Having being ill a lot lately and busting to get out onto the beaches and with time pressing on to get a session done to write about, I thought I would stay local this time and figured I hadn’t fished Porlock weir for a good while so thought let’s give it a go! As shore reports hadn’t been that great around here I hadn’t actually seen anyone doing any reports here so I was wondering how this would turn out? Especially as the fishing has been really hit and miss, but on my side was the tides coming up which are some of the biggest of this year providing some good water movement and hopefully pushing fish in with it. So I figured the plan would be a low water through to high water foray that would be best here especially as the sun was due to be seen which I don’t know about yourselves but around here it’s been a rare sight of late. With venue and date set in my mind I looked at what I would be needing bait wise and decided let’s see if any cod were still about and I had heard of the odd spurdogs in the area so the plan was mackerel or herring baits for the spurs and some fresh worm for the codling if any were knocking around. Paying a trip to West coast angling in Watchet and seeing Steve for a chat and a collect a few rig making components I decided to get some ragworm and I must admit I was very impressed with the size of the worm I got! I think Steve has a multi gym in the fridge as these were some proper big boys! So with bait now all sorted and gear collected it was time to head back and put the worm in the fridge and grab the garden fork out and hit a local lug bed and dig myself some lug. With a few channels dugs and worms sorted I back filled my trenches so no unsuspecting person has a fall or trip and now being a pound of worm up it was time to go and tie a few rigs and get ready for tomorrow. I woke to the morning being bright out the window and reasonably warm so with all my gear together waiting to be loaded up and baits packed along with some herring and mackerel fillets I had cut and prepared the night before I set off heading down the A39 for a couple of miles until I was at Porlock Weir. On entering the car park parking up in front of the ship pub and paying at the pay and display machine, it was time to get down to the beach and set up. I walked over the harbour gates and walked past the cottages along to an old broken fence line and walked down ¾ of the way to the shore edge with gently lapping waves and set up the rods.
All set and baits cast out to maximum distance the waiting game started and a wait it was! With the first few hours producing nothing but baits coming back untouched even so baits were changed every twenty minutes. The only highlights being some nice old boy coming along saying about when he used to fish here as a child and how the cod were all larger. My other highlights being a coffee and moving up the ridge and a bite to eat as the tide was now three hours into the flood, the scenery was great! The sun was out! And was warm on my back life could be worse!
All of a sudden as so often the case around here a weather front moved in and it became overcast and the wind picked up and ten minutes after this, I had the first bite starting to register on the rod tip resisting the urge to jump on it I let it develop and sure enough a good ol’ rattle of the graphex super match rod tip started and it didn’t want to stop so lifting into the rod there wasn’t much resistance and upon reeling it in was a very eager little juvenile Bullhuss which is one of my favourite species to look at ... Evolutionary perfection! A quick easy unhooking, a quick photograph and back he gently went. Ok result! It’s not going to be a blank at least and hopefully things will pick up some more. Re-baiting two lug and a giant rag up the line, twisting the penneled hook through the top of the rag and resetting the pulley dropper rig and then I fired it back out again choosing max distance every time to try and avoid any snags which can be here from time to time especially if you drop your cast short because then your leads get in between the boulders and get wedged snagging you well and with the SW wind and surge on the sea it certainly wouldn’t help either. I didn’t have to wait three minutes for next bite along with a touch of broken sunshine as I reeled in the fish baited WR300 this time a dog of average size again a nice easy unhook and photo and slipped him back on his way. Dogfish started to come hard and fast after this and had clearly moved in and over taken which started to get annoying after a while! No matter how large the bait or hook was they found a way onto it. I relocated all my gear and myself up at the top of the ridge and the tide was really flooding in now and was clearly going to be massive as there was still a lot of time left and was already pushing well up the bank. With baits renewed I casted them both out again to maximum distance so to clear the boulders at the bottom of the beach and getting it all out onto clearer ground.
Five minutes in a bag of crisps which were salt and vinegar and lug/rag with a hint of mackerel and a coffee on the go the rod tip rattles again like it had done the last hour or so another dog... surprise surprise! I lift into it and it then snagged onto something trying everything I know possible to get it free and lots of walking along the ridge trying all the angles it just wasn’t having any of it. With that I let the line go loose prepared and lose the fish, the fish managed to get off but left me in the snag still a few more tries but to no avail so it was line around the handle of the rod and walk slowly backwards until I felt that sudden give and it was rig gone but shock leader still on. Rigging up again and re-baited and fired it out again a bit more to the left this time trying to avoid whatever I caught up on. Two minutes later the other rod was rattling a bit more and being pulled over it wasn’t a dog! After lifting into it I could feel the eel spinning on the other end getting the eel in and over the boulders and out the water I just got the conger to me and it spat the hook, but won’t complain at that! Again another photo as its not another dogfish and a slight nudge towards the edge and it slithered its way back into the water as it was just under the top edge now and watched it swim off happily into the murky water full of sand and silt, fifty minutes to go... and it was just as well as I think the water would have breached and flooded behind me. Whilst rebaiting I see a few small rattles on the worm rig and I lift into it feeling something small on the end and with no resistance at all, on bringing it ashore it was yet another species in the form of a shore rockling another welcome change from the dog fest that had been happening. A change of rigs with another waiting baited rig this time it was 3-4 lugs and a couple of rag worm casting it out over 100 yards the surge was strong and dragging the baits to the right of me but I was the only one here so no worries. I didn’t even get to sit my butt down and it went with a large definitive nod and then the same again... that’s no dog! That’s a good ol’ cod nod, lifting into the rod I could feel a lazy weight on the end and a headshake then surrender as it comes up on the surface. At last! A codling target acquired! Bringing it in I unhooked and photographed as quickly as possible and then released it back with a plop, it was only a small one of about 2 ½ lb but a codling all the same I hadn’t even got to rebait the spare rig that I always leave waiting! So being quick in case he had any larger friends that wanted to come out for a photo I done the same bait again and cast into the same area with the tide doing its dragging everything to the right it was about two minutes after I put the spare rigs away as time was approaching and the water was really high and the wind getting up even more making waves come up and over a bit. Then the same again two cracking nods on the tip so done the hot step to the rod and lifted into it and brought it in easy enough with no fight at all until it saw the headlamp shining on it a quick unhook from the corner of the mouth and a photograph and again I let it go as I’ve had a good season on Codling and won’t take more than what I need or will use and as they are only small let them go to keep good stocks that will grow for years to come. I still had around 35 minutes I could do but the surge and swell on the water wasn’t looking to clever and so I packed away the rest and left for safety reasons, loading up my gear I started the 5 min walk back to the motor. When walking over the bridge the water was the highest I’ve ever seen it just touching the bottom of the metal walk way bridge and then on the way past the hotel by the car park water from the harbour was flooding through the harbour wall with hotel staff popping their heads through the main entrance clearly worried about the situation that was unfolding! A quick wade through some ankle deep water and I was back at the car park, whilst loading the gear into the back of the Landy clearly others were worried too as two environmental 4x4 trucks came down and parked up next to myself. Looking back on the session... I was happy with the days result considering how it started and then turning into a dog fest which i see as wasting bait, one target achieved with the codlings but no spurdog which was a shame but that’s just how it goes at least I was catching and had 5 species. Porlock can be a snaggy venue at times but if you’re not sure where to fish then use a rotten bottom and make sure you cast well, from on the top of the ridge you want a 100 yards cast to be on better ground and clear the large boulders at the edge. Until next month tight lines and stay safe.