It s been a while since the big rods came out after a summer luring, mullet fishing and fly-fishing etc. By big rods I mean the beach casters, in this case a pair of near twenty-year-old ZZipplex Ground casters, old faithful, scratched worn but still serviceable.
Autumn nights and the rock fishing season is underway the time of year when a big juicy bait anchored out there in the dark water is likely to be engulfed by any number of big fish. Conger, tope, bass, ray and huss are all likely.
I had arranged to hit the shoreline with a friend of James who is keen to connect with a few bigger fish. Rob Scoines and I descended onto a well-known North Devon rock mark the neap tide at halfway point, a moderate swell surging onto the rocks.
Bass were number 1 target but a few fish of any species would be good for starters. I tackled up, threading the leader through the rod rings and tying on a pulley rig that had a Pennell rig consisting of 6/0 Sakuma Manta hooks at the business end. Double squid bait was lashed to this and launched out onto the clean sand adjacent to the rocks. Before the second rod was set up the ratchet clicked and the rod tip bounced. Picking up the rod I felt eagerly for the mystery guest at the end of the line. As whatever it was moved away with the bait I raised the rod to feel a pleasing weight at the end of the line. A minute or so later a huss was pulled from the surging water and pulled the scales to 9lb 1oz.
Rob observed this with great enthusiasm a bigger than average fish within in moments of arrival. Five minutes later and we were both reeling in fish. A doggie for Rob and a small smoothound for myself. Of course a good start of means its downhill and so it proved with just two more dogfish for the evening both to Rob’s rods making him top dog for the night.
We packed away after three hours fishing as drizzle fell heavily. It was good to be out on the rocks again relishing the salty evening air, the anticipation of a pair of big rods sat in the tripod. I look forward to coming months and the possibility of a big fish or two caught in the traditional sea angling style.