Friday 23rd July
As mentioned in my last blog entry, ive been on my hols in Devon over the last week and after a week of touring the local attractions in the rain i was raring to get out and do a spot of fishing. On friday i finally got my chance. Over the course of the week whilst on my travels id been sizing up a few likely areas but the main problem was getting access to a decent spot. All the rock marks seemed to be at the bottom of sheer drop cliffs and were extremely difficult to get to even at low tide. Any area of beach had hoards of surfers and bodyboarders which made it a non-starter so i was a bit stumped.
First thing friday morning i was at the tackleshop in Ilfracombe to buy some bait and ask for some advice on where to go. They were obviously used to being asked because no sooner had i done so when he produced a photocopied map of all the hotspots around Ifracombe which included details of what could be caught where and also tactics to use as well, great stuff!
I opted to fish on the seaward side of the outermost harbour wall, a spot according to the map known as the berricks. Parking was good, if a little expensive, but my spot was only 50 yards from the car which was nice, it certainly saved me clambering about on dodgy cliffs or shouting at pesky surfers! The tide was dropping fast so i would be fishing it at its lowest, i dont know if thats when its at its least prodauctive or not, i was to find out soon enough.
As i walked down there was couple of other anglers in residence along the harbour wall who had very little to report other than one chap who said hed had some sort of spiky fish which hed never seen before in 20 years of fishing there. I set up a two hook rig baited with ragworm and cockles and cast it about 30 yards out from the rocks. I was taken by surprise when almost straight away the tip started tapping and i reeled in this little chap below.
Pleased to have caught i recast and over the next hour was plagued by loads of taps and knocks which resulted in lots of missed strikes. I decided to scale my hook size down as i suspected that small fish were the culprits and sure enough i managed to hit the next bite and caught this oddity. Ive never seen or caught one before but the chap next to me said it was some kind of gurnard or something, when i remember ill look it up anyway.
After this a procession of small Wrasse followed until i ran out of bait at around lunchtime. The biggest was about 2lb or so but i enjoyed getting out there and getting away from it all for a bit. I did try floatfishing sandeels in the hope of a bass and missed a couple of fast bites but it was hard going. Ive booked up again for next year anyway so at least ill know what to expect and ive still got that map so few other areas will be getting some attention i reckon.