Conger madness !

It’d been a week since my previous trip and I felt suitably recovered and ready for another trip on the water. The earlier trip had lasted twelve hours and had left me somewhat tender!. I’d seriously considered fishing the Monday night, though I decided to get another day trip under my belt before I resumed full on night sessions, so I decided to wait until morning.

It was an early start, I hit the road around 5:30am and enjoyed a steady drive up to the Blue Anchor in Somerset. On arrival the tide had barely turned, this was expected as I’d planned to drag the kayak over the reef in order to launch. However, I decided on plan B, pour a coffee and relax in the car for an hour or so. I’d been unable to source any fresh lugworm and I didn’t have to time to dig any so I was making doing with frozen squid and mackerel plus a good amount of fresh ragworm.

With the kayak rigged I made my way down to the beach. Being a smaller tide there was less mud exposed so I was able to launch a couple of hours into the flood without any fuss. The sun was rising, the skies were clear and the air temperature was four degrees below freezing. Allied with only a light breeze conditions could be considered perfect, if not a tad chilly. It was approximately 8am when I launched onto the muddy waters of the Bristol Channel.

With the anchor down the kayak duly swung into the tide. Both rods were baited up and I was soon sitting back awaiting the first bite of the day. I didn’t have to wait long before the first bite and I was bringing a steady string of conger eel and the odd whiting to the kayak. An hour or so later I was joined by a couple of other kayak fisherman. The skies clouded over though conditions remained wonderfully calm.

Slack water was relatively quiet with just the odd fish, though the frantic sport resumed as the tide began to ebb. An hour or so into the ebb I picked up a nice sized Cod, though it turned out to be the only Cod for me that day. It’s odd how a venue can fish so differently only days, sometimes even hours, apart.

Despite the pleasant conditions is was still rather chilly. I found that my feet did cool off somewhat, though not uncomfortably so.

I’d recently upgraded some of the fittings on my kayak. I’d removed the somewhat corroded 1.5” RAM balls that hold my RAM tubes and replaced them with later model composite items. It was second trip afloat in this configuration. I’d noticed on the previous trip that the rods had a slight tendency to bounce, the  RAM ball mounts flexing ever so slightly, though it was something I soon adjusted to.

However, whilst playing a fish on one rod the other rod bent over as a decent sized fish pulled on the bait. I wasn’t too concerned as this happens quite frequently at this particular venue. However, a couple of seconds later there was a loud crack and the rod dropped to the horizontal position. I managed to quickly grab the rod and it was immediately apparent that the RAM ball had sheared from its base plate!.

 

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I removed the RAM rod tube from the rod butt and secured it elsewhere on the kayak. The composite RAM balls clearly aren’t capable of putting up the abuse that the aluminium versions endured for four years. I’ll be removing these items and replacing them with new aluminium RAM mounts at the earliest opportunity. It’s somewhat disappointing, though a learning experience I guess.

I was a little unsure as to what time to fish until, the longer I left it I’d have to recover the kayak over the reef. As I’d used the C-Tug trolley I really didn’t fancy that kind of haul, the Big Game is way too unsteady on the C-Tug. I decided to make a run for the beach which was roughly a mile and a half away. I knew I was cutting it rather fine and coming ashore onto deep mud was a real possibility. As it happens I did hop off the kayak into knee deep mud, though within 3-4 steps I reached far firmer ground. Bar a set of very muddy boots all was good!. It was about 4:30pm when I recovered to the beach so the session had lasted just over eight hours, another decent session on the water.

 

Below is some video footage from the day. The launch footage is a little grainy due to the low light levels, though I decided to use it anyway. I only had a couple of wire traces with me and once they’d been destroyed by the conger I was forced onto some traces made from 100lb monofilament. That wasn’t always up to the task, a conger eel has sharp teeth and given the opportunity it’ll make short work of ‘lighter’ mono lines. I’ll be re-stocking on traces this weekend.

Watchet, Somerset

I’m heading off to Norway for a couple of months hence I wont be posting any kayak fishing reports. That said, I’m packing a heavy duty spinning rod and I’m also hoping to fit in a couple of charter boat trips. I also want to have a go at ice fishing!… got to be done. As you can see, I don’t intend being located above the Artic Circle to stop me fishing !

5 comments:

paul stilgrove said...

at least you can fish this time and no sand :-)

Rob Appleby said...

yup, that is very true!

MickMull said...

Nice report & vid as always Rob. Some of those eels look to be a fair size.

Rob Appleby said...

Cheers Mick, yup there were some decent ones amongst them. They are great fun, just wish they tasted like cod!

Paul Angling Addicts said...

Great report mate. Loving the video too - some decent fish there!!!