Floundering About on the Bank of the River Douglas

Flounder caught on the River Douglas, Hesketh Bank
A Flounder from the River Douglas, Hesketh Bank

We’d had quite a busy day on Saturday doing all sorts of house related stuff so after the obligatory trip to the tip this morning (how does a house generate so much junk?) we drove the whole of 10 minutes to the River Douglas where we fished an hour and a half up to high water and about an hour down.

I’d finally got round to clearing out the bait freezer in the garage and given it its’ once when ever I remember defrosting so we took a box of squid, a couple of Mackerel and about 40 frozen black lug which we’d got from Formby beach in 2006 (a little old to say the least).

Wendy with a Flounder from the River Douglas
Wendy with a Flounder from the River Douglas

The sun was high and the weather was great as we cast our ‘well past their sell by date’ lug into the murky water but it wasn’t long until Wendy landed the first plump Flounder – a fish of about a pound in weight. The rigs we were using were nothing more complicated than 2 size 1 aberdeen hooks mounted on snoods about 18″ long, 1 near the lead, the other about 20″ up the main line, anchored to the river bed with a 5oz grip lead as when the tide comes in the Douglas has quiet a swift current.

I was using one of our older fishing rods and a fixed spool real which I purchased about 6 years ago, as my normal multiplier distance casting outfit would have been a bit overkill for the river. Short casts we’re going to be needed to land the baits on the mud slopes of the river where the Flounder would nose around as they searched for food – multipliers are a swine to cast short distances in my experience.

Fishing on the banks of the River Douglas
Fishing on the banks of the River Douglas

All in all we had an extremely pleasant afternoon as we promptly caught fish after fish on old black lug and although we tried the other baits only lug was catching today. The final ‘score’ was 5 Flounder to Wendy and 4 to me, although I did catch the biggest, a lovely thick Flounder of just under a pound and a half.

We’re going to be re-joining BLAS (Blackpool and Layton Angling Society) in a couple of weeks at their first match of the season which will be another flattie bash at Fairhaven, Blackpool, but I expect that the shore crabs will have started to shed their shells by then so peeler crab will be the bait of choice, but we’ll take lug as an option – although it won’t be from the 2006 vintage as all that was left is now in the bin.

Random River Douglas Fact (I think): The River Douglas used to be called the River Asland which I’ve read somewhere means River Dirty Water – from the muddy colour of the water as the banks of the Douglas and the Ribble are all mud, creating a great, if a little muddy, environment for all sorts of wildlife.

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