I thought I would try fishing over high tide on the beach that I fished Tuesday night. I got there at about 5.15 pm and set up two rods both with 4/0 pennel pulleys baited with fresh crab. There was a good surf, much better than the previous night but it was very cold with a bitter westerly wind. My hands were numb after handling the wet crabs and it took a while to thaw my fingers out.
About 15 minutes later, just as the light was beginning to go, I had a sudden sharp pull on one of the rods, I grabbed it and struck into a reasonably strong fish which I reckoned had to be a bass. After a few minutes I hauled it out of the surf. Sure enough it was a 47 cm bass.
After that it got very quite for a long time, apart from another coalfish and a very small codling. It was a clear night just illuminated by a narrow cresent moon and a multitude of stars but too cold to be sitting out admiring the universe and watching motionless rod tips. So at 8 pm, half an hour after high tide, I decided to pack up, reached for the first rod but found that the line had gone slack. I hadn't noticed a bite earlier. I reeled in a lot of slack line before feeling some resistance, then felt a strong tug as the fish began to fight. It put up a good struggle as I got it in close and eventually I could see a glint of silver splashing about in the foamy surf. I eased it in a little further and on to the gravel. It was a better bass, with a length of 57 cm and a weight of 4 lbs.
I fished on for another half an hour, had another coalfish before before packing up, and heading home to thaw out in front of the fire. It was a reasonable session for late January, with two bass, three coalfish and a codling.