19 April 2018. With crewman Pete Holland sadly laid up in Blackpool Vic and missing the first launch of 2018 Alan Taylor slipped Lil’Hooker onto the sand as the tide dropped to low. A slight miscalculation as an hour later she had still not floated off, but eventually the tide got going and Alan headed north to look for plaice.
Setting out his stall, with two black baited rods in just 11 feet of water bites came fairly quickly and numerous whiting and dabs came aboard. With a good run on the tide an hours fishing resulted in no sign of a plaice so it was up with the anchor and a move onto some rough ground that can throw up really big smooth hounds on the right day. Out went crab baits and Alan lay back in the sun to await developments…. Forty five minutes later and nothing, so it was back inshore again with a view to start putting scores on the doors for the `Species Match’.
Looking back at his records four years ago to the day on a similar tide, the same marks produced in addition to the species caught, decent Cod, Bull-Huss and Smooth Hounds. The most obvious difference was the water temperature, which at 50 degrees on 18 April 2014 was a full 3 degrees higher than it is currently.
Not a brilliant start to the season, but far better than a good day at work.