Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A Bite Adventure!

The sea around Penzance is a species hunters paradise with a number of species that are rare in other parts of Britain. After a couple of days where we couldn't get out due to strong winds, on the Wednesday I finally boarded Bite Adventure skippered by Chippy for a species day. Chippy was confident he could add several species to my challenge total.

We sailed close to the Cornish coastline towards Lands End, where we would be drifting a range of marks. However the swell out at sea meant that some reef marks would not be fishable today.

The rig was a three foot flowing trace of twenty pound fluorocarbon to a size 2/0 hook baited with a long thin strip of mackerel.

We needed 10oz of lead on the first mark so I started with the 12lb outfit. Chippy advised that we were likely to catch haddock and and sure enough within a couple of minutes the rodtip announced the arrival of my first haddock. Another small haddock soon followed along with a cod. Despite being on virtually every fish and chip shop menu, haddock are an unusual catch in British waters.

We moved to the sand banks off Porthcurno to drift for turbot, brill and a vast range of other species. I dropped down to a 6lb outfit as only 6oz of lead was required to hold bottom. I finally managed to catch my first tub gurnard, a very pale fish compared to those I had seen off Weymouth.

A couple of greater weaver fish (a Porthcurno speciality) were caught by other anglers. I managed to add a small turbot and some mackerel, although I did miss a couple of rattly bites, possible weavers?

A short session was spent at anchor, legering sandeel in the hope of a small eyed ray. The rays were not playing, however I managed another tub gurnard and some more mackerel.

Our final mark was further offshore over a reef. I joked to Chippy that he had brought us out to a top pouting mark as that was all we could catch. The next drift I hooked into something that tested the light outfit was to its limit, as a hard fighting fish repeatedly made long runs for the bottom. Chippy suspected a pollack, but the bite was definately breamy.

The culprit turned out to be a couches bream weighing 4lb 12oz, the lad next to me landed a slightly larger couches at 5lb 1oz. This warm water visitor to the British Isles is more at home in the Mediterranean and is at the northern most extent of its range. Apart from the Channel Isles this is the only place where you have a chance of seeing this beautiful fish.

Thanks Chippy for getting me that bit closer to the 100, I will definately be back for another bite adventure.