This morning was simply a case of early bird catches the worm and with a start time of 4am I'm not overly surprised I was down there on my tod. It was dark when I arrived and walking along the path from the car park, I was greeted by the shining eyes of a herd of young bulls, luckily the opposite side of the fence to me. Conditions were pleasant with a light wind over my shoulder and a slight swell on, so I felt pretty confident of getting my target ray. As I peered over the tops of the rocks and looked down on the ledge I was after, I was disgusted at the amount of s*** that I could see. Whoever had been there had left a number of cans of fosters and red stripe - some half full, as well as 3-4 bait wrappers, a number of crisp/chocolate wrappers, plastic bags and more fag butts than I could ever imagine a group of people smoking in a fishing session. I hate fishing amongst crap so I bunged it all into two of the plastic bags they had left and began setting up my rods. p.s it took no more than 2 minutes to clean up, I just don't get the laziness of some people. Anyway rant over, on with the report. I opted for the usual 3ft pulley rigs with size 4/0 hooks and a large sandeel for bait with a 5oz gripper to ensure keeping it firmly on the bottom. It wasn't long before I had my first bite and in came a very lean and sorry looking doggy. Not what I wanted to see! The tide was still on the ebb though so I wasn't fishing the prime-time period just yet. The doggies came in numbers for the first hour and I think I'd had 8 before first light. It was soon to stop though as on low water the doggies disappeared and I had a tiny rattle. I left it for a while thinking nothing of it and eventually when reeling in I found the culprit, a little pin whiting lol. Again not what I had come for but I decided to make full use of it and chucked it out in hope that something big would have it. My decision to do this payed off after just 5 minutes and as I watched the rod bang over and the ratchet burst into life I thought it would be a gooden. It felt big, staying deep and was giving me a good tussle. I didn't want to rush it but shortly after it was in sight. It wasn't the monster I had imagined to see though, instead a thorny of 5lb 6oz (top left) that had been hooked through the wing.
Oh well, I'll just have to wait for that biggie and hope all these hours I'm putting in come up trumps in the end. It was now around 6.30am so I decided to re-bait the rods for the last time and whack them out as far as I could. After a further 30mins and no bites I started to reel in my first rod. I had as good as packed it away when out of the corner of my eye I noticed my other rod had started arching over. Striking in an instant the hooks were set but it didn't feel ray like. I was convinced that a doggie was gonna pop up but as I caught sight of it under water I knew it was a small ray. It was only when it surfaced though that I realised it was a little spotted ray of around 1.5lb (species 27) You can't tell from my expressions in the picture due to tiredness but I was absolutely chuffed. I only managed a single spotted last year so its nice to get another and tick it off the list so early in the year. I stuck to the plan though and finished packing up before heading to the car. Now I'm back at home writing this report before most people are even out of bed lol although I think I may just have a few hours kip now to re-energise myself for what is innevitaby going to be more fishing tonight :)