29/10/2014 - Back in the Dock

Half term saw us heading down to Devon to see friends for a couple of days, then heading west to the in-laws in Pembrokeshire. Threw a few bits in with a view to having a go for a last-minute bass, but with tides not playing ball again it was off to Hobbs Point in Pembroke Dock instead.

On the point
Got there an hour or so before high tide in order to fish through slack water. Dropped a simple two-hook paternoster baited up with bits of ragworm down the side of the ramp and waited to see what would turn up. Didn't have to wait long. In fact it must have been like fish soup down there. Instantly started getting knocks and rattles. The main culprits were rock gobies that were coming up two at a time!
Had a few of these in the bag when the rod tip bent over properly, resulting a little wrasse.
Thought I'd caught the mother of all gobies at one stage only to have a really pretty sea scorpion to pop up at the surface.
Had lost count of the number of gobies I'd actually caught at this stage, so was pleased when wrasse number two turned up instead, a slighter better, darker specimen than the first.
Bit better
Was a big tide today, so wasn't surprised when it started pulling out again less than an hour after high water. However, it seemed to bring a change as species number four appeared - a little pouting.
Had a couple more of these (and more gobies!) before I started to struggle holding bottom with the 2 ounce lead. Dropped down one last time and was rewarded with the best wrasse of the morning.
Best 'til last
Headed back for breakfast after a fish-filled two hours at a venue that's already become a firm favourite after only a couple of visits. Roll on next year!

08/10/2014 - When things go awry

Everyone has a bad run now and then, it's just galling when your fishing time is limited and every session counts. Time to grin and bear it and hope you come out of it on the other side with something spectacular. Well, several sessions later I'm still waiting! First up was a trip after some hungry, back-end brownies, which I thought would be lining up to climb up my line. Made my way through the maize to find the river desperately in need of some rain.

Not quite as high as an elephant's eye..

Bare bones

Apart from where there was enough flow to scour them clean, the stones on the bed of the river were covered in a brown, scummy layer of diatoms. Also, with less dilution, several more ochrous springs were making their presence felt, staining the bed with their bright orange deposits.


Any old iron?

Dropped my nymph into the faster runs to no avail. The fish were there - I could see them shooting off in the clear, shallow water as I made my way upstream! I did find a spectacular bracket fungus, the sulphur polypore, and an old Peck's meat paste jar.  

Chicken of the woods

Er....chicken paste of the woods?

Was beginning to think that this would be my first trout blank of the year when the tip eventually jagged over as a little one finally took my fly. 

Small, but very welcome!

Next was a return trip to a similarly low and clear River Soar. Started off with the float rod as usual and found that, in contrast to the last session in the same spot and despite the constant attention of the micro-chub, the roach were there in good numbers. Trotted away happily, catching roach, chub, dace, bleak and small perch. However, apart from a couple of delicate knocks resulting in a stolen bait, the paternoster rod I put out out for a big stripey stayed ominously quiet. Dropping it next to the bush at last knockings resulted in the inevitable - a violent twang on the rod tip followed by acrobatics from an angry pike. 

Not a perch!

When I got back home and hung out my landing net, I found I'd picked up a hitch hiker. A couple of days in a bait tub with some leaves and he was returned none the worse for wear.

Hey up, little 'un!

Final trip of note (?!) was down to Saunton, where I hoped to better my first and only Devon bass caught on my last visit. I had checked Joel's blog and was encouraged to see that he'd had 25 fish off the estuary the week before. However, that was when conditions were good. Unfortunately my arrival coincided with a change to gloomy, cold, wet weather and a howling gale! 

I think that's the sun??

Flogged away anyway, fishing topwater lures at slack water and then fishing down the tide with soft plastics. Managed one take in about 7 hours fishing.....and that came off. At least I got to see Verity again on the one decent day of the weekend.

Are you looking at my bum?

Oh well, keep calm and carry on as they say - there's a big fish waiting 'round the corner, I know it!