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Mark Crame

A Hundred not out. Hopton, 21st December 2008

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The forecast looked 50:50 for the weekend which is good enough for me and so I decided that as Saturday would not be possible due to the staff Christmas party but Sunday was the ideal opportunity for me to hit at least one target for the year…I’d intended to hit it last week but wanted to tie in another target if possible and so hadn’t made a second launch. So, at half past five after a really bad night of poor sleep (too much cheese the previous night) my alarm went off and I headed downstairs to get coffee’d and dressed for a six o’clock rendezvous. I had to get out – it was my last chance for the year anyway as I’m away on Tuesday and can’t take my kayak.

 

I couldn’t wait and so sent Bootster a text to say I’d meet him at the beach and pointed the van northwards. Soon after I pulled up alongside Pinkfoot who was readying his Mini-X by the side of the road before heading down the track and parking (eventually) behind Eastangler, Bootster turning up shortly afterwards. Bootster and I hadn’t been out since about April and so it was good to catch up again for a session. Eastangler was back after his debut a fortnight ago and, well, Pinkfoot and I seem to be down here a lot together – the Suffolk/Norfolk border kayak angling community is starting to grow in number!

 

Everything loaded I headed down to the beach. It was still dark and we’d be starting out under navlights and head torches with the sun not coming up until we were already fishing. Pinkfoot headed out first and I watched as Eastangler launched before pulling my Prowler 15 into the sea, clambering aboard and paddling through the shore break on my hundredth launch of 2008, waiting at the end of the groyne for Bootster to get afloat.

 

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We paddled out and anchored up about a third of a mile out I’d guess. We were on an ebb tide and it was reasonably strong but not as bad as it has been lately. It was the shortest day of the year too – so I’d scrounged an extension to ‘elevenish’ – in other words I’d aim to be home at midday ;D

 

I fished a pennel on one rod, with lug and whole squid, put down a (flatfish spoon rig which kept tangling) on another, a three-hook flapper on a third and my current favourite, a wishbone rig, on the fourth. The sea was pretty kind to us today so four rods was easy to manage and I wanted to see which rigs would produce the desired Dabs…

 

It turned out no rigs were producing anything for me – after a couple of hours I was blanking badly, with only 3 missed bites and a starfish (I think it’s called a Brittlestar) to show for it. And I don’t know where that came from!

 

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However, I kept at it, fishing lug with squid strips on the smaller rigs, using 2/0’s in the hope for flatties. Funnily enough all my bites had come on the same rod and rig – I’d swapped off the flatfish spoon rig for a wishbone with attractor blades between the beads. Thinking about it afterwards I suspect that the flashes were being actively sought as the larger fish are feeding heavily on sprats at the moment. However, when I finally managed to make a capture I decided enough was enough…

 

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Yes, a Whelk. Fairly and squarely caught – it had wrapped its white bits (well I don’t know what they’re called!) around the bait and was trying to eat it. It didn’t put up much of a fight though – they’ve got nothing on a prawn, I tell you. So it seemed to me that I could either catch odd critters like these, pull my anchor and see how Bootster was doing or watch the skeins of geese fly overhead…

 

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I went over to Bootster. He was doing alright – he had a codling while I was there, his fourth…I hung around chatting for a while and he gave me some blacks to try, so I headed off, dropped anchor again and started to fish. I stuck some blacks onto a fresh pennel rig with a squid, cast in, then rebaited the other hooks with fresh lug. It was only a couple of minutes in the new spot before a rod started to go:

 

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A Pouting maybe – but I wasn’t blanking now! It had come to the attractor blade wishbone which had the lug and the whelk on it. Soon afterwards another fish came to this rig too:

 

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Lovely job! On a 2/0 and a small bait taken when the sprats are here in force? The codling are feeding heavily on them at present – they were regurgitating them on the yak, their stomachs were full of them when gutted yet still they were hitting small worm baits – and funnily enough my pennels didn’t get hit once all day.

