As low tide was about 8.45 pm I decided to have a bait fishing session rather than go lure fishing since the amount of the rising tide in daylight was going to be limited. Dusk at the inital push in of the tide at the chosen mark can often be very productive. However, when I got to the beach there was just a very gentle surf. I took a spinning rod with me too with the intention of lure fishing close to the rocks before dark.
I set up two rods with 3/0 and 4/0 pennel pulleys, both baited with razor. I didn't have time to dig any lug or rag earlier in the day, although I think the rag would have been more suited to the calm conditions than the razor.
From the start I was getting tugs, presumably small flounder munching on the bait. Then I spotted a large splash to my right and about 35 m out - bass chasing sandeels? I fired out a Feed Shallow in the general direction of the splash, but no takers. Then I spotted another larger splash this time to my left and again I cast out some lures toward the disturbance to no avail. When I got back to the bait rods I noticed small tugs on one of the rods, picked it up, and began to retrieve. There was definitely a fish on, but not a bass. It was a rather plump 38 cm flounder.
A little later I had a good knock on the other rod, grabbed it and struck. At first I though I had a small bass as it was pulling strongly but as I reeled in the fight weakened and it turned out to be a dogfish - my first of 2011.
As the tide began to push in more strongly I had another good bite on the same rod - but it was a second dogfish. Its nice to get a dogfish to add to the annual species list but one is enough. Every time I hook one I think it could be a bass, there is a rush of adreneline and the heart starts to beat faster, then there is the disappointment as I haul it out of the surf and see the characteristic sideways twisting of a dog on the sand.
I was about to move the rod stand back when I had a strong tug on one of the rods. I struck and started to retrieve. But this didn't feel like a fish, more like a clump of kelp with a rock attached, although the beach was weed free. As it began to emerge out of the surf I wasn't sure what I had, then as I approached I realized it was a large spider crab! It's the first time I have got one on that beach.
I had one more small flounder after that, about 23 cm, and a lot of nibbles from small fish. If the fishing had been better I would have probably stuck it out to high tide at 2.50 am but decided to pack up at about 1.20 am and get an "early" night.