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Not so smooth operater..

Owing to the constant and wearing wind, and the fact that we like to diversify from time to time, some bait fishing was scheduled…Target this time was Smoothounds which we get a great run of every summer. It’s been a good few years since we last fished for the ‘Smuts’, and I was very much looking forward to the fight you get from these powerhouse fish. Now, in keeping with the way we have been doing things lately, we wanted to fish as sportingly as possible, not that they are’nt sporting on standard beach gear, but we wanted to really make it fun! Bass rods in the 1-4 oz would be the choice of weapon, along with fixed spool reels loaded with strong braid. Good quality Crab was sourced as this is the Smoothound bait par excellence, and off we went to our chosen mark last night. Things were looking good and I felt confident as we tackled up the rods. All the rods signalled some interest in the baits right from the first cast, but were more like Dogfish bites than Smoothie bites, just small taps, rather than the rod wrenching over and the reel screaming! It wasn’t long however before Mr H was the first to wallop into the target species, and after a few minutes of playing a good strong fish a nice size Smut was landed. The excitement rose as we congratulated him on a nice specimen, and we turned our attention back to our own rods in anticipation of some further action, because when the Hounds are on the hunt they normally do so in packs and the sport can be fast and furious! Mr B was the next to recieve a good bite, though he wasn’t paying attention at that moment and he missed the bite when I yelled at him that his rod was bouncing about in the rest! Anyway, jammy so and so that he is the same thing happened again a few minutes later and once again I had to shout at him that his rod was doing the fandango! This time luckily the fish was already on and so it was his turn to do battle with an angry mini shark. Once again the fish tussled for several minutes, with his Bass rod displaying a serious bend, I grabbed some action shots while he played the fish, and Mr H waded out to grab it as it came to shore. Photo’s done, I turned my attention back to my own rod and wacked out another Crab bait, but something was wrong, the 4oz lead was bouncing merrily along in the tide, strange I thought, but it turned out that the tide was slightly earlier than we had anticipated, DOH! 
That was it for that spot as when the tide runs here there is nothing to do but pack up and go home as the strength of the flow is tremendous and even 8oz would stuggle to hold in the flow, and besides that the weed that collects on the line will break the lead out.
I felt a bit dejected, and I think my friends were sympathetic as they suggested fishing a bay around the corner out of the main flow, chances of a decent Smut were thin here but there are normally some school Bass about willing to take a bait. Not long after casting out I recieved quite a sharp tap on the rod tip, winding down I hooked into what we thought would be a little schoolie, but in fact it turned out to be a Smoothound…probably the smallest one in the area and couldn’t have weighed more than half a pound or so!! We all laughed but at least I hadn’t blanked and had caught the target species, I mean you can’t always odds the size of fish can you?! Maybe we should target these babies on the LRF gear…now that would turn a few heads!

Mr H’s Zziplex bends into an angry Hound

Mr B taking the strain with a glorious sunset adding to the atmosphere

The end result, a good few pounds of sheer muscle and attitude!,( and the fish aint bad either!! ).

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