Saturday, 21 May 2011

20/5/11 West Ditch, Smoothound Bank.

0600-1230  HW 1415 5.8
First mark fished today was just off to the east side of the West Ditch reef mark.WE certainly caught plenty here including bream, dogs pout and very pretty looking cuckoo wrasse, but everything was a bit on the small size, so a decision was made to move a 100yds or so and anchor up on the reef proper.
At first the fishing was slow, but I suggested  setting up a ground bait sack-something I've been meaning to do for a while.We loaded the sack with chopped mackerel, and the messy bits of a filleted cuttlefish and using cuttle as bait on the hooks-the results were quite amazing.
Immediately things improved and a long run of really good bream came up with both Andy and myself getting p.b's mine a 3-12, Drew's a stunning 4-07.By 1100 a planned move was in order some 2NMs west to Smoothound Bank and the furthest point from L.A harbour that I've taken the boat yet.
When we arrived and set the bruce anchor the wind was already picking up to 13-14mph....half an hour later it had reached 18mph and I called it.In the meantime however, Andy pulled up a couple of upper single figure  hounds on crab, whilst I managed a baby hound and a doggie on squid.A revisit here is essential.
The 40 minute journey back with a following sea was quite exiting to say the least, but with quite a bit of concentration required to keep the boat on track see below-the pic doesn't do justice to the size of the waves, It all went well and we arrived safely back in port at 1230 with a nice bag of bream to take home and lots learned.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

16/5/11 Another lost fish.

Short low water session yesterday afternoon/evening just downstream from Ford, and my only chance was a lost fish at distance which slipped the hook. Andy carried on after I'd left and winkled one out from upstream of the upper sluice on the Ford straight. It's still early doors yet.
Today, the 17th, I called off a boat trip due to westerlies around 15mph. Looking out back at HW, It was a wise decision as there are plenty of 'white tops' showing.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

15/5/11 Two Trips in One. East Ditch/Tortington

One of the beauties of living In Rustington ,Is the ease of accessibility to different types of fishing.I'm only a five minute drive from the river where I can both launch my boat to get out to sea, and chase mullet if I choose to.
I took Dave out today for his first go in the boat,to target black bream, despite the weather conditions looking decidedly 'iffy'.
We set of from the slip at about 6-00 a.m following a charter which literally crawled over the bar at the river entrance. It was useful  to follow his course, despite the fact that my little boat only draws a few inches and could have 'sailed' through, we waited and watched as he negotiated the shallows keeping close to the West Works, as he exited the river 'proper'.Not surprising really, as the sounder dropped down to 4ft  in places, despite being the regulation 'two hours after low....and you can go'.
The wind was already building as we headed out to East Ditch, and by the time we arrived, it had reached well into Force 4 on the anemometer.
East Ditch is approximately 4 nautical miles from Littlehampton. A true reef mark, It Is actually part of the reef system that begins with Bognor rocks in the west, and ends with the famous Kingmere rocks in the east.This can clearly be seen on the Admiralty chart for the area.
After the success of our last bream visit to the mark, I decided to drop the pick in the same spot just off the main reef, which has tackle munching 10ft pinacles in places-easier said than done.Despite the bumpiness, the boat sat well, and Dave hit a nice bream of about 2lb on his first drop, which in effect, was mission accomplished for me.
We continued to catch relatively steadily until a change of tactics to paternoster rig at slack tide, brought in a couple of double shots for me. Obviously having the baits just slightly up in the water made a difference as the bream tend to leave the bottom at slack tide.
On the flood the wind had been going with the tide, but as the slack set in the conditions had deteriorated (18 mph gusts), and become uncomfortable enough for me to decide to call it a day and head ashore at about 9-00a.m.
The boat could handle it but Dave admitted to me later that he was starting to 'feel it' a bit and I really didn't want to put my mate off coming out again.We'd caught about 12-15 bream, with a couple of 2lb bracket 'clonkers' and a solitary minuscule pouting.Interestingly, we counted about 13 vessels on the distant Black Ledge but, as we later found out, a good number of those boats were the L.A boat fishing club out on a 'jolly'.
The journey back was 'interesting' , max speed about 9kts and spray flying everywhere- I loved it.. and the boat didn't seem to mind.Back home for a cuppa and a sarnie until 1300 ,by which time the wind had dropped off nicely (law of the sod) then it was time for the back up plan.A trip up the river for that first mullet, this time with feet firmly on terra firma....well, mud actually.
I'd been disappointed to lose that first mullet last week although, Andy had returned to 'The Wall' on the following tide and scored his first of the year.Now it was my turn.
Tortington was the choice, but despite seeing numbers of mullet last week, few were showing on our arrival, and the tide hadn't really ebbed enough for my liking.We did manage to scramble down the bank and find a tiny section of mud on which to park ourselves and trot in the pacey flow. I did spot a couple of fish close in, though at that time, well downstream.
The mashed bread must have reached them however, because ten minutes after starting, my float buried , and I'd soon landed my first mullet of the year- a modest specimen of 2-12.
Nothing else showed so we relocated to a 'banker' back eddy at 'Tesco's'. I didn't fish but instead, kept Dave's swim, and a couple of mullet, supplied with mash, but despite one obvious bite, we couldn't level the score for my mate.
Back home around 1700,  feeling somewhat 'knackered' by the day's events.

Monday, 9 May 2011

9/5/11 First Mullet Session...........I lost!

I hate loosing fish especially if the line breaks.....but that is exactly what happened today on my first attempt of the year to get a mullet.

'The Wall was the chosen venue and I arrived at about 3hrs before high on a 5.1 tide. A little bigger than i'd prefer for this venue but fish able for a couple of hours nonetheless.

As i arrived the clear demarcation between the flooding sea water, and the brown river water,(we've had rain recently) could clearly be seen moving slowly upstream.Fishing a rod length out the take was unmissable and for a moment I'd thought the fish had gone, but it had merely run towards me momentarily causing slack line. It surfaced just on the main flow crease, looking like a fair fish.....and then the line went slack....and it was gone.

I was totally gutted, even more so when I found out that the line had parted.I was certain that I hadn't turned on the pressure too much, but i was using a different line to my normal choice- Daiwa Sensor. I refuse to believe that the line is faulty but I did make some rather unkind comments about Daiwa gear in the blog in a previous entry, so perhaps the ' Daiwa'  god is getting his own


Moved up to Tortington shortly afterwards but although seeing fish, we didn't get a take.