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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We cast and watch our tips,
Lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
We know those whom we trust,
And whitherward we fare,
We fish because we must,
In the cold damp air.

The waters of the seas,
Are troubled as by storm,
The tempest strips the trees,
And does not leave them warm,
Does the tearing tempest pause,
Do the tree tops ask them why?
We fish without a cause,
‘Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
But the storm the water whips,
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it,
And scatter it like sand,
And we fish because we like it,
On the harsh wild land.


*I adapted "The song of the ungirt runners" by Charles Hamilton-Sorley

Drawn to the sea like moths to a flame we flock with bright eyes, a hint of roughened weather and we can't leave the coast alone. Without hesitation Rob, Sam & I packed our gear for another adventure on Dorset's Jurassic Coast, none of us needed any convincing, some of the fish we have seen of late have left me feeling I couldn't miss. I think the double figure bass that Rob had a couple of weeks ago left us all wondering, could there be another? Could my name be on it this time? The splendor and beauty of that occasion had left us all rejoicing inside, full of hope and wonderment. We'd seen something remarkable and captured it on video in a true team effort, which was something unique. The problem with highs and thrills is that it's in our nature not to see them as they are, as a moment that rarely happens which we should treasure and appreciate but, we forge forward seeking and expecting more, endeavoring to find more of these emotional pinnacles, striving for elation. It's far from realistic to live this way but, we can dream, can't we?

I was full of beans throughout the journey, insisting I'd find a double, on the back of two successful sessions, the others were more grounded and chuckled at my exuberance, they'd had a couple of less fortunate nights in recent sessions and were more in touch with reality, whilst on the way to fish tides that were far from the best of the month.

Upon arriving at the mark, the sky looked incredible and dramatically dark to the west, significantly more rainy than the forecast had predicted and the wind was howling as if to strip the land bare of anything, the moon grass flattened like the hair of someone who'd just taken off a cap and the sea with plenty of white caps gazing toward the horizon.

The immediate result of casting out was weed on all rods, the stage of the tide was carrying a lot past us, hitting the line high and dropping down, making tips judder. I hoped it would subside as darkness fell, otherwise the night would be a real misery. I retired my rods for a while after the first casts to run about and take some video while the others persevered at looking f0r a bream or two, however, only pouting showed.

As the last of the light dropped out of the sky, we were all hurriedly putting big bait's out on 6/0 hooks with Rob favoring Mackerel heads and guts while I was using the other half or three-quarters of the fish. Sam meanwhile, was putting out all sorts of cocktails, meticulously preparing each bait with a lot more finesse and flare than Rob and I, if we'd been chefs he'd have been Heston Blumenthal and we'd have been Bear Grylls & Ray Mears.

The bites began, with Sam pulling in a pout of 1lb 1oz, we used the roller as Rob suspected it may be a bass, the four or five pounds of weed on the line with the fish made it quite tricky and deceiving to work out what was going on in the water but, most dropped off. Pouting is an excellent bait for bass, undulate rays and conger, so it was a welcome sight even it wasn't on our wish lists.

Next, Sam was into a fish, it felt a good size and he worked his way right to the landing place while Rob prepared the roller, however, it went the wrong side of the rocks and we ended up having to land at a far from an ideal spot, it worked though. A 6lb 7oz ray was soon on the grass beside us, we quickly photographed and released it.

SamUndie1.jpg


Well, that was a promising start, a good fish and the weed was starting to subside. Rob & I could smell blood, we were firing casts out with increasing regularity, hoping for something wonderful. Despite this, Sam was into the next fish, a strap conger, we all saw the telling bite and he winched it up quickly. Steve P. and his friend Adam arrived and setup to the left of us and began laying ropes for a possible descent down to the water should they hook something sizable, they knotted a rope and Adam went over the edge, it looked like insanity but, Marines know their stuff.

Things began to hot up, Rob had a storming take which you would have said was a good eel or bass by the line it took off the spool, he fought it as it veered way off to the right of us in the pulsing tide, we scoured the sea for a visual and eventually saw the white side of a ray at the edge of the froth produced by the swells. Sam this time went on landing duty, opting not to use the gloves and hand lining the fish on the roller. Steve helped with the landing which was kind of him, if not a bit precarious on that tiny ledge. This was a much better fish at 12lb 4oz's. I have to say I didn't enjoy the rain during this battle nor did it do the camera any good.

