Venom on the Sands
A day drifting the sands was planned from one of my favourite kayak fishing marks. The scenery is fantastic and the fish can be plentiful on the right day both in size and number of species. An early start saw me and kieren on the beach ready to launch at 10 after a long walk with the kayaks down a rocky track and a big sand dune - not too bad going down.... coming back up is a different story! The sun was shining with hardly a drop of swell, but a slight offshore wind was blowing, not too bad with the forecast predicting 8-10mph. We paddled out to a nearby headland and dropped our baits into a tidal run onto the sandy seabed 20m below us.
Thin slivers of mackerel on single 2/0 hook running ledgers with 8oz weights were order of the day and whilst any fish would have been nice we were quietly hoping for a flatfish or two. Fishing the sands can produce all sorts of species including Gurnard, Turbot, Brill, Plaice, Dab, Ray, Mackerel, Garfish and if your really really lucky Greater Weever. The offshore wind strengthened quickly to around 15mph - not what was predicted - and with the cross shore tidal run we were soon being pushed further offshore diagonally much quicker than we had anticipated. It was a big tide and the weights were struggling to hold bottom. I was about to suggest heading in closer to get shelter under the cliffs when one of the rods had a solid bite. The fish was given plenty of slack and after a few more bites it was on! It fought well all the way up and from the turquoise blue depths appeared a Greater Weever!! I quickly lifted it into my storage crate as i was not willing to risk having a lively weever with venomous dorsal and gill spines filled with dracotoxin between my legs! A Weever fish....That was me happy and my second from a kayak. We had a strenuous paddle back in against the brisk wind and landed on a secluded beach, which has formed over the winter, to grab a few photos whilst better being able to handle the weever.... i wasn't keen on getting stung. The coloration and markings on Greater Weevers is stunning, with iridescent blue fins and head markings - these photos really don't do this colourful fish much justice.
Not wanting to get pulled offshore again, we stayed close to the cliffs but the shallower water did not yield any fish. The fish finder showed up plenty of sand eels, some patches looked so dense I'm sure you could have walked on them, but little seemed to be chasing them. One final drift in deeper water yielded one good bite but it gave up chasing the bait after a few pulls. We paddled back not looking forward to having to haul the kayaks back up the sand dune and along the rocky path on the C-Tug - luckily the Weever made the effort worthwhile for me.... Kieren didn't have so much of a bite though!
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