This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

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snapper
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk

This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

Post by snapper » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:29 pm

I’m part Greek. Only a tiny part mind. My great grandfather (Albanian) won the Greek consul’s wife in a card game according to family legend. From the ensuing years together (before they went their separate ways, her final one off a hotel roof at 97 years of age having been to the bank earlier but that’s another story) I bet he wished the consul hadn’t folded because he probably had a far better hand…You may be wondering here all this is leading. It’s not strictly relevant of course other than that I watched 300 last night while tying rigs and it made me come over all Spartanish. Not to the extent of wearing a leather codpiece or anything but I did decide to launch fully dressed to do battle with Mr Gadus in my Spartan battle helmet. Come back with your yak…or on it.

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That was after the sun came up of course. In the meantime it was bloody dark at Hopton when I cast my eye over the hot gates towards Lowestoft to the south and Gorleston to the north. The sea looked reasonably flat and there wasn’t any swell of chop to talk of. So I went and got ready to face my foe in company with Si and Chris.

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I picked my time and launched in the gap even though the shore dump wasn’t too bad. I was delayed slightly by not having the camera on yet so had to fiddle up to my waist in water and there was quite an undertow; it was up high and we were launching from right by the promenade. I was off to the mark I favour but this meant paddling against the tide all the way and it was now banging down full-bore as it was the middle of the flow. I can do it but I spared myself too much effort and went out on a dogleg, 100 yards off the beach and north for 500 then out 300 and ferry-gliding down before dropping my anchor down 200ft uptide of the mark and drifting down to take up the slack 100ft away. On the flood that’s pretty much bang on.

After last week I had a temporary home-made black ball up to show I was at anchor. I figured a windy session was the best test and it was fine, though in the way of fishing and snapping being on the bow.

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Straight away it was clear that the tide was really pushing through 9big spring after all) and though it had seemed that the wind wasn’t too bad up top it was what was forecast down here – force 5 gusting 7. Luckily it was offshore which keeps it reasonably flat and there wasn’t a massive swell. I rigged up the KP with a triple flapper, size 1 hooks and 20lb amnesia and flung it out loaded with small pinches of black lug I’d left out in salt the night before to toughen up and perhaps go stale. I required 7 dabs for a starter that night (main course of roadkill roe deer). There was 10ft more water here now than on Thursday at the end of the ebb too.

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Then I set up the other rod with a zip slider, 20lb amnesia and a 4/0 Viking pennel. Both rods had 6oz on them, plain on the KP and breakaway on the other. In it went loaded with the usual black lug tipped with a squid head.

Tide was ripping through but after a bit of a wait I got a bite on the pennel. In came the first whiting of the day – a nice one of about a pound. His smaller brother, though filletable, went back…as did the next (half the whiting went back today).

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Nothing on the KP. After an hour I decided that there was a reason I didn’t use flapper rigs so I cut it off and tied on a blinging Christmas tree of a rig ;D I’d got my hands on a collection of Orme hooks recently but not gotten around to trying them. These consist of two hooks facing away from each other and joined via a plastic moulding. They looked promising and with a stupid amount of beads and blades attached I figured I must find a chav of a flattie down there.

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That’s when my rod tip thumped down and I pulled into something better! I could feel it thumping away on the end, the rod was bent nicely and it was taking a bit of effort; either a big cod or a smaller one and too much tide. Either way as soon as I got it off the bottom it was off. I wasn’t impressed, that’s twice in two weeks.

Si called it a day, he still had anchor issues and was fed up with paddling north. He went in leaving just Chris and I.

More whiting and then another heavier pull. Up came a codling at last. A couple of pound and a bit more he was clonked on the head. The Spartan hat was working! Two codling tracked down so far…this is what we’ve waited for, this is it boys, this is war. It’s funny how lines from songs come into your head at the most inopportune moments. Nena. A wet dream. Perhaps not so inopportune.

