Thursday, July 5, 2012
South Devon 4th-5th July
The original plan on my visit to South Devon was to visit my granddad and do a bit of fishing each day. However this was scrapped early on due to a minor car malfunction. I just about arrived in Kingsbridge on July 2nd with my car making all sorts of noises, so that was immediately booked into the garage the following morning. It turned out I had managed to lose 2 bolts from one of my front wheels putting so much stress on the others that they had widened the holes they had been screwed into, not good! This meant new bolts were needed and they hadn't got any in stock, in fact I'd be without my car until at least Thursday until the replacements were delivered. This meant Tuesday and Wednesday were set to be days of wondering what I could have been doing instead of what I would have been doing. Tuesday flew by though with no fishing done but I had an enjoyable day exchanging stories with my granddad. The phone rang though midday and granddad had managed to get a good friend of his Roger to take me out for a fish in the estuary. Roger had been mentioned a few times in my granddads stories and not surprising considering he had once held the British record for Gilthead bream at a staggering 9.5lb and is still the current holder of the British record turbot, which stands at a massive 33lb 12oz so it was fair to say I was going to be in good company :) Wednesday morning came and an 8am meet with Roger saw us head out into the estuary in search of a gilthead. After trying a few spots to no avail we switched to a nice bay and moored up. We both managed a couple of schoolies before the water became a bit to coloured and weedy and a move to slightly deeper water was needed. Once again moored up, we baited up the running ledger rigs with freshly dug blow lug and chucked out hopeful. I managed to miss my first bite but the second bite was a bit different. I was getting very small flatfish like knocks but they became constant so I struck. After lifting into the fish I could tell it was no flattie and didn't feel like a schoolie either. A powerful thump...thump headshake made Roger think I'd got our target and he was right, a nice little Gilthead popped up at around the 1.5-2lb mark (species 44). Very happy now and relieved, we decided to stop for some bait collecting, peeler and a top up of lug was the plan and it didn't take us too long to get the required amount. Now fishing the rising tide we were very optimistic, but the giltheads were not playing fair. Roger managed a handful of schoolies as well as a silver eel but my rod tip stayed motionless bar a few tiny rattles. We called it a day at mid-water and headed back to Kingsbridge. A cracking day was had and it was brilliant to watch a very good angler in action and take some tips away with me as well as a few marks.
Thursday morning the call came in about my car, all sorted :) Things were looking up and since I'd been invited to do a days bassing with fellow lure nut Dave Campbell and his mate Doug, I was in a great mood. Midday came and although my car was now running nicely, Dave had kindly offered to give me a lift there and back which I'd have been silly to refuse. At the mark for around 1pm Dave gave me and Doug a few tips and left us to it. I'd decided to head off to the right where I could see a few kelp beds breaching the surface amidst a few rocky patches, very bassy looking ground. With Dave strongly advising surface lures I got the Seaspin ProQ 120 out and began chucking. The lure was working nicely around the weed and after a dozen or so casts I started feeling confident which always helps. I turned round to see if I could see where the others had gone and sure enough there was Dave, the opposite side of a gully to me with his rod bent over nicely and a schoolie pulling the other way after attacking his frosty, exciting stuff. My first cast after seeing Dave land his 1st of the day I had a rise but the fish completely missed the lure lol. The cast after I worked the same area and up came another fish and missed the lure once again, so I started manically jerking the rod causing the lure to wiggle more tightly. The fish came back for seconds and thirds again missing, before finally at the 4th attempt it was on. A tidy scrap saw me land this lovely conditioned fish above right of just under 48cm and at a guess around the 2.5lb mark, success! The proceeding cast saw me land bass number 2 which was slightly smaller but again fought nicely. This would turn out to be my last bass of the day unfortunately, with just one small pollock being my only other catch. Dave managed a bit more success adding another bass to his tally on the frosty and was having similar trouble to me with fish attacking and missing the lures. I do believe he also caught a launce, a smelt and possibly one more species. Doug was very unucky to blank having hooked and lost a fish, but I think it was fair to say we had all enjoyed the afternoon in a lovely spot. I'm sure it won't be the last session with Dave during my stay in the South.
I arrived back home just before 7, had some munch and decided to head back out. The reason being my granddad is a catch for a means fisherman and thinks releasing a nice bass is a crime, so he was not to happy about me releasing 2 nice plump ones lol. I felt I ought to try and get one for him to keep the peace lol. I chose a venue that I tried last time I was down that had looked extremely bassy. After the walk and climb down I began chucking my katakuchi zonk around and within a dozen casts I had a nice take and pulled in what was now my 3rd bass of the day and thank god it was a keeper at 43cm. In my opinion just about the ideal size as well. I carried on for around 90 minutes landing 3 bass in total, 2 of which had to go back as they were undersized and loosing one at my feet. At the days end I could safely say, I was happy, my granddad was happy and it was time to start organising my gear ready for the Cornish lure festival over the weekend.
Thanks for reading,