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Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 draws to a close.

With the weather being so un-settled the past 3 weeks any hope of getting down to Dorset with a realistic chance of a fish has been zero.  I'd happily make the trip if I felt clear water could be found on some of the big fish marks, but the neigbours fence littering our lane this morning tells me the gales won't be abating any time soon. It might be windy, but it certainly hasn't been cold. It's the 30th December and we still haven't had a serious frost here on the North Kent Coast. The Arum Lilies in the back garden are still growing with the occasional flower coming out, and the Banana plants I wrapped in November keep forcing themselves through their straw winter coats.

 So after wrapping up in Thermals, Fleece and Gortex it shouldn't have been unexpected I was "sweating buckets" when I went for a walk this afternoon at the far end of the Island.  I got a couple of shots of one of my favourite Bass beaches on "Bait".  Not hard to nail the "hot time" on this mark, it's so shallow the waters only on the shingle one hour either side of High. It's never clear enough to work a Topper over, typical of to many local marks.

It was so nice to get some fresh air after the indulgences of Christmas that I didn't calculate until it was too late, 1540hrs plus a 4 mile walk back to the car equals 20 minutes total darkness across the Marsh. And the pub was shut for a private function when I got there.

So as the sun goes down on another season……………...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

December the 8th, thinking it may be over for 2013.

Thinking it may be the last trip of the season, and the odds were not in our favour, the drive to Dorset was hardly enthusiastic.
The first mark proved us right, the second proved us wrong when a 57cm fish banged into my lure in the oxygen rich white water and fought like its life depended on it, which it did.

Joe took a pic.

Breakfast, another couple of marks, last chance saloon as dusk fell, and Joe strikes back with a 45 and a 52cm. Not a bad day for December.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Started well

17.11.13,  6am, someplace in Dorset. The rod slammed over, big head-shakes all the way in and a little disappointed to find it was only 52cm. The lure was inhaled, back of the throat job. A good start, and a false one.

I don't mind to much, this time of year you have to acknowledge the numbers will drop,
the hope is the size will increase dramatically.    

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Last Few Weeks

Numbers if not size have picked up over the last few trips. Catching fish consistently at night, catching on softs, and in particular, catching on the Fiiish Black Minnow are new experiences for me.

This seasons seen a different approach to our fishing, bumping softs on the bottom, and fishing in the dark, neither of which match the excitement of having a Bass smash your lure on the surface in daylight. But you can't argue with the success other's in our group have had (if not me) and it looks like these methods will be a major part of our fishing for the foreseeable future.

A 3 pounder caught at dusk, again demonstrating my ability to make a fish look smaller.

Monday, 12 August 2013

It should have been awesome

Back down Dorset to fish a mark that was going to fire, and didn't. First light, and the conditions just weren't quite right, but we gave it a go and all four of us caught, the minimum. Moved on to a different mark with a quick breakfast on the way, Joe being the only one of us adding to his tally.

 So with Mark having commitments in the afternoon, Malcolm and Frodo departed. Quick coffee at Chesil Bait and Tackle, a few more lures added to the rucksack, and on to mark 3.

Conditions were far from ideal, Mediterranean conditions, but as soon as we arrived a fish moved. Straight on with the Bone Gunfish, 3rd cast, and finally I hit a fish that pulled back. At a plump 55 cm to the fork of the tail, a fish of just over 4lb. Spirited fight, but I did everything right apart from getting a photo that did it justice. I seem to have the knack of making fish look half their actual size.

And that was the last of the action, we fished on without a touch.

Beach Sculpture

Why does this piece make me feel uncomfortable ?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Irish Bass Festival 2013

Just back from Ireland with Mark and Joe, after 4 days of some of the most hard and unrewarding fishing you'd ever come across. The fish were scarce, the weather was Mediterranean and the tides were small.  After a sleepless Wednesday night on Stena lines flagship the Marathon began. Thursday was a look around day, fishing a couple of marks, Padders taking a nice Sea-Trout, popping into Absolute Fishing to meet Cian, James and the staff. Chinese, more fishing and a couple of hours sleep. The Competition started Friday, and it got tougher.

We knew the fish were thin on the ground, and we tried everything, covering marks anything up to 35 miles apart. Fish were found and better returns could have been had if we stayed on certain venues, but these fish were small and the competition was all about the biggest fish. Saturday night while Ireland partied we fished until 2am, chest deep in a receding tide for a bite-less session. Over the 5 nights I got 8 hours sleep. Marks snoring wasn't helping. He didn't take his waders off for 2 days and when he did he seemed to have Trench-foot.

Mark did the best, catching consistently throughout with the best around 55 cm ( I think). We all caught fish, nowhere near big enough to worry the eventual winner. No storeys from us of lost monsters, but no moaning either. For all the money, effort and sleep deprivation this was a great experience. A well run comp, and the help and friendliness extended to us by the Irish was awesome. We know our way around a bit better now, and we know the fish are there, and that will get us back.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The seasons finally starts. 9.6.13

After 2 trips in Kent more out of hope then expectation, a date was set for a trip to Dorset. No sleep Saturday evening, setting off at midnight to pick Joe up, and meeting up with Malcolm and Mark at 2.45am at some place remote. ( I'm sure my wife thinks I'm going clubbing).

I'm the only plugger I know who hasn't caught on the Feed Shallow, the shallow diver everybody goes to first. I put that right on the 5th cast when the rod bent over for the first time in 6 months. Things looked promising, the 4 of us well spread out, but an hour later when we met up again it was the only fish caught. With the the tide dropping Joe moved away from the group and it was at the next met up we learnt he'd had 16 fish in 30 minutes, 3 times he had 3 in 3 casts, and once 4 in 4. Certainly made the overall tally for the day look good, because the fish never really switched on. I picked up another 5, one on my banker shallow diver again, and 4 off the top. Mark had 6 too, Malcolm 2 with Joe adding another 4 to his 16, the best of which went 4lb 8oz.. So the seasons starts, with a 6 fish haul, nothing wrong with that. Here's a pic of the first fish of the year.

I'm a bit of a tart when it comes to quality, and Mark Padfield isn't.  So when we sat down to lunch, the majority of which Joe had provided ( thanks Joe) Mark started taking the piss out of my £125 Costa Del Mars while I had loads of material in the £3.99 pair of women's sunglasses he had on. Apparently he'd lost the expensive £15 ones. "I'd rather have these then the Costa Del Mars, never worth the money, let me try them , Oh Fuck, these are brilliant, I want some". They're worth every penny. Best bit of gear I've brought all winter.


Monday, 20 May 2013

Tarpon again

Just back from a fortnight in Cancun, and managed to get one trip out on the Lagoon after the Tarpon again. Conditions were far from ideal as the wind had coloured up the Mangroves, and we saw just 3 fish sub-surface. I wouldn't have seen them without the new Costa Del Mars. (Awesome Polaroids).
Eventually spotted a few fish moving spasmodically on the surface and after dropping the first managed to boat one, as did the guide, Mau.

Bring on the BASS.