We had one of our regular boat trips out of Beer on board the ‘Blue Lady’ on Tuesday. It felt especially good – probably a mixture of good weather and the fact that a day off of work was being put to such good use.
With only Myself, Mike and the skipper, Cyril fishing there was plenty of room to spread out on board the boat. Expectations were high as usually we can expect a good haul of tasty black bream on these trips at this time of the year. These fish are nearly always obliging with a distinctive rattling bite, a good scrappy fight and to top it all, they taste great!
We came prepared with plenty of bait – several boxes of tiny ‘party’ squid, a couple of boxes of large calamari, frozen mackerel, ragworm and other assorted bits and pieces. Now whilst this may seem excessive, when a shoal of bream are feeding well throughout the day, they really do go through the bait quickly – especially as the bite to hooked fish ratio can be quite infuriating. This particular trip however really bucked the usual trend, and we struggled to find any bream at all. Cyril and myself managed a solitary fish each in the whole day despite moving around searching for the fish, and those that we did catch were not particularly big. Even the dogfish and pouting just didn’t seem to be around or feeding….
After most of the day hunting the elusive bream we decided to admit defeat and had a few exploratory drifts for cod over the inshore reefs, during which Mike landed a nice 8lb cod, before we headed in closer to an area just offshore from Seaton seafront to drift for plaice.
This move for the last hour of the trip, really saved the day with instant action from the start. All three of us were into plaice from the first drop. Mike pulled up a cracking, wonderfully coloured tub gurnard, in amongst the plaice. I finished with 5 plaice, the biggest of which was probably just over 2lb. All of which fell to a single ragworm on a long flowing trace, drifted across the sandy sea bed. The trick seemed to be to let out line as soon as a bite was felt in order to give the plaice time to take the hook. After a few seconds a slow retrieve invariably resulted in a lively little flattie.
Given that our trips out of Beer usually concentrate on the bream, the short diversion of plaice fishing proved most unexpected and a welcome change. We’ll definitely have to look to find an hour or so to try for the plaice in future alongside the usual bream fishing!