Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Some hightlights from 2010

2010 was a mixed year for from the kayak.  The arrival of my son the previous year and getting a new job in May limited my opportunities to go somewhat, but I still managed some good sessions, and some bad sessions.  Here is a report I first posted on the Whitby Sea Angler's forum around July.  The weather had been good for a couple of weeks and I'd just taken delivery of a new kayak.  First outing wasn't great - needed to adapt my set up and clothing a bit for the new yak (my previous being a Feather Craft Java).  Anyhow, the second outing with it went more successfully, though I still managed to lose 3 expensive plugs in one trip.  Ouch!

My report from last year...

Well had another go after my disastrous session on Saturday.  This time, at least I stayed dry by using chest waders.  No more problems with water coming up through my scupper holes, up my back and down my waders!

So better prepared, with a new spool of (some old) 10lb mono and the last of my Imagine 130s and an ancient Maria Chase SW, I headed out into the gloom.  The sky was pretty murky, but the water was crystal clear.  A bit too clear possibly, but luckily the sun didn't come out to ruin the day.   

Fishing started immediately, barely 100 yards from launching.  It suddenly looked very "bassy", lots of kelp and little patches of sand, so I started with a blue Imagine 130.  3 fish in three casts and I thought, wow, today is going to be amazing.  Only that the third fish was a very good one - maybe around the same size as my biggest last year (7lb).  I couldn't get it up anywhere near the surface, it was just swimming around like it wasn't attached.  I put some real pressure on it, and my line parted.  Bye bye dear little piece of jap plastic.   

Anyhow, the fishing was steady after that, but not wild.  The fish seemed to be just solitary individuals.  I went onto a green Imagine, and had a few, before another good fish took hold.  This one was maybe a bit smaller, but definitely a good fish.  It came past me like a steam train pulling the kayak round before running into patch of kelp and snagging me.  As the water was only 8ft or so and clear I paddled over there and could see the fish thrashing around for a few seconds but I couldn't get to it.  I tried sticking my paddle down there and so on but eventually I had to pull for a break.  Bye bye second bit of posh plastic.

After that, I changed to the Maria and it did the business, but it was like pulling a piece of old chain through the water after the Imagines, so I put on another IMA lure, the Komono II.  Nice little lure this one, just sub surface, so you can see it wiggling away miles off.  Caught a few on it, but was getting tired and hungry, so stopped for lunch.

Fish taken up to that point:

To end what has become a long story, I lost my little Komono II to a fish.  Not a big one this time, but still.  I guess I'm just out of practice with mono.  I remembered I always used to check my line after landing a fish and I hadn't done that and it had taken about half a dozen by then.  Bugger!  Another dear day on the water. 

As I was gutting the fish on the way back (ended up with 7 for the pot), I found this little fella still feebly kicking inside one of the bass!  (though he wasn't too happy to have my filleting knife through his back).

Cracking day.  Must come up with a cheaper way of fishing though!

One month later, and we're at again. This time a Megabass Zonk 120 pearl gets well and truly hammered - by two fish at once!  Here's my report from August 2010:

Well, this has probably to some of you old pros plenty of times, but it was first for me so I thought I'd share a few pictures.

We fished Saturday, and arrived early to find the sea with the odd white horse, generally sloppy and a horrible brown colour. It really didn't look good. But we headed out into it and after casting around aimlessly in despair for 20 minutes, decided we'd paddle round the corner to see if the water was a bit clearer. As we passed one of my favourite marks, I said I was going to just have a cast or two. The water had improved marginally to a pea green soup, but I would never have believed you could catch bass in it. Anyhow, my mate was into a fish almost instantly, and then we getting a fish a cast for a about half an hour before we lost them. By that time we'd both had 4 bass each, and my mate got his biggest ever, the best of the day at about 6lb. The day got better as it wore on, and by lunchtime it was clearly panning out to be one of my best ever sessions, with both of us getting well into double figures. The sea kept alternating between thick green stuff and turning back clear again but the fish didn't seem to mind, they were biting in either!

The fishing was fast and furious at times and most of my fish were on the pearl zonk that I was slagging off just last week! Funny how things change in a week eh? Anyhow, don't know if the water conditions suited it or what, but it was doing me proud. That was until I thought I'd hooked into a belter, but after a few minutes realised it was something I'd not see before:

Two bass on the same plug. As they got closer, I could see the smaller of the two fish was getting its mouth ripped to shreds.

Anyhow, after a bit of juggling trying to not have my hand end up like the mouth of that smaller bass, I lifted both into the yak:

After dispatching both fish (smaller one didn't have much of mouth left, it must be said), I took a look at my poor zonk. It was completely ruined! Every single hook on it was bent out of shape, but worse than that, the bib was bent up completely the wrong way (you can see it in the photo above) and is pretty much wrecked with loads of white stress lines in the plastic. Managed to snap the bib back down in position again without it breaking, and tried casting it out a few times after straightening the trebles, but it wouldn't swim right.

Apart from that, and the loss of an Ima Susuke which snapped off despite me using my new Teklon Gold, it was a great session. Even managed to get my best fish of the day out of the kelp after it had snagged me. Victory after the previous week when I'd lost two to that cause! Bag of fat bass to bring home, and my mate caught his first ever plugged bass and beat me into 2nd place with the best of fish of the day into the bargin!

If someone had asked me as we looked at the sea that morning, wondering whether it was worth even getting kitted up, whether you could catch bass in those conditions, I would have told them to not to bother and stay at home. Just shows how little I know, eh?!! All in all, a fantastic session that will live a long time in the memory.

Tight lines.

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