Sole Searching

By , 25 May, 2012 15:56

Picture of calm seaI was out again last, night over at Seaford beach in search of a decent fish. So after work, I shot off home, prepped my gear (should have done it earlier in the day), loaded up the car and got over to the beach at about 9.30 – an hour (ish) after low water. After some thought, I decided to fish up by the boats where the lack of major street lighting makes it somewhat darker than the busier stretch further West along the beach. It also tends to be quieter, with not that many people fishing it, compared to the other areas.

I’d heard that a few sole had been caught recently and I was itching to get my first of the year, so the plan (if you can call it a plan) was to use two rods, one as a sole hunter but with its secondary purpose being a bait gatherer, because if I could get any pout, they would be going out as a live bait. So bait wise, it was cheap enough – a couple of wraps of black lugworm and that was it.

Anyhow, I had the worm rod rigged, baited and cast out within a few minutes of arriving and then turned my attention to the getting the bass rod sorted out and ready.

It really was a lovely night to be out – really warm, with no hint of a breeze and quite humid. It was the first night I’ve fished this year without having loads of layers on and was an absolute pleasure being able to be out in just a polo shirt (I now also wear jeans after being warned by the magistrates… lol). The sea was perfectly calm but did have quite a heavy swell running.

With the bass rod ready and waiting, I turned to the other rod and saw some trembling at the tip; I’m not sure how long it had been doing that, so thought it better to bring it in anyway. On hitting the beach, I saw that the rig had done its work well and there was a double shot of a pout, which was plopped into the waiting bucket of sea water and a nice table sized dab (not as in the size of a table but of a size big enough for the table…. just in case you were wondering).

I cast the bass rod out about ten yards or so, let the lead settle and grip before putting on the slider, hooking the pout and letting it slide out into the water. I then worked the rod a couple of times to work the bait out a bit further before putting the rod in the rest and started the waiting game.

Now I know what some of you are thinking and yes I agree, I should have had a bucket of pouts already with me, so it would have just been a matter of sliding them out and then going into silent mode while waiting for the hit. BUT… I had no time to get pouts before I went, so had to resort to the way I did. In my own defence, I would say that this wasn’t a proper stalking live bait session, more of a “If it works, great if not, never mind”.

Ten minutes later, a double shot of pout was brought in and took up residence in the bucket that the previous occupant had just left. For the amount of time I was going to be there, that should have done but I do like the security of having a bit more bait than I need – just in case.

It then died for about an hour, with nothing moving apart from the usual beach fox that was again hanging around in vain hope of a quick and easy meal.

An hour later, almost to the minute, the rod tip stared quivering and another pout was in the bucket. The first one had not done anything worthwhile, so was replaced by one of the twins which also did bugger all before being substituted by the other one. So I had one out and one in the bucket – sorted.

30 minutes later saw a double shot brought in that were surely less popular than the Krays – a bloody whiting and rockling – has no-one mentioned to them that we’re almost into June FFS! Whiting was not a bad size but only a fraction under the MLS at about 24cm and certainly bigger than a pin.

Next in was another whiting of similar size to the first. Next was another double shot of whiting that were pins.

I was beginning to wonder about packing up and saving what worm I had left for another session over the weekend. In the end though, I decided on another chuck and if it was pins or pout, I’d jack it in. So I launched the worm sections out and sat back on the shingle by the bass rod and drank the last of my ‘mud’ coffee.

We were now four hours into the flood and it was in that sort of dead period that happens until things pick up again around high water. I was still thinking about packing in when I saw the rod tremble and nod twice before going motionless for a few seconds, when it suddenly went ballistic, jumping and rattling around. I retrieved the rig and at first thought it was a good dab when it was in the waters edge but then saw that it was a sole – my first of the year woohoo! Admittedly it was small but at lease it was another one to tick off the list. Needless to say, the thought of packing up had now gone and more worms were sent out.

Apart from a few more whiting, that was it for the evening. I might of had more luck during the hour after high water but to be honest, by now, I’d had enough and all thoughts were of sleep. So that was it, only a few small fish but at least I had a keeper dab and had got my target of the sole, so not too bad a night, all things considered.

2 Responses to “Sole Searching”

  1. walker says:

    Great read, love the idea of the slider.

  2. A lovely post. I think so many anglers still fish two rods, both at distance, missing so many opportunities. This post explains a great methodology that should be used by others.

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