• Venue: The Tidal Dorset Stour, Tuckton
  • Swim: By the Hire Boats on the Christchurch bank
  • Time: 19:45 to 21:30
  • Weather: Slightly better than yesterday, still, cloudy with some sunny spells and a fair bit of cloud. Tracy and Darren may have may have managed to get out the caravan and get the kids on the beach today!

Obviously I am not deluded enough to assume anyone reads this drivel closely enough to be aware the my last post closed with me discussing my choices for this evening. Was it to be watching my son bat and keep in a mid-week friendly or taking advantage of high tide at Tuckton. This post is the clue that in the end my selfish instincts won and I went fishing. Maybe that is fair enough, as by a long chalk I don’t regret any of the time I have spent watching either of our offspring play sport (cricket and football for the lad, mainly rugby for his big sister) but all things move on and it has been a good few years since ‘Dad’s Cab’ was needed.

If yesterday had been an attempt to head somewhere different, other than the fact I walked around to the opposite bank of the inlet, this as almost a carbon copy of the session I had here about a fortnight ago. Other detail changes were that this time I had bread with me and, aware that I had lost a decent fish at dusk last time, I upped the line strength and hook size:

  • Tackle: The glass fibre Milbro match rod, 6lb line to a size 12 hook on 5lb to nylon
  • Method: Over depth float fishing on the drop with a SB large quill
  • Bait: Red maggots, brandling/maggot and bread flake
  • Ground Bait: Loose fed maggots and pearl barley

The advantages of the far bank are that firstly as it is dead end you are less likely to get passers by behind you. Well that in theory at least! In reality there were surprisingly few people about for August and not a huge amount of river traffic. The second advantage is that it still allows you to fish the inlet, but rather than just a 180 degree swim, sitting at the end of the dock gives you roughly 270 degrees of water to fish into. Consequently I fed loose feed two spots; one off of the end of the dock downstream to where the Wick Ferry is moored overnight and the other upstream into the inlet towards the moored hire boats. Whilst this wasn’t one of the classic Solent Double high Tides I was fishing at the top of the tide and the water was virtually static.

Although for me a size 12 hook is at the top end of my range for maggot fishing my plan was to start with triple maggots in the hope of enticing a blank avoiding small fish before alternating between brandings and bread in the hope of something bigger. There was no activity towards the moored ferry but casting back in to the inlet produced small knocks. At this point I became aware of a chap sat behind me on a mobility scooter intently watching my float. Oh I hope when it is my turn I have the same patience, but I fear I’m not built that way. We starting chatting and I had a better bite and landed a roach that was about as good a fish as a roach that doesn’t need netting can be. In quick order I then lost a similar roach at the bank and missed the best bite of all whilst I was talking over my shoulder. Oh well, I can hardly begrudge an old boy a bit of company. From then on the pattern of the session was bits (smaller roach and bleak) on maggots whilst I couldn’t get any interest when using bread or worms. The fry scattered on a couple of occasions so I assume perch or possibly jack pike were about and after I had packed the rod away something big rolled on the surface. It was fairly dark by that point so I would have needed a starlight on my float to still be fishing.

To explain the title, in an ideal world, my favourite waters would be estate lakes and small streams (the nom de peche Sidestream Bob isn’t completely random) but there is a fascination to tidal waters. By nature they are capricious and the tide adds another variable and I genuinely believe that if I were to go back tomorrow at the same time virtually anything from mullet to bream to nothing at all could be in the same spot. A few years before this blog started the Tidal Stour was one of my regular haunts and I think my interest in what the stretch holds has been piqued again.

Lessons learnt; I guess it will be a fortnight until a similar tide coincides with the evening but I wonder if I should have ground baited and fished the hook bait hard on the bottom. However, salinity in tidal waters will vary with depth so there is a logic to fishing with a slow dropping bait.

Next steps; having been fishing two days running I think the garden and DIY is calling. Hopefully I’ll get out again at the end of the week.

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