March the 6th – time for the first boat trip of the year and we’re greeted by a bitterly cold and pretty strong wind. A chilly start to my sea fishing calendar saw Mike and myself heading out of Minehead with Dave James aboard one of our two usual boat’s, ‘Edwin John’.
Despite the chill, we were treated to a glorious sunrise, as we set up. As usual We both fished two upside rods each and soon settled in to the steady rhythm of catching dogfish one after another which is pretty standard for this part of the Bristol Channel. Amongst the doggies were a few more interesting species.
We had a few 3 bearded rockling, several whiting, including one up to around a pound and a half, along with a decent conger, a small thornback ray and a small-eyed ray. Alongside the ray we also had a couple of small codling between us although Mike did manage to trump me as usual with a ‘keeper’ at a few pounds. Don’t know how he does it but he always manages to winkle out better quality fish!
Whilst we fished the usual sandeel, herring and squid baits it was definitely the herring that seemed to be the best bait on the day. The herring are netted by Dave and his brother, Marcus during the winter months and then frozen down for use throughout the rest of the year. The herring have by all accounts recovered number wise in the area over recent years which is nice to see, as they’re obviously an important food source for many of the other fish in the channel.
To add to the days entertainment we were perfectly situated to spectate on the RNLI lifeboat practice session with the air sea rescue helicopter, just off of Minehead. Considering the slightly choppy conditions I thought they did well to winch crewmen on and off the lifeboat. I was cold just watching, so rather them than me!