Kayak fishing allows you to see the world from a different angle and often you come across things one would not otherwise experience. The first launch of 2017 brought one such experience - kayaking alongside a playful pod of Common Dolphins! Sometimes it's not the fishing that makes the session worthwhile.
It was looking calm enough for an open sea fishing session with 5mph winds forecast and 1ft of swell. A session was planned and sunday morning i met Andrew and Gary at the launch in very mild conditions. Overnight the forecast had doubled with 9-13mph winds now predicted - not a probelm to fish in but may limit how far we would be paddling out. On arrival at the launch there wasn't a breath of wind! It was so mild we would have been comfortable in dry trousers/bib and a top baselayer! It was mid-winter though and given the colder water temerature we all decided to dress for the water and put on the drysuits and thermals.
Given how calm it was we decided to paddle a little way offshore to deeper water to see what we could find. Some good sized Whiting and a few Haddock had been caught in the area so we were hoping to find a few fish.
Gary would be on his RTM Tempo, Andrew on the Ocean Kayak 2017 Trident 13 and myself on the RTM Rytmo.
I was paddling a couple of hundred yards in front of Gary and Andrew when i heard them shout something. I turned around to see a dolphin rise in front of their kayaks, and then 4 more to the side of them heading towards me. We re-grouped and it was soon apparent the dolphins wanted to join us whilst paddling! We quite often see dolphins and porpoises but this is the first time they have wanted to play!
Wow! They were swimming right beneath the kayaks and then riding the bows, occasionally breaking the surface. They seemed more than happy to show off to us and i had one swimming belly against the underside of my kayak! This continued for around 15 minutes or so as we paddled around. They were Common Dolphins and there was around 5 or 6 in total. It was difficult to know where to point the camera but i managed to snap a few photos of them.
We carried on fishing and periodically throughout the day they came back near us to pay a visit.
The fishing really didn't matter anymore. Nothing was really going to top the Dolphins. We had a few more dogfish before heading in closer to find some rough ground in the hope of something different. More dogfish found the baits but Andrew managed quite a few Cuckoo Wrasse, Gary had some Whiting and i managed a plump Pouting.
You don't always have to catch big fish or lots of fish, or infact any fish, to have a good day on the water. That's the beauty of kayak fishing! Often it is the fish that makes the session worthwile but sometimes it can be the scenary and occasionally it's the marine wildlife. Sometimes, just sometimes all 3 come together to make a session really special. That's why i love kayak fishing!