Saturday, 17 November 2012
16/11/12 Scooby's Swansong.
Scooby 2-The Final Episode
'Today was my final trip out in my trusty Orkney 520 'Scooby 2' before she is delivered to her new owner next week.She's been a cracking little boat. I bought her in October 2010, my first venture into inshore boat fishing, and we have shared over 80 fishing days together, mostly out of Littlehampton.As well as three double figure bass, her decks have seen tope and conger to 40lb plus , some excellent ray,hound, bream and plaice fishing, and a whole heap of fun and learning along the way, as well as one or two slightly 'iffy' moments as is the wont of the 'tyro' boat angler.
However,one specie that has eluded me personally, is decent cod.Last week I took my mate 'Rusty' out on a mission and, in typical fashion, he winkled out two double figure 'greenbacks'-a first for the boat.Despite the fact that I was chuffed to bits for my mate, and for my boat, I needed to get one for myself, and time was running out.
There were very few punters out today. Only a couple of privateers from my marina, and even the charters were a bit thin on the ground though it was reassuring to hear Neil (Spirit Of Arun) on the radio. What a help that guy's been these past couple of years.
Out of the river entrance by 0800 with just enough water over the bar on the huge tide, the selected marks were chosen for their 'heritage' with cod.Whole small cuttle, big cuttle strips and whole squid were the baits , rigged on 6/0 4/0 pennels. First drop down, and before i'd even set up my second rod, up came a pretty spotted ray and within minutes a screaming run resulted in a severed hooklength. I wonder what that was?
A steady procession of the inevitable dogfish throughout the day was punctuated by another 'spottie', a nice thornback and a 5lb bass which took a liking to a whole cuttle until, after the fourth mark move, I was the only boat left out there with only about 30 minutes to go before I'd have to leave to make the tide at the river entrance.There had been a cod reported by one of the boats out today, a nice one by all accounts,so i thought I might still be in with a chance.
I'd been tempted to up anchor and join a mate seen in the distance drifting a nearby reef for bass and, no doubt, baggin' a few and had to sit on my hands to prevent me doing so. I think it was just blind stubborness that made me sit it out.
'Last cast' I told myself out loud. (Why do anglers do that) I even cleared off the spare bait from the baitboard and began to resign myself to the fact that a cod wasn't going to happen along when suddenly, the squid rod gently rattled it's tip.'It's gonna be a ray' I thought as I tightened up but no, it started to bang it's head as Rusty had told me that cod do.....and rays don't!
When It surfaced I shouted out loud and punched the air (what a pillock) Yes it was a cod, and a reasonable one. 11lb she weighed, not a monster but, my first, decent enough and exactly what I wanted on the last cast, on the last trip out in my boat.Chuffed to bits.
The little Orkney seemed to have a bit more 'go' on the run home.Perhaps she was trying to tell me something.'
The cod was subsequently filletted at home,and we had it shallow fried in breadcrumbs with chips and peas for tea-it was after all, a Friday. Even the missus, who by her own admission is not a fish lover, was impressed.It tasted fantastic being only hours from the sea when eaten.
With my mate Alan's help, Scooby 2 was pulled out of the river for the last time today(Saturday 17th) and taken home for a good scrub up.She looks fine and is, this evening, being buffed up by my car valleting mate Alf, at the fire station.The prop will be dressed and painted this week, along with a fresh coat of white antifoul and then she'll be towed up to the Warrior factory where I'll meet up with her new owner, and my new boat.