Beach Fishing – Micro adventure

Growing up on the Suffolk coast I have always been interested in beach fishing, there has been many years of biking home and not being able to feel my fingers due to the cold.

I always remember going to the bait shop on a Saturday and buying scrap lugworm as I couldn’t afford fresh bait, waiting for it to start getting dark and head down to the North Beach and try my hardest to catch something.

Learning to fish

I had to teach myself how to fish from the beach.  From an early age I started to enjoy fishing and with no one in my family that had this past time it was a case of reading books, watching John Wilson every Thursday night on ITV (God rest his sole, Flags at half mast) and learning by my mistakes.

Nowadays its a lot easier with all of the content on YouTube

As a teenager earning £4.50 per week on a paper round it was really quite expensive to go beach fishing due to the price of the bait and having to keep buying weight due to the hefts in the area I used to fish.

Living in Cyprus

Whilst living in Cyprus I worked as a Scuba Diving instructor and spent a lot of my spare time spearfishing for Octopi and boat fish for Tuna.

micro adventure beach fishing
My years in Cyprus gave me a great opportunity to fish around the sunny coast of Larnaca.

So when I relocated back to the UK in 2007 the first thing was to get myself some sea fishing gear and start fishing the winter of the Suffolk and Norfolk beaches.

micro adventure beach fishing
First Cod back in 2008 just when I had moved back to the UK.

The first year was brilliant loads of Cod.  I was regularly filling the freezer with fish and then it started to dwindle to the point when I didn’t fish last year at all.

 

 

 

First Day this year on the beach fishing.

So last Saturday I was free from work my eldest has been nagging me to take him out beach fishing.

We finally got out onto the beach.

Fishing is a great way to participate in a micro adventure whether its all day, all weekend or just a few hours out walking the dog.

The weather was forecast sunny with a 10mph Easterly wind which was ok for the beach we where to fish from.  We where heading to Kessingland beach.

After collecting bait, servicing gear and making a few traces up we headed to the beach around 15:00 for a 17:30 High tide.  I always like to fish the tide up and down.

We arrived at the beach to find the wind slightly stronger than 10mph and looking at the sea it looked really rough.

I thought “Well we are here, we’ve got bait so lets drown some worms”.  There was no chance to delay it a day as the weather was changing for the worse so we got on with it and headed North along the beach.

There was a few people beach fishing and looking at the state of the sea I didn’t think the gear would hold bottom.

Talking to someone fishing already he said he was catching Whitting and Bass so at least they where catching.

Setting was quite difficult as the wind was onshore but we got the shelter up, rods setup and started to fish.

We where getting a fish every cast mostly Pin Whitting.  We managed to take home about 12 decent sized Whitting.

Jan caught a small Bass and before we knew it it was time to light the lamp and start fishing in the dark.

This fishing is my favourite.  I love fishing of the beach in winter, yes its cold but as long as you have the right clothes there is something magical about winter night fishing.

Here’s the video of the session we had.

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Covehithe the road to nowhere

road to nowhere
Covehithe the road to nowhere
Looking North

I regularly visit Covehithe the road to nowhere and today was a visit back to this windswept part of the Suffolk coastline.

The plan was to walk along the cliff down to Benacre Broad and south a little way to the area I normally setup and have breakfast.

Beautiful morning, clear skies, sun shinning and hardly any wind.

Walking along the ‘road to nowhere’ where nature has taken over the road that used to supply the village before it was lost to sea I notice that that Hawthorns are heavily laden with berries

(a sign of a harsh winter to come so the wifes tale says).

On the way in I stopped at a Sweet Chestnut tree that was also heavily laden but the nuts hadn’t developed into anything (perhaps due to the extreme heat / lack of rain this summer).

The view North.

As I reach the cliff and look North there is a little Northerly ground swell pushing some waves onto the beach.

Looking at the beach the pebbles have all been replaced by golden sand all the way to the cliff.  This shows that a large northerly ground swell has recently being hitting the coast.

Heading North I can see where the trees that lined the cliff have been removed by Natural England as a project to correct the Suffolk Coastal Path along the cliff and down to Southwold.

Currently the path has to meander from the coast at Benacre Broad, missing Covehithe and along the road to get to Southwold.

On reaching the beach at Benacre from Covehithe the road to nowhere I take some time filming this micro adventure.

Heading South to the area where the trees are in the sand to build a fire and have some coffee and breakfast.

breakfast on the beachBreakfast on the beach.

I was having a cook up with a friend here once when another dog walker said “what a great idea and what a lovely place to sit and have breakfast!”

