Thursday, 5 May 2011

I can't catch turbot!

Strong winds are the bane of the sea angler and all boat anglers experience the frustration of trips being cancelled due to strong winds. Even shore anglers may struggle to fish with rock marks becoming dangerous and weed being ripped up and thrown to shore. Additionally the coloured water results in poor fishing for most species.

 I had planned to fish three days out of Weymouth with Colin Penney on Flamer 4, unfortunately the first two days were "blown off" due to strong easterly winds. Luckily the wind dropped and Thursday's planned flatty trip was on. The plan was simple we would fish the mussel beds for plaice during the morning before moving onto the shambles in search of turbot.

After a slow start plaice started coming on board and with each drift the fishing improved. There is an optimum drift speed and Colin moved to different areas of the mussel bed to maximise our chances. Only two anglers failed to catch a plaice before it was time to move to the shambles.

Colin asked whether I had caught a launce (the greater sand eel) and I replied that I hadn't. Launce make good bait, so we spent five minutes working a set of mini sabbikkis just off bottom.  I replace the lead with a shiny pirk as the flash apparently attracts sand eels, it seemed to work as I caught first drop down.

Turbot fishing is a waiting game and we made several long drifts. Eventually my rod banged round, I let out a little line before lifting into my first turbot, however by the time it reached the surface it had turned into a plaice. Colin had said earlier that occasionally plaice were caught on the mackerel or launce strips that are used for turbot.

 My plaice took the boat tally to twenty-seven for the day, however the big plaice eluded us. Five turbot were landed including this beauty of 17lb which won the lucky angler the twenty pound sweepstake for the best flatty of the day (it certainly made up for the plaice blank on the mussels).

Although I didn't catch a turbot my time will come, every trip you learn something new, I learnt that garfish make excellent baits for turbot and that I still can't catch turbot!