Not a fly fishing trip as such, but my Sunday boat trip prevented me attending the second day of the ‘Flyfishing for Coarse Fish” group weekend meet and was in itself quite successful so warranted a mention. Glorious, glorious weather and flat calm sea – perfect for fishing in comfort which happens very infrequently.
I took along some fresh peeler crab and frozen sandeels to supplement the locally caught herring and the squid that the skipper always provides. August often sees a few smoothhounds around and we’d had some the previous month so hopes were high. Both Mike and myself fished 2 uptide rods each as usual.
As it turned out, and exactly as the skipper foretold, there appeared to be no smoothhounds around and we concentrated on targeting the rays with sandeel and herring over the sandbanks off of Minehead.
One of the best things about fishing during August is that there’s not too many dogfish around (I only caught around 20 or so which is really not that many for the Bristol Channel believe it or not). Interspersed amongst the dogfish, I had a couple of conger eels before I finally landed a blonde ray. Meanwhile Mike totted up a conger, 3 blonde ray, a small-eyed ray and a spotted ray – all good sized fish. We both had a few baby tope snap up our fish baits – the teeth on these things even though they are babies really show you they’re not destined to grow up vegetarians! The crowning glory of the day however was a stunning 8lb Bass that fell to sandeel fished over the sandbank. What a breathtaking sight to see that coming to the surface! To date this is easily my best Bass, and given the rarity of seeing Bass of this size I’m not holding out much hope of repeating the feat for a while.. In any case, seeing a bass of that size being netted really will stay with me for a long while..