A day off mid week gave me and Maria the opportunity to grab a few hours fishing whilst the kids were at school. Not often we get to go out together so we thought we’d treat ourselves to taking one of the self drive boats out from Beer.
Mike and I usually fish for the Black Bream out of Beer during September and October, when we go out with one of the professional skippers but today Maria and I decided to try out the self drives. These go out off the beach and can be taken out at whatever time of the day suits, for as long as you like, with you paying when you come back in. Boat trips from Beer aren’t tide dependant and you can go out whatever state of the tide. The only real limiting factor is the wind – a lively southerly wind prevents the boats being launched or recovered from the beach.
We arrived hoping for flat calm conditions and were slightly disappointed to find a gentle southerly breezy, not enough to super the fishing but enough to make it a little choppy, especially in the little boats. The self-drive boats are sturdy and very sea worthy wooden boats with inboard engines, easy to operate and perfectly adequate for inshore fishing. With just the two of us onboard we weren’t short on space.
On arrival, we heard from the locals that not much had been caught over recent days and that the mackerel weren’t around in any numbers. We were planning on drifting for plaice but had been unable to get any ragworm from any of the local tackle shops so had to make do with frozen black lug instead. We did try one rod baited with lug just trickling along the bottom whilst we had another rod rigged up with feathers for mackerel. There was very little in the way of tide and what there was, was going against the wind so that the boat hardly moved at all – not very satisfactory when hoping to drift for plaice..
Maria got first honours with a few chunky mackerel which gave us hope of a productive day ahead. It wasn’t to be however, and we struggled for the next 2 and a half hours to eek out a dozen mackerel between us, before Maria won the day with a baby gurnard. Given the conditions we didn’t feel like persevering and called it a day before too long.
Still – whilst not being terribly productive, it was a good fun trip and something that the girls would love to do if it was calmer. One to remember for the future.!