Monday, 12 July 2010

Going Afloat on the Hamble

Looking out of the rain lashed window yesterday morning it would have been easy not to bother with a boat trip to the Hamble,but nothing ventured............. Setting off at around midday at low water, the wind was so strong I found it extremely difficult to get the boat out deep enough to start the motor.Usually launching at Swanwick is a piece of cake.Having finally managed to get under way, I came across a struggling lone youngster,mid channel, rowing an inflatable trying desperately to make headway upwind and failing miserably.'Excuse me,you wouldn't be going to Mercury would you, only I've run out of fuel and could do with a tow?' I've been in this situation myself so was only too glad to throw him a line and act as tug. Good deed done for the day,I though i'd sneak into the Mercury swims for a quick look.It was sheltered but nothing obvious was showing,and as I could easily fish this area from the bank anyway,I decided to move on. Found a bit of flat(ish) water,4-5ft deep,in the lee of some moored boats on the east bank in a shallow area that I think is known locally as 'Crableck'.Soon got some whelms and obvious feeding activity and had one out at a shade under 4lb.Having 'killed' the swim and with the wind increasing,I decided to follow the tide up,seek shelter and fish way upstream of the motorway bridge in the Manor Farm country park . This is a favourite area of mine having produced some good fish in the past including a 'six' for Jan in the boat last year.Beautiful tree lined banks,creek inlets etc and rarely visited by other boats or indeed bank anglers-well worth a look if you get the chance .Real 'Swallows and Amazons' stuff.Apart from a canoe,I had the place to myself and soon winkled out yet another nice dark-backed fish in the 3lb bracket. I can't seem to break into the big league this season,nearly all the fish i've had have been between three and four pounds.Not complaining you understand,but I think i'd better leave those big boys to the likes of Bob,Toby and Paul,for the time being. Tried out the self timer on the camera for this one but,i think you'll agree-I need a taller tripod!Once again the swim went dead so I finished the afternoon off with a spell opposite the Swanwick slipway where I did manage to tempt a take or two,but couldn't realise my hat-trick.Just managed to get the boat out before the heavens opened. Pleasant afternoon's boating/fishing in less than Ideal conditions.

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