A tale of two trips

Getting out for two very different fishing trips over the last week has seen myself and a group of work mates out on a boat off the Essex coast and an afternoon spent on my local river Lea.

An early start and wet morning greeted me midweek, neither of which I’m particularly fond of, as group of us headed out from Brightlingsea on the ‘Sophie Lea’.
I feared the breeze combined with being out at sea for eight hours may bring on seasickness, yet the day passed by without me seeing my breakfast again.

The action was pretty much confined to the morning and my sole bite of the day, to a little hermit crab hook bait, resulted in a tentative pull followed by a few minutes solid tussle with a spectacular 12lbs starry smooth-hound. A work mate also managed one of similar size; his bite however was more like a carp hooked on a bolt rig, the shark just shot off at great speed after taking a ragworm. They are incredibly impressive fish, with a fight similar to that of a barbel. Seeing them go back quickly and safely to the depths was equally rewarding.
Another colleague took a stunning thornback ray and others on the boat managed rays and even some small tope. A really enjoyable day and something I’d like to do again before the end of summer.

On more familiar ground, a trip to the river Lea saw another barbel blank; however a couple of hours on the float resulted in ten or so chunky dace, a few roach and gudgeon and two fighting perch of around 12 ozs. I also hooked and lost a bigger perch. No enquiries on my pellet hookbaits, despite staying on until after dark. I’m really struggling in getting through to the bigger fish on the Lea.

Essex shark!
Essex shark!