Roving Rods - Gasworks Beach

With the fishing around here being very poor of late and a lot of good fishermen I know pulling a few blanks in a row and having a hard time which isn’t normal at all for them, I figured I would go out on the largest tide this month just before the due date that was needed for the editor so was hoping it wouldn’t be a blank to write about! It was time to go fishing and I got to Gasworks at Minehead ( local beach) at 17:30 with a warm brew in hand watching the heavy seas and swells on its way in and was waiting until the sea was in and a little closer to be on the completely safe side so i didn’t have to go far or near the sea/ level with it. I decided it would best to fish out the back of my Touran from the car park, its far more waterproof and windproof with heat and electrics for filming etc as well. So with it being a go I turned the Touran around and popped on my willies and century waterproofs popped up the boot hatch and started to set up. I set up the stand with some added rocks around the feet of it I brought the lower tripod today not the 7ft Ian golds so I could keep it out the wind a bit more and it has a homemade extended rod rest cups and keeps the rods and rod tips apart which is ideal in weather like today keeping lines from tangling or crossing easily etc.

The wind was howling in from the NE it was cold and roughing up the sea a treat looking productive but we will see.

The Century WR300 was set up with the battle II with 30lb braid and a pulley dropper with large bait on but to start with I just shoved a squid mantle on to get a bait in the water whilst I set up the other rod.

Walking down the beach as it was still safe to do so I fired out 7oz gripped and walked back up to camp.

Rod in the rest and I got out the second rod which was the Tronix pro Xenon travel rod, the more I use the rod the more I love it!

Putting the 6 sections together was quick and easy and the reason I chose this rod this evening is it casts well and is a lot softer in the top section of the rod which sits better in ripping waters and swells.

All set up and a pulley rig on with a 2/0 hook baited with squid as well and fired it out as far as possible in the winds that were trying to stop it happening. A walk back up to the top of the stone ridge and this would now be where I stay so I’m well away from any rogue waves or issues.

Both rods sat happily in the rod rest I got a mackerel out that was going to be using as well. I chopped off the tail and then cut long ways down the body making two thin fillets out of one side and then tucking the knife in behind the pectoral fin I cut down to the spine and went along the fillet releasing both bits putting one for a later bait back in the bag.

Whipping up the fish ready I made a brew and then pulled in the first rig which had managed to come loose and move across the beach into a snag but a quick angle change and I was back in business, reeling it in quickly to get the lead up of the bottom and back in over the snaggy stones if the lead drops and sinks onto the stones its normally snags up! With the old bait stripped off and the mackerel fillet being hooked on the penneled hooks and whipped on with some elastic which is needed in this streaming tide!

Walking back to the steep stone edge and I fire the bait out as the wind dies down for a second, good timing and its out on the sand clear of the stones. There is a lot of weed coming in with the tide making for a lot of false bites and making the mainline looking like a washing line with it all hanging off and some blowing up the line and off the top of the rods.

Time passes and more weed is collected then I get a good knocking on the WR300 lifting into it and winding down on what looks like a bite I start to reel it in and can feel a lazy weight at the end ... Is it weed or a lazy dogfish.

A few seconds later and it’s on the surf line and it’s a bundle of lumo mono a weight and weed as well all being pulled up on the end of my rig.

So with a weed fish and fishing gear I get out the scissors and cut it all free and stash it in the bucket to be disposed of later on at home in the line recycling bag. Rebaiting again and I cast the rig back out, the line stayed for about 5 minutes then weed pulls the rig out again as the rod is stiff and I’m using braid it pulls the rigs out in strong tidal flow and heavy weather.

It settles down again with the 7oz gripped weight digging in again hopefully it stays put this time.

It’s time to refresh the smaller bait as well so I get on the Xenon and wind it all in, whip on half a squid cut long ways to keep streamlined and sent it back to the now black mass of water under a black clouded sky that looks like it’s going to dump yet more water on me. The WR300 starts bouncing and waving around like harry potters wand doing its thing!

