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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*I wasn't out last night and I won't talk about the night before, I still haven't dried out. But well done to Steve & Jake both finding fish at different locations. Here's how they got on . . . .


It's about time we caught up with Steve Harder, who has been that busy tying rigs and preparing his gear for a Norway trip to Bodø, that'd he's only managed to get out once to fish in 2016. That session resulted in multiple strap conger eels and a nice one just shy of 14lb on his T1000's caught off a windy cliff face in Dorset.


Time lapsed and a month went by since that conger eel session. He needed to get outdoors and practice casting with a fixed spool in the reel down position with braid. It's not something he has tried before, it all felt a bit alien at first, but he was soon putting baits well over 100 yards.

Steve had picked an old favourite ray spot to do his casting practice and the opportune tide to do it. He messaged me earlier in the day saying he quite fancies an early thornback tonight. I rolled my eyes knowing what he is like and predicting catches, he has an uncanny knack of his prophecies coming true. I wished him good luck and continued sorting my own Norway kit list.

He was all set up with one rod out for the last of an ebbing Solent tide. He was just baiting up a 2nd rod to go out when the ratchet on his other rod gave a few clicks, he peered up the at the rod and the tip leant forward with another click, click, click noise on the reel. He left the rod he was rebaiting and wound down striking into the bite, he immediately felt a decent weight which on retrieve gave a nice account of itself as it kited around in the tide. He knew it wasn't a monster but the target species appeared from the surf.

It weighed 4lb 8oz and was returned to glide away after a quick photograph. He text me a pic and I chirped "All you need is a nice double now mate, certainly is a good start."

The fish had taken a delicious half bluey with two butterflied king prawns on an up and over running ledger rig. His next cast was out, then after around 20mins he had some pouting type rattles on his 3/0-4/0 pennel rig. He decided to leave it as he was pretty sure the fish had hooked itself, potentially being a very attractive livebait for a sizeable predator.

Half an hour later the rod tip started getting busy and hammering away like it was trying to get away from something. Steve watching the tip like a hawk with interest was suddenly snatching his rod from the tripod after two sudden hard blasts on the ratchet of his reel. He was in and this was a much better fish, initially it backed off and then ran strongly with the flooding tide. Rays have a habit of turning in the tide and becoming much heavier, this one really didn't want to come in and was fighting hard for the last 20 yards. Steve immediately saw it was a double as he coaxed it into the shallows.

He turned the fish over to unhook it and immediately saw a mangled 7 inch pout hanging from the ray's mouth on his hook.

The fish weighed 11lb 3oz, he carefully unhooked and released the fish are a quick photo. They weren't his best pics admittedly and he's not a fan of a selfie, he just wanted to get the fish back as soon as possible. What a cracking short session for February, 2.5hours fished and already a nice one for his species list this year. He packed up and headed home, the prolific angler strikes again.



I don't know if you guys remember young Jake Wadey getting his first tope last summer? He had a fantastic West Sussex 33lb 3oz fish. He was out last night too at another location desperate to christen his brand new T900's that he'd worked hard for through the winter. Now as you guys know February fishing can be pretty hard going, but last cast when hope was all but lost from a Hampshire beach he had a PB cod of 6lb 7oz. Awesome stuff, I thought they may have gone until the autumn. Well done Jake.







Blog:
http://evocativeangling.rocks/2016/02/13/thank-cod-for-rays-of-hope-in-february/
 

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Damnnn. Honestly thought thornie would be mine this year. Atleast it went to Hampshire though. Great stuff guys. I blanked at Muderford Quay looking for a big female bass, still, an enjoyable session from the warmth of my van.
 

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Reading through the rest of your blogs on the link you posted I recognise your friend Steve Perry from an article in sea angler magazine a couple of months ago where he went to wales. Honestly some great blogs mate, like u say ur blogs make people feel like they are really there and they do, as I'm reading I'm getting exited to see the pics. As I was reading the one were u caught ur 33lb conger eel and ur mate was trying to gaff its tail, u wrote that so well I went all tense hoping that u wouldn't lose the fish. Ur a great writer mate well done. Keep the blogs and monsters coming :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Always a good read Chris,Steve rarely lets us down always on the fish,bloody hate February:(......Alan
 

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Nice report as usual Chris. Well done to Jake and Steve (who should live in Sussex) on some lovely captures.
 

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Great report and some nice fish - thanks for sharing.
 

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Nice report as usual Chris. Well done to Jake and Steve (who should live in Sussex) on some lovely captures.
but then they'd have to focus on tings and mini species Tony
 

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Cracking read and a cracking session - when all things go right there ain't nothing better than fishing!! Congrats to Jake on the cod!
 

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Fantastic report as usual, and well done to the chaps
 
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