 

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Next up was another pouting – this time on a three hook flapper on normal lug tipped with squid strip. Then it went quite for a while, until the tide started to ease slightly…and then the attractor wishbone rig went again with a good knock and another codling came in.

 

I needed one more…I didn’t have long left either…I started to bring rods in and then…bang bang bang! Fish on, and pulling strongly. Same rig and a 12lb class rod. Here it came…up and in!

 

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It had again taken the lug/whelk snood. Well, I was made up and decided to take a photograph of target two – my five hundredth fish of 2008:

 

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Rods in, anchor up and I paddled in. The wind had really picked up since launch and it was fairly hard going. The tide was still ebbing even an hour after high water and I was making about a knot against both. Eastangler and Bootster were meanwhile having a natter…

 

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Eastangler was staying out but Bootster and I went in, him leading in my Trident. Pinkfoot was further south but joined us on the beach shortly after. He was chuffed to bits – he’d got another species for the year and had a few fish to take home too.

 

We stood around chatting away for a while and then headed up the slope to the transport – there’s no better way in my book to hit your big targets than with friends, and to hit my hundredth launch and five-hundredth fish on what is almost certainly my last session of the year was brilliant.

 

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So, that’s me done until next year and I’d just like to thank, publicly, all those of you who I’ve fished with this year and who have helped, inspired, amused and taught this old dog new tricks. It’s been a cracking year!

 

Mark


Wetter than an otter's pocket.

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100 launches is an absolutely outstanding years launch tally Mark(anything over 50 is serious in my opinion anything under 10 pathetic),some in extreme conditions,pure dedication. ;)

 

You must have gained loads of experience this year B)

 

 

well done


Team Ocean Kayaks U.K.

 

Kayaks: Necky vector,Flame SPTW

previous Kayaks:Yellow Ocean Kayaks Caper,Flame Prowler 13,Sunrise Ocean Kayaks Prowler 15 Trident, Perception Dancer XT

 

assisted rescues---5

longest paddle:65 miles

top speed under sail 11.1mph

 

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cant agree with you there captain crazy. Be lucky enough to live next to the sea like Mark and its easy to launch here and there for a few hours. However , is that any more meriticious (big word!!) than someone in say Leicester traveling 3 hours to the coast each way and staying out for 10 hours. maybe once a month?? The beauty of this game is that theres no pressure , just take it at the pace that suits you :D me?? I could launch everyday at work , two or three times a day!!


Ok Prowler 13

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Richi.

 

 

What a shame.

 

You have done some great work to promote the sport of Kayakfishing, i.e Demo days.

Some of your exploits have been a credit to you.

 

But dont get above your station, and start to judge others on thier performance and the amount of launches they can manage during a seaon.

 

A lot of people have very busy lives to lead, and family commitments too, so are not lucky enough to get out as often as they would like.

 

Its not about how many fish you catch,or the amount of launches you can achieve, but rather the quality time you can fit in and enjoy.

 

There is much more to being an ambassador for the sport, than the amount of time you spend on the water,or how far,and how often you can paddle.

 

You had a lot of help from Anglers Net when you started Kayak fishing, so a bit of respect to its members wouldnt go a miss, infact to all fellow kayakfisherman dont judge them,

 

I hope Santa brings you some smaller boots, the ones you have seem a bit big for you :D;)

 

Merry Christmas. :)

Edited by Yakity - Yak - u.k.

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cant agree with you there captain crazy. Be lucky enough to live next to the sea like Mark and its easy to launch here and there for a few hours. However , is that any more meriticious (big word!!) than someone in say Leicester traveling 3 hours to the coast each way and staying out for 10 hours. maybe once a month?? The beauty of this game is that theres no pressure , just take it at the pace that suits you :D me?? I could launch everyday at work , two or three times a day!!

