I fished a shallow estuary south and west of us today, one that had fished well when we'd been over on holiday in April 2014 and 2015. I'd had a look a couple of weeks ago but not seen any fish, and I wondered if I was still too early today ... it looked windswept and bleak on arrival.
I felt mildly encouraged to find a pile of scales on the bank ... looked like an otter had had some luck with the mullet anyway. I set up in a swim that offered a little shelter, but the first few times the float trotted through uninterrupted.
Then I started to get stabby little bites. They were impossible to hit but eventually one held under slightly longer and I connected. After a short scrap this pretty little 1:10 thick lip was netted; it had been hooked in the outside of the lip.
The swim was quiet for a few minutes after that, then a hail squall passed over. The best I could do fishing-wise with hood up and head down was to dangle just off the rod tip in the fizzing water ... where I promptly missed two sail-away bites!
I couldn't get another take there as the hail eased off, so I started trotting through normally again. All was quiet for half an hour or so until I had a good bite completely out of the blue ... and struck into a very solid feeling fish.
The mullet ran out strongly then kited round to my left and spent a good deal of time trying bury itself in the reeds. Eventually it swam out again and I was able to gradually work it near enough to net.
It weighed 4lb 12oz, one of the biggest I've had from this venue.
My swim seemed well and truly dead after the fight, so I relocated 50 yards or so to my left to a small gap in the reeds.
After feeding for ten minutes or so I started getting bites, and landed a 2:12 with a recent but healing wound on its flank, possibly a lucky escape from one of the otters. 45 minutes later, another flurry of bites resulted in a 4:03 ... as I was putting the camera away I noticed a smear of (presumably) mullet slime across the lens. Sorry the photos of the last two fish were not really usable.
The swim went really quiet after this, at 5.00 pm I decided I'd give it a last hour in case the mullet came back.
Another heavy squall came through. This should have been lucky ...
... but the float continued to trot through time after time.
At 5.59 and 30 seconds, the float plunged under. I missed the bite (of course) but now I just had to stay on.
Suddenly it was a bite a cast, but could I hit them? I strongly suspected it was small fish like the first one, but when I finally connected after about ten minutes and as many bites, the Preston hooped over.
Great scrap and this 3:14 to finish.