RobUndieWS2.jpg


We were just chatting about the aggressive take when I nipped off for a refreshment break against the wall at the back of the cave when I heard my fixed spool spinning and Rob shouted at me. I turned and sprinted for the rod, with my belt and shorts still undone inside my salopettes. Had I finished? I wouldn't say so, but, what can you do? :) haha
I snatched the rod, tightened the drag and could feel thumping before I even lifted the rod skyward. I was "in" and it felt good as I pumped and wound. I was playing a bit blind here, lines were caught on mine and it was quite tricky passing them over each other, I can't say I even saw the fish in the water, others handled that and I took their word for it that it was a ray as I stood back from the edge and lined the shock leader up with the roller so Rob could hand line. The roller actually broke during this which made things slightly difficult but, the fish was soon up next to us. Again a quick photo and I made my way down to the water for the third time for a release which was making me pretty sweaty, this time I was alone and just recorded it on my iPhone as I didn't want to get the Canon soaked in the rain.
Me10lbWSUndie1.jpg


Well, that was all of us with a good fish, every proper bite had turned into something. I guess we were all pretty happy but, variety is what we craved from the night, not the same species, we wanted different doubles. I chatted to Steve and Adam for a long time, my bait-up rate dropped a bit but, I enjoyed the conversation. Adam had all of those fabulous fish in Diego Garcia last year, so we talked sharks, common skate and all things exciting home and abroad.

What happened next was a sequence that will be with me for as long as I live, if I close my eyes I can picture it vividly. I was stood with Steve and Adam 20 yards from my tripod, chatting away when I saw Sam at the cliff edge dealing with rods that were over eachother, obviously with 6 rods at close proximity this was just part and parcel of this type of angling, even with that negative, the positive of fishing being so communal and social far outweighed the cons of fishing so close. I saw his rod thump, legged it to the cave where the camera was and started filming, he had a fish on alright, it's size and species completely unknown. We'd have been forgiven for thinking it was another undulate. I turned my LED Lenser up at the edge of the precipice and shone it at the water, with Steve, Adam, Rob and Sam all pretty close to me looking too. With my less than 20/20 vision I peered at the water hard and saw something so surreal, I'll never forget it, a magnificent bass swimming right, appearing completely unencumbered and natural, spikes out of the water, it was like something from the Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney film "Big Fish". I stood there and all I could think was "is that massive bass just swimming? Oh shhhhhhhhhhhhugar, it's attached to Sams line", after my delayed fuse I yelled "Bassssssssssssss" and the mood changed entirely. The same as when we spotted Rob's double, stress levels went through the roof and as I had shouted "Bass" the fish began to thrash as if it had been rumbled. I shouted to Sam to get to the point as I could see him getting cut off, I grabbed his belt to help him down to the small ledge, there were far more important things than the camera lens direction. I looked back at the water and it had vanished, where was it? We now had a very stressful time and some very good fortune. The fish had gone around a rock and it was almost out of the water below us, I called out again and said to wait, a couple of swells later the fish worked its way around the big obstruction, phew, and was now beneath Sam. In the deep state of trance like concentration that Sam and I were in, we didn't realize Steve P and Adam had gone down the cliff for it, it's sheer, the pair like Batman and Spiderman, using their rope with knots for grip. So, Rob at the edge guided the leader to Steve P's hands some 20ft below where he and Adam were waiting with the drop-net lowered another 20ft. It really was heart in mouths time waiting, time drawing out like a blade with a fate uncertain, I don't know how long it took but, it seemed like forever when Rob shouted: "It's in the net". This actually didn't do much to relieve the tension as I wouldn't feel the true relief until everyone was up safe and the fish was next to us.

BassNetHigh.jpg


I had a peek over the edge to see with the camera and it was an amazing sight seeing the fish come up to the lower ledge, it looked so thick even though I was still perhaps 25ft from it. I went off to the right as Adam and then Steve came up over the edge with the fish, the atmosphere broke into joy and jubilation, we all shrieked like wild Indians and congratulated each other with smiles like Cheshire cats, in fact we couldn't stop smiling. The fish looked beautiful, it was unhooked, photographed quickly and taken down for release. The scales settled on 12lb.
SamBass1.jpg


For the fourth time, I made my way down to the water with Sam, I could feel it alright, I offered to release the creature as my feet were already wet from one of the ray releases earlier, as a precaution I took the clip on mic and transmitter off, took my phone out of my pocket and handed them both to Sam. The rock felt like someone had doused it in washing up liquid, someone could easily do themselves a mischief. I found a spot, leaning over I revived the fish, her spikes were up and she felt ready, I thought I will wait for one more wave and let her go when a rogue wave came at me. In hind sight, she should have gone the wave before as the next one left me waist deep in white water and at one point on the camera, you can't actually see me, there is just a complete white out between Sam (who was on a higher rock) & I, he thought he was going to get wiped out too. Anyway, the fish shot off and we laughed about how soaked I was, it certainly took my best footwork to stay upright.
20.jpg


