It was Halloween and I was looking forward to my first kayak fishing trip in a long time – I had some unfinished business at Blue anchor Bay, as I had not caught a conger this year. The motorway was shut, so it took me a bit longer to get to Blue Anchor Bay than normal. A number of us met up; it was great to meet up with Fishboy, Adam, Overrun and OggyBongo.
It was too early for the customary visit to the Driftwood café for breakfast (more of that later !). Adam had already been to McDonalds and was sporting probably the most healthy item they sell – a McPorridge. Shame on you Adam – I would have opted for a double sausage and egg McMuffin and Coke.
We tackled up and walked the kayaks the short distance to the launch point.
The weather was fair – and the breeze was forecasted to drop later. The T15 was in full-fat mode today – all the trimmings and nothing wasted – side imaging sonar, front and rear high definition cameras and GPS. She was looking mighty fine…
Had to do some preliminary checks on the way out – it was the first time I had some of the kit back (fish finder and camera) after being repaired. I had my fingers crossed – but everything seemed to be working…
Overrun and Fishboy had carried on and were soon anchored up – I decided to carry further on and search out a flood mark I found last time I went out using the side imaging kit. Soon tracked it down on the GPS, but the easterly breeze was pushing in the opposite direction to the flooding tide and making it really difficult to work out where to drop the anchor. The mark in question was surrounded by reef, so get it wrong and you will lose loads of gear.
A couple of false drifts and then the anchor went down. The problem was that the wind was stronger than the tide, and it was pushing the T15 the wrong way, point the bow uptide. This made it incredibly difficult to fish effectively. I deployed the small drogue from the bow in an attempt to use the tide to force the kayak back, but even that was not strong enough.
In hindsight, I should have either fished uptide with wired leads (I didn’t take any !) – or drifted in to the anchor point with the drogue already deployed – or just anchored up from the bow instead of the stern.
Anyway, no bites were forthcoming, so I upped anchor and paddled back to the edge of the outer reef. Oggy Bongo had caught a conger and a dogfish – so things were looking up. The tide soon started to ebb and now the kayak was pointing in the right direction.
It did not take long for the fish to switch into feeding mood – and soon the conger were homing into my baits…
I had quite a few – including a double hook-up, with both rods banging over at the same time – fantastic stuff. I also lost one nice fish, which bit through 100lb line like it was cotton – oh well. Also had a little whiting (no doubt what the conger were feeding on).
The wind then started to pick up, as did the swell – Adam and Oggy headed back in – I stuck it out for a little longer; then decided to join them – Overrun and Fishboy stayed. The surf going over the reef on the way back, was quite impressive, especially given the short stretch of water across the Bristol Channel – I was enjoying myself…. A little too much as it turns out… I switched off for a split second when trying to do a bongo slide on a wave which wasn’t there ! Out I went – probably the silliest and funniest dump I have had. The kayak didn’t go right over, but it did dump me. Great fun – and all captured on video…
We all said our goodbyes and then myself and Overrun went to the Driftwood café and had the all day breakfast – Job Done, mission accomplished and business completed !
I realised when I got back that I had lost my homemade carbon gaff – it was the only thing which was not leashed – so there you go…. Leash it or Lose it !