artificial lite.

silver lite.

beach bum.

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‘Ting, ‘ting club.

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beach bum.

artificial lite.



It rained today, from the moment I arrived, until the moment that I left. Fortunately I have a cracking little beach shelter. I can put it up in under a minute, it's held 100% solidly by simply kicking gravel over the skirt and it's an absolute haven in foul weather. Not quite so fortunately it was waiting patiently by the front door back home in the midlands, where I left it. Today, I would be getting wet from the moment I arrived until the moment I left. What a muppet.

It was nice to be back on the shingle though, whatever the weather. Trudging around the marsh to a symphony of flutes and penny whistles as the waders greeted the dawn was, is, always magical. There is a wistful, lonely quality to their music that fits the place like a glove.

I made a better job in the half-light of finding my chosen spot than I did on my last visit and was happy that the weather would keep the naked sunbathers back in doors under their sun lamps. The sea was untroubled and looked very promising beneath a dirty sky.

Four hours later, it had progressed from being a long cast away, to being right at my very feet. It was high tide and it was my confidence that had ebbed away. Not a single, solitary bite had registered on my rod tip.

I was using my bass rods again with a straight running 3oz watch lead on one and a two hook flapper on the other. They were creeping round slowly on the flood and covering a lot of ground but my frozen blacks had attracted zero interest. I had to come up with something or travel back up the M40 tomorrow with two more blanks to my credit.

All I could come up with was a change of lead. Maybe grip leads holding the bait still in the current would help. Almost like magic, it worked. The tips both started clattering away and a succession of whiting made their way ashore, along with a nice pout (a shore-caught first). I caught five, and missed a few trying to strike earlier in a, rather too successful, effort to reduce deep hooking.

For an hour I could barely fish two rods and indeed at one stage both were laying on the shingle waiting to be rebaited. The first two were too deeply hooked and succumbed. I had to despatch them and decided to try Billy Bantock’s flounder unhooking method (Check out Fisho's Shore Angling Videos on YouTube) on them. To my surprise it worked very easily and after that everything swam away strongly.



Those two, although a bit small for eating, will make good conger baits back 'home' on the channel. There appears to be an unwritten rule on sea fishing that dictates that 'Eric will not be successful for too long.' I hardly seemed to have got going when I was driven off by the weather. A real storm blew up in minutes and even 4 ounce grippers wouldn't hold any more.

Weed appeared from nowhere, festooned along my lines making effective fishing impossible. As if I wasn't wet enough, the drizzle became rain and, somewhat reluctantly in the end, I left with the fish presumably, but not necessarily, still biting.

Sea fishing seems to require a different mindset to freshwater fishing. Its regular pattern of tides and irregular, extreme changes in state, affect the fish's habits on an hourly basis. Four hours without a bite in perfect if damp conditions nearly sent me packing, but now I know it means nothing. As in fact it happened today, the fish can suddenly turn up and the next hour can make a very good day indeed.

More than ever, I now believe that no bites means there are no fish there, but that it never means there won't be in the next few minutes. No wonder seasoned anglers never seem to fish more than three or four hours at a time. The locals are in a position to learn when they will arrive. Wannabee sea anglers from the midlands have to stick it out as long as possible to cover all eventualities.

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artificial lite