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Two days . . . O' how differnt . . .

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To for the price of one; . . . Saturday:


I was looking forward to the day, not had a good session for a few weeks. So a civilised lock out time of 9.15am to coincide with low water at Harwich seemed a good idea. However 'the best laid plans of mice and men . . . '. Half of the local bath tub brigade had converged on Shotley marina, and they all wanted to go out at '9.15'


The marine version of the M25 at rush hour!




Fortunately the intelligent Lock Keeper, pushed me to the front of the queue, better description 'front of the lock' and this was only the first lock full!!!


Although a spring tide, they are not big this time of year, so a leisurely steam to my mark was the order of the day. An hour later the tide really was not making much . . . 2 hours running yes but frustratingly little in the way of fish, 4 bass up to this point, 3 in the 'large sprat' category, and one just keepable, if you work to 36cm!


Time for a radical re think . . . give up and go home . . . I wanted a cupa, drifting and tea making don't go together


The particular mark, I always drift and usually do well . . . often wondered if I got the positioning right, would it fish at anchor? . . .

Anchor carefully placed, rods out, cupa in hand . . . relax In the next 90 minutes I boated 6 bass, and lost a couple.


These were the best by my personal criteria of 40cm and over.




The wind blew, more than forecast, now there is a surprise, the tide did not run as hard as prediction But the Stour/Orwell estuary, with a little thought, produced the goods, to my standards of very light tackle enhancing the sport. Being able to have a pleasantly civilised fishing session and be home at a reasonable time, to present supper . . . B)



. . . and moving on to Sunday:


What a difference a day makes, te weather report was 7mph, dropping to 2 or 3mph between 10am and 4pm . . . I mean, you have to go dont you . . . :huh: dont you?


Smoothouds, plenty about, pound for pound the best sport there is in our waters . . . IMHO With the forecast looking good Friday evening, I took a trip to the crab grounds, picked me a few 'green hard backs'. Nothing better than a nice juice hard back crab for big Smoothies!!!


So I had bait, the forecast was perfect Saturday evening for Sunday. Up at a respectable 6am, marina lockout by 8.30 and on my Towers mark by 10am to coincide with the start of the flood . . . So why is it lumpy . . . thats more than 7mph of wind . . . and the flood tide, was an hour late, so it was even more sloppy. I hate sloppy . . . not a young man any more, its like going on the 'Jelly Walk' at the fun fair :angry:


The tide got going eventually, I put out two rods, one with my prefered 'hard back', the other on squid . . . instant bite on the squid, doggie! Changed it to hard back, cant be bothered with the dog show today.


A few minutes passed, me hanging on for my life . . . rod no 1 nods, clutch off, ratchet on, screeeeeech!!!! wow . . . missed that one, but encouraged, forgot about the jelly walk ride. Re bait, sit back, another bite, more of a click-click-click . . . hound on, as usual, a walk in the park to wind in first time . . . one look at the boat and instant 'sounding', even a small hound of 6-7lbs, as this one was, just strips line. Three times it took line, the bend in my 12lb Suveran was satisfying to say the least.


Tea, sarnie, the VHF is full of tales; "not much happening" . . . give it half an hour an we will move to the super spot that 'Fred told us about'


I was getting a bit fed up with feeling like being in a washing machine.


looks a lot better than it felt!




Then the 2nd rod went screeming off, no stopping it, finally got the pressure on and the fight began. This was a different game altogether, the fish stayed deep, the Suveran rod bent right through to the butt!!! fifteen minutes later and I saw the very large grey/brown/pink torpedo form, another dive! work the clutch, not going to loose this one. By this time the lazy tide had also woken up, landing a 14lb common smoothie, single handed, in a washing machine is not easy.




14lb, not a giant? but the best hound I have seen since 2003,


" . . . Taken in 2003, the last good double smoothie I caught


. . . when fish of this size were the norm".


A weight of about 14lb is the best I could do on a deck tossing about as it was, but she is very thick set around the head and shoulders, so I'm happy with that.


She was released to get bigger. It went dead from there on, by 1 o'clock, I'd had enough of the constant workout.


Just to ad to the frustration, of not being able to stay to catch a few more . . . retrieving the anchor, it set!!!! stalling the 'CJ pot hauler' twice. Sit a few more minutes, tension on the rope, the washing machine action of the boat pulled it free.


Poor weather report, but a great fight from both fish, targeted with hard back crab :thumbs:


I can put it down as a good weekens fishing over all :clap2:



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I agree with N4lly and Janet - nice read and a cracking photo :)

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Some good photos there and some good fishing too I would guess by what you catch



What rod holders are you using as I'm after a few for my boat and yours obviously work well enough to stay on the boat as I remember you've had those same ones for quite some time

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Some good photos there and some good fishing too I would guess by what you catch



What rod holders are you using as I'm after a few for my boat and yours obviously work well enough to stay on the boat as I remember you've had those same ones for quite some time


The rod holders I use are the 'Berkley Quick Set'. Used them for a couple or three years on two different boats. At £12 a pop (last time I looked) from Harris Angling I think they are tops, not everyone's cup of tea, but they are my choice.



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Thank you very much


A good endorsment from experience is worth more than any advertising blurb


Brian Carragher,


Here is a blown up picture of my previous boat installation, best I could do on quality/size combination.


It shows clearly how the 'quick set holder', holds the rod in place with the geometry of the rod retainer, pressure on the front leg from the rod butt, holds the rear leg down. For me it works fine, but I emphasize again, I do know those who cant get on with the requirement to be very 'aware' as you place the rod in the holder.





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