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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After studying every weather forecast I could find, I made a last minute decision to get away for one final time before winter tightened it's grip.

Initially I headed to Watchet in Somerset, on Thursday 18th November, with a plan to be away for 7 nights. The weather was mild with the wind basically coming from the South West, which is therfore mostly on your back in that area.

First port of call was to West Coast Angling, to collect the lug and rag that I had ordered the previous day. Now I was already aware that the fishing was hardly on fire, but when even Steve the shop owner is struggling to tell you of anything of note that has been caught recently and admitting that he himself had blanked the previous evening, you know its likely to be a struggle. Consequently it really is not worth writing in depth of the three sessions that I fished over the following two days, as they consisted solely of Dogs, Pouts and strap Conger. The only positive point of reference, I avoided the dreaded blank on each of the sessions.

Saturday morning dawned with renewed hope, as I was to leave Somerset for a drive of 2.5 hours through Devon and on to Dorset, where I was to meet up with @chichesterpete, Ben and Tom at Ferrybridge for a session on the big beach.

Now like many an angler, I love being on that vast crescent shaped bank of shingle, but walking on it to to get to the chosen spot is bloomin hard work and to be honest we didn't go as far as Pete had planned, rather we went as far as me and Ben could manage!

The good news was however, Pete reckoned we were in the area of the wreck of the Adelade and therefore we should be fine. So we all tackled up with enthusiasm and hope of a Chesil dream fish or two. Ten hours later we packed up having been a further four more victims of the sprit destroyer that is Chesil beach. Myself, I landed just a single strap Conger and dropped what we all agreed was 99% a Ray of some never to be known species? The saddest aspect of my miserable result, I had top catch of the day, Pete, Ben and Tom failed to connect with anything. So in summary, 8 rods fished for 10 hours which equates to 80 hours for a single small Eel. Lady Chesil clearly did not approve of our presence on this particular day. The journey back to my digs in the dark and rain was extremely tiring, it was worth it though for the craic with the bois and Ted the wonder dog.

By now the wind had gone to the north, just as predicted several days earlier by the Met Office, so on Sunday morning I left Somerset for a pre booked caravan at Fontygary in the Vale of Glamorgan where the now colder wind would once again be on my back as I faced the sea.

I fished from the reef at Fontygary over low water, which is basically the only time you can fish it, where it was service as normal with 3 Dogs and a Pout. Disappointing that, as previously it has been a lucky mark for me having thrown up both Blonde and Spotted Rays. A Yak angler came ashore at the same time as I was leaving , he'd caught 2 Dogs and 1 Strap. So although that made me feel a bit better with my own result, it didn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Monday was reserved for a late night session with Keith aka @Notso at Ogmore, so I caught up on sleep prior to him picking me up at 22.30. It was a very cold night, with frost on the ground and a crystal sky above upon which a very high and large moon traversed the heavens. Got to admit I didn't fancy our chances as I thought the shallow water would be extremely cold and the temperature drop would put the Rays off the feed. Keith however was far more confident and rightly so, as despite it not producing the amount of fish that he had hoped for, he did find 2 fine Small Eyed Rays and 7 Dogfish, while I only found 5 Dogfish, but I did learn one heck of a lot from Keith about Ogmore, Small Eyeds, all Rays in general and masses of other information about South Wales. Additionally it was simply brilliant to see the Rays, as after spending the spring, summer and autumn chasing Norfolk Bass, those Rays were literally the first I had seen in 2021.

Guess I must have been a decent 'night out' though, as Keith did drop me off at the caravan at 06.00 ....... knackered again and in need of sleeeeeeeep, so much so that I didn't fish again until the next day.

Where to go? It had to be back to Ogmore armed with loads of bait, revised rigs and all that knowledge I'd gratefully gained from Keith.

I started fishing a different area of the beach at 14.30 about an hour before low water. Nothing happened until darkness fell, when an underwater kennel door was opened and a ravenous Dogfish invasion swarmed into the shallows, devouring anything and everything I put in front of them. I went down to just one rod at distance with the second rod fishing the gutter with half a Mackerel on a 6/0 pennel, twice I had a dog on this, they weren't hooked, the bait was simply wedged in their gobs! Then out of the blue something different upon the rod tip to the usual and by now predictable 'tap, tap and pull' of the dogs, a drop back bite. Picked it up and wound about 20 yards before the line came taught to a more weighty feel than experienced so far that evening, a short time later after a bit of pumping the unseen beast ashore, a fine little female Small Eyed Ray of 4lb 9oz lay on the wet sand. Suddenly all those miles of driving and hours of fishing were completely justified.

