After a weeks worth of truly dismal weather we joined the guys from BLAS (Blackpool and Layton Angling Society) for an evening sea fishing match, fishing a couple of hours either side of high water at Blackpool North Wall.
We met at the boat club on the prom where the weather looked like it was preparing to throw a few suprises our way, but the forcast was for the wind to drop so we set up and got on with it just as the incoming tide hit the bottom of the wall. The swell was fierce and although we had initially been hoping for Ray or Smoothhounds it was looking more and more like Bass were going to be coming out – conditions looked perfect, the bottom being churned up nicely and a nice big surf.
As it turned out no Bass were caught by us although we heard of a few coming out either side of our group – typical.
About an hour in I managed to snare a small flounder that had engulfed my crab bait and impaled itself on a size 2/0 hook intended for slightly biger quarry. I decided to try something different and as the swell seemed to drop slightly I cast a sandeel fairly close in to try for a dogfish – not something I’d usually target, but this was a match and a fish is a fish after all.
While preparing my next rig with a crab I noticed my line go slack and start to move downtide, assuming the lead had been broken out by weed or the surf I wound down only to find it continuing to move at a very odd angle.
A little thump told me something was on but I had no idea what it could be until I landed my first ever shore caught Tope. Not the biggest specimen by any stretch of the imagination but still a perfectly formed mini shark, forget the match – this was brilliant.
After chatting to a few of the guys who fish the wall regularly during summer (they live in Blackpool) apparently this is fairly common and you can usually catch them using baby squid as bait.
We didn’t have and squid but you can bet that Wendy launched a sandeel bait seaward in her effort to snare one of these little beauties.
That was it for me although Dave got another small Tope on crab, Millsy a Whiting, Sparky a Whiting and Wendy, after trying every trick in the book managed to land a couple of Whiting.
As per usual with these matches the weather played a huge part in our lack of success and no one managed to land an insize fish but the evening was great, with good company and, much to our relief stayed rain free even if the wind didn’t drop as we’d hoped.
That’s probably going to be our last sea fishing session until we go to Anglesey but we are going to try and get out and do some fly fishing next weekend as all the new goodies we’d ordered after our lessons at Mere Beck arrived last week.
We’ve sorted everything out (as you do) and have got a couple of 8 weight rods for salt water fly fishing and a couple of cheaper 6 weight ones for normal fly fishing – for those times when no matter how hard you try time, tide and weather are against you. I’ll chat more about the gear once we’ve tried it.
So next weekend the plan is to go back to Mere Beck for a bit of practice on a lake before we attempt fly fishing in the sea and maybe, just maybe, catch a trout.