21.jpg


We walked back hoping our rods were still there and that Rob had dutifully taken care of the ones which were still cast out. Sam was in shock, I mean he had a really delayed happiness fuse or perhaps that moment came when he saw the fish go back to her aquatic habitat. When we got back to the spot Steve P had landed a lovely black conger eel around 15lb (estimated) which we photographed he released.
SPWSEel2.jpg


It was far from a busy session but, the conversion was great, we had just 8 proper bites and 8 fish. If I reflect on this night, I am full of emotion, two guys selflessly went down a cliff to land a fish for a stranger and I genuinely think their only motive was to see another angler's happiness, does our sport get any better than that? Smiles beamed which made feet lighter for the hike back to the car, I can't recall an environment where 5 anglers have been quite so happy to see one catch a great fish, it was a moment in our lives, the buzzing atmosphere resonated long after the fish had gone back, everyone just felt great, another earned fish and what a way to do it, unforgettable.

Tight lines guys.

Chris Kennedy

P.S. Do not invite Mudsta fishing! He'll catch all of your fish ;)

Video:
 

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Wow, you say it wasn't a busy night but the way you describe it makes it sound hectic. The video, pictures and words are just amazing! You lads are certainly hauling in some fish recently!

well done on the bass Sam @Mudsta, truly a fish of a lifetime and thouroghly deserved!!
 

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We cast and watch our tips,
Lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
We know those whom we trust,
And whitherward we fare,
We fish because we must,
In the cold damp air.

The waters of the seas,
Are troubled as by storm,
The tempest strips the trees,
And does not leave them warm,
Does the tearing tempest pause,
Do the tree tops ask them why?
We fish without a cause,
‘Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
But the storm the water whips,
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it,
And scatter it like sand,
And we fish because we like it,
On the harsh wild land.


*I adapted "The song ungirt runners" by Charles Hamilton-Sorley

Drawn to the sea like moths to a flame we flock with bright eyes, a hint of roughened weather and we can't leave the coast alone. Without hesitation Rob, Sam & I packed our gear for another adventure on Dorset's Jurassic Coast, none of us needed any convincing, some of the fish we have seen of late have left me feeling I couldn't miss. I think the double figure bass that Rob had a couple of weeks ago left us all wondering, could there be another? Could my name be on it this time? The splendor and beauty of that occasion had left us all rejoicing inside, full of hope and wonderment. We'd seen something remarkable and captured it on video in a true team effort, which was something unique. The problem with highs and thrills is that it's in our nature not to see them as they are, as a moment that rarely happens which we should treasure and appreciate but, we forge forward seeking and expecting more, endeavoring to find more of these emotional pinnacles, striving for elation. It's far from realistic to live this way but, we can dream, can't we?

I was full of beans throughout the journey, insisting I'd find a double, on the back of two successful sessions, the others were more grounded and chuckled at my exuberance, they'd had a couple of less fortunate nights in recent sessions and were more in touch with reality, whilst on the way to fish tides that were far from the best of the month.

Upon arriving at the mark, the sky looked incredible and dramatically dark to the west, significantly more rainy than the forecast had predicted and the wind was howling as if to strip the land bare of anything, the moon grass flattened like the hair of someone who'd just taken off a cap and the sea with plenty of white caps gazing toward the horizon.

The immediate result of casting out was weed on all rods, the stage of the tide was carrying a lot past us, hitting the line high and dropping down, making tips judder. I hoped it would subside as darkness fell, otherwise the night would be a real misery. I retired my rods for a while after the first casts to run about and take some video while the others persevered at looking f0r a bream or two, however, only pouting showed.

As the last of the light dropped out of the sky, we were all hurriedly putting big bait's out on 6/0 hooks with Rob favoring Mackerel heads and guts while I was using the other half or three-quarters of the fish. Sam meanwhile, was putting out all sorts of cocktails, meticulously preparing each bait with a lot more finesse and flare than Rob and I, if we'd been chefs he'd have been Heston Blumenthal and we'd have been Bear Grylls & Ray Mears.

The bites began, with Sam pulling in a pout of 1lb 1oz, we used the roller as Rob suspected it may be a bass, the four or five pounds of weed on the line with the fish made it quite tricky and deceiving to work out what was going on in the water but, most dropped off. Pouting is an excellent bait for bass, undulate rays and conger, so it was a welcome sight even it wasn't on our wish lists.

