Dizzard Point consistently comes up trumps in the kayak fishing department so that is where we were heading on this rare flat calm day. Today’s rag tag bunch comprised Richard, Eric, Austen, myself and my old chum Donal who is (was) a kayak fishing rookie.
I had assured Donal he would be taking home a ‘shedful’ of mackerel as the sea is bursting with fish at this time of year. That’s why the tides are so high, I unconvincingly pointed out.
Needless to say we only caught a handful of mackerel, but by the end of the day our session could only be described as ‘epic’ (not to be confused with ‘eric’).
Richard and Eric hooked a few bass during the two mile troll to Dizzard point.
I was just beginning to think my snivelling little sandeel was too small in this BIG environment,when a cracking four pound bass made a serious error of judgment and tried to down it whole. Even with my cheap and oafish fishing gear it was a lot of fun getting it in; they really do make a final rush for freedom as they come up alongside the kayak.
At Dizzard point we veered offshore and put our bold and unprecedented plan into action. Well, Austen did ,while myself and the others were quite content to drift with the tide and footle about with mackerel feathers catching unbelievably small fish.
Oh come on,Rupert, you’ve been doing that for ten years , why not try something different and catch something BIGGER. While the concept of crawling out of my familiar comfort zone started to soak in, Donal was happy catching on his feathers, ‘cos he’s never done it before.Mind you, he wanted mackerel for tea and unbelievably he didn’t catch any.
Austen meantime had anchored up (…w…w…what?) and tied up a rubby dubby containing chopped up mackerel and an old sock and probably something he found in the back of the fridge. When the tide started to run in I tied my kayak to his, attached my wire tope trace to my line and dropped a whole mackerel to the bottom. And waited. And waited. The others quite understandably were starting to get bored (and probably sceptical of our chances of success) so disappeared off in the direction of dry land.
Something was tickling the end of Austen’s line then …wallop…over went his rod tip and we were cast into the world of high octane entertainment. He dragged up a 12 lb bull huss which proceeded to regurgitate its stomach contents all over his kayak and tried to rasp him to death. Back it went, up came another one….then it was my turn and I lost it as it came to the surface..groan..but I had soon successfully dragged one into my boat. Bull huss are not to be messed with and will think nothing of supplementing their diet of marine detritus with a chunk of thigh.
OK so we were both a bit pleased with our mini shark encounter, especially as my biggest kayak caught fish to date has been a seven pound pollack. No disrespect, pollacky. But even better was to come as my rod doubled over again, albeit a bit more sinister and creepy, and slithery. I tried to ‘play’ the beast a bit but when you’ve spent ten years catching four ounce fish on twenty pound line the art of fishing is a bit bitty.
Anyway a long,very long brown serpent appeared at the surface…
I was very keen to get it on board so I could try to weigh it but then was very keen to get it off again. The hook was very well lodged in the roof of its mouth but fortunately I had my ultra long forceps with me.Alas these pinged off and were consigned to Davey Jones’ locker when I tried to attach the scales. We estimated a weight of twenty pounds given a length of about five foot:
We both hauled up another bull huss. My one still had Austen’s previous hook and line which it had broken, plus mackerel , in its mouth. It proceede to regurgitate all that, plus my mackerel and a few other gloopy bits.Glad my kayak has scupper holes in it.
This brought our species haul for the day to nine. As well as those mentioned already we caught scad and ballan wrasse. Another thrilling day. It’s made all the more exciting by the fact that for four days out of five,probably a lot more, this bit of coast is inaccessible to kayak due to wind and/or swell.
There’s bigger ones down there.