Saturday, 13 June 2015

Smooth operator

To say I've not been fishing much of late is an understatement, for some reason I've just not been able to muster up any interest in fishing my local lakes. Once again this closed season I've not had any kind of campaign to get my teeth into although I think this is more down to not having a new and interesting water to fish than actually losing my mojo. I could fish my usual local waters but to be honest they bore me to death these days and I'd rather not fish them at all than fish them half heartedly.

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned the canal and it's horrible colour due to the massive increase in boat traffic. Now the colour has always been a real confidence killer for me when fishing lures on the cut but some other anglers don't seem to bother about it at all and fish on regardless. The other day I was headed to a local club lake for a bit of rubber chucking and my journey there took me over the canal. Even though it was tea coloured I decided to have a few casts anyway just in case and was surprised to get a thump from something on only my second put-in.

Nothing else was forthcoming in that swim but I decided to fish a little more persistently and a couple of spots later I was rewarded with a nice perch which absolutely smashed my tiny pink shad. It looked well worthy of some challenge points anyway although it was some way short of the hoped for 2lb.



After that I moved onto the lake where I managed to pimp out a few micro-perch on the dropshot before heading home.

My next trip out was an impromptu visit to the beach at chapel st leonards in pursuit of my first Smoothound. A chance comment after seeing a post on Facebook about Smoothound the week before started the ball rolling for another of our little group get togethers. Now this was set to be an interesting one because, although we were all seasoned freshwater anglers, we hardly had any beach fishing experience between us let alone tackle for the job! The week in the run up to the trip was spent frantically sourcing suitable tackle and reading up/watching every available snippet we could find about catching smoothies, it was all very exciting.

The big day finally arrived and at 5.30am the East Midlands battle bus containing Myself, Andy, Dave and Phil set forth in the direction of Chapel and hopefully some rod bending action. We made it to local lad Big Phils house at around 7.15 and met up with him aswell as Lee and Martin. After a slap up brekky courtesy of Phil and his good lady Louise, our intrepid party headed to the beach via the bait man at Chapel point to pick up some extra supplies.

We headed around a mile down the beach from the point and it was all but deserted save for one poor unsuspecting angler who was totally unaware of the rabble that was about to descend on his tranquility. The tide was in, the sun was out and the wind was off our backs, good conditions for it we hoped! We walked to a suitable area a proceeded to get setup with everybody opting for squid as a starter bait due to it's ease of use.

Well it didn't take long to get stuck into some fish because we started getting thumps on the rodtips straight away. Phil scored first with a small but perfectly formed Smoothound which was the first any of us had seen let alone caught, mission accomplished!
Dave, Andy and Lee all stepped onto the scoresheet next with similar sized fish and it was proving to be a productive session. Phil had another and then Dave hooked a more substantial specimen. It pulled hard on the 3.5lb test pike rod he was using but it was soon tamed and the first big one of the trip was beached.
I must admit to being somewhat jealous of all these fish getting caught and was wondering when my turn would come. I'd been a little unlucky as I'd had two drop off but a change to a lugworm hookbait soon brought a change in my fortunes. The rod tip banged over hard then the line fell slack so I wound furiously to make contact with the fish and battle commenced. To be fair on the gear I was using it didn't stand much chance but it still had be back winding a couple of times. Pretty soon a nice smoothhound, certainly the biggest of the day so far, was wriggling up the beach and my day was complete, I didn't care if I didn't get another bite because I'd caught what I'd gone for.


After that the tide began to go out and sport died for everybody. It soon became tiresome moving the gear down the beach every 20mins but we were still hopeful of some more fish. Sadly, other than a couple of flatfish including my first Dab there was no more action forthcoming.



We decided to hang around until the tide came back in in the hope that the smoothies would come back in with it but when the flood tide did eventually come in it brought with it so much weed and rubbish that fishing was nigh on impossible so we gave up on it and headed home. All in all a good day out and yet another successful trip for our little Facebook group. After my LRF success the other week plus this, I think I shall be heading to the coast more often especially as I'd so love to catch a Bass. It's the one sea species I've tried for more than any other but so far one of its kind has eluded me, not for much longer though I hope!




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