It’s almost exactly 20 years since trip-hop pioneers, Portishead, released their sparse, paranoid masterpiece Dummy. It’s a great album and one that’s aged well. The Bristol scene of that era is etched into UK music folklore, when Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size and co offered a properly exciting and distinctly British take on US hip-hop.
Anyway, with that tenuous link out of the way, I spent a few interesting hours fishing over at Portishead Marina with a family friend last week on what was a lovely, mild Sunday afternoon.
No sign of Beth Gibbons and co. But the shoals of marina mullet were evident and after I lobbed in some groundbait of bread mash with tuna, they attacked the cloud with such glee that I thought it was going to be easy…
I’ve never known anything quite like it! They weren’t big fish at all – in fact I doubt any of them would have made a pound – but despite ending up with a mere fleck of bread on a size 18 hook and three pound line, I just couldn’t get one to take the bait properly. Unbelievably frustrating fishing.
I gave up on those awkward little fish and set up a quiver rod with a light lead, a size 8 hook baited with half a rag worm.
We soon got some steady plucks and pulls and it wasn’t long until I managed a little flounder. Such charming and suitably surreal fish, flatties.
Jason soon had a long, mottled goby that was as equally as strange. They’re prehistoric looking fish that look like a sort of bullhead/catfish hybrid.
Soon it was time to rejoin the family, but not after another couple of gobies and a really interesting chat with a local who gave me some top class info on finding the better mullet and bass that reside there…