For a number of weeks Bill and I have been discussing our next fishing trip. With news that the Cod were arriving, we were super keen to get into the action! Bill had already been out recently, and with some success, so we knew there was some action to be had! Saturday was the date, and not even a dubious visibility forecast was going to put us off!
Bill was in Brightlingsea on Friday, but sadly couldn't get out on the boat as the fog set in for the day. Not a great start. I decided to head up Friday evening, and left home at 10pm. For anyone who's watched Ice Road Truckers, I know knows what it feels like to be in a 'white out'! I tried to stick to the main roads, but as I got close to Brighlingsea and was forced to use smaller B roads and there were many times I was forced to use the sat-nav on my phone to know which direction the road went! The fog was heavy!
Thankfully I arrived OK, and we managed to get our heads down about 1:30am. A few hours later we were up again, and the days adventure could begin! It was about 5 degrees, so all layered up and feeling like the Michelin man we ventured out in the tender towards 'Reel Grumpy' in the murky early morning.
And after a few pre-flight checks we were on our way, heading out towards a wind farm where Bill was hopeful our whole squid baits would tempt the Cod.
Initial signs were that we had made a good decision, as within minutes of casting out Bill was into the first fish of the day. A good sized Whiting, perfect for the dinner table!
Then came my tale of 'the one that got away'. If anyone saw Extreme Fishing with Robson Green last week, and his reaction to missing 13 runs on the bounce, that was something like what I felt like! In reality, it was much less frenetic, but the runs I missed/lost were far more dramatic! The fishing was actually quite slow, and we were losing confidence, but every once in a while I seemed to have a bite .... which made us doubt whether we should move spot or not. One take bent the rod tip right over, but when I struck there was nothing! When I did finally get into a fish, it decided to come as far as the side of the boat before casually dropping the hook! Bill made a valiant swipe with the net to try and get it, but it was just out of reach and she casually swum back to the deeps. And the real icing on the cake for me was a massive take, so violent it pulled the rod up and out of the boat! I lunged forward, grabbing it just before it disappeared off the edge of the boat and into the drink! Confident there would be something massive on the end of my line, I struck the rod and ... nothing. I still cannot believe the hook didn't set, its without doubt the most violent take I've had when sea fishing.
After these demoralising events, and with it now about 3pm, we decided to start heading towards land, but with the aim of finding an alternative spot to fish en route. We came across a little area that the fish finder was showing as holes of deeper and shallower water. So we decided to drop anchor and give it a go! This proved a very wise decision, and we had a really enjoyable few hours which saw a good number of Whiting make it into the boat, and Bill also bagged his first Pouting. This went back in as bait, but sadly we just weren't able to get into the Cod.
As darkness set in we made are way back to shore. This proved to be an adventure in itself, as the tide was at it lowest, and the channel amongst the other boats back to the mooring was very tight ... and of course by now darkness had descended.
But we got back fine, and were greeted back at Bill's parents' with a bowl of chicken stew. Just what was needed!!
With our bellies full we cleaned up the fish. Not bad for a days fun!
And with the time now approaching 8pm I hit the road and got home just before 10pm. A most enjoyable 24 hours. Next time, there's a Cod with my name on it!