Next, Sam was into a fish, it felt a good size and he worked his way right to the landing place while Rob prepared the roller, however, it went the wrong side of the rocks and we ended up having to land at a far from an ideal spot, it worked though. A 6lb 7oz ray was soon on the grass beside us, we quickly photographed and released it.

View attachment 914337

Well, that was a promising start, a good fish and the weed was starting to subside. Rob & I could smell blood, we were firing casts out with increasing regularity, hoping for something wonderful. Despite this, Sam was into the next fish, a strap conger, we all saw the telling bite and he winched it up quickly. Steve P. and his friend Adam arrived and setup to the left of us and began laying ropes for a possible descent down to the water should they hook something sizable, they knotted a rope and Adam went over the edge, it looked like insanity but, Marines know their stuff.

Things began to hot up, Rob had a storming take which you would have said was a good eel or bass by the line it took off the spool, he fought it as it veered way off to the right of us in the pulsing tide, we scoured the sea for a visual and eventually saw the white side of a ray at the edge of the froth produced by the swells. Sam this time went on landing duty, opting not to use the gloves and hand lining the fish on the roller. Steve helped with the landing which was kind of him, if not a bit precarious on that tiny ledge. This was a much better fish at 12lb 4oz's. I have to say I didn't enjoy the rain during this battle nor did it do the camera any good.

View attachment 914353

We were just chatting about the aggressive take when I nipped off for a refreshment break against the wall at the back of the cave when I heard my fixed spool spinning and Rob shouted at me. I turned and sprinted for the rod, with my belt and shorts still undone inside my salopettes. Had I finished? I wouldn't say so, but, what can you do? :) haha
I snatched the rod, tightened the drag and could feel thumping before I even lifted the rod skyward. I was "in" and it felt good as I pumped and wound. I was playing a bit blind here, lines were caught on mine and it was quite tricky passing them over each other, I can't say I even saw the fish in the water, others handled that and I took their word for it that it was a ray as I stood back from the edge and lined the shock leader up with the roller so Rob could hand line. The roller actually broke during this which made things slightly difficult but, the fish was soon up next to us. Again a quick photo and I made my way down to the water for the third time for a release which was making me pretty sweaty, this time I was alone and just recorded it on my iPhone as I didn't want to get the Canon soaked in the rain.
View attachment 914393

Well, that was all of us with a good fish, every proper bite had turned into something. I guess we were all pretty happy but, variety is what we craved from the night, not the same species, we wanted different doubles. I chatted to Steve and Adam for a long time, my bait-up rate dropped a bit but, I enjoyed the conversation. Adam had all of those fabulous fish in Diego Garcia last year, so we talked sharks, common skate and all things exciting home and abroad.

What happened next was a sequence that will be with me for as long as I live, if I close my eyes I can picture it vividly. I was stood with Steve and Adam 20 yards from my tripod, chatting away when I saw Sam at the cliff edge dealing with rods that were over eachother, obviously with 6 rods at close proximity this was just part and parcel of this type of angling, even with that negative, the positive of fishing being so communal and social far outweighed the cons of fishing so close. I saw his rod thump, legged it to the cave where the camera was and started filming, he had a fish on alright, it's size and species completely unknown. We'd have been forgiven for thinking it was another undulate. I turned my LED Lenser up at the edge of the precipice and shone it at the water, with Steve, Adam, Rob and Sam all pretty close to me looking too. With my less than 20/20 vision I peered at the water hard and saw something so surreal, I'll never forget it, a magnificent bass swimming right, appearing completely unencumbered and natural, spikes out of the water, it was like something from the Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney film "Big Fish". I stood there and all I could think was "is that massive bass just swimming? Oh shhhhhhhhhhhhugar, it's attached to Sams line", after my delayed fuse I yelled "Bassssssssssssss" and the mood changed entirely. The same as when we spotted Rob's double, stress levels went through the roof and as I had shouted "Bass" the fish began to thrash as if it had been rumbled. I shouted to Sam to get to the point as I could see him getting cut off, I grabbed his belt to help him down to the small ledge, there were far more important things than the camera lens direction. I looked back at the water and it had vanished, where was it? We now had a very stressful time and some very good fortune. The fish had gone around a rock and it was almost out of the water below us, I called out again and said to wait, a couple of swells later the fish worked its way around the big obstruction, phew, and was now beneath Sam. In the deep state of trance like concentration that Sam and I were in, we didn't realize Steve P and Adam had gone down the cliff for it, it's sheer, the pair like Batman and Spiderman, using their rope with knots for grip. So, Rob at the edge guided the leader to Steve P's hands some 20ft below where he and Adam were waiting with the drop-net lowered another 20ft. It really was heart in mouths time waiting, time drawing out like a blade with a fate uncertain, I don't know how long it took but, it seemed like forever when Rob shouted: "It's in the net". This actually didn't do much to relieve the tension as I wouldn't feel the true relief until everyone was up safe and the fish was next to us.

