Low tide was at 10-00 meaning ideally, I'd want to be leaving the river at 8-00.Ten to eight and I was still at home looking out my bedroom window when I spied a familiar shape in the distance heading in a SSE direction. It was almost certainly Alan, aboard Walrus and If the weather conditions were O.K for him, then they were fine by me.
I'd hesitated mostly because on Windguru it was showing double figure MPH winds......but from the West which , with most of the fishing time today being on a flooding tide, shouldn't have been too uncomfortable. Having decided to go , I was crossing the bar at 0830 which , given the size of the tide, and the fact that it was ebbing which gives a little more leeway, was just in time to make it, although in places I had less than three feet under me.
It's not really too much of an issue heading out with the tide as , if it does get shallow, you just up engine and drift out hoping that there are no nasty scrapes but, memories of my stupidity in the early season when I trashed the prop came flooding back . Luckily nowadays, I'm a little wiser.
The second decision of the day which would eventually turn out to be the wrong one, was where to go. I'd called Alan up on the radio as I'd left the river but he was nine miles out at #11 after channels. He commented that the water clarity out there was 'reasonable'. I did think of heading to #31 but two things stopped me. Neil's recent comments about a coloured sea and, I was still a little unsure of how the weather conditions would pan out and felt I should stay in a little closer.
I chose to head for #27 and #28 in search of a cod........and proceeded to catch every single dogfish in the sea. Or at least that's how it felt. Even moving to an apparently barren area of what might have been Neil's 'mud' produced an endless stream of the blighters, so many I lost count. The only let up in proceedings was a couple of nice bream ,one taken for the table, and a lonely pouting.
Luckily, the weather actually stayed fine, and for most of the day I was wearing sunglasses. Although there were very few boats out( I was the only one from the marina)I gathered from a bit of banter that there had been a bit of action over on #31 or thereabouts.
Alan and Ray had moved over there towards the end of the day and had indeed picked up a few 'spikeys' on lures, confirmed to me by meeting Alan at his mooring on the way in. I could have kicked myself.
The water clarity didn't seem too bad(not perfect) from about a couple of miles out and it's worth remembering for the future,that this was approximately 24hrs after the winds had calmed.
At the end of the day both my caution and inexperience might have caused me to miss a valuable and rare opportunity(the weather is looking pants for days ahead) to have a go at the bass but, I can't really complain as i did catch plenty and felt safe all day. Lesson learnt.