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Bristol Channel Kayak Fishing - 28lb Cod - A cracking night out

Discussion in 'All Time Best Topics' started by V8_Rob, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. V8_Rob

    V8_Rob New Member

    Bristol Channel - follow up report

    It’d been an incredibly busy week at work. I’d planned a stopover in Wales to allow a couple of folk to plough up the countryside with 0.50 calibre machine guns. The trip was due to commence on Wednesday evening, though poor weather saw it pushed to Thursday morning. I arrived at work early the next day only to find out that it was cancelled again, this time for good. Needless to say I wasn’t too impressed.

    If that wasn’t bad enough I ended up spending the rest of the day with a numb bum enduring a bundle of incredibly boring lectures. When the day finally came to a close I was soon looking inside the fridge, making a grab for a lonely looking beer. Sitting down I flicked through the TV channels and decided that there were far better ways to spend an evening.

    A quick check of the weather and tides showed it was doable if the traffic was on my side. One phone call later and the bait was booked and left in a shadowy corner for out of hours collection. The road trip went smoothly, though a detour past the local chip shop proved to be a necessity!. I was soon rigged and launched around 7pm. Despite the calm water there was a steady set of small breakers which came over the hatch on the way out.

    The paddle out was a couple of miles, though with the tide I was pushing along at around 5mph. Mark 023 was the chosen mark. I’d not fished this mark, though I’d paddled over it on the last trip and noticed a few boulders showing, it looked like a rough patch of ground.

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    Baits went down about 7:30pm and I just sat back and enjoyed the evening. The was a light SSW wind which came an went, causing the water surface to be a mirror one moment and tightly rippled the next. Needless to say it was pretty dark out there!, the cloud cover was thick and a light drizzle made a show from time to time. The lights of Watchet were over a mile away (shown below), the glow from Cardiff was clearly visible despite being twenty miles away. It really was a cracking evening.

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    There’s no shipping to speak of on the southern side of the Channel, though I’m sure that more exists on the northern side travelling to Cardiff and Newport.

    The action started within minutes and it was clear that codling were the culprit from the nature of the bites. I missed the first four to five bites, I then proceeded to drop a reasonable fish halfway to the surface. A little frustrated, I re-baited with lugworm and squid on 6/0 pennel rigs and sent them back down to the bottom. The ground was quite snaggy, different from what I’ve experience before despite fishing close by. On more than one occasion I reeled in small rocks the size of a grapefruit.

    There was another good bite and after allowing it develop for a few moments and tightened up into it. It was a heavy fish and line was being stripped from the reel at a steady pace. After a couple of minutes I added a little more drag pressure and started to bring the fish up from the depths. The fish took several long plunges downwards, though I just bided my time trying not to be too over eager to see the fish and risk the chance of losing it as a result. It finally broke surface right next to the kayak. It was big and I just prayed that it wouldn’t slip the hook. I grabbed the gaff and secured the fish, dragging it onto my lap. It was a beauty!. First job was to secure it to the kayak, it was going nowhere.

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    Once safe and secure I grabbed my scales and weighed it in. It was registering a couple of ounces either side of 29lb!!, I was absolutely chuffed.

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    I quickly re-baited and went after some more fish. I was in again within minutes and it was another big fish. It fought well in the running tide, though not quite as good as the previous battle. When the fish surfaced it was clearly a good size. The gaff was back in action again and a moment later it was lying across my lap. I weighed it in and it showed 14 ½ lb on the scales.

    I just couldn’t believe how good the fishing session was going. I lashed it to the other cod and placed them in the tankwell area. At this point a bigger kayak would have been appreciated.

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    A few more codling came the kayak, varying from 1-4lb. I didn’t keep anymore for obvious reasons, though I kept on fishing just to enjoy the sport and the evening itself. I was tempted to feed the big cod up to try and get it over 30lb !

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    As the tide eased I found myself into yet another good fish with line being stripped from the reel at a rather rapid rate. I took a minute or two to actually get control of the fish, though once it had quietened down I tightened the drag a little a bought it towards the surface. I really thought that it was another big cod, so I quite surprised to see a nice sized conger eel rolling on the surface. I’d put it around 25-30lb though I didn’t lift it from the water as the kayak already had enough additional weight.

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    I soon found myself into another and even bigger eel. It came alongside the kayak and I was trying to position it for a decent photograph. In the blink of an eye the trace became entangled in the paddle leash that was hanging over the side of the kayak. This was really bad news and I lost all control of the fish. It was lunging and spinning against the paddle leash so I made for the scissors to cut it loose. I was saved the trouble when it slipped the hook and disappeared back into the muddy water.

    Another two good sized eels and a smaller fish into single figures came to the kayak within an hour, it really was top sport.

