My exams are finally over. Over a month of spending 7 days a week in the library revising..... finished. I couldn't wait to get back on the water. My exam finished at 15:30 on the Thursday, by 4:15am Friday i was awake and ready to load the car with my gear. This would be my first solo kayaking session so planned to tuck myself away on the quiet creeks of a local tidal river and try for the elusive Gilthead Bream.....
The weather forecast was perfect - full sun and hardly a breath of wind. The tide wasn't so great, we are on Springs and i wouldn't get to the mark until the top of the tide. Not great as i like to fish for Giltheads from low up. I didn't care, i just wanted to get on the water.
I arrived at the mark for 5:30 and was on the water for six. Wow.... the water like a mirror to the tree lined valleys and creeks, not a noise beside the local wildlife.... fantastic! I made my way a mile or so up river, found a nice looking channel on the fish finder and dropped anchor casting distance from it. Two rods went out, peeler crab on one, lugworm on the other.
I waited patiently. After a few casts here and there i had an enquiry on the peeler crab.... wait....wait....wait.... BANG, rod tip down and line pulled from the reel...... but i wasn't connected! Damn!! and not another bite came my way. That was annoying but thats gilthead fishing for you, you only need one to make the day and today it wasn't to be. I wasn't too fussed, the conditions were nothing short of beautiful. The tide started to ebb and i decided to up anchor and explore a few creeks for future sessions.
I had brought a few mackerel for bait incase as a back up so I dropped further down river to the wider sections to fish for another elusive fish (well it is for me anyway!).... a Thornback Ray. I managed to find what must be the deepest hole along the whole river with the fish finder showing 18m, i moved not 50ft away and i was back in 6m. I managed to drop anchor and put myself right over the deep section. I was straight into a dogfish, and then another, and another, and the same for the next 30 minutes or so. Well i hadn't blanked and they provided a good bit of fun.
I was quietly hoping a Bull Huss would show up as i have caught them from the shore not far from where i was anchored but not today. I up anchored and moved to a shallow shelf which i know Thornbacks feed on as shore anglers catch them there. I waited an hour without a bite so headed back to the deeper section for a few more dogfish. It was now mid afternoon and i was tiring so headed back for shore. By now the river had almost completely emptied on the Spring tide which made for a lovely view back across the river. I paddled gently over the shallows which were covered in all sorts of delicate algae species, it looked almost tropical. The water was quite warm too in the afternoon sun. The Giltheads evaded me this time, but i will be back on a better tide!
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