Monday 28 October 2013

A report from Jim - still currently exiled on the south coast

Well a remarkable thing happened down here for a weekend in October,
I had organised crew for both days and the weather was fantastic. It was a big spring tide and given the time of year the plan was a day coding and then a day trying out for a late season bass or two.
The Saturday was the day for cod and my crew was big John one of the research scientists at work. The last time John and I went fishing in May resulted in the steering cable parting when I was going full tilt and John catching me before I got spat over the side. Anyway off we went out of Langstone harbour with the sea like a sheet of glass. First stop was just north of the Nab tower where I got a 17 lb cod last November alas nothing doing and as the tide slackened off our big squid baits attracted loads of dogfish. Switching to smaller squid baits resulted in lots of pout some quite large touching 2 lbs.
Anyway as the target was Mr Cod we moved further out to south of the nab where there was more tide. Alas just more dogfish. Got back in feeling a bit disappointed as one boat had a couple of 5 lb cod. What made us really sick was another boat had found a shoal of large bass and had taken about 30 between 4 and 8 lbs before chuckling loads more back.
Day two was to be off shore bass fishing on a sandbank known as the French bank. This came as a recommendation from one of the club members who used to be a commercial rod and line bass angler. Crew for the Sunday was the maintenance manager from work also called Jim, the plan was to drift over the sandbank using artificial lures or head hooked rags.
I typed the co ordinates into the GPS and did a double check on the distance 30 miles. I went back into the club and asked the club member if that was the right distance or had I been suffering from finger trouble. Nope it was 30 miles. Did a double check on fuel and reckoned I had enough with the spare stuff I had in the car.
Off we went glorious steam out completely flat calm in unbelievably warm weather for October – I was in waders and a tee shirt. I’ve been on charter trips down here where we have been steaming this distancehowever this was a first for me as the Isle of White sung below the horizon.
 Anyway as we approached the destination we could see it was popular with seven other boats drifting over the bank. Tackled up and started drifting over the bank, as there was no wind the drift was all down to the tide at 3.3 knots so pretty quick the bottom of the bank was 110 feet and the top 70 feet with the rise happening over about 200 feet. It was extremely frustrating at first as we saw other boats catch the occasional fish then suddenly I had a belter of a bit. Shame I was watching another boat and hand my thumb on the spool. The 20lb fluorocarbon parted and I had a hissy fit at myself.
After that the tide eased and the drift slowed so we thought we would anchor and have our lunch. This was actually very good loads of small stuff and I had a nice thornback of about 7 lbs and Jim had a belter of a bite which turned out to be the blonde ray attached of about 17 lbs. The tide picked up again and so we started drifting the bank again. Most of the other boats had given up but the ebb tide seemed to do the trick I lost another belter of a fish whilst Jim landed two nice table sized bass of 4 lbs. Interestingly the take area was surprisingly small with all bites and fish coming from one small area.
Packed up and motored the 30 miles back in about 90 minutes. Great day out and for once we had by far the best catch in the compound. Jim took pity on me and gave me one of his bass which was jolly nice cooked as below

Friday 4 October 2013

Autumn sunshine

Stewart and Martin had a trip down to Loch Ken at the weekend.
Stewart had most of the action AM with a few attacks on his old faithful copper spoon
 Martin had to wait till a 20 minute spell in late afternoon put a bend in his rod with a couple of Pike and a small but nicely marked Perch