View attachment 914505

I had a peek over the edge to see with the camera and it was an amazing sight seeing the fish come up to the lower ledge, it looked so thick even though I was still perhaps 25ft from it. I went off to the right as Adam and then Steve came up over the edge with the fish, the atmosphere broke into joy and jubilation, we all shrieked like wild Indians and congratulated each other with smiles like Cheshire cats, in fact we couldn't stop smiling. The fish looked beautiful, it was unhooked, photographed quickly and taken down for release. The scales settled on 12lb.
View attachment 914497

For the fourth time, I made my way down to the water with Sam, I could feel it alright, I offered to release the creature as my feet were already wet from one of the ray releases earlier, as a precaution I took the clip on mic and transmitter off, took my phone out of my pocket and handed them both to Sam. The rock felt like someone had doused it in washing up liquid, someone could easily do themselves a mischief. I found a spot, leaning over I revived the fish, her spikes were up and she felt ready, I thought I will wait for one more wave and let her go when a rogue wave came at me. In hind sight, she should have gone the wave before as the next one left me waist deep in white water and at one point on the camera, you can't actually see me, there is just a complete white out between Sam (who was on a higher rock) & I, he thought he was going to get wiped out too. Anyway, the fish shot off and we laughed about how soaked I was, it certainly took my best footwork to stay upright.
View attachment 914537

View attachment 914545

We walked back hoping our rods were still there and that Rob had dutifully taken care of the ones which were still cast out. Sam was in shock, I mean he had a really delayed happiness fuse or perhaps that moment came when he saw the fish go back to her aquatic habitat. When we got back to the spot Steve P had landed a lovely black conger eel around 15lb (estimated) which we photographed he released.
View attachment 914513

It was far from a busy session but, the conversion was great, we had just 8 proper bites and 8 fish. If I reflect on this night, I am full of emotion, two guys selflessly went down a cliff to land a fish for a stranger and I genuinely think their only motive was to see another angler's happiness, does our sport get any better than that? Smiles beamed which made feet lighter for the hike back to the car, I can't recall an environment where 5 anglers have been quite so happy to see one catch a great fish, it was a moment in our lives, the buzzing atmosphere resonated long after the fish had gone back, everyone just felt great, another earned fish and what a way to do it, unforgettable.

Tight lines guys.

Chris Kennedy

P.S. Do not invite Mudsta fishing! He'll catch all of your fish ;)

Video:
:) You've been spoilt, "normal fishing" will never be enough now. :)
 

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Wow, what epic and very hectic session, great report with poetry and fantastic video to match. Fast becoming legends in a refreshing approach, bringing the dramas of fishing off the cliffs to our finger tips, very well done guys. Great team work. Just shows how fishing can bring us together.
 

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Wow, some going! Just need to see Sam with a good spotted ray now! ;) Steve needs to stop messing with snotties and practice more with Giltheads! :p

Splish
 

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We cast and watch our tips,
Lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
We know those whom we trust,
And whitherward we fare,
We fish because we must,
In the cold damp air.

The waters of the seas,
Are troubled as by storm,
The tempest strips the trees,
And does not leave them warm,
Does the tearing tempest pause,
Do the tree tops ask them why?
We fish without a cause,
‘Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,
We do not fish for prize,
But the storm the water whips,
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it,
And scatter it like sand,
And we fish because we like it,
On the harsh wild land.


*I adapted "The song ungirt runners" by Charles Hamilton-Sorley

Drawn to the sea like moths to a flame we flock with bright eyes, a hint of roughened weather and we can't leave the coast alone. Without hesitation Rob, Sam & I packed our gear for another adventure on Dorset's Jurassic Coast, none of us needed any convincing, some of the fish we have seen of late have left me feeling I couldn't miss. I think the double figure bass that Rob had a couple of weeks ago left us all wondering, could there be another? Could my name be on it this time? The splendor and beauty of that occasion had left us all rejoicing inside, full of hope and wonderment. We'd seen something remarkable and captured it on video in a true team effort, which was something unique. The problem with highs and thrills is that it's in our nature not to see them as they are, as a moment that rarely happens which we should treasure and appreciate but, we forge forward seeking and expecting more, endeavoring to find more of these emotional pinnacles, striving for elation. It's far from realistic to live this way but, we can dream, can't we?

