Monday 5 February 2024

Respect the classics man

It might be hard to believe for some younger anglers but for many of us the only way we could indulge in our daft pastime at home was through words and pictures, magazines and books.  The only worthwhile filmed fishing was John Wilson, there were very few videos, no Discovery channel and certainly no Youtube.  So most of us scratched the itch by reading and found information and inspiration whilst turning pages.  As a teenage Piker Fred Buller’s ‘Domesday book of Mammoth Pike’ provided an ultimate goal, a target weight that if achieved would be our equivalent to a gold medal.  I learnt the basics of Pike fishing on the bank, from other anglers but when Neville Fickling’s ‘Pike Fishing in the 80’s’ was published I was given one for Christmas and it was the book that filled in the gaps.  A few years later the next inspirational read was ‘Pike – The Predator becomes the prey’ by Bailey and Page from which I also learnt a lot.  However the book that many anglers regard as the first classic of the late twentieth century was ‘Fishing for Big Pike’ by Ray Webb and Barrie Rickards and I never actually read it, until last week.

I’ve been aware of this book forever, its reputation amongst Pikers certainly preceded it and I have always revered Barrie Rickards’ writing.  It had been on my mind to get hold of a copy, something for the next time I make it to the PAC convention maybe, so when I won one in the raffle at a Suffolk PAC meeting it was perfect and I couldn’t wait to read it.

Published in 1971 the book is over fifty years old but very much of what the authors wrote, (the fundamental principles if you will) still hold good a lifetime later.  Obviously tackle, bait and lures have improved a great deal and have become much easier to get hold of. Also Pikers are more efficient these days, we convert more takes to fish in the net but with the important stuff, I don’t think Piking theory has changed too much.  Even in the nineteen sixties Pike anglers had learned that too much angling pressure is a bad thing and guarding your waters was essential, something that some, otherwise sensible anglers can’t get their heads around even now.  It was interesting that the authors recommended trolling for Irish Pike in the manner of George Higgins and friends while most writers a decade later advocated camping on the spawning grounds.  The chapter on Pike location was spot on, very little has changed on that score and the effect of different weather conditions was pretty sound.  BR was a consistent advocate of following barometric pressure and it all makes sense although I think it may be largely negated by the mostly shallow waters I fish, where temperature is the key.  Most modern pikers are aware of feeding patterns, in particular busy spells at various times of the day although the mobile angler will like to think he can create his own by dropping onto fish.  At the time Rickards and Webb’s hotspot theories were ground breaking and I dare say accurate.  It is hard for me to be sure because I don’t think hotspots as defined by these authors actually exist anymore, I think angling pressure makes this impossible.  In over forty years of Piking I have only found one classic hotspot and this was on a pit which at that time was unfished.  When I revisited it a few years later it the old hotspot was nowhere near as productive, other areas were now much better.


Overall I really enjoyed reading Fishing for big Pike, the writing is excellent, witty and informative without being boring, where the authors present theories they are able to back it up with evidence.  Where the book is dated it is still interesting as a document recording the realities of Pike fishing in that period, the anglers were every bit as clever and innovative as modern Pikers, probably more so.  They were keener and tougher too.

A mild day in February, there’s only one place I want to be but the weather intervened, it’s just not fun when there’s a gale blowing and I’m not as daft as I once was.  So instead I got up early and pointed the car in a different direction braving the whacky races on the A road.  By 0715 I was fishing three deadbaits on the Drain, two float legered and the other a simple running leger.  I was tucked behind a bramble bush which was a perfect shelter.  The sky was clear but the day mild and the strong westerly would make sure any cloud soon passed over.

I was barely settled before the first rod was away, half a bluey under armed along to the left was slowly being pulled into mid stream.  I was on it quickly and with a short line soon had a Pike of about five pounds in the net.  The bait was intact so I swung it back into the same position and my arse had hardly touched the chair before it was off again.  Another quick strike saw a similar sized fish netted, unhooked and returned.  This time the bait was gone so the other half of bluey was hooked on and swung out.