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Then a good bite and up came a whiting on the Orme hooks, bite indication on these is incredible. It went back to spread its poor taste amongst the next generation while I changed over again to a circle hook, a 5/0 I’ve had sitting around for years. I bought ten for piking and landed one fish in 8 runs and I deep-hooked that one. I figured I’d take it out today though and see how I got on. Surprisingly it was easy enough to bait up with a salted black lug and I tipped it off with squid. I wasn’t striking the rolling lead too well so I figured this might help today.

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Meanwhile, in 4/0 pennel land a bite was followed by some reeling and a nice, big, plump dab came in. Lovely job!

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Soon after and it was cranking time as I brought in another codling, just a tad bigger than the previous one. The tide was easing now but the wind was starting to build and consequently I went more across tide than I had been, the black ball anchor on the pole at the front weathercocking me. I didn’t care, I’d got some codling.

Chris went in. I was on the phone and starting to wonder if I should call it a day. Then the wind started. The forecast said it’d be windier at nine than at 6 (the inshore waters forecast on channel 23 was rather illuminating too in that Magic Seaweed appeared to have things right). I didn’t expect it to suddenly go up a notch instantly though and the sea just changed. 3ft sets were rolling through now and again and the surface of the water was showing the signs of what I could feel. Another half an hour passed without it abating and then it was time to come in, a final whiting taking the circle hooked bait…a day of experiments and all doing fine.

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Back home and I popped the keepers in the sink. Codling were 2 ¼ lb and 45cm, Biggest Whiting was just over a pound and 38cm, dab was just over 10oz and 29cm. First time I’ve bothered to get the tape measure out for them at home. I filleted the lot ready for a salt/pepper/brown sugar brining before putting them in the cold smoker for a few hours, all bar three whiting which were for lunch, baked with celery, tomatoes, red onion. Broccoli, salt, pepper and lemon juice. I had to do quick and easy because of other stuff to do.

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Yeah, so the Spartans won the battle at Thermopylae and I conquered the cod at Hopton…meanwhile Nena pops up nearly three decades on with a new hit.

You and I in a little kayak
Buy awrap of blacks with the money we've got
Hook them on at the break of dawn
Till one by one they were gone
Back at home sparks in the software
Flash the message cod are out there??
Floating in the Corton Roads
Ninety nine small whiting go by

Ninety nine small whiting
Floating in the Corton Roads
Finder beeps, its red alert
There’s something here that's something else
The old KP springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
And focusing it on the sky
The ninety nine small whiting go by

Ninety nine decisions treat
Ninety nine yak anglers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
push the yaks out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The fat codling is on the line
As ninety nine small whiting go by

Ninety nine knights without hair
Ride super high-tech fishing yaks
Everyone's a super hero
Everyone's a Captain Birdseye
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify
Scrambling the winter sky
Ninety nine small whiting go by


Ninety nine dreams I have had
In every one a big fat cod
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this tide that looks so sh!tty
If could find a souvenir
Just to prove the cod was here
And here is a small whiting
I think of you and let it go…



Video to follow soon. Not of Nena – that’s on YouTube.
Chatham 17-Scupper Pro-RRRapido
2011 Launches 102

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snapper
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk

Re: This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

Post by snapper » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:59 pm

Chatham 17-Scupper Pro-RRRapido
2011 Launches 102

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The Shiner
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:22 pm
Location: South Coast

Re: This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

Post by The Shiner » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:35 pm

Nice one Mark.
Nice to see the Cod have finally arrived.

Rich

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TechnoEngineer
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex

Re: This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:47 pm

Great thread - thanks for the photos and writeup. The food looks delish - nom nom!
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

Billy The Fisherman
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Re: This is what we’ve waited for…26/11/2011

Post by Billy The Fisherman » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:06 pm

Nice one, I liked the write-up, photos, reworded song and the whiting liked the Christmas decorations :-)

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