And it is, you can’t beat cooking outside especially in a spot like this, no crowds, sound of the sea, beautiful day and a good hearty breakfast.

Utilising the trees that are on the beach I gather some fire wood, sweep out a hole for the fire (this also helps as a wind break, the sand is swept, building into a mound which blocks the wind).

Eagle Products 70cl KettleBreakfast

Using a foldable metal grill the Kettle goes on, the kettle I use is Norwegian made by a company call Eagle Products they can be brought in the U.K.

Out comes the frying pan, bacon, mushrooms and the egg sits waiting to be cracked when the bacon is done.

covehitheI like to brew as I call it Cowboy Coffee which is literally just Coffee grounds straight into the kettle once its boiled, leave a few minutes to brew and settle then carefully pour.

Whilst all of this is cooking the Dog sits there knowing she gets her bit of bacon and the frying pans pre-wash is done by the dog before cleaning out using the sand.

Once cleared away its time for the Dog to have her swim and head back home.

 

 

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Covehithe Suffolk’s untouched coastline.

Suffolk’s untouched coastline, Covehithe.

Suffolk’s untouched coastline Covehithe.  Many of my pictures on Instagram are taken at this spot so I thought I’d introduce you to the area.

I spend a lot of time here, I was training for the Fjallraven Classic along this route from Kessingland to Dunwich.

Covehithe beach looking North towards Benacre.

The area is called Covehithe which is located between Kessingland and Southwold.

I have always had a fascination with this part of the Suffolk coastline it’s the ruggedness and wild wind swept cliffs that I find appealing. It’s also down to the fact that this area of the UK is so full of candy floss and static caravans that when you find an area that is completely wild it sticks out.

Pill Box which was placed along the coast as defence during the 2nd world war now fell to the sea.

I spent a lot of my childhood exploring and fishing on this beach and can remember the road to the cliff being much longer. Coastal erosion is a massive issue here where up to 4.5m of cliff is lost to the sea every year.

So saying that since I’ve been visiting around 130 metres have gone into the sea.

In the Doomsday survey the hamlet was known as Nordhalla and was recorded with 13 settlers. It takes its modern name from the de Cove family who held land there during the Middle Ages and hithe from old English meaning quay for loading small vessels. Like it’s nearby neighbour Dunwich it had fallen to the wrath of the North Sea and started to be devoured by coastal erosion and the town declined.

The Church of St Andrew

The church of St Andrew fell into ruin and locals where using its walls as building materials.

Currently a small Church is within the Church ruins.

What I love about this coastline is it is always changing unveiling things hidden from time for a few years or for along time.

 

Regularly wrecks are uncovered for a while and then covered back up, foundations from houses appear out of the cliff then end up on the beach to be covered up later on. It’s a wild coastline we don’t have that much wild coast so this is a haven.

 

 

Speaking to someone from natural England earlier today as they where clearing trees on the headland the plan is to develop a path way from Benacre to extend the Suffolk coastal path to Southwold as at present it meanders around Covehithe to Southwold.

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Micro Adventures

We are all limited with time due to work, family and other time consuming things, so utilising what precious time we all have to spending it with our families which then gives great memories and also teaches the little ones a thing or two.
I have recently been spending more of the little spare time I have more effectively by creating little micro adventures for us all to enjoy.
Micro adventures are a great way at utilising time for yourself giving you more time to really relax and unwind by doing things instead of wasting that precious time.
So I plan micro adventures for myself and also for the family. Not every member of the family will enjoy the same adventure. So as I work shifts I plan ‘me time’ when the wife is at work and the kids are at school.
Turn a dog walk into a lunch and a coffee in the woods or on the beach.
Even if you haven’t got a dog a walk out will do great for your mentally. I have a Day bag I use which houses everything I need for a micro adventure. I carry a tarp, fire lighting kit, wood gas stove, pot, water bottle, coffee making kit, snacks, length of paracord, knife and my wood carving tools.

I’ll then walk the dog and spend some time just relaxing between the trees making a brew and pretending that I’m good at carving.
Even throw up a tarp and practice fire lighting skills, the last dog walk out I took my youngest and we lit a fire using Birch bark and a fire steel so he learnt how to use natural tinder to light a fire.

Micro adventure can be anything really: geocaching, foraging, animal tracks, wood carving, paddling down the river, outdoor cooking etc.
We regularly go to the beach after school and will cook our meal on the beach just to be outside.

Fishing is a great way to get out and spend sometime outside. I will carry a fishing bag and walk the dog along the river and spin for pine whilst walking along. It’s not always productive but get to see loads just standing there and walking along the river

A jetboil in my bag and some coffee adds a little more to the adventure.

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