for the new season. To our surprise it planes with two of us and all our gear at 13mph. Considering the money and time I have just put into the engine it’s a sensible idea to use it knowing it has new components. They are like cars… the longer you have one, the better you get to know them so you can put your trust in them or get an idea for what might need a service here and there. Know we just need the weather to play ball so we can get out and target some cod as was the plan this winter…
It seemed like an age since I set foot on the coast, seeing the beaches and scrambling my way across the rocks and having that sea spray hit my face. An opportunity arose, good conditions and no jobs on. I spoke to Blair and he was keen to get out.
Not knowing what the clarity was like or the sea state, we planned to hit a few marks that would at least give us the chance of finding some favourable conditions.
We arrived a little late and it was already light. We had hoped to get an hour in the darkness to see if that would produce the goods. There was quite a big swell rolling in and it would have been dangerous in the dark. We scrambled down the cliff and fished away covering as much ground as possible with our savage gear sandeels. It was perfect conditions but after a fruitless hour we decided on a move to the next mark, hopeful the next mark would have good conditions and it was a race to make the tide as we where already behind schedule.
After a little bit of trouble getting my car out of it’s space (probably wasted 45mins) we hit the next mark. It looked really really good. Probably the best I’ve ever seen it and I couldn’t help but wonder to myself why I never fish this mark in season in these sort of conditions?
The tide was dropping quickly and the waves where breaking over the sand bank creating a some lovely bubbling white water right in front of us. The shape of this beach can change each year from the harsh winter storms and a gutter had been formed in front of rocks where the waves have been smashing in. I managed to beat Blair to my favoured position and started fishing away. I wasn’t very prepared today and knowing it was going to be windy had to grab some of my boat lures for a heavier option… I was fishing a 25gm 120 fiiish minnow in Chartreuse. This was punching into the wind nicely and giving me plenty of feel too. I mixed my retrieves from bouncing the bottom sink and draw to slow straight retrieves. Focusing mainly on fishing it deep below the surface white water.
As the tide dropped away the gutter got more pronounced and I concentrated my efforts here casting along it and fishing a slow retrieve to maximise feel in the now horrid side wind. I’m not going to lie but when I felt a little bit of resistance, didn’t really feel any sort of a bite I was shocked and it was certainly a little fishing banging away on the end of my line. A smile of joy came upon my face as it was probably my first January bass from the coast ever.
Small and cheeky the sandy backed bass appeared, it was tiny and these little terrors can be caught all year round but I was still over the moon to be welcomed with silver on my return to the coast after what seemed like an age.
We where certainly inspired by this but as the tide got lower a move was on the cards.
Arrival at the next mark we where greeted by another lure angler. It’s a rare sight for me to bump into anyone so this was a bit of a shock especially in January. Adam burgess introduced himself and we had a quick chat before he moved on to cover more ground. I basically stole his spot but it wasn’t intentional I had just really wanted to fish in this hole. The wind had really picked up now and made the fishing harder. I needed distance to get where I wanted and opted for a Savage gear sandeel on a 16gm weedless jighead. These things do carry a bit of distance with them.
Once again I mixed up retrieves but it was tricky with the waves getting bigger over the shallow ground. Once again though it happened… This time I felt a sharp hit and struck into another fish. At first I thought come one here we go before nothing… I presumed the bass was running towards me and felt a few more hard pulls before I pulled a flatfish out of the surf.
Now I’m still yet to get a flounder on my LRF gear though I have come very close on numerous occasions but it still eludes me… Though somehow today I took one fishing a weedless savage gear sandeel in the surf? It wasn’t big but it was certainly fat. Spawn or feeding up I’m not sure but he must have been pretty keen to hit that and it wasn’t fished slow either! I messed around with a new lure I wanted to try out before we decided to call it a day.
Unfortunately I got the upper hand on Blair and managed to settle my winter blues. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out again soon when the next storm subdues but for now it’s time to be boring again and get back to those jobs!
Don’t forget all bass have to be returned alive until June 2016!