We all met on the water and headed off to fish. Whilst they stayed in close to the shore and reefs to fish for Bass i headed further out in the hope for a Tope or Bull Huss. Whole Herring was lowered to the rocky seabed beneath and i began to slowly drift on the top of the tide. The water was glassy calm and the sun was just starting to rise. Sometimes its worth getting up early to see such a beautiful sight and what was already a lovely view was made all the better by a small pod of passing Bottlenose Dolphins. Fantastic!
Back to the fishing and all was very quiet. I tried drifting several spots, close to shore and further out but the bites were not coming. I was just enjoying the early morning workout paddling around whilst watching thousands of Moon Jellyfish flow past in the tide along with the occasional Compass and Barrel Jellyfish.
I paddled in to meet Steve, who had been doing well on the small pollack using his flashy homemade lures. We chatted for a while before i headed to a different spot to see if i could tempt a bite. 30 mins later a strange pull on the bait lead to this fella breaking the surface! I'm getting good at catching Octopus!
I made the mistake of letting it attach itself to the kayak.... it decided to walk itself over the gunwales and under the kayak, hook still attached! Would it budge.... would it hell! So i paddled along for a little bit in the hope it would release its grip but it climbed to the stern and sat on the back of the kayak..... you gotta be joking!! Eventually it tried to swim off which gave me a chance to unhook it. Back in the kayak i waited for it to climb back over the edge and swim back to the depths but instead it tried to climb through the scupper hole! A brilliant plan had the octopus been small enough to fit through it... instead it got itself fully stuck. I couldn't pull it out and it couldn't pull itself through..... not good!
Anyhow by now everyone had come over to see what all the fuss was and they all had a good laugh! No one was having luck with the fish so we head off to a secluded beach accessed by a small gap in the cliff - known as Ralphs Cupboard - to stretch our legs, have a chat and attempt to rescue the Octopus. Ralphs cupboard is an impressive place - a narrow entrance opens up to a tiny clean sandy beach surrounded by huge vertical and overhanging cliff face - the perfect place for smugglers of the past to hide their plunder! We headed in one by one and landed...
The view inside Ralph's Cupboard
Our Kayaks in the Cupboard.... front to back: Hennie's Stealth Pro Fisha, Simon's OK Prowler Ultra, My RTM Black Tempo, Steve's WS Tarpon 140 and Ben's OK Trident 13
The 3 T's: The Tempo, The Tarpon and The Trident!
We all had a chat and discussed the lack of mackerel around at the moment and the abundance of jellyfish - maybe the combination of both was having the bad effect on the fishing.
We tried to save the Octopus but unfortunately it couldn't be removed from the scupper so was kept to be eaten at a later date - it won't be wasted.
Ralph's Cupboard is a strange, eery and mythical place. We had paddled into it under bright sunshine and clear skies and no sooner had we paddled back out of its entrance a huge bank of thick fog had surrounded us. Visibility was less than 30ft and although we had paddled out one behind the other we lost sight of Simon. Steve soon made radio contact and eventually he found us. We stuck together and followed the cliff back round to the beach. It was time to call it a day. Luckily we weren't offshore as that would have made things tricky.
Steve couldn't resist a quick cast!
Ben slicing his way through the blanket of fog
The Motley Crew....
We landed on the beach and no sooner had we landed the lifeguards had stopped people entering the sea due to the lack of visibility. The tide was low and that made for a strenuous walk back through soft sand to the cars. All in all a nice paddle albeit fishless for some of us and it was great to meet Simon, Steve, Ben and Hennie. Steve had done well on the small Pollack on his homemade lures and Ben and Hennie found themselves a Wrasse each around the 3lb mark. I must be building up for a big fish session as not much has graced my footwell in the past few weeks. My time will come!
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