Sunday, 30 October 2016
At last I've been able to get out fishing in my own boat and it's been far too long a wait to do so.
Bass were the target and I arrived at the mark with still a bit of energy left in the flooding tide.
First drop of the 'Fiiish minnow' and it was smashed before it had even reached the sea bed by a 6-12 bass.......................'good start' I thought but that was to be the end of the action on the flood as it soon lost its momentum, and no more bites followed.
Fish were indeed present so, I decided to hang around the mark, and wait for tide to start Its ebb.
In the meantime, I spotted some frantic bird activity and headed over to see what all the fuss was about. Sure enough a big 'green' mass up on the sounder Indication a big shoal of bass and I managed to coax a few up even though the tide was slack.
As the ebb tide set in I expected to find the shoal tighten up but, this wasn't to be the case, and they appeared to spread out on the mark.
I did catch them, and consistently but only by scanning across the area constantly changing the drift line however , that 'green mass' failed to show itself again.
By the end of the session, and before having to leave the fishing to make the river bar, I'd amassed 22 bass mostly in the three pound class.
As has happened on previous trips, most of the fish were felt to initially hit the lure, upon which I began my retrieve, sometimes quite quickly, before the bass chased the lure and nailed it properly. I don't think that I'd have had so much success just bouncing the lure vertically but who knows................
On another note my bass guru mate Pete Cook has just bought himself a Warrior 165 and I managed to blag a lengthy test ride in it just the other day. Pete's been threatening to get a boat on the marina for quite a while now and this is a return to the pontoons for him as he had a 165 tied up there a few seasons back.
The 165 is a tried and tested design in a neat little package that has a loyal following amongst small boat users and its easy to see why. I've now ridden in several different boats in this size class and , In my opinion,this is by far the best of the bunch in virtually all respects.
Our trip was not exactly in favourable conditions but I was still able to explore the boats handling capabilities and came back feeling very impressed indeed.
The boat maintains a reasonable speed even in a moderate sea and feels comfortable and stable with very predictable handling.
Yes, it does feel quite a bit smaller than my 175 but the high freeboard is still there as is the almost perfect seat layout giving excellent helm and fishing positions and making the best possible use of available space which is still more than adequate.
The opening bow hatch and anchor stowage is still there making anchoring much safer and more convenient (all small boats should have this feature)
On the trailer It's light and easy to manoeuvre thus making it ideal for towing and 'unlike my 175, you don't need that gas guzzling 4wd monster to drag it up a slipway. On most occasions a normal 2wd tow vehicle will suffice.
In short , I can't really find much to complain about the 165 ,as a fishing machine, It just ticks all the boxes bar one.....................................It's not cheap. Even used examples command high prices probably because the build quality is such that they tend to still be in good structural and cosmetic condition regardless of age. Pete's boat is nine years old, has racked up a fair few hours of use but still looks sharp.
Angling journalist Dave Lewis tells me that the 165 is probably one of the best selling small fishing boats ever made and this speaks volumes. If you're prepared to pay the extra cash needed , then you probably won't go far wrong. If you want to keep the boat for twenty odd years, if you look after it, you probably will. If you want to flog it for something else then you'll get your money back anyway. It's not rocket science people.