The Bristol Channel stretches ahead of us; far across the water the Welsh coast is illuminated by twinkling lights and the hills of North Devon are silhouetted against the night sky. A starry sky creates a vast ceiling above with occasional shooting stars streaking across the darkness.
Kevin Legge and myself watch our rod tips as they sway to the pull of the tide. We wallow in the anticipation of a flooding tide and what it might bring. After half an hour Kevin reels in a plump rockling of just over a pound. I catch a dogfish.
Then an hour into the flooding tide Kev’s reel emits a warning click as line is pulled steadily from the ratchet. A few minutes later the rod is straining as an unseen powerful fish is coaxed towards the shoreline. I wait at the waters edge ready to lift the prize from the water. When a large eel appears on the surface I stoop to lift the writhing creature onto the rocks.
The conger is carefully weighed in a Homebase refuse bag before being cradled for photos. At 30lb 5oz the eel is Kevin’s third over the thirty- pound barrier and the second I have assisted him to land.
The conger succumbed to Ammo Cuttlefish presented on an 8/0 Sakuma Manta Extra.
A few more dogfish, small conger a whiting and a large edible crab succumb to our baits as the tide floods.
We pack away when as the tide threatens our departure well pleased with the evenings fishing. We note a lack of anglers on the rocks despite pleasing conditions. It’s a far cry from a few years ago when anglers lined the rocks in search of big winter cod.