I’d just poured water onto a tea bag when the leger rod started bouncing, this time a smelt cast to the far side had been picked up.  Another fish hooked and with more line out this one had chance to plod about a bit, making it feel more promising.  A bit bigger this one but it wasn’t out of the water long and I soon chucked another smelt across the drain.  The next take was my third on the bluey down the edge and another nice fish netted then a few minutes later the smelt was travelling again, my fifth fish of the spell was probably the biggest but still didn’t require scales.  I looked at my watch it was only 0825.  I’d obviously dropped onto a few fish…

A quiet period allowed me to chill for a bit, soaking up the east Anglian flat lands and watching the bird life including the friendly Robin back on the scrounge.  The Pike were feeding and I was sure they would be doing the same in Norfolk but another roaring gust reminded me why I wasn’t there.  At 0915 the leger rod signalled another take but this time there was no weight on the end and I wound in to find my bait had been nicked.  That had been my last smelt but rummaging in the bag I found a lamprey tail which had been soaked for a few hours on a previous trip.  Normally any bait that goes in the water doesn’t go back in the freezer bag but the price of lamprey these days…  The Pike didn’t mind as the line pulled out of the clip on that rod and another Pike was hooked.  This one pulled back a bit but the formalities were soon over and I netted a nice plump fish, would that be a double?  Only one way to find out for sure, the scales told me it wasn’t quite.  I had a quiet half an hour then around 1000 I had two takes in ten minutes, the first was another fish on the lamprey cast to the far side.  I’ve noticed before that when the day is bright more fish seem to come from the shaded bank so recast a sardine to the far side.  A few minutes later the float on this rod jabbed and a coil peeled off the bait runner but nothing else happened.  I gave it five minutes then I wound in to find the bait had been literally bitten in half.

After that I sat inactive for ninety minutes or so, had the second feeding spell finished or had I simply caught all the fish that were in front of me?  It’s that question again pondered on by Webb and Rickards half a century ago.  Today part of me was convinced I should stay put, surely more fish would drift into the spot and pick up a bait?  It might be interesting to test this theory but I can’t sit still for long so by 1145 I’d set up again a bit further downstream in a spot more exposed to the gale.  The move didn’t bring another flurry of takes and despite recasting regularly and moving baits around I didn’t tempt anything more.  Around 1330 I was contemplating hitting the road when a sardine cast to mid stream started plodding off.  My eighth fish of the day was soon scooped up and with this I decided to allow myself to be battered by the wind for another half hour.  Nothing occurred in this period but ten takes is plenty for anyone, it had been an enjoyable morning’s fishing and I was content.  This water has always been prolific but the bigger fish of a few years ago seem to be ghosts now.  But then again I fish other places where I know the big fish are there but for long periods they can be equally elusive.

It’s February already so five, maybe six more trips before the season ends and in the frame of mind I have now it’s going to be Pike all the way.

Saturday 20 January 2024

When the weather is crunchy

I always end up with at least a week’s holiday in January.  It’s a horrible time of year but the work holiday period finishes at the end of the month and I usually have a few spare days.  Whatever week I end up having, sod’s law inevitably intervenes and arctic weather descends which is exactly what happened this time.  But after a couple of weeks housebound I’m feeling the pull and have to fish even if conditions are far from ideal.  Two and a bit weeks into the new year I was yet to catch a Pike which for some reason was bugging me, I needed to put this right.  Despite the cold there’s been a decent wind which has kept the stillwaters ice free but how would I find the Drain?

The answer was frozen, mostly, despite me having a late start to allow the sun to get on the water, (at least that’s what I told myself).  The only area clear of thin ice was one that hadn’t produced on my last couple of visits, so not somewhere I would have chosen to start.  I soon had three deadbaits out – near, middle and far but I wasn’t particularly confident.  However sat back on my chair with a brew, it was good to be out in the countryside.  The morning was cold and cloudy but there was little breeze so it stayed comfortable.  A Robin kept me company, scrounging a few little pieces of biscuit, I think these birds know exactly what they are doing.  A bird of prey glided over, a dark Buzzard shape in silhouette against a grey sky.  An armada of Swans flopped into the water opposite me, normally I’d curse the creatures but today they moved downstream and so broke up a lot of the thinning ice.

An hour passed, scanning the now drifting ice - planning a move my eyes noticed a line lift up, was it?  Yes, something was moving off with a smelt cast to the far side.  I wound down quickly and yes I was into a fish, there was no great resistance and I soon had my first Pike of 2024 in the net.  The smelt was still intact so was recast back to the far side of the drain and I sat back with a smile.  Half an hour later the same rod was away again, another mint fish a little bigger than the first and I completed a hat-trick shortly after with another one on smelt which might have been a double had I got the scales out.  I had two more takes before noon but both were dropped before I wound down, sometimes a sign of pressure but equally a symptom of cold weather.

