It’s not long after dawn has broken and on arriving at the coastline a pod of porpoises can be seen working in the tide race. Above these gannets are swooping to and fro occasionally diving into the water at high speed. To the East the sun is rising above the cliffs spreading its welcome rays across the water.
There is chill wind blowing that reminds John, Callum and I that summer has departed. The water feels warm as we remove the soaking bread flake from the hook between casts. We are chasing grey mullet and it’s not long before my float plunges beneath the surface and I connect. It’s all too brief however for after thirty seconds the fish throws the hook. Shortly after Callum hooks a fish that gives a spirited account before being landed to find that it is foul hooked in the flank.
A couple of hours into the session a seal pops its head above water a sign I never worry about as seals should know where the fish are. An hour later as the tide starts to flood we decide to move onto another mark for the remainder of the day.
After grabbing a coffee and a snack on route we are perched upon a high rock Joined by Callums mate James Hunter.. John hooks a mullet second cast using quiver tip tactics. I also get a few indications on my tip that bode well. The intention is to remain here on the rocky out crop over high water; I calculate that we should be able to get off OK two hours back! At around 1.30pm John comments that it will be bit tight getting off in time for the weigh in at 7.30pm. High water is at 16:15 Ilfracombe and it’s an 8.6 metre tide. Should be Ok I mutter too late now anyway.
As high water approaches I feel a twinge of apprehension there is a lot of water to ebb away and with a few dark clouds and a moderate swell. To add to my frustration sport is slow with bites few and far between. Spirits are lifted when my float indicates a take and a 3lb 1oz mullet is safely netted, weighed and returned. John follows up with another couple of mullet. Callum also hooks a decent fish that slips the hook before he puts another on the rocks.
At 18:45 I stand at the edge of the gulley and bounce across the gulley with a hop skip and jump. Standing triumphantly on the other side I feel like a teenager once again dodging the waves. The rocks are wet and slippery, the light is fading fast and I know it’s a touch too close for comfort. We arrive at Lynmouth for the weigh in at 7:20pm and all is well. I pick up second prize with the 3lb 1oz mullet. First is taken by fine pouting of 1lb 8oz to young angler Rhys Deane.
Next time I will be a little more cautious in my estimations the tide waits for know one as they say and proceeds’ as it will. The fading light and slippery rocks are no place for an aging rock fisher. One slip can cause a major injury so I guess it’s a lesson learn t.