As the sun rose and lit up the frosty morning i began to question my sanity. It was freezing.... literally! Its not often we get a hard frost this far down in Cornwall and it seems to be a couple of years since it had been so cold. The kayak was covered in frost, the car was covered in frost, in fact everything outside was. Ah well it would warm up a bit when the sun got higher in the sky.
After a quick chat we were launching for 9:15 and made our way out to the reef and surrounding rough ground. I think i am right in saying that Laurence had a Ling on the first drop. Huw followed up with a Pollack, Simon with a couple of Codling. It took me a while to get my first bite on the baited hookais but one of my favourite species had taken the bait..... a stunning male Cuckoo Wrasse and not a bad one at around the 1lb 4oz mark and 35cm long. He was fighting fit so powered off back down to the reef after a few photos.
Bites were slow to come by. The drift was fast and i couldn't keep my baits too close to the bottom through not wanting to snag up. It happened though, 3 times i think.... setting back up is not welcome in warm let along when its icy cold. Huw and Simon got caught in a rip which was a bit hairy for them and took them a while to get out. When they returned they stuck on the inside of the reef to miss the worst of the flow. A few pollack came Simons way. Laurence was having a few too. A solitary Barrel Jellyfish drifted by... the water was full of plankton so they are still hanging around to feed on it, despite the cold.
The next bite produce a hard fighting Cod, although not a monster its my biggest off the kayak at 3lb and 52cm long
I was having trouble keeping the bait on my hooks - i didn't had chance to buy decent frozen bait and the stuff i had dug out of my freezer was very mushy! I decided to stick big chunks on and hold out for any bigger fish that may be lurking around. After a few fishless drifts i hit a patch of ground that produced some bites. The bait was nailed and something weighty was pulling hard. I gave it some stick to keep it away from the rough and peered over the edge of the kayak as a golden body appeared from the depths.... gone! It just came off and i have no idea why! Typical! Probably a Pollack, maybe a Ling, looked half decent too.
Drop the baits down again, instant snag.... this wasn't going well. I managed to snap out and began winding the slack in.... BANG! The rod bent over and line started pulling off the reel.... well i hadn't lost all the rig then! A few sharp fast runs before a half decent Pollack of around 6lb came aboard the kayak
A light breeze picked up against the tide after that so the fish just weren't having it. The kayak just wasn't covering the ground. Huw and myself had a look on the clean ground but all was quiet so we headed back to meet Simon, Laurence and Nobby back on the beach.
It was nice to get out for a paddle in the sun even though it was cold. The few fish that turned up made it all worthwhile. It was great to meet Laurence, and to fish with Simon and Huw again. We will get amongst the big fish next year! Thats my last session for 2014. Its been a cracking year.... here is hoping 2015 is just as good!
I had promised a friend some fresh fish so the Pollack and Cod came home. They produced about 5lb of fillets between them... not bad at all.
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