Over the past few weeks my fishing efforts have been a little fragmented to say the least with a couple of shore trips bringing the inevitable dogfish and little else. In addition I continue to work on my forthcoming book that I hope will be published sometime late in 2014.

There have been plenty of flounder showing the Taw so I paid the estuary a visit. Full of confidence I dug a few ragworm and proceeded to the waters edge casting three baited hooks into the last of the ebbing tide. The rod was set upon the rest and I wondered along to chat with anglers fishing further along the sand and mud bank. “Any showing yet?” I enquired “Had 27 from here yesterday! Nothing yet today though”.
The sun was shining and wading birds emitted their distinctive calls, oyster catchers and the mournful curlew among them. Sirens wailed from the nearby road and I knew someone somewhere was having a worse day than me.
After three hours of motionless rod tips I reeled in and wondered back across the mud to the car. Flounder the easiest of fish to catch but frequently not for me.
A week later and I try for some late mullet. On arrival I spy several big mullet pushing in with the flooding tide. The two hook rig is soon in place baited with the favoured pinch of breadflake.
Soon the rod tip trembles and dips. I try to resist striking and eventually the rod tip plunges more decisively as the hook finds hold. A small mullet of around 1lb 8oz is brought to the waiting net. Next cast sees a repeat performance and this time it’s a far better fish. For close to ten minutes the rod is hooped over as the mullet battles against rod and line. A passing angler offers to wield the net I cautiously welcome his assistance and breath a sigh of relief when the mullet is safely with the folds of the patiently wielded net.
The fish pulls the scales to 4lb 1oz a pleasing start to the CMSAC club year. The previous year had come to end at last nights AGM that brought a healthy number of members to the Cricket club.

One further mullet of around 3lb follows before the tide ebbs and the light fades.



The following day is Blakewell Fisheries annual Christmas match and I join the regular throng on a cold overcast morning. This is always a fun day of socializing and humorous banter. The morning session sees easy fishing with most anglers including myself landing their allocation of five trout. The hot plate of chilli-con-carne that waits in the shop is well received by all and the glass of accompanying hot mulled wine gives a Christmassy warmth to the inner person.

After lunch the trout prove far harder to tempt. I hook a good fish that I estimate at around seven pounds and curse when the hook hold fails. As the afternoon passes by I struggle to get a pull and feel that ebbing of confidence that sets in when trout can be seen cruising around with no purpose ignoring the anglers offerings. A team of small imitative patterns should be the answer but I tend to stick with the damsel nymph that has worked so well all morning. I pack up five minutes before time and head back to the weigh in and presentation for a hot coffee and mince pie.
The atmosphere is convivial the after match speeches by fishery owners John and Richard sincere and at times humorous. Plans for the future are delivered and someone wise cracks that this probably involves stocking some fish! The day as always has been a good one with some good fish caught and plenty of smiling faces. It really does not seem like twelve months since the last Christmas match; how depressingly fast time flies by.
The next night I attend a slide show at Collumpton with top pike angler Alistair Rawling delivering a fascinating slide show on big water pike. The methods and approach have much in common with specimen sea angling. As always a few ideas are formed and tackle set ups studied. Once again I realize just how dedicated some top specimen anglers are catching over 433 pike topping 20 pounds is an amazing feat that took a lot of time and dedication. Location, confidence, persistence, attention to detail and all out dedication the key to regular success.

About piscator2

An all-round angler I fish for fun and enjoy sharing my experiences and adventures at the waters edge. Each week I write a column for the North Devon Journal and occasional articles for various publications.
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