Just how fantastic has the weather been this past week?
I’ve never walked our local River Douglas so much, nor seen so much wildlife – from Arctic Terns flying up the river searching for fish to Painted Lady butterflies ‘dancing’ in the evening sun, it’s just been magnificent.
I’d been looking forward to giving the ‘Rock Chanel’ a go for years and now that I’d finally got some decent chest waders from Scierra I set off at 7am Sunday morning, armed with peeler crab as bait, to meet up with a few of the guys from wirralseafishing.co.uk at on Kings Parade, Wallasey, in front of the ‘T’ Groyne. Our target was to be the early summer run of Smoothhounds, we knew they’d caught a few from the boats in the area we were to fish although obviously further out. It was going to be big fish or blank.
The trek to this mark needs to be experienced first hand, it’s not nick-named ‘The Long Walk’ for nothing. It starts off as you wait for the tide to ebb enough to get across a deep gully that will give you access to what will become a sand bar bar running about a mile and a half out towards the far horizon. We managed to get across with inches to spare from the top of our chest waders then slogged through knee to waist deep water or soft sand to the end of the sand bar for about 1/2 hour – it felt like years and I was absolutely knackered by the time we got there.
Just a quick safety note here: Chest waders are essential and you need to pack up fishing and leave an hour after low water – the tide floods quicker than it ebbs and where we were fishing you wouldn’t be able to see it coming in behind you.
We launched our crab laden 3/0 hooks into the rapidly appearing channel and waited…
And waited some more. As the sun beat down on us I was thankful that I’d brought a few cans of pop to drink and that my waders were breathable – some of the guys had full rubber or neoprene waders – how the hell they managed in the 25°C heat I’ve no idea.
If the Smoothhounds had of been there we should have caught almost straight away according to Kev, who’s had them (with photographic evidence) and an hour after low water we packed up and headed back.
As we got nearer the ‘beach’ where the sun had attracted a horde of people it was good to see the life-guards getting people off the bank and warning them of the incoming tide, most of whom would have been swimming to get back to shore an hour later.
So, no hounds yet but they’ll be here soon, and when they are I’ll be doing the ‘long walk’ once again to get them.