Dave joined me for my only fish-in attendance this year and we were to be 'guided' for the day by Bob (The Arun Ace) Charman who would be showing us some alternative marks, most of which i'd not tried before.
After the meet up at Swanwick in the drizzle, Bob took us to the area fronting the 'Jolly Sailor' pub.I have nipped in here with the dinghy before but never taken a mullet .Bob elected to leger, whilst Dave and I float fished.A few swirls to some surface ground bait were evident early on, and it didn't take long to hit a fish.
At the beginning of the season(it might even have been last season)I loaded my Okuma pin with about 50yds of line, which has always been enough, whilst not causing any tangling issues when fast trotting.I suppose every time i break off the end tackle to replace it, I lose a few feet.I've now got about 35yds of line left on the reel as I found out with this fish-it spooled me.The fish shot off, crossing through Dave's swim and into Bobs,and before i knew it, there was no line left on the reel.Not only that but although i was winding, the line was simply slipping round the spool.What a pillock! Note to self....get it sorted...and get a decent amount on the reel.
The only thing for it was to go in after the fish....I only had my wellies on! The pictures tell the story.Luckily the water was actually quite warm.The spectacle was witnessed by a few pub dwellers who gave a round of applause when Dave netted the fish for me- a nice one at 5-04. A flying start indeed.I stayed over my patch of ground bait and it appeared that the group of mullet continued to feed taking two more fish at 4-14 and 2-07 quite quickly. I was alight.
5-10-10 Update.I've just heard that Steve Smith has had a 6-15 from this swim today-a P.B
As the tide dropped things went quiet so we relocated to the 'Chinese restaurant', a swim i've fished before with Ben.Dave switched to feeder fishing between two pontoons and soon had a three pounder out-his first ever mullet on leger tactics.Bob caught a small bass(Bob loves bass) and then proceeded to lose a mullet.Gutted for you mate.
I stuck with the float and initially began fishing on the bottom, at about nine feet deep and a yard or two out from the pontoon closest to the main river. Nothing but crabs gave me trouble down there and, as a few mullet were showing up in the water, I altered the rig to about half depth and scored virtually straight away with a 4-08, later followed by a beautiful, tiny mullet of about 6oz which tested my juggling skills(pic).
Our final location was just upstream of the railway bridge in a shallow pool where Paul Howe had taken some nice fish earlier in the week.I switched to leger and failed to add to my tally, but Dave took another fish of about 2 1/2 lb to end the day.
Great session thanks to Bob, and a few more marks to add to the Hamble repertoire. 14 anglers turn up for the fish-in which, considering the poor weather, was an excellent turn out and 19 fish were caught, the biggest falling to Dave Rigden at 5-09.
On a personal note-i'm having a run of good fortune at the moment and it would be nice if it would last a little longer so I could achieve my target of 50 mullet for the season-nine required.I've a feeling it'll be a close run thing however,there is a slight problem. My mind is turning towards those toothy freshwater beasts.In fact I'm just reading the late Barrie Rickards' last book on the subject, and can't help but be inspired to dust off the pike rods.We'll see.At the moment the rivers are up and coloured with recent rain and it's THAT which is stopping me going.