- Vic Fisher's sea angling journal - http://www.vicfisher.co.uk -

Weeded Out

I took the opportunity last night to fish down at Brighton Marina with the hope of bass and sole on the East arm. Armed with some lugworm and a box of squid, I walked out onto the arm and headed out and found a quiet spot at bay 40. There was a light South Westerly breeze which was enough to chop up the surface of the somewhat coloured water. It was a bright evening with virtually no cloud cover.

The intention was to try for some mackerel at towards last light and use heads and chunks for bait. I started off with some feathering and immediately hit a problem with weed, which although not visible, was obviously lying on the sea bed. Each retrieve brought the feathers back with clumps of what looked like fibrous and slimy cotton wool. Even keeping the hooks and lead away from the bottom, still brought the damn stuff back.

Picture of eel and weedAs light faded I rigged up a rod with a size 4 two hook flapper, baited it with the worm and cast it out. While I had a coffee, I saw the rod tip twitch a little, followed by slight tugging. I left it while I finished my drink and then retrieved a heavy weight, which turned out to be balls of the aforementioned crappy weed with a small eel amongst it. My rig was completely trashed by the critter and by the time I sorted it, I was left with one released eel and a ball of weed and snotty eel slime, the only thing I could do with it was to salvage the bits and cut the rest up for the bin. I attached a new baited rig and cast it back out in the hope that I had seen my last eel of the night – a hope that was dashed when, within minutes of the rig being out, it started to twitch and shortly after, another mass of slimy weed and even slimier eel hit the deck.

I didn’t bother trying again but carried on my quest for mackerel instead. Unfortunately, by the time darkness hit, I had cleared what seemed like the entire sea bed of weed and crap and landed precisely zero mackerel – good job I’d brought some squid along as a standby. The feathers were taken off and a rod was setup with a long link running ledger, 4/0 pennel and whole squid.

I lobbed it out about ten yards and sat back for another coffee. Within seconds, the rod tip was bouncing around to the rhythm of wave and weed. I hauled up pounds of the stuff which clung to the tackle like crap to a blanket – this was turning into the session from hell. I only hoped that the weed subsided with the rising tide.

In the meantime, the again re-deployed worm rod cunningly captured another eel which resulted in another trashed rig. For the next few hours, I alternated between clearing crap from the bass rig and the eel catching device. I must admit to feeling very disheartened, especially when Ryan and Pieman informed that it was pretty weed free up where they were in the 50’s. I toyed with the idea of moving along there but I really couldn’t be arsed and decided to stick it out. In the end, I wish I had moved.

By about 1am, I’d had enough and decided to sod off rather than waste my time anymore. So the the tally for the night was about a dozen eels, a shed load (literally) of weed and a very grumpy Vic.