Despite having plenty of action, after a quiet forty five minutes or so I had itchy feet, time for a move downstream.  A few minutes later I was settled in what would have been my first choice swim when I’d arrived this morning.  I had nice overhanging trees on either side so swung a bluey to the left and a herring to the right then cast a smelt to the far side again.  The Robin had followed me, still on the cadge for biscuit crumbs and bedraggled looking Blue Tits chirped in the trees.  After half an hour a float started creeping away downstream, I set the hooks quickly and bullied the fish away from the tree then pretty much straight into the net, the smallest fish of the day was soon unhooked and returned.  I’d barely recast this rod when the smelt cast to the far side was off again, I wound in and quickly brought a reasonable fish to the surface where it thrashed and spat the hooks back at me, oh well.

The right hand rod had been quiet so I cast it further out and back upstream.  This had been in position for about half an hour before the float jabbed and the Micron let out a couple of beeps.  I stood next to the rod expecting the float to slide away but nothing happened, surely that was a pick up?  I gave it five minutes then wound the rod in, the herring definitely showed signs of attention but was still good for a recast so back out it went.  The float had hardly settled before it was steaming downstream, I struck quickly and heaved the fish away from the middle line, just.  This fish plodded about a bit but soon rolled over and into the net, a long lean, tatty looking fish brought my tally to five.

The day was still gloomy but my mood was bright, I’d set out with the simple goal of catching a Pike and this I’d more than achieved.  By 1430 the wind had gathered speed and swung to the north, for the first time my face and hands were raw.  I gave it another half hour then thought ‘that’s enough’ and head for home.

A couple of days later...

I don’t care what anyone says, those crisp, frosty winter days with clear skies and a gentle breeze does not equal ‘pike weather’, not on the vast majority of the places I fish at least.  On some waters I wouldn’t even bother going when the weather is like this.  Two exceptions to this for me are rivers with a good flow and deeper stillwaters, on these waters I feel I have a chance when the weather is crunchy.  Which is just as well because I’d arranged to join a Suffolk PAC ‘fish in’ on a big gravel pit that I hadn’t fished for over twenty years.

I’ve kept an angling diary from the beginning and I’m organised enough to know where to look for details from two decades ago, so I was able to remind myself where I’d caught fish back then and google earth filled in a few blanks too.  I was last out of the draw so everyone else had picked their swims by the time I was hiking but this didn’t matter as I still ended up fishing roughly where I would have had I come out first.  I started off fishing a float legered bluey a couple of rod lengths out in fourteen feet of water while a smelt attached to a sunk float paternoster rig was cast into over twenty and twitched back towards me.  I also used a lure rod from time to time, buzzing Shads and Spinnerbaits about, just trying to wake something up if anything.  I moved twice in attempt to cover water and hopefully drop a bait near to a Pike as I didn’t expect them to be moving about much in this cold weather.  Despite putting in a big effort I didn’t get a pull, that’s fishing.

A few of my comrades caught Pike, two of which were while I was on the move so I did see a couple of nice fish and I’d forgotten what a pleasant water this is.  It’s big enough to be interesting with enough water for fish to avoid being caught too often, angling pressure should have less effect than a smaller water.  Being a mature gravel pit it’s also a nice place to sit and watch the world go by and I’m sure I’ll be back some time.  Two enjoyable days fishing two totally different types of water but what I really want to do is get back to Norfolk…

Saturday 13 January 2024

A slow start


My first fishing trip of 2024 saw me chasing Pike in the Suffolk boat in the company of Mr RO.  We’d picked a rare day when it didn’t piss it down but recent rain had coloured the lake heavily.  This didn’t put the Pike off but they were highly selective in what they ate, exclusively picking up Mr RO’s baits in preference to my own.  It was a really enjoyable day nonetheless and I would claim to be the perfect host after letting my guest catch all the fish.

Like the days before my last trip for Pike, the days afterwards followed the same trend.  It was as if the heavens had taken laxatives as we had relentless, torrential rain, (enough cliches?)  Actually this winter so far has to be the wettest I can remember, three times lately I’ve seen the river at new heights and the surrounding streets and fields new depths.  The river now seems to be flooding after every shower, such is the water table at the moment, we’ve had a hell of a lot of rain but it shouldn’t be forgotten that tons of concrete has been sunk into the river valley over the last couple of years.  Hundreds of acres of land that would previously have soaked and absorbed rain fall can do so no longer.  This water has to go somewhere, it runs off the concrete and into drains but ends up where?

