Once again we climbed the steps onto the unique Island of Sark five days of fishing ahead of us. Having visited on numerous occasions over past eight years there was a comforting familiarity as the tractors trundled up the harbour hill loaded with tourists and their luggage. We chose to walk the hill savouring the arrival and the prospect of the coming few days.
John Avery, Nick Phillips and myself were veteran Sark visitors with my son James on his second foray to the Island. After an enjoyable stroll through the high street we came to Peter and Sally’s B & B where we were soon sat down with a refreshing pot of tea. Soon after our luggage arrived we were off down the harbour hill once again to begin our fishing adventure.
The clear waters around Sark had always been kind to us on previous visits with plenty of hard fighting grey mullet and black bream. We had high hopes that this visit would once again give us good sport so long as we put in the effort to locate the fish.
The next five days were to prove frustrating with the fish very difficult to locate. We visited several of the normal haunts suspending our bread-flake baits beneath freshwater style floats.
On many occasions I have waxed lyrical about floats bobbing optimistically upon the water but after a couple of days here there were times when I watched the float bobbing pessimistically upon the water.
We did manage to catch a few mullet that as always gave exhilarating tussles on the light tackle we were using. The best fish of the trip fell to Nick Phillips and weighed a creditable 4lb 10oz. In all we landed around a dozen mullet but no black bream. We were not alone in struggling to find the fish as local anglers all told of a very poor season for fishing with the black bream not yet present. Perhaps we had arrived a few weeks to early? Perhaps the fish were late arriving?
I did manage to extract a few wrasse using soft plastic lures the biggest a modest couple of pounds. Exciting fishing nonetheless with wrasse clearly visible in the pure clean waters around the Island as they followed the lures.
Highlight of the week was a trip around the Island with George Guille on his trusty fishing boat. A Sark resident since well before the war George relayed a fascinating account of Sark history including German Occupation and the arrival of the Barclay Brothers on the nearby Island of Brecqhou in 1993. If you ever get the chance take a trip around this Island and share in the tales told by George, a fine teller of tales.
I am sure we will return to Sark one day and seek those grey ghosts of outsize proportions that we have glimpsed on previous trips. In the meantime perhaps its time to seek pastures new? Or should we chase the fish of our dreams in our home waters?