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At the start for the week things were looking good for the Scarborogh Match the following weekend, the sea was still clear and the long range forecast was not bad, but typically it all changed in just a few days, winds changed and the sea lifted, not enormously but enough to add a bit of colour to the water which then ruled out lure fishing.

I have been ridiculously busy with work and home life so this was to be my first trip on the water in quite a while, only getting a few hours free on the Friday night after work to get all my gear together I was soon sorted with a few traces and my bait was in order. Alarm set for 6am and most of my gear packed in the car ready for the drive over in the morning.

Arriving at the car park quite a few kayakers were in the car park standing around having a chat, catching up with a few familiar faces and a few good friends, first things first, to the café for a big breakfast. Then on with rigging up for the days fishing.

The wind was fresh and there was a bit of fog hanging around but nothing to worry about, the wind was due to increase throughout the day so I was torn on where to fish, follow the crowds to some good ground to the south and battle the wind or head slightly north where the fishing might not be as good but have an easier paddle back, had to be to the south to where I believed the bigger fish would come from. Where I have caught some nice cod in the past.

The paddle did not take long, wind assisted, the sea bed was up and down and the a small gully close to where a few kayakers were anchored up but far enough away from them not to invade their space, I dropped anchor and settled into position, my two mates came over had a quick chat and settled into the area too. The wind was increasing the whole time we were out on the water and it was starting to get a bit choppy. That’s when I started to drift, I had thought the anchor had slipped or the weak link of the anchor had given, but somehow the anchor line had snapped and I had not put a spare anchor in. Luckily a good friend was close by and I tied off to him, not long after I had, he hooked into his first fist a nice cod of about 4lb, then I started to get bites as did most people in the area. My rod slammed over and there was something on the end but not big, a small codling which was not much bigger than the bait I was using. After returning the fish I put some fresh crab on the hook I flicked it back into the same area and the lead had only just touched bottom when the rod pulled round again, a better fight than last time and a nice cod was safely in the Cuda about the 3lb mark. Another friend came over for a quick chat then moved off to anchor close by, all of a sudden he was in the water and his kayak was upside down, quickly releasing my rope paddling over to assist in him getting back into the kayak as quick as possible, which he soon did then paddled back over to take up position at anchor again.

The conditions were getting worse all the time and then my reel seized up solid and I could not move it, luckily I had a second rod set up but decided that it was getting a bit too lumpy and headed back to the launch to see if it was more sheltered, closely followed by the lad who went in, the wind just kept increasing and gusting which made the paddle back twice as long and hard with waves crashing over the bow. Once back on the beach I could see just about everyone else heading back to the launch site too, it was starting to get a bit too lumpy to fish safely.

A good few people had caught and it seemed most fish were of about the same size, a couple in the 5-6lb bracket but the rest around the 3-5lb size. Back at the fishing club putting my fish in the scales at 3lb8oz which put me into 14th place which I was happy with after a tough few hours fishing, the winning spot went to a 6lb12oz Pollock too Martin Collison . The rest of the fish were all pretty much cod, a couple of flatties were caught and a bass was weighed in and a few returned. What was a tough day condition wise was a good days fishing for most and the match was cut short by a good few hours too. I was nice to get back onto the water and to catch up with everyone but its back to work for me now I just hope to be back out sooner rather than later.

Finally a big thank you to Dave, Ian, Fiona and everyone who help organize the event, the sponsors and the divers club for providing the safety boat which thankfully no one needed.

Thanks for reading, Mike