Last year I fished behind Filey Brigg systematically for the first time, trying to work out what makes it such a productive but frustrating mark. On its day it's hard to beat, but there can often be long patches where the tide doesn't seem to do much and the fishing is dead. Then all of sudden, you'll have half a dozen fish in the same number of drifts. It seems to be all about trying to work out the sweet spots, both in terms of depth (which varies quite a bit behind the Brigg), place and tide. I guess that's the same for every mark you fish anywhere, but the Brigg can be mystifying at times as to why the fish are not there.
The forecast on Windguru had the swell at a foot and wind speeds under 10mph. I should know by know that a) the Brigg seems to always generate its own little local weather spot, particularly for the wind that comes down the edge of the Brigg, and b) the back of the Brigg is always a tricky, sloppy, unpredictable sea state, even on the calmest of days. So it was on Saturday. I was out on the water for around 6am and the weather on the Bay side was quite nice. But as I rounded the corner of the Brigg, sure enough I started to see the waves kicking up ahead of me and even breaking beyond the bell buoy. Going round the corner is always the "stomach in your mouth" moment of the trip, as the waves come in several directions at once. If the tide is running at pace, there are generally standing waves to negotiate into the bargain, and the whole bit is one where you need to keep your wits about you as you paddle.
|Dark and gloomy, but plenty of birds about this year. Noticed quite a few puffins too.|
|All the fish were on my new weedless rigs, with a big bottom soft plastic weighted with an inline trolling sinker, topped by a string of smaller soft plastics. Cod as always, fell to the big soft plastic on the bottom.|
I hung around for a bit, but by now I had 6 good cod and a coalfish, and I felt that was enough for the day. Plus I was desperate for a p*ss and there's nowhere easy to do that round the back of the Brigg on a kayak, especially when half the world and his dog seemed to be out either fishing or walking! So I ran the gauntlet past the end of the Brigg, which for once had decent waves in my favour and I had a bit of nervous laugh surfing them for a few minutes until I was safely back in the calm waters of the Bay. One thing I love about the Stealth Profisha models is the built in rudder, it really does make a huge difference when you have to surf waves and it's an absolute joy to paddle in cross winds, which used to be the bane of my life trying to keep a straight course in the Scupper Pro.
|Rare shot of a cod bag for me, as the fish are still intact. Generally parts of them are feeding the crabs before I come home.|
Good luck to all those fishing.