Conditions were spot on for a launch at one of my favourite fishing spots. Kieren was keen but i had a limited time window to fish, so with a late afternoon tide we planned to fish the final 3 hours of the flooding tide to be in with the best chance of finding any fish. It was a decent sized tide and we would be fishing an exposed area of coastline so was looking forward to see how the Abaco handled.
Finally a spell of settled weather! A plan was forged to target pollack from the reefs with Sam and Matt, and the forecast was looking great. Sam went to the launch mark early on sunday morning to check the conditions and gave me and matt the nod to meet there mid morning. I fitted my fish finder the day before so it was all ready to locate the reefs in the hope of finding a fish or two.
It was the maiden voyage on the RTM Abaco so was hoping for a nice easy launch so i could get used to the feel of the kayak..... not today!
Monday was a beautiful day with no wind. I had to wait for a courier and rig the MidWay for bait fishing though so Monday was a dry day spent drinking coffee and surfing the internet. It was while I was flicking through World Sea Fishing that I spotted something that piqued my interest though. A catch report with a difference…this fella had fished the northern bay on Sunday and had Coalfish, Rockling and Flounder, the photos proving they were what he said they were. Oh. Three species there that I wouldn’t have expected to get....…
The cod have been hiding lately, at least the eaters have. I’ve not had a single one this year as yet and it’s a missing definite from the species hunt for the year. Mind you, I’ve not been targeting them really as there seemed little point with the boats and other kayaks reporting very poor results of late. However, there appeared to be some movement at last with some pan-sized fillets on some marks and a lot of babies close in. The trouble is, the weather forecast was strong winds and rain…
Can I get a fish worth catching this month? Can I get a big one for the Warbird 220 Challenge? Can I beat the weather? Not on the sea, not a chance. It had to be the river and fingers crossed for a pike on the troll. I’ve not fished the Waveney since the surge except right up past the sluices so I decided to give it a try in the hope there’d be a chance...…
These southerlies and south-easterlies are really causing cabin fever for me. Strong winds forecast once again, big chop from the easterly bit and frankly it wasn’t going to be fishable off Corton today. bad enough, hat made it worse as Brian’s news that the day before had yielded 32 keeper codling between five of them on Cleveland Princess and he’d personally had ten or so spit the hooks at the surface. That’s all day of course rather than the 3-4 hour trips I do which, with two rods, might have seen four or five decent fish in that time. So, what to do, where to go?
James was free today, Shaun was too and of course yours truly had nothing more pressing to be getting on with…from a certain point of view! The forecast wasn’t good though, touch and go really, a fifty-fifty chance depending on the wind. It was okay early on but would be building during the day and we’d not be able to launch until after the tide started to pick up.
Zebedee, real name John, is in the market for a new kayak. Amongst the list he wanted to try were the Tempo and MidWay and a meeting not too far away he swung by mine to have a paddle in the latter and, in lieu of the Tempo that is en-route to me, my Scupper pro, lying forlornly on the roof now I have new toy to ply with! Now, I’d just had couple of hours being battered up at Corton after fishing so was nicely warmed up; John however had not been out since November and was carrying his Christmas dinner still. He was at mine before me so we began with coffee, me still kitted out in my drysuit. After dissolving the salt on his drysuit zip and unstrapping the kayaks we headed down to the beach.
Dylan said the answer was blowing in the wind. Lots of winds about. Hurricane. Tornado. Typhoon. Tempest. All great Hawker aircraft though out in the West land they’re reaping the Whirlwind. I shouldn’t make jokes at the expense of the rest of the country by using names of wartime fighters but as they’re also known as warbirds in the historic aviation scene and I’m fishing with a Warbird 220 in the armoury it seemed somewhat appropriate. If irrelevant. Enough. Fishing. I had the contents of a box to try, a new Aleutian Drysuit from Palm.....
Another window appeared to be opening so James and I decided to make the second assault of the week on Corton for the cod that are currently about. With enough west in the wind to flatten the swell down a bit and a low tide time of 14:50 things looked fine, sea-wise and the sun was out. Plans were made for an earlier than normal launch, 11am rather than 1pm which would normally be sensible because of the strong flow but as the cod had fed hard mid-tide a few days before it was worth a shot.
Being half term there’s not been much opportunity to get wet but with everyone else out and being between shifts and Tim having the day off there was no excuse not to go so plans were made; if the wind held off we’d fish, if the wind didn’t we’d paddle. Tim wanted to try the MidWay so with the wind and sea whipped up that was all we could do. Turning up at 11 just as I was getting up we had time for a quick drink and for me to get a couple of fillets of cod out of the freezer for afterwards.
I woke up to rain and a text. The text was from Paul and was about the rain. Paul doesn’t like to fish in rain and nor do I. The problem is Mark was free today only and knows where all the big pike are. A quick call to him and he told me it was raining so I went back to bed. But Mark was free for today only and a check of the forecast pointed to it not raining so a bit of bullying later I picked Paul up; I wanted to christen the MidWay with a pike and a good one at that…
I’ve been aware of the RTM Tempo for years, it’s the only currently available (from new) plastic kayak comparable to my faithful, filthy, battered Scupper Pro. Having left the Ocean Kayak UK Fishing Team a couple of years back I’d had my eye on them for a while but had not got around to doing anything about approaching RTM (Rotomod) – or rather Totaloption, the UK distributor – for various reasons. In the meantime Terry, who many know as Izzetafox, had got involved with them and done some reviews of selected kayaks from the range before joining the Jackson Kayak Team. I chatted with Terry and he introduced me to Marcus at Totaloption. Emails and phonecalls followed and a mutually beneficial partnership was discussed at length, beginning with me getting a couple of kayaks on loan. You see I was not interested in paddling any boats that weren’t as good or better or might not be able to stand up to my own barbaric treatment.
At the start of the year i was lucky enough to be offered a place on the 4-man RTM UK fishing team. I happily accepted the offer and will be sponsored/supported by the company over the next year. RTM are based in France and are Europe's largest kayak manufacturer. I very much look forward to using and testing their products over the year. After browsing through their catalogue i settled on getting a RTM Abaco 4.20 luxe, as it looks most suited for what i will be using it for. An order was placed with RTM and on friday i received my brand new kayak! Here's the initial overview with lots of photos.....
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