I was full of beans throughout the journey, insisting I'd find a double, on the back of two successful sessions, the others were more grounded and chuckled at my exuberance, they'd had a couple of less fortunate nights in recent sessions and were more in touch with reality, whilst on the way to fish tides that were far from the best of the month.

Upon arriving at the mark, the sky looked incredible and dramatically dark to the west, significantly more rainy than the forecast had predicted and the wind was howling as if to strip the land bare of anything, the moon grass flattened like the hair of someone who'd just taken off a cap and the sea with plenty of white caps gazing toward the horizon.

The immediate result of casting out was weed on all rods, the stage of the tide was carrying a lot past us, hitting the line high and dropping down, making tips judder. I hoped it would subside as darkness fell, otherwise the night would be a real misery. I retired my rods for a while after the first casts to run about and take some video while the others persevered at looking f0r a bream or two, however, only pouting showed.

As the last of the light dropped out of the sky, we were all hurriedly putting big bait's out on 6/0 hooks with Rob favoring Mackerel heads and guts while I was using the other half or three-quarters of the fish. Sam meanwhile, was putting out all sorts of cocktails, meticulously preparing each bait with a lot more finesse and flare than Rob and I, if we'd been chefs he'd have been Heston Blumenthal and we'd have been Bear Grylls & Ray Mears.

The bites began, with Sam pulling in a pout of 1lb 1oz, we used the roller as Rob suspected it may be a bass, the four or five pounds of weed on the line with the fish made it quite tricky and deceiving to work out what was going on in the water but, most dropped off. Pouting is an excellent bait for bass, undulate rays and conger, so it was a welcome sight even it wasn't on our wish lists.

Next, Sam was into a fish, it felt a good size and he worked his way right to the landing place while Rob prepared the roller, however, it went the wrong side of the rocks and we ended up having to land at a far from an ideal spot, it worked though. A 6lb 7oz ray was soon on the grass beside us, we quickly photographed and released it.

View attachment 914337

Well, that was a promising start, a good fish and the weed was starting to subside. Rob & I could smell blood, we were firing casts out with increasing regularity, hoping for something wonderful. Despite this, Sam was into the next fish, a strap conger, we all saw the telling bite and he winched it up quickly. Steve P. and his friend Adam arrived and setup to the left of us and began laying ropes for a possible descent down to the water should they hook something sizable, they knotted a rope and Adam went over the edge, it looked like insanity but, Marines know their stuff.

Things began to hot up, Rob had a storming take which you would have said was a good eel or bass by the line it took off the spool, he fought it as it veered way off to the right of us in the pulsing tide, we scoured the sea for a visual and eventually saw the white side of a ray at the edge of the froth produced by the swells. Sam this time went on landing duty, opting not to use the gloves and hand lining the fish on the roller. Steve helped with the landing which was kind of him, if not a bit precarious on that tiny ledge. This was a much better fish at 12lb 4oz's. I have to say I didn't enjoy the rain during this battle nor did it do the camera any good.

View attachment 914353

We were just chatting about the aggressive take when I nipped off for a refreshment break against the wall at the back of the cave when I heard my fixed spool spinning and Rob shouted at me. I turned and sprinted for the rod, with my belt and shorts still undone inside my salopettes. Had I finished? I wouldn't say so, but, what can you do? :) haha
I snatched the rod, tightened the drag and could feel thumping before I even lifted the rod skyward. I was "in" and it felt good as I pumped and wound. I was playing a bit blind here, lines were caught on mine and it was quite tricky passing them over each other, I can't say I even saw the fish in the water, others handled that and I took their word for it that it was a ray as I stood back from the edge and lined the shock leader up with the roller so Rob could hand line. The roller actually broke during this which made things slightly difficult but, the fish was soon up next to us. Again a quick photo and I made my way down to the water for the third time for a release which was making me pretty sweaty, this time I was alone and just recorded it on my iPhone as I didn't want to get the Canon soaked in the rain.
View attachment 914393

Well, that was all of us with a good fish, every proper bite had turned into something. I guess we were all pretty happy but, variety is what we craved from the night, not the same species, we wanted different doubles. I chatted to Steve and Adam for a long time, my bait-up rate dropped a bit but, I enjoyed the conversation. Adam had all of those fabulous fish in Diego Garcia last year, so we talked sharks, common skate and all things exciting home and abroad.