Saturday came around, a dry day, not just dry but bright and sunny, virtually cloudless, too good to let go to waste.  I was feeling a Pikey pull but with all the flood water my options were severely restricted.  But the high tide was set for around 1840 and there was a manageable wind so why not head for the beach?  A couple of texts later and Giles was good to go too, so mid afternoon saw us heading east in the big motor.  By 1530 we were tramping across the stones at the Steep beach, an angler coming the other way reported grim returns but he had surely fished through the worst part of the day?

A few minutes later I was settled with the usual two rods; tonight I was able to hurl out the big bait and just let it fish.  The bait remained intact through a long soak which I suppose isn’t ideal but at least it remained in place long enough for something, in theory, to find it.  The lighter rod was a different matter, on this I fished for bites with a two hook rig using strips of squid on size 1’s.  Despite what the departing angler had said we had nibbles from the very start and darkness brought regular action.  To begin with it came in the form of plucks and tremors which I tried and failed to strike at.  After a while it dawned on me once again, if I sat on my hands for long enough a proper bite would come.  My first fish of 2024 was a small Whiting, something I never thought I’d find myself saying.

The bites continued and the results of these were the now winter standard Whiting and we caught these steadily throughout the evening.  The bites were never so regular that we couldn’t sit down and relax but equally we never had time to get bored.  The action peaked in the hour either side of high tide but never really let up at any time.  By 2045 we’d had about thirty Whiting between us and Giles also a Flounder.  If felt like it was another night where it would be Whiting or nothing and we’d had enough so head for home. 

Sunday 31 December 2023

2023


I don’t mention the tackle I use much because as long as it’s able to put the bait where you want it and strong enough to comfortably land the fish you are after then what does it matter?  Most of the rods I use were relatively cheap but this includes some good kit that were second hand bargains and I still have some top quality Tricasts from the late 80's that I still use from time to time.  All do what I need them too, though I have to say, although they don’t catch me any more fish, Mr Lumb’s Loch Tamers do it all a little bit better.  With kids and a mortgage, reels over the years have mostly been medium priced Shimano but the best Pike reel I’ve used was made by Okuma.  I did consider 'upgrading' to some 'better' baitrunners but I've got eight or nine DL's or ST's and loads of spools that fit both so it made more sense to stick.  Sometime in the eighties, while carp fishing at the infamous Layer pit I lost a fish because the top of a Mitchell 300 spool suddenly popped off sending line flying everywhere.  I tried pulling on the line like a fly fisher but the hook soon fell out…  Apart from that I can’t remember a rod or reel failing at the crucial moment in all the years I’ve been fishing and that’s all you need from the items of tackle that we stare at the most.

Obviously the most important thing when fishing is location because you can’t catch what ain’t there.  But then comes bait and I suppose to start with I use whatever I have most confidence in then switch things about if necessary.  Over time we build up experience of what works and when, or at least we think we do…  But back to tackle we’re left with hooks and line, both need to be strong enough and the former needs to be sharp.  When I worked in tackle shops I broke this down to “good bait on a sharp hook in the right place.”  Fishing really is as simple as that.

I got side tracked, the reason I was waffling about tackle is because, well the braid I'd been using just wasn't up to scratch.  I've had braid on all my Pike and Lure rods for over twenty years and it's almost exclusively been Power Pro.  I have used ET’s Grand Slam braid and I can’t tell it apart from Power Pro to be honest.  Anyway at the beginning of this season I needed new braid on an Abu I use for lure fishing and there was no Power Pro available in a hurry, so after a bit of hesitation I spooled up with another brand that has a good reputation.  Just three months later I’ve stripped the stuff off again and binned it because  compared to PP it is just not good enough.  First of all on a multiplier it beds in leading to far more frequent over-runs and far more nasty tangles.  The act of unpicking these balls-ups actually damages the strands and weakens the bloody stuff, for the first time in years I found myself cracking off a lure on the cast.  Also there is virtually no abrasion resistance and even dragging a lure through reeds damages the braid enough for me to lose confidence.  I still have about two hundred metres of the stuff unused, perhaps there’s a place for it on one or two of the rods I use for bank fishing with baits but I’m not sure I dare use it.

