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Bloody Miserable Weather

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk

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January is a miserable month for me. The weather is dank and un-welcoming, paying work is non existent, and that which I would like to do on my own garden is constantly held up by a lack of funds and ground too soft to work on. Our lure fishing continues of course but the expense of regular trips to the coast is unjustifiable. It is doubly infuriating given that my last visit had been so productive.

Two weeks of misery caused by an appalling cold were thankfully easing and the urge to get out had become overwhelming so it was a huge relief to be setting out for the coast again. The tides it has to be said, were difficult, stubbornly refusing to fall within my preferred time window of 11 am and 2 am.

I am fishing alone and in a fairly remote spot that is both treacherous underfoot and has no phone signal. Consequently, I am very reluctant to take the risk on what would probably be more productive night tides. I am not complaining, it's just how it is.

Today's low was at 3pm which would give me barely an hour and a half on the flood, which has been the most productive part of the tide so far, but needs must, I had become desperate. With half a day to get there, I found myself unable to avoid rush hour, so left early and spent almost all of the hundred and thirty miles stuck in heavy traffic.

At regular intervals, piles of Audis and BMWs surrounded by flashing lights and ruptured barriers, suggested that many of those expert drivers attracted to the ultimate driving machine might be better off on the deserted sweeping curves of advert-land than sharing real roads with us somewhat lesser mortals. They might have fast cars and obviously the accidents would have been unavoidable, caused by morons in slower, cheaper ones and unexpected winter weather conditions like rain, but neither they nor I were going anywhere very quickly this morning. It took me four hours instead of two and a half.

One of the relaxing things about shore fishing is that fishing time is so restricted by the tides, getting there early or staying on later seldom seems to make any difference. Whatever the hold up, I could just chill out and watch the world go by. I got there eventually of course and in the car park met a chap who gave me the good news. At the weekend, a live mortar had been found on the shore and the whole headland had been sealed off for a controlled explosion. Not only that but in ten days time it would be closed off again, this time for at least five weeks, while the disused MOD facility is torn down, all the ironwork pulled out of the sea, the concrete ground up and used to repair the track. The site will be returned to nature, The National Trust and access made easier. Good news and bad as ever, but next time I shall be forced to try elsewhere which is neither a bad thing nor an unwelcome one.

No lug today, just one bag of party squid and two mackerel. What is a party squid for goodness’ sake, one wearing a little black dress and carrying a condom in its handbag? Anyway today it was going to be thornbacks, conger or bust, although I have promised myself that the first decent codling that should come along is heading home to the frying pan. I have fished here often enough now to get my bearings even when the snags are sub-surface so I was able to start early. I had a standard pulley-pennell rig on one rod baited with whole squid, and an experimental up and over pulley on the other armed with mackerel on a single 4/0. Time would tell whether one was better than the other.



I had bites immediately. My one fear when I started this adventure was that I would struggle for bites but that hasn't happened at all. Where my problems lie is in catching the perpetrators. The rod rattles and bangs about, the tip sometimes pulling hard down maybe three or four inches, yet strike them or leave them, there is nothing on the hooks 95% of the time. I guess they are mostly small fish, but all of them? It would be nice to know, and I am leaning towards using some hooks smaller than my standard 4/0s.

Using hooks that I can bend out with 30 lbs braid would make my snoods less complicated as well. I had big problems with the up and over rig today with it unclipping on the cast and tangling. I can see that the 60 lbs amnesia is too stiff for the 6 oz lead to pull it tight over the top link clip and once it has released it flails about in mid-flight tangling as it goes. I shall try thirty pound in future or get a different , more limp brand if necessary.

Anyway the tide fell away quickly enough, taking the light with it. The rain fell equally quickly and heavily and the tips kept banging away. The mackerel was stripped by crabs and the squid pulled off the hooks, but it was a full hour into the flood, with the light failing fast that I finally caught something. Instead of the bite stopping once the culprit had got bored or eaten the bait off, this time the tip kept going, and pretty vigorously too. This had to be a proper fish. It certainly felt no heavier than the crabs I had already landed, but that was probably because it wasn't any heavier than the crabs I had already landed. But, it was a cod!

Two 4/0 hooks, one whole squid, one fish finger sized cod. Well, I couldn’t take my first cod after all, so I slipped it back with my very best wishes. It got dark quickly and I don't mind admitting that I was struggling to get back up the cliff, over the hill and back to the car. This winter has cost me my health and my temper, but even one tiny cod lifts the gloom like nothing else. I was back on the road, just in time to catch the evening rush hour and to weave my way through the flashing lights and piles of BM Well you know what's. I can't see Germany wanting us to leave the single market, we buy, crash and replace too many of their cars.

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