What happened next was a sequence that will be with me for as long as I live, if I close my eyes I can picture it vividly. I was stood with Steve and Adam 20 yards from my tripod, chatting away when I saw Sam at the cliff edge dealing with rods that were over eachother, obviously with 6 rods at close proximity this was just part and parcel of this type of angling, even with that negative, the positive of fishing being so communal and social far outweighed the cons of fishing so close. I saw his rod thump, legged it to the cave where the camera was and started filming, he had a fish on alright, it's size and species completely unknown. We'd have been forgiven for thinking it was another undulate. I turned my LED Lenser up at the edge of the precipice and shone it at the water, with Steve, Adam, Rob and Sam all pretty close to me looking too. With my less than 20/20 vision I peered at the water hard and saw something so surreal, I'll never forget it, a magnificent bass swimming right, appearing completely unencumbered and natural, spikes out of the water, it was like something from the Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney film "Big Fish". I stood there and all I could think was "is that massive bass just swimming? Oh shhhhhhhhhhhhugar, it's attached to Sams line", after my delayed fuse I yelled "Bassssssssssssss" and the mood changed entirely. The same as when we spotted Rob's double, stress levels went through the roof and as I had shouted "Bass" the fish began to thrash as if it had been rumbled. I shouted to Sam to get to the point as I could see him getting cut off, I grabbed his belt to help him down to the small ledge, there were far more important things than the camera lens direction. I looked back at the water and it had vanished, where was it? We now had a very stressful time and some very good fortune. The fish had gone around a rock and it was almost out of the water below us, I called out again and said to wait, a couple of swells later the fish worked its way around the big obstruction, phew, and was now beneath Sam. In the deep state of trance like concentration that Sam and I were in, we didn't realize Steve P and Adam had gone down the cliff for it, it's sheer, the pair like Batman and Spiderman, using their rope with knots for grip. So, Rob at the edge guided the leader to Steve P's hands some 20ft below where he and Adam were waiting with the drop-net lowered another 20ft. It really was heart in mouths time waiting, time drawing out like a blade with a fate uncertain, I don't know how long it took but, it seemed like forever when Rob shouted: "It's in the net". This actually didn't do much to relieve the tension as I wouldn't feel the true relief until everyone was up safe and the fish was next to us.

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I had a peek over the edge to see with the camera and it was an amazing sight seeing the fish come up to the lower ledge, it looked so thick even though I was still perhaps 25ft from it. I went off to the right as Adam and then Steve came up over the edge with the fish, the atmosphere broke into joy and jubilation, we all shrieked like wild Indians and congratulated each other with smiles like Cheshire cats, in fact we couldn't stop smiling. The fish looked beautiful, it was unhooked, photographed quickly and taken down for release. The scales settled on 12lb.
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For the fourth time, I made my way down to the water with Sam, I could feel it alright, I offered to release the creature as my feet were already wet from one of the ray releases earlier, as a precaution I took the clip on mic and transmitter off, took my phone out of my pocket and handed them both to Sam. The rock felt like someone had doused it in washing up liquid, someone could easily do themselves a mischief. I found a spot, leaning over I revived the fish, her spikes were up and she felt ready, I thought I will wait for one more wave and let her go when a rogue wave came at me. In hind sight, she should have gone the wave before as the next one left me waist deep in white water and at one point on the camera, you can't actually see me, there is just a complete white out between Sam (who was on a higher rock) & I, he thought he was going to get wiped out too. Anyway, the fish shot off and we laughed about how soaked I was, it certainly took my best footwork to stay upright.
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We walked back hoping our rods were still there and that Rob had dutifully taken care of the ones which were still cast out. Sam was in shock, I mean he had a really delayed happiness fuse or perhaps that moment came when he saw the fish go back to her aquatic habitat. When we got back to the spot Steve P had landed a lovely black conger eel around 15lb (estimated) which we photographed he released.
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It was far from a busy session but, the conversion was great, we had just 8 proper bites and 8 fish. If I reflect on this night, I am full of emotion, two guys selflessly went down a cliff to land a fish for a stranger and I genuinely think their only motive was to see another angler's happiness, does our sport get any better than that? Smiles beamed which made feet lighter for the hike back to the car, I can't recall an environment where 5 anglers have been quite so happy to see one catch a great fish, it was a moment in our lives, the buzzing atmosphere resonated long after the fish had gone back, everyone just felt great, another earned fish and what a way to do it, unforgettable.

Tight lines guys.

