I woke up this morning to look out at an undefined grey sky and heavy rain – great … what a way to spend my day off! Then just to spice things up a little rumble of thunder …. could it get any worse?
I sat in the house until about mid day until I simply couldn’t take it any more … I dug out the waterproofs and got the gear ready … one way or another I was going to go fishing!
It was pretty miserable walking out over the fields to the back cliffs as the grass was soaking wet and it was still hammering down from the sky. After battling my way through some heavy under growth, bushes and trees I finally got to my mark – it was flat calm, still, quiet and bizarrely it felt fishy.
The current was still pushing as the tide neared low water – I decided to try bumping a few shads in the current to see if the bass had decided to show up. I stuck on the Illex Nitro Shad 120 with 14g head on and began to work the current line in front of me. It didn’t take long before something took an interest in the shad, unfortunately it wasn’t a bass but a pollack was a good way to start things off – at least something was coming out to play!
I was starting to settle down a bit now and switch off to the horrible weather which was still lingering around! Not even a dozen casts later and the rod tip knocked – nothing. I kept the slow sink and draw action going as the shad swung in the current and a few seconds later the tip slammed over and I connected with a small school bass. The 120 Nitro Shads really are the business when it comes to working strong currents as you can work the shad very slowly and subtly yet still allowing that strong tail to omit powerful vibrations. It is ideal for these strong coastal rips which Alderney is famous for!
Things had got off to a good start but the weather was still not behaving as now the wind had really started to pick up and was making presenting my shad in the current a little bit awkward. However, about 20 minutes later everything changed …. The rain stopped, grayness disappeared and all of a sudden it was wall to wall sunshine and roasting hot … I had to take a step back as the change was so dramatic it was quite confusing. Anyway, the sun came at just the right time to help me dry out some of my clothes after I decided to go on a wet wading adventure in my normal trousers and boots!
It was worth it though as I reached another rocky point which put me into slightly deeper water and as the tide started to turn the pollack came back on the feed. This time I was fishing with the 4.8 I shad Tail on a 16g jig head and using the same slow sink and draw whilst allowing it to swing round in the current.
I started to see shoals of sandeel stack up under the kelp at my feet but no signs of any predators chasing them … I decided to do a little ‘match the hatch’ and started to use the Juno Eel 150 as it is a killer sandeel representation with its super slim body, flashy finish and very very small paddle tail. Same tactics as before and a similar 16g jig head was used.
A few casts later I watched a small, ambitious bass chase my Juno Eel into the edge, slash at it but sadly it missed and swam off before I could re present the lure to it.
I managed another pollack before things started to quieten down and as I lay it in the rock pool it practically vanished as it blended in with the tones and shades of the weed perfectly. You can see why they are perfectly adapted to hunting in and among the kelp and weeds.
Of course any session on the rocks in Alderney wouldn’t be complete without a wrasse and this trip was no exception! I wasn’t actually targetting them this time as I had my focus sent on bass but I managed a few and they took quite a liking for the Nitro Sprat Fin 120 in Wakasagi colour …. I found it a bit unusual as it has no paddle tail, more a fork style and I was working it ab it faster and harder than the Nitro Shads but it didn’t seem to put them off. Several times I ended up pulling the lure away from inquisitive wrasse to stop my lures being shredded in half!
All in all not a bad session on the rocks … Certainly nice to get a bend in the rod – still not finding the stamp of bass I would like but hoping things will change as the season goes on … but hey, all you can do is try and keep on casting!