5th August - Thankyou West Sussex....!!
Filthy lens, and no tripod, but I think that this captures the excitement of hounding
The hound invasion of West Sussex does seem to be establsihing itself as an annual event. The only trick with it is reading the conditions, the environment, and the food sources. The hounds can turn up on the most unlikely beaches, even in broad daylight, if the food they are hungry for is there in great numbers. And it has to be in great numbers, because the hounds roam in huge packs at this time of the year, many thousands of fish sweeping across the sub-surface terrain, wiping clean beaches of all crustecean life in a few sweeps. Happy to go crabbing, hounds with roughed up noses indicates they have been turning their own rocks in their feeding frenzy. I just hope they remember to return them the right way up!! On a recent visit to my friend Jeff's house, we got into talking about the possibilities of hounding along his patch of coast. We circled a few possibilities, and when I heard of an increase in spider crab numbers a little further east, suggested it might be worth an exploratory chuck. Five crabs used by Jeff for four hounds to 14lb plus suggested we give it a full session. Arriving with a bucket of softies (cheers Roger!!) we were joined by Jeff's friend and colleague Lib, who hadnt previously caught a smoothie...........I think Jeff was the first away, still early in the tide. I just love the shot above, despite the obvious issues of wobble and dirt on the lens.
First hound of the night
From that point on it was consistent hounding, that increased to a frenzy on the ebb tide. It was very rare that there was time for a cigarette or a tea. But, its fair to say we werent moaning.
Lib's first hound. Check out the pure joy in his face. 10lb 1oz I seem to remember
Jeff's main aim was to see his mate enjoy the thrill of being attached to a big muscle, that is a smooth-hound. He neednt have worried. Lib managed it in style, with a 10lb 1oz fish. Not a bad way to break your cherry!!
Jeff n me, as they were coming thick and fast
Plenty more for Lib
My best of the night, a stunning common of 11lb odd.
Jeff, Lib n hounds.....
Best fish of the night to Lib. 14lb 4oz!!!!!
It wasnt the dawn that bought this session to an end, but the ebbing tide. Already we had been suprised at how many we had been catching in only six feet of water. But even that ran off, and we had to pack up. Tired, excited, glowing with the joy that a good session brings, it was one hell of a night. Final Statistics, I had 13 fish, Lib 12, Jeff 11 if my memory serves me correct. Had we been more switched on, two patting traces etc, I am sure we could have doubled that figure. But we were there to enjoy the fishing, and we most certainly did that!!