Chris Kennedy

P.S. Do not invite Mudsta fishing! He'll catch all of your fish ;)

Video:
Stunning report stunning pics and stunning fish great stuff mate ps one day your go fishing and not get wet tee hee
 

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Another awesome read mate thanks for posting. Love the video and pictures it always makes the report that little bit better. Well done to @Mudsta! Do you have any pictures of that mark in daylight?
 

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Bloody great video and the music you use is always thrilling
 

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Alot of people would've took one look at that sea upon arrival and done a U-turn!
Absolutely insane how quick that wave was on you, could've been a very different story and highlights perfectly why you should never fish these marks alone.

Great team effort, the results deserved.
Well done!
 
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Fluuuurping epic report that,,superb pics,,maaaate you got a proper drenching down there ,be careful please.....bass rays n eels ,everything missing from last nights session for us
Thanks a lot Craig, just trying to keep up with all the great ones on here, the forum really is alive with great reports and fish at the moment.

Fantastic fishing as always and another great video too
Thanks DD. Your last one was an epic, you're on a hot streak yourself.

Great report, excellent variety of species. Well done
Thanks a lot. We are really enjoying it at the moment, were we greedy for hoping for a huss or bigger eel?

Wow, you say it wasn't a busy night but the way you describe it makes it sound hectic. The video, pictures and words are just amazing! You lads are certainly hauling in some fish recently!

well done on the bass Sam @Mudsta, truly a fish of a lifetime and thouroghly deserved!!
There was a passage of chaos, reeling fish in with my belt undone, shorts half way down my legs was far from ideal. There were some long quiet periods, where there was nothing doing. 8 bites and 8 fish really tells the story of conversion, however, the session before Rob & I had more bites than that in half an hour and only hooked up with one, so frustrating. That's fishing I guess. Thanks a lot mate.

:) You've been spoilt, "normal fishing" will never be enough now. :)
Ascension spoilt me Norm, enthusiasm is gradually coming back.

Wow, what epic and very hectic session, great report with poetry and fantastic video to match. Fast becoming legends in a refreshing approach, bringing the dramas of fishing off the cliffs to our finger tips, very well done guys. Great team work. Just shows how fishing can bring us together.
We'll mix it up with some other marks soon, I am starting to feel at home on that cliff and that can't be a good thing. Thanks a lot.

Wow, some going! Just need to see Sam with a good spotted ray now! ;) Steve needs to stop messing with snotties and practice more with Giltheads! :p

Splish
Yes, Sam is knocking those rays off bit by bit, I think he needs a blonde more which may involve some travel. SP is hell bent on breaking his PB eel, he'll do it this year for sure. It was a great night.

Brilliant report and video, thanks for posting.
You're welcome, thanks again for another kind comment. Tight lines.

Wow wow wow great as always . Top vid
Cheers Jim, appreciate it.

Stunning report stunning pics and stunning fish great stuff mate ps one day your go fishing and not get wet tee hee
Well my achilles are red raw from wellies and the waders are a bit heavy to carry, I need to do something differently.

Another awesome read mate thanks for posting. Love the video and pictures it always makes the report that little bit better. Well done to @Mudsta! Do you have any pictures of that mark in daylight?
Thanks Alex, I love the fact Sam has all of that magical night on video, his children will watch it I am sure and be proud.

Fantastic report. Gonna watch the video now. Well done guys.
Cheers Trev. Your turn soon.

Bloody great video and the music you use is always thrilling
Thanks mate, I actually chose different track but the copywriter would allow them on laptop but not mobiles, I had to change the lot and lost some audio, got there in the end though.

Alot of people would've took one look at that sea upon arrival and done a U-turn!
Absolutely insane how quick that wave was on you, could've been a very different story and highlights perfectly why you should never fish these marks alone.

Great team effort, the results deserved.
Well done!
I think the words "never turn your back on the sea" have never been more relevant. I would have been ok had I gone down but, yes, always have someone watching. The one I released alone with mobile phone, I was very quick to slip the ray back, when a quiet period ensued.

Thanks a lot. :)
 

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Thanks Alex, I love the fact Sam has all of that magical night on video, his children will watch it I am sure and be proud
I bet mate! I wouldn't stop watching if it was me who caught it on camera lol do u have any pics of the mark at daylight mate?
 
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I bet mate! I wouldn't stop watching if it was me who caught it on camera lol do u have any pics of the mark at daylight mate?
You can see it all in the previous vids Alex, thats why i didn't this time.

Good luck on Your next outing and can't wait for the next video, tight lines Chris
Cheers Gavin, just plotting it.

Definitely! I haven't caught either before :D
I haven't had a good huss in a while, I'd like one.
 
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