So today I re-spooled with Power Pro and as it was the brightest day in over a week, a period when I’ve been mostly housebound and stuffing my cake hole, I decided on a walk in the country beside a piece of water, but where?  After a bit of thought I remembered a place I’ve had my eye of for a while so a little recon would be the order of the day, by casting and moving with a lure rod you can learn a lot fast.  I had no idea if Pike were even present but all things considered it was odds on. Getting to the water side involved negotiating an unfriendly fence but once over I was pretty well screened and so relaxed.  I worked my way round slowly, casting as I went finding mostly shallow, weedy water but there was depth in places.  The water itself was gin clear giving me confidence that any fish would see my shad easily.  One spot in particular really looked the part, If Pike are present then surely this would be the place?  Maybe, but not today.  It was back to normal with the braid though, it came off the spool nice, no bedding in and no over-runs despite the reel creaking like a grumpy Heron at times.  I left the place fishless but in doing so found a more convenient access point, should I decide to revisit some day.

And that, as it turned out was my last trip of 2023 which has been another really bloody good year all round, some photo highlights are included.  I’m enjoying it as much as ever and catching enough fish to make me think I might be doing something right?  Chub from home and away including a couple of my biggest to date, a PB Barbel and a new river best from the place out west.  Loads of fish off the beaches including lure caught Bass and several good sized Rays.  Then the Pike fishing which as ever dominates my year, this time around I had new success on an old method in a now familiar place.  I was lucky enough to catch a few big ones too but not the one below which was caught in 2020 and weighed 31-12.

I expect 2024 won't see much change in terms of where I fish and my only hope is that I continue to enjoy this silly pastime of ours as much as i did in 2023.

Tuesday 26 December 2023

December days


On a dull Thursday in mid December I made my way to Norfolk in the pre dawn dark and after a struggle got the boat afloat and ready.  Today, for the first time in a very long time, I had a guest, someone I first met around seventeen years ago when he was already a Pike angling legend.  Nowadays we might even describe him as angling royalty but then again he’s not everyone’s cup of tea…

So out in to the swamp we soaked deadbaits in likely places and even managed to bring a couple of Pike to the boat but mostly spent the day chatting and taking the piss.  We would certainly sit on opposite sides of the house which was the source of much mutual ribbing but we also have a great deal in common.  My guest had spent time on this system in the past but this was his first visit for a over a decade and he enjoyed being back.  The day was mild and grey with a light westerly and it passed in a flash, we stayed on into darkness but tonight this didn’t pay off.  In fishing terms a modest day but in very many ways a memorable one.

A couple of days later Giles and I had a lazy afternoon by a stretch of flowing water, we approached it the same way we usually do when sea fishing but this time we were after Pike.  This afternoon the main priority was to get out and relax for a few hours, any fish would be a bonus.  But there was a method to our madness, this stretch of water does receive a bit of pressure so would fishing after everyone else had gone home give us an edge? We started around 1400 fishing side by side with two rods each, static deadbaits of various types.  The afternoon was cloudy but mild with a fresh westerly wind but on this piece of water it meant we’d be sheltered and comfortable.

We started off at the upstream end of the stretch and it all looked good but after a couple of hours nothing had happened so even in our state of laziness we had to get moving.  A short while later we were settled again in a treelined area downstream, each of us had a nice looking overhanging tree to which we dropped a bait and deeper water midstream.  Fishing side by side was cramped but manageable but we had a plan should a fish be hooked.  By the time we were settled the light was fading but we had planned to fish into darkness and were prepared.

It got dark and nothing happened but sheltered by a thick bramble bush we were content and comfortable just sitting in the dark, chatting and chilling out.  Then out of nowhere a Micron beeped, my blue light lit up and a few seconds later two more beeps had me on my feet.  Nothing appeared to be moving but something had to be happening so I wound down and felt the welcome weight of a fish.  It’s always a little weird playing fish in the dark but this one wasn’t a monster and was easily controlled.  Giles soon scooped it up in the net and the blank was avoided.  With a fresh bait out we sat back again with fresh confidence, hopeful of another Pike.  We gave it an hour then as we were enjoying ourselves, gave it another but no more fish put in an appearance.


Sunday 10 December 2023

Dropped on or switched on?


