The mullet fishing has been difficult since Steve went home - more on this later - so I was keen to get out on the rocks today before the first of the autumn's gales hits tomorrow. I chose a mark on the south side of the peninsula as the wind was already up from the northwest, driving swells onto the north shore.
I was also keen to give the little soft plastics another go for wrasse, so I started with these.
It soon became apparent it was going to be a struggle with the wrasse today. Second cast, a pollack about 1.5lbs latched onto the tiny lure. I was getting plucks most casts, but the next three fish were pollack all that similar size. They put a bend in the rod fair enough, but they were not what I wanted.
Then I lost a fish right under the rod tip as I jigged the lure up and down a couple of times at the end of the cast. It dived into the weed and transferred the hook to a kelp root - not sure how they do it so consistently but it's classic wrasse tactic! Another pollack, then finally a wrasse of a couple of pounds. More pollack then another wrasse, a better one this time pushing 4lbs ...
I was pleased with that one, but over the next half hour the knocks I had been getting diminished, and the hook-ups I was getting were all pollack, and these were now mostly less than a pound.
The tide was rising and also the wind seemed to be swinging more to the west. It was clear I wasn't going to get much longer on the mark before the swell forced me off, so I decided on a change of tactics for the last few minutes.
I tackled up my bass rod with a 2oz bomb and bubblegum pink redgill, and welted it out as far as I could hoping there might be some bigger pollack in the mouth of the bay between me and the next rocky point.
I retrieved as slowly as I dared over the rocky bottom and second run through the redgill stopped dead. I raised the rod tip, half expecting the hook to be caught in the kelp but hoping not ... and the rod tip lunged over as a good pollack dived for cover.
This is not a particularly deep mark and it is hard work keeping the fish from getting their heads down into the kelp, especially fish hooked at long range. But this time everything was good, the pollack kept coming and after a minute or so a 5lb bar of irridescent copper lay on the surface below me waiting for the net. It is one of my favourite sights in angling.