Strong winds are on the way and the swell is building however the forecast looked superb for the next two and George, a fellow marine biology student, had a day off work. I had promised him a trip out at some point so it seemed like the perfect time to go before the weather turned rubbish. I really wanted to hit the reefs again but it would be hit and miss whether the swell would allow us to launch......
After the success of the first Tope session Kieren wanted in on the action so headed off to the North Coast for another short evening session. It would be the first time Kieren, Elliot and myself would be fishing together on the kayaks so we were hoping for fish all round. Conditions were less than ideal with a fair chop being whipped up by a brisk onshore wind. We battled our way out to the mark and dropped the mackerel baits down....
I have often contemplated targeting Tope from the kayak but have never got round to trying for them. News was in of Tope showing on the North Cornwall coast so hatched a plan to dedicate a session targeting them. A bit of research online into rigs, gear and conditions and I was ready. I spent the evening before tying tope traces – 8/0 Mustad o'shaughnessy hook double crimped to 12” of 100lb Sakuma coated Wire biting trace attached via a swivel to 5ft of 80lb Fluorocarbon rubbing leader. If I hooked one I wanted to land it!
Hot sun, zero wind, zero swell and a spring tide.... i couldn't wait to get out on the kayak. A plan was forged to drift the sands with Ethan in the hope of flatfish and maybe a weever. We were on the beach and launching for 10am and started paddling out for the headland on the edge of the bay to start the drift.
My exams are finally over. Over a month of spending 7 days a week in the library revising..... finished. I couldn't wait to get back on the water. My exam finished at 15:30 on the Thursday, by 4:15am Friday i was awake and ready to load the car with my gear. This would be my first solo kayaking session so planned to tuck myself away on the quiet creeks of a local tidal river and try for the elusive Gilthead Bream.....
A day drifting the sands was planned from one of my favourite kayak fishing marks. The scenery is fantastic and the fish can be plentiful on the right day both in size and number of species. An early start saw me and kieren on the beach ready to launch at 10 after a long walk with the kayaks down a rocky track and a big sand dune - not too bad going down.... coming back up is a different story! The sun was shining with hardly a drop of swell, but a slight offshore wind was blowing, not too bad with the forecast predicting 8-10mph. We paddled out to a nearby headland and dropped our baits into a tidal run onto the sandy seabed 20m below us.
The swell and wind has finally dropped enough for me to launch from one of my favourite fishing marks. The winter storms had destroyed most of the harbour wall protecting the slipway, with the boulders from the wall strewn across the once pristine sandy beach and slipway. This makes launching and landing tricky but possible in the calm and impossible with 2-3ft of swell. Kieren and Dwyer were keen for another trip after the successful mackereling trip the day before. A local came over to me whilst unloading the car and informed me that the beach and slipway would hopefully be restored soon, with diggers coming to move the rocky rubble, so that piece of news was promising. We negotiated the boulder field and made our way offshore to fish the deep water in the hope of catching whiting and haddock.
The weather has settled down and the sunshine is warm…. Spring has arrived and with it the mackerel have moved inshore to chase shoals of sand eels. The plan was to have a session afloat to hopefully find a few mackerel to stock up the bait freezer for future fishing trips. Me, Kieren and his friend Dwyer headed to a mark on the Lizard Peninsula in search of the shoals. Kieren and Dwyer shared the Hobie Outfitter Tandem and I used the RTM Abaco. The forecast was great, the sea was glassy calm and the tide would be pushing. All was looking well for catching mackerel.
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!
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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