After that cold night on the beach the east endured the first week of winter with mostly clear skies and frosty nights leaving me with no urge to wet a line.  Then it got a bit milder again, days of dull December grey, the sun was rarely to be seen and there was barely a breath of wind.  After seven straight shifts came a midweek day off and with it came the urge to sit by the water, I wasn’t feeling the pull northwards so settled for a lazy day on a local venue.  I wasn’t out of the house early and hit the road when in theory the morning rush hour should have been winding down but I should have known better, to be held up by queueing traffic was almost inevitable.  Off the A road then miles of single track before I reached a remote strip of water cutting through thousands of acres of arable.

The day started off as another gloomy one but at least today there was a wind from the north west shifting the clouds to make the sky go through many shades of grey.  I was fishing by 0945 with three deadbaits soaking a little bit further down the stretch than where I’d stopped a couple of weeks ago.  A bit of drizzle blew in so up went the oval and beneath it I spread out, content of comfortable.  I occasionally got up to recast a bait or twitch one back but mostly I just chilled.  I hadn’t realised how much I’d needed to cool off in the countryside but now I needed to catch something.  The morning had been and gone without a pull so a move was called for.

I loaded up and stomped back upstream to a “between the cars” area that doesn’t get so much attention.  Out went the rods again and then the brolly which I didn’t really need but what the hell, I’d carried it this far so why not enjoy a bit of comfort?  So it was chill out time again, half an hour passed and the doubts began to form, was it going to be one of those days?  Hang on, is that float moving?  Fuck yes!  I like the old Drennan Pike wagglers and mine was sliding away into deeper water as something moved off with half a bluey which had been under-armed to the right.  The fish had no fight in it and I soon had a Pike of about seven pounds in the net.  With this fish quickly returned I swung the same piece of bluey back out then settled once more.  A few minutes later the same float slid off again and I found myself attached to another Pike that didn’t want to fight but this one was a little bit bigger.  The bait was gone this time so on went the other half of the bluey and within a few minutes this too was on the move.  I set the hooks and the rod thumped a couple of times, I was just beginning to wonder if this was a bit bigger when the hooks pulled out, never mind.

Three takes in half an hour, had I dropped onto some fish or had they just switched on?  A question impossible to answer when you’re fishing on your own but one that often occupies the mind.  After that, things calmed down a bit but I wasn’t tempted to move, for some reason I felt the Pike would find my baits.  Half an hour later this was the case, the same float slid away again and another Pike of a similar size which did have a bit of energy and actually threw itself clear of the water twice before swimming into the net.

Then followed a quiet hour, the wind increased in strength scattering the clods to reveal a blue sky, something I’ve not seen for a few days.  But with the clear sky so the temperature was dropping noticeably and the freshening wind had a bit of a bite to it.  I decided enough was enough and started tidying up the non-essentials including the oval and then onto the rods.  With one wound in I was unclipping the trace when the shriek of a Micron alerted me, it was the bluey on the near margin for the fifth time and this time the fish felt a bit bigger.  This one pulled back a bit, maybe the water had warmed through the day?  Whatever, a nicely marked fish that would have probably been a double had I bothered to get the scales out.  By now the light was fading and it all felt pikey as hell, good for another fish or two?  Nah fuck it, I’d had enough for one day, I can always come back.

Monday 27 November 2023

Cool side of comfortable


Saturday came round again and with it clear skies, winds from the north and predictably, cold weather, ice scrapers required first thing and I wasn’t even up particularly early, this lazy fishing suits me at the moment.  Giles and me had discussed our options and thought we’d manage a night on the beach.  We left in the late afternoon, heading east we couldn’t make up our minds which beach we fancied.  The decision was made at the last possible moment, we turned left instead of going straight on and so found ourselves at Monster beach.

The moon had already risen when we hiked across the marsh but we managed to get everything assembled whilst it was still fairly light.  Here it is very deep and the currents are tricky, the fishing is inconsistent at best but when it all comes right…  That is why we come here, almost every angler will know what I mean.  Things started off okay, Giles had two Whiting on his first two chucks and I missed a sitter on a flapper rig dropped in close.  By this time it was dark and getting colder, baiting up left the hands stinging raw and the wind which was little more than a breeze really but enough to cut through.  After a couple of hours had passed comfort could only be maintained inside the shelter, we’d definitely have been a bit warmer at the other beach…

But at least we had a few bites, mostly tremors and rattles nothing to speed the ticker up but enough to keep us interested.  Once the currents had abated enough to fish a bit further out I had two Whiting on whole squid and then two more at high tide, one on each rod.  We packed up shortly afterwards, truthfully we’d found our limits weather wise, tonight was just the cool side of comfortable.