Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Drinking chocolate seas

I should have known better.  A single 24-hour break from nearly two week's worth of gales and I thought it had to be worth a try.  Wrong!
It was one slimy, muddy, hot and sunny day out there - no chance of bass!
The conditions were appalling.  I can't remember lure fishing for bass in water like it.  After the big storms, the water was thick with sediment and weed, while the fish were surely gorged on crab and worms thrown up in the rough seas.  Not only that, but as the hours ticked by I realised that the water temperature has really dropped over the last month.  Surely a sign the sea bass season is coming to an end in Yorkshire.  Was it already getting too cold?

But even in these horrendous conditions, as the wind picked up and the tide started moving at pace over some shallow ledges, I thought I'd risk a lure and troll back up against the tide.  At the rocky headland where I fish, the water is literally 3 or 4 ft deep on the southern side for several hundred yards.  At certain points in the tide, the water kicks up into standing waves as the backflow pushes up against the oncoming tide.  It's not pretty kayaking, and it has to be pretty calm before you want to try it, but in the right conditions I always suspected fish would be there.

The problem is getting snagged.  The shallowness of the water means that bladder wrack reaches up almost to the surface and wraps its fingers around anything with hooks. As I paddled and trolled, I kept looking behind me to see if I was snagging up.  Suddenly the rod arched over.  Nine times out of ten it's a snag, so no reason to panic.  But then I saw the rod kick, and I reached back and yanked the rod out its holder.  Sure enough, a nice thick set bass was ploughing through the seaweed and being pretty reluctant to show itself.  After a few minutes, with the tide rushing me further out to sea and deeper water every minute, I got my first glimpse.  I was quite chuffed to catch at all given the conditions.  Even better that it was a reasonable fish:

Once again, that middle treble on my Zonk Gataride was causing grief.  All three hook points were embedded in the lower gill cover.  I took one look at it and realised I'd have to knock it on head to get the hook out.  Still, it was a fine fish for our supper that night, and sometimes you have to be grateful for what little luck comes your way.  Coming into contact with a fish raised my hopes.  But it was not to be.  Six hours at sea, one fish.  Very poor.  We can only hope the weather calms down in the last few weeks remaining of the season.  With the water temperature dropping fast it won't be long until lure fishing stops completely.

But until, tight lines for those who brave the conditions!


  1. Aunque el dia no era bueno,tocaste en el lugar adecuado,eso es un punto a tu favor,buen trabajo y bonita pieza.
    Un Abrazo.

  2. Thanks Juanrra - fingers crossed that the weather improves before the end of the season - it's getting close now!


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