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Caught Up - And All At Sea - 04/07/17

We had an opportunity to try and fish a little known wreck half way to Lundy this week as the tide was only 4.1m, which meant we could fish through using just 2lb of lead (not much in the Bristol Channel).

The day started off well, we got into postion, dropped the anchor so the baits would be right beside the wreck, but we all got snagged which didn't seem right based on the accuracy of the anchoring against the wreck using the echo sounder. We decided to move another 20m uptide but couldn't lift the anchor either, it was stuck fast in one of the major shipping lanes.

It turned out that we were caught on a line of lobster pots, which was so long we just couldn't see the floats at either end, but eventually managed to see the floats with binoculars as they appeared and disappeared. The line was right across the front of the wreck just where we wanted to fish, tying us into a shipping lane. When we saw a big cargo ship heading towards us, we had to contact the coastguard at Milford Haven to make sure he had seen us and changed course a little, but all handled very efficiently without panic, no cutting the rope and running for it. We managed to contact the lobster fisherman who said he would return the anchor when he raised his pots as he could lift 2 tonnes, far more than we could by hand.

Whilst this was going on, I hit what was probably a conger and got pulled back into the wreck which I just couldn't stop, then had my best tope to date, around 30lbs.

This was followed by Graham hooking what he thought was the pots again, so he really pulled hard on the line with a piece of wood to either pull it free or break it, and discovered it was a conger that had wrapped itself around the pot rope which he then got to the boat. His first ever conger, we were pleased for him and for the fact that we didn't catch it!! All the fish (dogfish excepted) were unhooked at the side of the boat with the T bar as we were using circle hooks to prevent deeper hooking.

Then, to even things up, Jonathan then caught his first tope of around 20lbs. However, we were losing too much tackle in the ropes so slackened off to fish just the other side of the wreck. However, all this did was attract the dogfish lying in the lea of the wreck sheltering from the tide. In 150' of water, lifting fish and a 2lb weight, plus regularly checking bait became hard work, so we eventually called it a day and returned to port.

In a month or so, the tide will be even lower so we may try again, but will be making a call to make sure the lobster pots aren't there this time