For this months boat fishing trip out of Minehead, and we were treated to fantastic weather – flat calm, hot and overcast. A small tide meant we’d be able to get out and fish the deeper water as well.
When we boarded the boat the skipper, Marcus suggested that maybe we should try a drift or two over the sandbanks for bass. He’d been meaning to give it a go for a while and with the tide and weather being right, we thought it was worth a shot. Mike and myself lowered our baited hooks over the side for the first drift, and we watched the sandeels flutter down out of sight. moments later and the bait hits bottom – a few seconds after that and I’ve hooked the first fish. We were all stunned to see a lovely 3.5lb bass come to the net. What a start to the trip! Not sure if Marcus genuinely expected us to catch a bass or whether it was the most outrageous fluke. Either way, it was an auspicious start to the trip.
We finished the drift and encouraged by the early success had another drift but to no avail. Mike had a couple of bites but we didn’t connect with anymore fish, so headed out to try for the smoothhounds in deeper water.
Mike was straight onto fishing crab on both rods whilst I opted for crab on one and herring on the other. We both started to catch the occasional smoothhound along with the odd dogfish, whilst I landed a really fat Bull Huss on a fillet of herring.
The rest of the day was a leisurely and relaxing affair, with a steady procession of smoothhounds and the occasional dogfish. We finished the day with just short of 20 hounds between us. It turned out to be a good day’s fishing – nice and easy fishing in the calm conditions – it’s amazing how much more enjoyable everything is when you’re not being thrown around in the boat by waves.
Last time I fished Exeter & District’s, Kia Ora lakes with Rhianna, she had 60 rudd from the smaller pond in not that many more minutes. This time we started off on the smaller pond again targeting the hoards of rudd before moving onto the larger pond to try our luck for the carp.
We pole fished using maggots which on the smaller pond, without exception were hit on the drop by ravenous rudd. Even cubes of luncheon meat were savaged mercilessly. Not a chance of getting a bait near the bottom. This is the perfect kind of fishing for my daughters but after a while I managed to persuade her that it would be better if she watched me catch carp from the bigger pond just behind us.
We moved to a nice looking swim opposite a wooded island that I’d be able to reach with a long pole. A few decent sized carp were cruising around basking in the sunshine, but on this venue, surface fishing is banned so we plumbed the depth tight up against the island opposite. The water in front of us was fairly consistently shallow at only about 2 – 3 foot deep, so as there was no obvious deeper spots we decided to fish tight against the overhanging vegetation agains the island opposite. With my pole at nearly full reach, this was going to be a little more challenging.
I loose fed maggot and luncheon meat before going straight for the meat bait on the hook. Bites were easy to come by but connecting with anything was a very different proposition. It wasn’t long before Rhianna’s interest was waining and I knew me time was fast running out unless I could hook something..
The first two fish I hooked felt a good size but were off across the lake and into snags quicker than I could say “oooh, I’ve got one..”. Putting on the pressure only resulted in the hooks pulling out. I stepped up the rig and went for a beefier hook length in the hope of being able to stop any other fish I hooked a bit easier, and also increased hook size in an effort to hopefully get a better hook hold. This seemed to work and we swiftly landed 2 nice fish, the bigger of which went to nearly 7lb. I’m sure we could of caught more but with a small child moaning about being bored it seemed a good time to call it a day. We did chat to another angler leaving at the same time as ourselves to learn that he’d caught around a dozen carp up to 12lb. Nice to be sat by the water in the sunshine.
The benefit of owning your own boat was apparent this week, when I was invited out on a friend’s boat. A mooring in Exmouth marina means it is ready to go whenever time and weather is favourable. No need to wait for the tide. A few hours after work one evening this week proved the case in point and we managed to snatch a couple of hours mackerel fishing before dark.
The wind was reasonably blustery and conditions weren’t perfect but we persevered and drifted for mackerel just off the headland at sandy bay. The fish weren’t present in numbers but we steadily caught on every drift and ended the evening with nearly 40 fish. The larger fish being destined for mackerel pate and the smaller as pike baits for later this winter.