Hello to all
As I write this piece my fingers are almost punching the keyboard! Over the last four months I have been planning a hunt for a proper lump of a perch for myself and I use this term loosely ...mate,the destination being Holland....where else? Hotel booked ,ferry booked,hell I had even booked 5 days afloat with a top guide.To say I was excited would be a huge understatement,now...my so called buddy which I wont name sent me a poxy text at 5am days before we were meant to leave saying he "couldn't make the trip...soz"
I could have snapped my phone clean in half...Fuming doesn't come close! for me to make the trip is going to cost me an extra shit tonn of euro's, which is not viable...so there goes all that,I promised myself I will be there soon!people tell me violence is not the answer...I'm struggling to agree.Any way its rare to meet a complete stitch up lying c%+£ so let me tell you about a proper nice guy I have had the pleasure of meeting.
A few years ago I was invited to go fishing on a friend (of my crazy lure fishing buddy Seb Nowosiad) of a friends boat out of Watchet marina to sample some angling on the mighty Bristol channel.Myself and Mox met the boys at the marina where Seb introduced us to the skipper Mike,
After a briefing and a strong Polish lager supplied by Mr Nowosiad we were on our way out the harbour to see what fishes were up for a munch.The day produced many congers and my first ever Ray which bent my rod double in the strong tide.Anyway we had a great day out,which is documented in an earlier post on Fish tales.Since then Mike and I have become good friends,I cant thank him enough for including me in his fishing adventures on the channel plus he cooks up a prime lunch every trip so big up Mike!
Our most recent adventure began with Mox turning up outside my house at 2am pumping out Dead prez at a very unsociable volume.We had to meet Mike at the Marina for 3.30am so we could get out before the gate closed at 4am.
I had barely slept but the prospect of a Big cod or a Blonde ray just about kept me on my feet,the forecast looked spot on for a calm day afloat with nobody turning green.....hopefully,the tides also looked good plus we had a shit load of bait.
With everything ready we made our way out of the sanctuary of the marina into the dark foggy abyss of the Bristol channel,Mike suggested we started on a spot not to far away and then make our way down when it was light and the tide was in our favour.We were soon anchored up and ready to start fishing,four rods were sent out all on simple running ledger set-ups with lug and squid cocktails whipped onto the ever reliable 6/0 Varivas big mouth extra courtesy of Veals.It was a very Erie experience being anchored up in almost total darkness,there was no wind and all that could be heard was the trickle of the tide as it scoured the flanks of the boat,that was until mikes ratchet let out a screech.He briefly hooked up to what he thought felt like a reasonable Cod.Not this time ay bud? the Dogs turned up for a bit then just before first light Mike and Mox both had a codling each,the fishing was very slow but it was still great to be out in good company on such calm conditions.
We headed off when the sun came up to an area noted for some good Ray,unfortunately there were Whiting everywhere taking even the largest of baits,they were good sized fish mind,but we were after something flat with a spikey tail preferably over 20lb.We endured the whiting plague for a while but another move was in order.
Mike told us of a spot he had recently hooked into some big eels and had his hooks straightened,not the big mouth extra's I may add.anyway We made our way to the area, anchored up and started to fish once more.It became apparent that the Whiting were in force everywhere,unless the shoal followed us a couple of miles (joke) we each took them on huge fish baits intended for other species.Mox was rolling a cigg, meanwhile his rod started to nod alerting us to yet another whiting.Mox decided to leave it be whilst he smoked, a couple of puffs later the ratchet went ape shit,Mox flew to the rod but when he reeled in all he had on the hook was half a whiting,"looks like the congers are here" said Mike.The poor fish was re hooked to what was left and sent back down to the eels,the same thing happened but this time Mox hooked up for a minute or so before the bait was spat.There was nothing left of the whiting but a few mashed pieces and entrails....gory stuff,I went to put the kettle on but a very subtle bite started to develop on my rod.I picked it out of the rest and could feel a very gentle pluck,the sort you get from a tiny doggy.Anyway I wound down and struck to be met with a hefty weight...my rod was as bent as a nine bob note, "Conger on" I shouted as the fish took a load of braid from my cheap multiplier.I had to do some serious pump and wind shit to raise the beast up in the strong tide.I was shocked when I saw the size of its head as it breached,she started to spin up the line and I wondered if the snood would part. luckily I had brought my big boat net, mikes is about as useful as an ash tray on a motor bike.I grabbed the leader and dragged her up against the tide where Mox was waiting with the net.The next decision was to bring it on board or not,I had never caught a big eel so I thought fuck it,bring her on deck.After a bit of thrashing about I worked out how to safely pick up such a creature and found its gill flaps,unfortunately I put her back without getting a weight but at 5 ft long with a head like a staffy its safe to say its well into the 30 lb bracket.
I also managed a nice blonde and my first ever Spurdogs on a trip out of Ilfracombe with my pals Pete Gregory and Tom Collinridge....marvellous.
Til next time.