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Waiting for ever

Looking forward....

Waiting two weeks between trips to the coast is so frustrating. I have never had such a well organised and clean set of gear as I have now assembled for shore fishing. If like me you become obsessed and you can't get to the water, there are only two options open to you, buy more gear or clean and organise what you already have.

I spend every waking hour pondering life changing decisions like shall I fish two pulley rigs with squid on one and mackerel on the other or shall I stick with my previous trip's successful plan of a big, pulley rigged big bait on one and smaller hooks bearing lug and mackerel on a two hook flapper for the other?

Mackerel for rays or squid for cod? Can I still reach over the rocks to the mud with my cast if I start earlier? How much earlier? If somebody is in my spot, could I fish the other side of the headland or do the rocks extend out too far?

The older I get, the more it hurts to wish my life away, but I can't wait for Saturday.......

 

 

Looking back...

LT 13.16pm. 12.3 m, 3 down, 2.5 up, overcast with sea mist, mild.

Trundling down the M5 at 6 in the morning always intensifies the anticipation. Somehow, the harder it is to get there, the more exciting it becomes, especially when the cats eyes and roadworks give way to the narrow lanes winding their way through misty Somerset hedgerows.

I had better footwear today and the box was on my back, not hanging round my neck. At least getting to the mark would be a breeze. Up and over the headland, clattering through the brambles and clambering down the cliff, what an adventure! What a lot of sweat and what a lot of pain. The boots were great, but the carrying frame for my box was gouging great bruises into the muscles at the bottom of my back. It was better, but not quite carling as they say on the adverts. Somehow, the few extra six ounce leads that I had brought along seemed to have added hundredweights to my load. The proverbial straws I suppose.

One of the problems I have, lacking experience and knowledge, is knowing how much of everything I will need. I expect every mark is different anyway, but I don't feel at the moment that I can risk running out of leads or bait, or being unable to make a new rig if I need one, especially having just driven three hours to get there.

I was earlier this week. Having located some features whose appearance above water would identify the edge of the rocks, I was hoping to scrounge an extra hour with my baits in the water, and it worked perfectly.
It was a bit too early to begin fishing immediately and I had plenty of time to sit and watch. It was so quiet, so peaceful. No traffic noise, just a plaintive curlew calling occasionally or the plop of a small mullet splashing in the margins. Finding that kind of peace was already worth the drive.

I had barely cast out when I noticed another angler was setting up fifty yards to my right. Later on he would saunter over for a chat and was very informative about what I could expect, unhesitatingly offering advice about the mark and the fish. So far everybody I have met fishing the shore has been friendly and helpful.

Eventually the rock marking the edge of the mud peeped above the water and the baits flew out. Two hook flapper carrying frozen lug tipped with mackerel to the left, whole squid to the right. Nothing to do but watch the tide roll away. Bliss.

 

My first bite came to the squid on the pulley rig as the tide fell. Another first for me, a two, maybe three pound conger. I'd never even seen one in real life. Its heavier and more muscular head and neck make a silver eel look comparatively graceful, like comparing a staffie with a whippet.

The fellow fishing next to me had one at the same time of similar size and that was the cue for more bites. Sadly none of them developed, although my baits were repeatedly robbed. Once or twice the flapper snoods came back all tied up in knots which suggests that they may have been eels as well.

Things went quiet at the bottom of the tide, but as it started to flood in there were further signs of interest. After walking the rods back up the beach, I couldn't get the line to my pulley rig tight again. All I could feel was the lead rolling. Eventually it dawned on me that it might be a fish so I wound down and struck. Two good thumps and everything went solid. Another eel probably and backed in to a snag now. In the end, I had to pull for the break.

 

 

After a few more rattles that didn't become takes and then, as time was running out, I had my last proper bite. There was definitely a fish on, but halfway back the weight suddenly fell away and there was no longer anything kicking on the end. It wasn't a big fish anyway, but I would at least liked to have seen what it was.

Suddenly it was all over bar the scramble up the cliff and the long trudge back to the car. My fellow angler up the bank waved good by and set off around the headland and five hours were gone in an instant. Just three hours left on the motorway to plan my next trip, what to buy and what to leave behind, and then I would be home.
Two weeks of waiting that lasted half a lifetime followed by a few hours that passed in a moment.
 

artificial lite

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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