SEA KAYAKING CHARMOUTH-SEATON 19NOV 2008
This was my first kayaking trip to the Jurassic coast but the only dinosaur I glimpsed all day was way before dawn in the bathroom mirror.
I was lucky with my choice of day-light NW wind, no swell and blue sky.The sun was about to rise over the distant Portland Bill as I set off.
I trolled my two favourite lures as I paddled- a ‘GULP’ sandeel on one side and mini jointed Rapala plug on the other. However fishing was going to be tricky as the mudstone cliffs made the sea close to the shore quite cloudy.
No sign of the French Lieutenant or his woman as I passed the Cobb at Lyme Regis but I caught a small mackerel……
…….and was pretty thrilled to see a little party of one of my favourite wading birds, Purple Sandpipers, roosting on the giant rocks of the pier. They are winter visitors from the arctic and you only see them on exposed rocky shorelines.
I was pleasantly pleased with the scenery after Lyme heavily wooded cliff and no sign of human existence at all. Apart from a couple of gill-nets close to the shore. These really irritate me as not only do they rather unskillfully catch all fish but also any unsuspecting diving birds. Aren’t they illegal?
My irritation was alleviated by catching my first bass of the day on my miniplug (small and put back) shortly followed by my only Twaite’s Shad of the year on the sandeel.Although I kept it out of the water only long enough to take a photograph I think at least half its scales fell off and it didn’t swim off too speedily.
As I stripped down to my (thermal) t-shirt I could hardly believe it was mid November-it was my ‘hottest’ paddle since June.I found a suitably Mediterranean style beach for my breakfast break which was totally deserted.
On the approach to Seaton I caught a hard fighting bass on the miniplug close to the shore.
No problem with bass staying alive long enough to be put back even though getting hooks out of their mouths without being speared by their fins or lacerated by their gill covers takes time.
I had to pile on the power for the ten mile paddle back to Charmouth or I would be late for an appointment- so my excuse for not catching any fish on the home leg is that the lures were being zipped through the water at such a speed that they might not draw the attention of predators looking for an injured or disabled baitfish.
The sweat in my eyes meant I was barely able to appreciate the vista either.