Last week was my summer holiday with Sharon in Cardigan bay. It was a great mix of tying flies outdoors, sea kayaking and fishing. After a Saturday spent building a sandeel collection using bug bond, DNA and unique hair while listening to the ashes on the radio it was time to hit the flooding tide over the old monastery fish traps which were full of shrimps and shoals of sandeel. Casting as the sun dipped under the horizon I was sure I would see bass moving in on the tide. Well, maybe they were but I was foiled by the floating weed which was fouling the flies every cast. Even a crease fly and pooper couldn’t avoid the rubbish.
On the plus side Sharon got some cracking photos of me fishing against the sun. I also learned that the 6wt wulff cold saltwater line and orvis 9’6” 6wt helios could deliver a decent size crease fly without any trouble.
During the week we decided to buy some sea kayaks. Sharon bought an ocean kayak venus 11 for trips along the coast. I bought an ocean kayak prowler big game with echo sounder. Well this really is something new to me. I hadn’t paddled a kayak since I was in the cub scouts, and I went to cry that day because my hands were cold! Sharon has paddled before and she showed me the ropes. She wouldn’t tow me to where I wanted to go, but there you go, I was pushing my luck.
We decided to paddle to a rocky cove we had seen the day before which gets cut off from the tide. We were only over a maximum of 3m of water as the surf came in and the bass were jumping everywhere. I strung up the 8wt TCX and a barrio SLX and started casting from the yak, a gurgler on the dropper with a surf candy on point as the tide flowed. Not brilliant fishing but one slash at the gurgler and another fish lost off the candy was enough to keep my interest going through the flow. Sharon still wouldn’t tow me home.
Our last day on the yaks saw me paddling to a mark I had noticed the day before. We had travelled over a reef with plenty of kelp in open water. Just as I started to think kelp = fish when a huge shoal of bass buzzed under the kayak in 2m of water. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t fish it yesterday as I hadn’t set up and I wanted to fish the cove, but here I was on the last day anchored over the same reef.
I strung up with an 8wt inter rio outbound short line and TCX with 10lb tippet. On the dropper I had a DNA clouser and a surf candy on point. These were just catching the top of the kelp every couple of casts. Fists cast with the wind over the reef and I had the biggest bass of the day at 4lb on the point and a smaller fish of 2lb on the dropper, couldn’t believe it. On the first 3 hrs of the flood I caught approx 15 bass in the 1.5lb – 4lb range, all on the same flies. All from the same anchor. I decided to call it a day in the end as the swell got a little uncomfortable, not having any kayak experience I thought I better head for home in case it all ended in tears. What a great day. I will be back at this mark, there were bigger fish jumping which has wetted my appetite for the road drive involved.