I had been chasing my Dad to go fishing since Christmas and finally we both had a weekend that was good for both of us.
On the Saturday I had managed to get into town and visit a local Fishing tackle shop – Big Fish. 2 small bags of squid, 2 packets of Joey mackerel and 50 lugworms later I decided that I wasn’t going to be beaten by the snowy water and if it came down to bait we would definitely catch!
After a brief chat with the guys in the tackle shop I was even more determined as they told me that we would not stand a chance as the Sprats where in the river!! Also, apparently there was so many that ‘you couldn’t turn an outboard on without churning them up!’. What they were trying to tell me was whilst there was such a plentiful source of food in the river why would the fish feed on anything else.. This wasn’t my worry, I was still thinking about the melt water and its effects on the fish.. Where they still offshore in the deep?
After pulling in the drift net a second time (which is a little cold on the hands this early in the year!) we discovered that we had not been as lucky as the other boat and the net was empty, we quickly decided to head back to the fishing boat (moored at the Rice and Cole end of Burnham moorings) and get a brew on!
The tide was still roaring when we returned and once warmed up with a hot cup of tea we decided to go for lug and whole squid bates searching for a quarry of codling or a very greedy straggler of a whiting.
No fish, no bites but the January day were stunning with relatively no wind and not a cloud in the sky. We had planned to drop the three hoop nets over the side but when the River Crouch is running like that there was no way that they would hold bottom let alone have a chance of catching any fish.
The calm afternoon progressed and as we drunk mug after mug of tea we were treated by the show that is nature. Squadrons of Brent Geese, huge flocks of Green Plovers and even a set of seven Avocets passed over head to their new and it seems ever more successful RSPB sanctuary at Wallasea.
Eventually the tide slowed and we were able to bait one hoop net with the Joey Mackerel and rig up two rods with Paternoster rigs and small lug and squid baits again hoping for Dabs.
The excitement was short lived and we were soon out of sunlight and the trip was over. No fish, no bites and a much shorter drift net, but hey ho, how can you be disappointed when you finish a trip to this sight!