Tales from the Tendring Flatlands

Tales from the Tendring Flatlands
Summer Bassing

Sunday, 23 June 2013

100km Non Stop Walk, Ireland and Uncle Neil

A busy month or two, with lots of different things kicking off in quick succession.

The first weekend in June was spent walking the Oxfam Trailtrekker 100 km  in The Yorkshire Dales. What a fantastic weekend it was too, if you want read more guff about it, see thestrollingbones.blogspot.co.uk .

The Friday afterwards me and The Turdster were off for a week fishing in Ireland, on the Beara Peninsula. We stayed at a great place in Adrigole, called Drumagowlane House, run by Paul and Anne Harris. Paul is a keen angler and showed us round when we arrived, albeit with the warning that the fishing had been "patchy". That's fishing talk for "crap".

What a place, absolutely beautiful, so many different places to fish. Being on a peninsula, you could usually get out of the wind somewhere, whatever direction it was blowing. The first two days we had warm, sunny weather with barely a breath of wind, not what you expect in Ireland..

We enjoyed the weather, but struggled to catch much, until The Turdster managed a few pollack on the second day, spinning with soft plastics mounted "Texas" style, fished amongst the rock and kelp. I missed a few takes and had one fish take right under the rod tip, but The Turdster took the honours and added to his tally later in the day. Still, you can't complain, fishing in the sun, in the arse end of nowhere, in gorgeous scenery with not another soul about, can you ?

Day three and the weather changed totally, with rain and wind. That's more like what we were expecting. A different mark, where we got soaked and caught just a few doggies and spirits were a little low. However. after a hot meal and a few drinks we were keen to give another mark a crack in the morning.
Yes, it looks sunny, but I only took photos when it stopped raining ! We started catching the inevitable doggies and after a couple of hours I had a slack liner, which looked a bit more promising. Pulling in to the fish it was clear that this was probably not another doggie. I'd got the fish to the edge of the rocks when I caught a glimpse of a fair sized bull huss, just as it was shaking it's head and seconds later the bastard had spat the hook out. "Oh dear", I said.....or something similar.

I re cast and half an hour later another similar bite. Unfortunately,  a huge lump of weed had caught round the line, so the fish failed to put up much of a fight. That said, it was a decent huss of 8lb 8oz. That's more like it.
We fished on, expecting more huss, but things went quiet until The Turdster, who had nodded off, was awoken by the sound of his rod crashing to the floor as a fish pulled it from the tripod. To add insult to injury, by the time he reached the rod the fish had gone. A few more doggies followed before we packed up and went into town for much needed food and drink.

The next day dawned with heavy rain and high winds. The winds we could cope with, as we selected a mark on the sheltered side of the peninsula. We headed for Cod's Head, a remote point on the north side. It looked great, but was quite frankly unfishable, with extremely slippery, jagged rocks everywhere. Or at least everywhere we looked. We tried another mark, lost loads of gear, almost went arse over head several times and had a bit of a row. In between this I managed to catch a nice 4lb pollack on light spinning gear, before being absolutely drenched on the way back to the car. Not the best session ever.
It was only midday, so we went back, changed our sodden clothes and headed to "DOD Pier", a venue that was sheltered, safe and totally uninspiring. As we approached the turn for DOD I carried on and asked The Turdster if he fancied a trip to Dursey Island, at the very western most point of the peninsular. The roads got smaller and narrower the further we went, this really was the wild west. Arriving at Dursey, the rain had stopped and we stared across Dursey Sound towards the island, "What's that?" the eagle eyed Turdster said. We were looking at a huge basking shark, working it's way lazily along the channel. We watched it for five or ten minutes before it disappeared. An amazing sight and something I hadn't seen for over 30 years, since I saw them as a kid on holiday in Cornwall.

On the way back we stopped off at Dunboy Castle and as the rain had stopped, decided to have a quick session after conger. It didn't take long and I was into one, not massive, but my first shore caught conger. A few minutes later and The Turdster had one too. Happy days.

As we sat watching the rod tips we noticed a big black football shaped thing on the surface, about 50 yards off the rocks. It wasn't moving. "If it disappears, it's alive" The Turdster profoundly said. It did move and re surfaced several hundred yards out, this time with both fins out of the water. Another basking shark. We asked Paul at the B+B how many times he sees them a year ? Once or twice he said. What are the chances of us seeing two in a day in two different places ? We'd been very lucky.

The last day and we decided to go back to Dunboy, mainly because it was the most comfortable and probably the most beautiful place we'd fished. The Turdster totally outfished me, me having one inevitable dog and him having four conger and a decent pollack. A good time was had though, sitting in the sun, wondering why the feck I couldn't get a bite, while a total noddy was catching with ease ! I didn't really care, though, honest.

Turdster celebrating his success doing The Turdster Stomp.
Then it was time for the long trip back home. And it's always further on the way back.

Neil Young - O2 Arena - 17 June

It had been a couple of years since Neil Young had played in the UK. I'd seen him on the previous two UK tours and as both gigs had been as good as anything I'd ever seen, I immediately bought a couple of tickets when they went on sale in January.

Goozgog was surgically removed from his hermit like existence in Capel and ventured into The Big Smoke with me early Monday evening, wondering if we would be treated to another memorable night.

The gig was opened with a blistering version of "Love and Only Love" and thereafter the guitars shrieked, wailed and bled into the most glorious noise you'll ever hear. He was fanfeckingtastic. And that, as Forest Gump said, is all I've got to say about that.

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