Monday 27 June 2011

More Pollacks

It's my birthday and I spend it fishing with my brother in West Wales at a favourite "mark" which involves a difficult climb down a cliff on a promontory overlooking St Brides Bay (my picture shows the view higher up looking west to the scattering of rocks south of Ramsey Island). But the reward is being able to cast into deep water and so increase the chance of good size fish - pollack, mackerel, disappointing wrasse or highly-prized bass - especially in not so good weather and modest tides, both conditions applying today.

We find an elderly lady already down there using sand-eel under a float. She explains that she is a widow whose husband on his death-bed earnestly begged her to promise him not to climb down this very cliff after he was gone, an understandable request as it is a dangerous spot. But she was clear at that time that she would climb the cliff in future to fish. So I said "Did you tell him a white lie to put him at his ease?" She was surprised by this and said that on the contrary she told him she could not make the promise. On reflection I think she made the right ethical call on this. It is a mistake to over-indulge people nearing death about matters in the future. She may have given her husband a little anxiety but I dare say he respected her honesty. And of course she could go ahead and take the risk of climbing the cliff in future (as she had for some years) without a qualm.

Feathers don't work so I try a rag-worm 5 feet under a float. Nothing happens when I cast it 30 yards and leave it for 15 minutes but when I reel it in it is grabbed violently when it is just a few feet from the rocks. The rod bends double when I strike and a huge pollack is landed with some difficulty, sufficient for my and Mrs B's dinner. That's all we catch but the old lady very kindly gives us two pollack which my brother takes home for his dinner.