It was an early start. The alarm went at 5:45 and a strong coffee made very soon after. Im back living in Plymouth now so if i want to fish my usual haunts it involves an early start and a long drive. I left Plymouth at 6:30 and drove home to get the gear ready and load the car. Kieren and myself were heading out for a reef fishing session. He had caught an 18lb Ling the weekend before. What would turn up today?
We chose a spot of rough ground in about 30m of water and dropped baited luminous Hookais to the bottom. Within a few seconds of my weight hitting bottom the rod arched over and a decent fish was pulling hard! It fought admirably to the surface where a colourful Ballan Wrasse of around 3lb appeared..... not bad for the first drop!
Sam had brought some squid jigs along and was soon pulling a few in, much to our amusement when they squirted water all over him! We continued to drift over the reef again and again at different places. Kieren started catching a few pollack and i found a female Cuckoo Wrasse. A few Red Gurnards and more Pollack followed.
I decided to try something a bit different so set up a rig to work a single sliver of mackerel belly over the reef. A 3oz weight and a 6ft trace would give the bait plenty of movement in the tide. A Scad soon found the bait and the squid cleaned the hook off a few times too. I continued to lower the bait to the seabed and slowly wind it back up. BANG! A fish nailed the bait at speed, the rod doubled over and was running hard towards the bottom. I struggled to slow it down and knew it was about to make refuge amongst the reef. I felt it hit bottom at which point i gripped the spool solidly and pulled up hard. The rod was in half with the fish thumping away on the end. For a few seconds it just sat their before finally turning and allowing me to steer it away from the reef and gain some line. Several powerful dives followed.... this was a bigger one!! A big Pollack appeared from the depths before having one last dive for freedom, i soon had it back alongside the kayak, gilled it and heaved it onboard. YES!! It was definitely a double......
We were getting tired so agreed to a few more drifts before heading in. Sam managed to catch more Squid, a Greater Weever and a small John Dory. Kieren found a nice Pollack around 7lb, a Ling around 5lb, a fat Mackerel of 1lb 10oz and some small Cod. I managed a few more Cuckoo Wrasse, a small Cod and a Poor Cod.
By now it was 16:30 and we headed back in tired but very happy. Sam had plenty of Squid with the biggest two weighing 3lb each! I finished the day with Pollack to 10lb 11oz, Cuckoo Wrasse to 1lb 8oz, a 3lb Ballan Wrasse, a 4lb Ling, Mackerel, Scad, Cod, Poor Cod and Red Gurnard, 9 species in all as well as the Squid! Kieren and Sam had plenty of species too.
A cracking day reef fishing with fish all day long. The chances of getting out to fish it again over the coming weeks are low unless the swell dies down for a while, we wouldn't have got out if the ground sea was any bigger. The swell looks to be building over the week but hopefully there will be a calmer period soon so we can see what else is lurking in the depths. I managed to get back to Plymouth for 9pm completely shattered. Was it worth the 4 hour round trip.... absolutely!