I've really been wanting to get back into the bait fishing. I seemed to go off the rails with lure fishing in the second half of last year, which was great fun, but i have been missing bait fishing for other species which are less likely to take a lure. Time to visit an old haunt that i haven't properly fished in a while. There was one target on the agenda - Haddock!
The forecast was looking promising with winds less than 8mph forecast. Rob from Cornwall Canoes would be joining me for his first taste of kayak fishing. Another Rob would also be coming along to have a try at catching his first kayak Haddock. We met mid-morning at the launch and discussed tactics before taking the kayaks to the waters edge to launch. All was calm and surprisingly warm.
I would be trying out my new Palm Atom Bib for the first time, along with the new 2016 Palm Kaikoura PFD. I will be doing an initial overview of these new pieces of clothing/equipment on my blog soon.
The fish finder gradually started to show the bottom getting deeper and deeper until we reached about 170ft. Time to put the baits down. We would be fishing with mackerel strips on running ledgers with 6oz weights. I was using my Ugly Stik 6-12lb rod. It seemed to take ages for the weight to reach the bottom but it got there eventually. I talked Rob through the ropes and before i had a chance to sort my own rod out he had a bite! That was a good sign. Soon enough the rod was bent over with a fish on. He slowly worked it up and from the blue water appeared the target - a Haddock! Not bad for your first kayak fish. Only a small one but it meant they were down there.
My first bait down was also getting attention from the off. Small fish seemed to be mauling the baits and i soon had a small Whiting. Something a bit more aggressive found the next bait, and the rod tip was getting pulled quite sharply by something below. Haddock seem to have a characteristic fight and this was feeling like one. A minute or two later a pristine Haddock appeared at the surface.