Last Sunday saw the VMO team head out of Minehead aboard Dave Roberts’ boat, Aly Kat. Due to a variety of circumstances, only three of the team could make the trip and so it was that Harry, Andrew and Jeremy set sail that morning in high spirits upon a tranquil sea. Having had the last trip cancelled because of strong winds, the lads were ultra keen to get amongst the fish and with catches of smoothhounds, rays, tope and bass making the news over the past weeks, they had a feeling that the angling Gods were going to be kind!
After a lengthy steam down channel, Dave finally positioned the boat and dropped anchor on a spot that had shown good form of late. The plan was to target bream using small hooks but when just a few pout and dogfish graced the rods it became apparent that the bream were not in residence and the decision was made to move to another mark to fish on the drift, where hopefully a bass or two would be present.
The boat was finally positioned to start the drift and long flowing traces were armed with an assortment of Fish Black minnows and Sidewinder Shads. Harry and Andrew couldn’t believe their luck when within seconds of touching bottom, both of their rods arched over to the unmistakable tune of a bass. Harry’s fish had taken a Black Minnow whereas Andrew’s had fallen for a blue Sidewinder Shad.
Jeremy had to wait for the second drift before he could get in on the action when quite spectacularly his rod suddenly buckled in his grasp as another bass made a frantic grab for the lure.
Within twenty minutes, all three anglers had reached their daily bag limit and with the tide now easing off, Dave pointed the nose of Aly Kat seaward and steamed another couple of miles offshore. A whole host of other species including smoothhounds, blonde rays, bull huss and conger eels were soon coming over the gunnels.
Low water came and went, the wind had freshened from the west and the boat swung around into the face of the new flood tide. As it increased in strength and the offshore mark became unfishable, the remainder of the session was spent just a few hundred yards offshore of the north Devon coast. Big mackerel baits on wire traces were cast uptide by all three anglers in anticipation of tope; the one fish that was of particular interest to the lad’s on this trip and one that had seemingly been plentiful through out the summer. After a fruitless hour wait, several bait changes and time ticking away, a change of tactics was in order. Going all out with smaller hooks and a variety of different baits, the fish started coming aboard. Turbot, smoothhounds, bull huss, blonde rays and a specimen size grey gurnard for Andrew added to the variety.
Before they knew it, Dave called time and Aly Kat headed for port. Although both Harry and Jeremy are more at home on the coast, there is already talk of boat fishing related purchases ahead of the next trip which all going to plan will be in pursuit of sharks next month. Look out for a full report on the VMO blog!