 

 

I don't expect everyone to agree mate that's why I said in my opinion,I understand and agree on the merit part but I still think Mark deserves some credit.He has also improved this year as a paddler considerably,helped a lot of people into the sport and caught some blennies that most would be proud of :D


Team Ocean Kayaks U.K.

 

Kayaks: Necky vector,Flame SPTW

previous Kayaks:Yellow Ocean Kayaks Caper,Flame Prowler 13,Sunrise Ocean Kayaks Prowler 15 Trident, Perception Dancer XT

 

assisted rescues---5

longest paddle:65 miles

top speed under sail 11.1mph

 

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Richi.

 

 

 

 

You had a lot of help from Anglers Net when you started Kayak fishing,

 

 

nearly true ;) I didn't even know about AN when I started,to be honest I didn't have a clue either :D but I survived :DI was very grateful when either Zzippy or SpeciMan put me on to AN,it was the no.1 forum in those days and I met some good friends on here that I still fish with now,sadly most of the yakfishermen from the early days don't post here anymore

Edited by richi

Team Ocean Kayaks U.K.

 

Kayaks: Necky vector,Flame SPTW

previous Kayaks:Yellow Ocean Kayaks Caper,Flame Prowler 13,Sunrise Ocean Kayaks Prowler 15 Trident, Perception Dancer XT

 

assisted rescues---5

longest paddle:65 miles

top speed under sail 11.1mph

 

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Of course he deserves some credit , 100 launches is a heck of a lot - still got to get your arse off the comfy sofa :D

Edited by Martin Hurst

Ok Prowler 13

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Hi Richi.

 

Yes, Anglers Net was the No1 Kayak Fishing Forum......infact it was the only one in the u.k. at the start. (although Not a dedicated forum ) hosted in the beggining, by the Sea Fishing Section, before Elton set up the Kayak forum later on.

 

I think the interest in the sport, and the speed at which it grew, made Anglers Net Kayak Fishing forum, a victim of its own success.

 

What was once a friendly place to share ideas and oppinions , soon became a marketing free for all, that went unchecked for to long.

 

With more and more members joining the forum, it became a race to be No1.

 

Only to be expected, because nobody had set any records, the sport was in its infancy in the u.k. at the time, so much was out there to do, and to be be taken, and exploited.

 

Arguments and petty bickering dragged the forum down, and I think, put a lot of people off of posting, and visiting.

 

We lost the spirit of the forum, and some great charactors too.

 

Hopefully one day, we can get that back.

 

All very sad really, because at the end of the day, we all enjoy what we do, we need to learn how to share it again.

 

I hope that 2009 will see the old spirit and friendship come back, and we see a few of the old posters return, along with some good old banter.

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Well done Mark congratulations on your 100 launch and yet again another well written and well photographed report.

As for my own launches sadly i only managed 7 this year (as opposed to forty odd last year)due to work, weather and other problems(a written off trailer being one of them) however i would point out to the critics out there that the shortest round trip to the coast to launch that i've done this year involved a round trip of approx 240 miles(120 each way the same as most of my trips the year before as i don't use the yak on freshwater) and the longest in excess of 800(Birmingham to Killiechronan on Mull approx 411 miles each way including the 3/4 hour ferry trip from oban).Hopefully next year i will get out more (number to match 2007s hopefully) with some longer trips again being on the book(possiblites looked at for next year include circumnavigating Anglsey, a fishing/camping trip from one end of Cardigan bay to the other and a trip to the Scillies(this one is probably top of the list at the moment)).

Edited by snakey1

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Don't know if you guys have noticed, but look how busy this forum isn't nowadays. I've switched to another one, and the reason is the above posts. To say you are a clique is a serious understatement.

You also argue a lot, it's boring you know. As for those of us being pathetic because we don't live on the water, we have a life. Fishing shouldn't be the only thing to live for, it's a very unbalanced life, it's something to enjoy as a hobby when time permits, not an obsession.

Bye chaps, keep safe, I won't darken your doors again, and for goodness sake stop bickering!

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