Like many who have had a splenectomy i have been shielding since early March, at the back end of May i ventured out for trout and LRF sessions but i have mostly been tucked away at home playing on my Xbox and wondering if I'd ever get afloat again. Yesterday was a sleepy, mundane Sunday afternoon, i had nothing planned other than a bit of gaming with my friends and to prepare for the river season, a text from a friend changed that as he offered me a trip out on his boat - whilst this is against the shielding guidelines I've my own mental health to look after, i knew the friend had tested negative to a recent COVID-19 test so I was comfortable in my decision to accept. The plan was to fish for wrasse, to catch some mackerel for supper and maybe some pollock and bass if they could be found.
Myself and my friend have spoken for some time about fishing our local coast on a small boat, with small metals on light tackle for the many species that inhabit our area. I have had some good insights into the opportunities that lie along the Jurassic Coast on recent trips on Meerkat, Fish-On2 and Fins Up but these are mostly singles trips with bait anglers and my opportunities have been limited to at anchor during slack water. Yesterdays short trip saw us afloat during slack water through to the tide running at about 2 knots which was perfect for experimenting.
We started off with bass, whilst heading to our first mark we were distracted by sea birds that were working the baitfish being pushed up by a nice shoal of bass, it would have been silly not to see if we could catch a few so we stopped and had some sport straight away with each of us catching a fish, i decided to start tinkering at this point and fished a sample lure that i had been sent from Ima in Japan, the Raikiri which is a lipless crankbait (vibebait)
I'd previously given this a run out on a local estuary and caught fish straight away but i was curious to see how it'd fair when the fish were tuned in on specific prey, in short it took bites on the drop, darted and ripped back so it's a winner for me so far.
As it was such short notice i cobbled together a bit of a mixed bunch of tackle, firstly a hard rock rod, a rod to fish metals and one of the new Major Craft Ceana rods that I've had for chub fishing, a handful of fish on soft plastics and the vibe baits using the Ceana it's safe to say it'll do the job i have planned for it. The whole range is looking like good value for money at £69.99.
Time for metals
As we moved off the shoal i had a hunch that there were fish hard on the bottom so switched to a small Jigpara Slow Casting Jig in 30g. Whilst these are designed for cast/ retrieve i have found they work nicely vertically with their smaller, stockier profile. I like to fish these with a simple slow upsweep of the rod tip with the jig allowed to flutter like a leaf back to the bottom, i generally repeat this whilst we drift until i feel the need to work higher in the water column.
I had thrown in my Tai Rubber rod paired with a Shimano Curado and 0.8PE 4 strand braid, i had planned to try and catch a bream on a Tai Rubber but knew the rod had the right action to double up as a light jigging rod for the evening, in haste i forgot about Tai Rubber and set about finding if there were any fish hard on the bottom.
From the time stamp on my phone this is how the next 20 mins went. 17:30 - Bass
Ok, nothing out of the ordinary here, if i could guarantee on one species it would have been the bass.
17:33 - Black Bream
Ok, I'm happy with this one having seen Adam and Dan doing it and last week Drakey doing the same from his rib. We were drifting a mark we fish for bream so i guessed they'd be there.
17:47 - Cod
To be fair, when this one hit i knew it was different, i had already called the chance of a cod before this hit but i cant hide that i was chuffed to bits to see it surface. Such good sport on the light tackle as well.
Interestingly the cod regurgitated a tompot blenny which was almost an identical size to the jig.
The rest of the session on metals produced some chunky mackerel, more bass, a ballan wrasse and the obligatory pouting.
18:15 i had decided to switch to the Hard Rock and fish a Fiiish No3 Black Minnow vertically to see if i could pick up a decent wrasse, after a couple of knocks i hit into this beauty.
My first cuckoo on a lure, what a great 45 mins but more importantly, what a great advert for light lure fishing!
Not quite sure how many fish were caught but in approximate 2 hours fishing time i caught bass, mackerel, pouting, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, black bream and a codling, 7 species and not a whiff of bait. My friend got to christen his boat with it's first bass, we caught our supper and my dreams of fishing inshore on a private vessel catching a variety of fish was realised.
We have plans for future sessions, Tai Rubber is still something I'm keen to try and unlock locally but it's going to be hard to put down the metals.
If you fish from a kayak or have access to a boat I'd seriously consider having a break from the norm and trying light jigging at some point, it is both productive and addictive in equal measure!