I fished on until midnight and caught a further 2 SE's another female of exactly 3lb and a male of 5lb 6oz, I also caught a highly ridiculous 21 Dogs and just to make me feel at home 3 Tings, the first of the entire trip.

07.30 the following morning, I met Keith again at the Knap for a final session prior to the journey home. We fished for roughly 3.5hrs over HW and following the feast of the previous night, it was once again back to the accustomed famine, Keith caught 2 Dogs, while I had 1 Dog and to send me on the 316 miles back to Norfolk a final cast Welsh Ting, how could I ever have asked for more?!

Thanks Keith and Dragonsville, wonderful to see you both once again and I hope we can catch up again very soon, though preferably when it has both warmed up and those flppin Dogs have returned to their kennel!

That's possibly it for me until late April when the Bass should be back just offshore of the Norfolk sand. So best wishes to you all and may your rods be forever bent...

Alan

Cloud Water Sky Water resources Atmosphere


A pre dawn setting moon over Blue Anchor Bay

Cloud Water Sky Natural landscape Coastal and oceanic landforms


My favourite view of Chesil

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It doesn't once mention, having your angling dreams dragged naked across every pebble on that vast beach!

Cloud Water Sky Beach Landscape


Ted's beach..... OK 👍

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Puff the Magic Dragons beach

Smile Sleeve Gesture Hat Working animal


Notso, a smashing bloke to meet and know, unless of course you're a Small Eyed Ray.

Cloud Water Sky Water resources Coastal and oceanic landforms


Fontygary reef, I just ❤ the place

Sky Cloud Bedrock Natural landscape Wood


The setting sun renders the reef and cliffs on fire

Sleeve Recreation Darkness Midnight Event


Mission accomplished

Sky Water Ecoregion Cloud People in nature


Sunrise at the Knap finds Notso at his second home.

Oh and for you information, that rocky outcrop in the distance is where @Brand caught the British record shore caught Cod some years ago, a record that Keith and I agreed will never be broken. 👏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
 

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Getting around a bit boi! Nice reading and good to find a few fish. Chesil must have been on one of those days when it’s nigh on impossible to catch. I know, I’ve done it too
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting around a bit boi! Nice reading and good to find a few fish. Chesil must have been on one of those days when it’s nigh on impossible to catch. I know, I’ve done it too
Agreed Matt, as she sure knows how to make any and every angler humble.
 

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As usual from you a great report Alan summarising the highs and lows of angling brilliantly.
Think a lot of us have tried Chesil and been disappointed even if it is a lovely place to be.
Nice to always catch your target fish regardless of size, well done.
Doubt it will be April till you get the rods out again, I can't see you waiting that long.
G.
 

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Well done Alan. Nice write up on your latest travels. Great to see and fish with you again. Till your next visit.. Byddaf yn cadw croeso ar ochr y bryn
 

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One hell of a road trip that one Al I can't help but admire all the time and effort you put into it, I'd want to sleep for a week after that lot mate 😂, the pictures look great such a variety of ground you fished over nice one mate. Regards Wayne
 

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Fantastic report and pics.

Wonderful stuff👍👍
 
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Thanks for that excellent report and the great pics. A really enjoyable read. Good that you finally got amongst the rays. Pity the cod weren't playing. Reminds us that the memories we store up are often a lot more important than the fish we catch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Was you up on the cliff ledges at Ogmore, scary places perched on them
Thought you was going to ask me if I was checking me van! 😂

You're thinking of Ogmore Deeps, the place where Mountain Goats and madmen go. I/we were fishing from Ogmore beach, much more suitable for gentlemen of our age and diminished knee flexibility. 😊

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This is the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As usual from you a great report Alan summarising the highs and lows of angling brilliantly.
Think a lot of us have tried Chesil and been disappointed even if it is a lovely place to be.
Nice to always catch your target fish regardless of size, well done.
Doubt it will be April till you get the rods out again, I can't see you waiting that long.
G.
Cheers George, much appreciated. You're correct re the highs and lows of angling, as we can't fully appreciate sweet success without experiencing the bitter flavour of failure.

Doubtful I'll be back out until the spring, after all what is there to go for? The Holderness coast is a possibilty but that appears to be fishing poorly unless of course you want Tings, which I do not.

Maybe the Met Office will predict a mild spell of weather and Keith will report a massive invasion of Blonde Rays, that coincide. If that should occur then maybe, just maybe? 😜
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One hell of a road trip that one Al I can't help but admire all the time and effort you put into it, I'd want to sleep for a week after that lot mate 😂, the pictures look great such a variety of ground you fished over nice one mate. Regards Wayne
Thanks Wayne. 👍

Be in touch soon re getting my boiler serviced and discussing heat pumps, just need another 4 days sleep first. 😴😴😴😴
 
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