It’s just weed and the heavy seas so pull it in and its snagged.. grr..... I try and free it up but to no avail the line snaps and it’s the second rig of the night gon on this side with the rod so I decide to pack this rod down as its too stiff with braid and pulling baits out the sea bed and I don’t have any mono with me or a heavier weight than 7oz. But although I didn’t want to pack it away as I like to fish with two rods, two baits and two rigs it is better in rough weather to fish with just the one rod fished properly as it’s less to worry about and a lot less to go wrong.

One rod all packed down and away in the car I sit back in the boot area and kick back a little bit after changing the memory card in the camera because I’m also filming this session as well.

I pour another coffee and lay back looking at the rod tip watching it getting hypnotized with it bouncing about with the wind, weed and tidal pulling and wondering if I’ll actually see a bite if I should get one haha. Watching people come and go eating their Maccy D dinners and coffees whilst watching the sea in their cars shining their lights over the sea you could see just how large the swells are. Looking to my right though the dinghy park at the harbour about 100 yards away the waves are slapping up against it and up over the walls and looking to my left the waves are crashing into the beach with massive swells and spray if you were to be swept in you wouldn’t get back out that’s for sure! Every now and then you would hear massive crashes where rogue waves suddenly come in and these waves smash into the stone bank and send a spray of mist up and over even though I’m well away from the sea. I look down the beach and there is a lot of debris everywhere... natures own warzone! As well to the left I see a tree trunk washed up being pushed up to the top of the beach the trunk must be about 12 ft long and 4ft thick! And being tossed about like a twig. With time just about up and approaching high tide I put my last bait on and sent it out as hard as I could against the fierce winds picking up even more gusting now well over 40mph but managing to get it onto the sand... that’s a result and good enough! With the weather picking up and staying constant at high tide, with the clouds warning an imminent drowning was about to happen as well I looked at the time and ten minutes to go. So far there had been nothing about but if there was a fish to be seen it’s nearly always in the last ten minutes of a tide.

Sure enough I see a small rattling bite associated with a whiting but it stopped as quick as it had started and the normal bobbing and pulling of the rod tip continued with nothing else showing I waited by the rod in case of another bite which I would be ready to strike on. Nothing showed but I saw the odd light pluck so I’m assuming there is a small dogfish or whiting on the end and with time up now as its high tide so lift the rod and start to reel in and my assumption was right, I could feel something on the end with the directness of the braid you can feel everything.

Staying well back from the swells being extra careful I see a small round fish emerge from the heavy white frothy surf mouth open and then clear of the surf I have no option but to give a few winds of the reel bringing the fish gently up over the stones so it was safe to collect. Headlamp on full whack turning night into daylight for me I never turn my back on the sea looking out scanning the waves in close and further out and reading the sea I collect the whiting and step well back and clear again to complete safety to unhook the fish and then release it, although I wasn’t putting myself in any danger when getting the whiting I never assume it can’t happen!

A quick unhooking and photo and its back you go and thanks for preventing a blank! Taking down and packing away the remaining gear and camera equipment for The snag youtube channel, facebook page and website I glad to don my fishing gear and shut the boot and climb into the seat of the warm cab area. Although it was only one whiting to show for the two hours fishing that’s how fishing goes I was tempted to fish it down a bit as well but conditions were getting worse and trying to land a larger fish if caught would be a big issue and not safe so home time it is. But it was enjoyable two hours none the less but it’s always great to be out in nature especially when it’s wild, but please note I NEVER ever put myself in any type of danger! I would never fish a beach that is too dangerous and occasionally will wear a life jacket just to be safe plus always let people know where I am what time I will be back and do check in calls sometimes depending on weather etc No fish is worth your life! So please stay safe in the winter storms, or sea swells its always worth looking at swell information on the sea as I see that when I was scrolling the Chesil site the outer sea swells have caused havoc when they have come in on the beaches and have battered the sea fronts tonight! You wouldn’t get that information from just weather info and could be caught short.

Stay safe and tight lines all till next month.

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