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    The eels happily took the baits intended for the cod, though I also live baited a small codling which picked up a nice eel within moments of being dropped. This is clearly the preferred method should life bait be available.

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    There was a mad 20 minutes of whiting activity, very similar to my previous trip. A small whiting is also an excellent conger bait, highly recommended in this area.

    It was high water just before 11pm and the SSW wind freshened up considerably with white horses starting to appear around the kayak. I decided to play it safe, so I pulled anchor commenced the paddle back. This turned out to be a good decision as the weather continued to degrade and plenty of waves were breaking over the hatch. With little ebb tide and the waves and wind against me, it was a much slower paddle home, at times I was struggling to make 3mph.

    It was around midnight when I hit land and I took the opportunity to re-weigh the fish.

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    They been out of the water for 3-4 hours and had lost a little weight, that was also partly due to the copious mess they left in the tankwell!…. it didn’t smell to clever neither. The big cod weighed in at 28lb 1oz and the smaller fish came in at 14lb 3oz.

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    What can I say?, an utterly cracking result. I managed around 130lb of fish in just over four hours of fishing. I’m already itching to get afloat again, though as I didn’t get to bed until 3:30am this morning it’ll have to wait a wee while.
     
  2. ducky

    ducky maybe one day...

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    dam. well done.

    thanks for sharing with us
     
  3. langy

    langy Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Amazing fishing that, i bet your glad you put that beer down now :happy: well done mate

    Tight Lines..Langy
     
  4. ste muir

    ste muir New Member

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Absolute top notch report there mate.That really was a cracking session you had,thanks for sharing and well done.
     
  5. andym

    andym Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Wow what an excellent session! and a cracking report cant wait to get out myself I'll be happy to get a fish of any sort at the moment.
     
  6. snap off!

    snap off! Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    howdo, spot on mate, fantastic fish well done
     
  7. zippie

    zippie Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    well done mate
     
  8. neil bugdol

    neil bugdol Blenny

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Bangin session that Rob, some really good fish there.
     
  9. king ling

    king ling Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    A CRACKING REPORT AND SOME EXCELLENT PHOTOS WELL DONE.
     
  10. harrythecod

    harrythecod Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    I was realy looking forward to this next repot, and i am not dissapointed,
    A realy good read and well presented,

    i felt myself fishing there with you , (even though i dont have a kyack,) :whistle:
    Bloody fantastic four gours fishing ,

    juas as a matter of interest, is that your best session, i have seen some of your reports in the past and you do seem to find the big fish, :yes:

    well done ,brilliant.
     
  11. slug

    slug Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    my mind is blown! not only from the awesome fish,but from some one like me, whos never been in a kayak, being out in the bristol channel at mid night on your own i would have filled my duds! well done!
     
  12. speno

    speno Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Wow what a session very good report and pics.Kayak fishing at night sounds amazing wonder if we would get the same results sat in the middle of runwick bay at night :scare: top fishing mate and well done.
     
  13. bigcod

    bigcod Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    You must be a very brave man going out 2 miles in a kayak in pitch darkness did you dispaly any navigation lights or a small radar reflector on the kayak the kayak would not be seen in the darkness by any other vessels people used to say to i was mad going down a sheer cliff down ropes to catch a codling but this is a lot more dareing all the same some cracking fish and the envy of many.

    paul.
     
  14. willybendit

    willybendit Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    Hi Scrumpy cracking report and pictures well done tightlines Alain
     
  15. V8_Rob

    V8_Rob New Member

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    I have a powerful stern light at the rear of the kayak, easily visible for 2-3 miles on a clear night... it's the law, and common sense :yes: You can't remove all risk, though with plenty planning and thought you can reduce the risk massively. Taking the right equipment and having processes/techniques for certain emergencies is a must. Here's a photo of a friend I took a couple of years ago. His set up is basically the same as mine (I rigged his kayak). Most of the light is reflected from the camera flash, though the stern light can clearly be seen. It throws a 10m circle of light around the kayak, handy for general work and overall comfort.

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  16. V8_Rob

    V8_Rob New Member

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    It was a cracking session, though overall weight wise I've done better. My best trip saw well over 200lb of fish in one session, though anything over 20-30lb of fish is a great result in my eyes.
     
  17. deecee

    deecee Blenny

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report

    A really thrilling report . With the dearth of fish in this part of the country it is so nice to see someone cathing anything - but catching fish of that quality is mind blowing.

    Well done and thanks for the report.
     
  18. harrythecod

    harrythecod Rockling

    Re: Bristol Channel - follow up report



    and not a nowegian in sight, from scarnsundet, :whistle:
     
  19. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    I'd be happy with those specimens spread throughout the year - nevermind taken in one session!

    Top angling indeed.
     
  20. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Quality fish, shame we can't seem to get them that size at Whitby. People travel all the way to Norway for fishing like that.
     

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