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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve got to know the Purbecks reasonably well since moving to Hampshire, and I'd been meaning to night fish the area for sometime. The golden day finally arrived for me and Adam (horseontour) on Saturday. Having fished the chosen mark previously with a light bag and a spinning rod, I classed it as ‘easy to reach’ in relation to the majority of Purbecks marks. With this in mind we made a rash decision to load up with the entire kitchen sink of fishing tackle and food: full shelter, sleeping bags, blow up mattresses, 5 litres of water, camping stove, spare gas, barbeque, steaks, lantern, bread, sausages, condiments, fruit, porridge, cool box, about 5lb of leads, crockery, plus spare reels, spare clothes, spare tackle and everything else, ‘just in case’. Luckily Adam also decided not to bring a rucksack, so we were left with an assortment of about seven different oddly shaped bags, rod holdalls bursting at the seams, a stupid leather carryall that looked more suited to being stowed in the overhead lockers on a plane and a huge bucket to carry. Upon reaching the car park, it dawned on us that we had been a bit overly optimistic, as the mark was still just under a mile away, with a punishing first section which would be a nightmare on the way back. After much puffing and panting we finally made it, vowing never, ever to bring so much stuff again.

Having said that, we were now fishing in luxury, with all the home comforts. The mark was a little precarious, being 40 – 50 feet above the water, and we discussed what we would do if one of us fell off - we agreed that any wrong foot would probably result in us bouncing off a few rocks before being dashed to pieces in the white water below. It was closed off to the public for safety reasons, but we also decided that we wouldn't let things like that bother us. We opted on flapper rigs with rag and squid to get the ball rolling, and were instantly into some nice Wrasse on the bottom. A float set up just produced smaller corkwings. As evening came, action slowed and we switched to mackerel flappers for conger. Strangely we found that we retrieved the flappers almost every time, but our running ledger rigs kept getting snagged and lost.

It was only after Adam went to sleep that I realised it was actually a pretty spooky place, with the moon casting dark and foreboding shadows between the outcrops. I was already a bit on edge looking at the pitch black caves behind us, when a frying pan we had left outside the bivvy started making a huge racket. I shone my torch over to see it rocking backwards and forwards clattering on the rocks, which I couldn’t explain as the wind had stayed steady. The mystery was compounded when the wind grew stronger later on yet the frying pan did not move again all night! Maybe the ghost of a disgruntled cook had visited us, annoyed about the smell of all the good food we were laying on..

At dawn and with no action on the conger set ups, I switched back to some smaller baits with hermit crab/ squid and rag/ squid on a two hook flapper. Immediately upon scaling the baits down in this manner I had a bite soon after it hit the water, and the fish was giving a good account of itself as I brought it back. I played it to the base of the cliff, and from my high vantage point I saw it was possibly a Pollock but more likely a decent Bass. Unfortunately however Adam was asleep and despite my calls back to him he didn’t stir with the drop net. I started to regret bringing my fixed spool, as without the direct drive of a multiplier it can be a real gear crunching affair trying to reel a half reasonable fish up 40 feet. Before I could consider what to do next, the fish got swept into a crevice at the base of a cliff in the foaming white water and everything locked solid. I finally retrieved my end tackle intact, minus the fish. The next cast resulted in a small Pollock as pictured, which was very welcome but little consolation.

We intended to stay for the rest of the day, but after a chat with a passing Kennedy a rambler came by and shouted over that we shouldn't be fishing where we were. He obviously called his mates, as shortly after a ranger came by to chuck us off. We packed up thinking at least we would be a bit lighter on the way back, but how wrong we were. Hiking back whilst simultaneously being strangled by five different kinds of bags weighed around your neck is no fun believe me, and I popped a blood vessel in my eye with the strain, which was nice.

Thanks for reading my report, we didn't get the monsters we were hoping for but it is always a privilege to fish such an epic place. I’d be interested to know your suggestions for a very light weight shelter – no way am I ever bringing the Ian Golds Igloo again - I was thinking literally a sheet with two short poles and guy ropes, army style?
 

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Nice write up there and a few fish, you can't complain in that weather. I did think some busy body would call the warden. That's why its better to slip in and out under the cover of darkness.

Cheers
 

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Great report and some really nice coloured wrasse there. No way could I fish a mark like that - I just don't have a head for heights!!
 

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Great report and pictures, thanks!
 
G

Not seeking to rival your reports K, you and your mates seem to be the most knowledgeable about the area and we all draw lessons and inspiration from your highly detailed reports... Including steak on the bank!

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Ha no I didn't think that. I mean I am going to do some stuff with the GoPro this year, feel really enthused this year and aiming to get over there 2-3 times a week. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned, makes for good banter. As long as there is no litter left etc, its all good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Don't worry I made sure we left no trace after the warden caught us as we don't want them to give them any excuse to come down harder on anglers, and I learnt to be a bit more stealthy next time.. Tight lines!
 

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Very nice fish and great report mate.
I've been there and done that and i remembered to simplify my kit :) and most importantly to hide from curious eyes....
Not only it keeps your marks for yourself but it lets you enjoy the spot without unnecessary interruptions!!!!

Keep em coming !


Not seeking to rival your reports K, you and your mates seem to be the most knowledgeable about the area and we all draw lessons and inspiration from your highly detailed reports... Including steak on the bank!

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You should aim to beat his reports !!!! competition draws the best of us and it will make this forum richer... !!!
 
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