Six members of Combe Martin SAC enjoyed a boat trip off Minehead on board Osprey Skippered by Steve Webber. The day started off with a cool North East breeze that made for an uncomfortable lop on the water. Despite this fish came steadily to the boat all day with smoothound the dominant species at our first mark in Porlock Bay. The biggest of the hounds was a low double. A range of baits worked for the hounds with crab, prawn and squid all tempting these hard fighting members of the shark family.
As is always the case banter flowed freely throughout the day that kept spirits up when heavy rain fell for a short while and grey skies shrouded the hills. John Shapland boated a fine huss of 11lb 8oz. (Below)
After a couple of hours targetting the hounds Steve suggested a move to the sandbanks to try for a few ray.
It wasn’t long at our new mark before we found a few ray with small- eyed ray, thornback and spotted ray finding our baits.
(Below)The best specimen of the day turned out to be a fine small eyed ray that gave a spirited tussle before reaching the net that was expertly wielded by Skipper Steve Webber,
As the tide flooded we made a couple more moves before anchoring off Dunster to try for the hounds again. The hounds here in the murkier water were very light in colour and whilst not so numerous appeared to be a slightly bigger stamp of fish.
As the day started to drift towards its conclusion the sun eventually started to break through and enable us to peel off some of the layers. Nick and his son Jack were not up until now enjoying good sport and seemed to have a knack of finding the dogfish that punctuated every ones day as always. Fortunately persistence eventually paid off and something bigger nailed Nick’s bluey hook-bait.
After several minutes of tension there was some disappointment when the hard fighting fish turned out to be conger of perhaps 10lb.
Everyone on the boat by now really wanted Jack to catch a decent fish and Steve baited Jack’s hook with a generously donated helping of peeler crab. After a few minutes Jacks rod was bouncing on the gunnels and at last Jack enjoyed a bending rod as a hound fought strongly before reaching the boat.
Shortly after this it was time to head back to Minehead with its tourists crabbing down the harbour wall and devouring ice creams in the hot sun. We couldn’t help but wish it had been this calm and still all day. We ended the day with a flourish as several hounds came to the boat with John Shapland having an uncanny knack of finding the hounds.