Fishing is ok on the NE coast during the summer but I enjoy the chance to fish new marks whenever I get the chance.
This weekend was the Walney Island Open. A 120-peg match fished off the front of Walney Island by Barrow. Although it was less than a 3hr drive we travelled up on the saturday and stayed at the Majestic Hotel in Barrow itself overnight before fishing the comp next day.
We checked out the pegged stretch of coastline on the saturday when we arrived. The whole beach looked to have a good mix of clean to mixed bottom and looked perfect for Bass and Smoothhounds. I had yet to catch a Smoothhound myself and so I was hoping for one this weekend.
We came armed with a wide array of baits to try so hopefully we could manage at least a few fish in the comp.
We registered and drew pegs on the Sunday morning at a pub on the beach road. We had a good chat with the local anglers and I shared a sneaky early morning pint with them as we had plenty of time to kill before the match. It was refreshing to find that nearly every angler was friendly, helpful and forthcoming with info on the local marks.
I personally prefer these pegged matches over the usual roving matches we fish on our coastline. They even the playing field and even the youngest anglers get the chance to get into the fish....its all the luck of the draw when you pick out your peg.
Every fish was measured (towards overall length category) and those exceeding minimum sizes could be taken to weigh in. First prize was a guaranteed £1000. Last years comp had been won with one Smoothhound of around 7lb so I didn't think it was going to take too much to be in the money.
I pulled out peg 38, my dad got peg 30 and my mum 96. We took our time to look at our pegs beforehand while it was only half-tide to identify any features that may hold fish at HW. My peg looked pretty hopeful.......
Some good mixed-ground and a few sandy channels running between rocky patches. Looked good for catching the fish moving in as the tide rose.
The forecast was great with sun, sun, sun until the late afternoon when we had a storm forecast.
From the start of the comp (1215) I was trying all combinations of bait at all distances. I was favouring crab due to the Bass and Smoothhounds being fond of them. I was casting beyond 100yds some casts and less than 20 on others...nothing was producing bites.
The weather was hot and sunny for the most part. The scenery looked almost tropical.
After high water a storm cloud rolled it's way in and brought with it some showers, wind and a bit of movement on the sea.
But still no fish or bites. This was pretty much how the remaining 4hrs went. I did retrieve on one cast to find a lovely clean-looking 16cm flounder had kindly saved me from blanking.
As it happens the fishing overall on the day was poor for everyone. A few bass to around 3lb came in along with a handful of Gurnard and flounder. I think the winning fish was a 4.5lb Smoothhound that one guy in my zone caught on his first cast.
Even the local guys were surprised that it didnt fish better on the day.
But as you all know that is how it goes as an angler. You need to take the crap sessions with the tremendous ones......
just wondering when my tremendous one is due......must be soon....surely....
Edit: As it happens my tremendous session was the next one! Skegness Chapel Point and Trunch Lane...