I felt like time was running out slightly for me to get into the small eyed rays this year, as there had already been reports of good catches since mid August. The plan was a short session almost straight after work to fish an hour or so up then two down. However several events beyond my control meant I arrived at the beach about half an hour after high.
As I stomped over the sand dunes I saw a head torch to the right fishing in the channel, but I headed away to the left, expecting an empty beach. On turning the corner though there was another torch an a familiar face, Richard, who was on the beach last year and had a beast of a ray just over 10lb, and was also there a few weeks back when the fishing was very poor.
After a quick chat I was set up and cast out, going slightly easy as the line was not bedded on the reel properly from last session. Wind was strong and straight in our faces but thankfully it was just about fishable, with not too much weed in the water. 30 mins past and not much happening so it was out with fresh baits, this time a bit more welly in the casts. I was moving my gear down the beach a bit when there was a noticeable pull down easily distinguished from the waves followed by plenty of slack line. The fish gave a good tussle and initially I thought I had a nice bass on, until I caught a flash of the eyes in my head torch and I knew it was a ray. I got it closer and could see it was a small eyed, mission accomplished. I nipped over to Richard, who did the honours with his camera, as mine had a flat battery.
As I was returning the ray Richard had a bite on, and as I went back to my gear I could see my other line had gone slack and I was in again, and both fish landed at the same time. Another quick photo and I was running back to my rods to get cast out again. What felt like a bit too long passed without another bite and sure enough baits came back untouched. A move down the beach and one last round of casts had the same result, it seemed as quickly as the rays appeared they had gone again.
I wasn’t complaining though with target caught. They are fun to catch from the beach, giving a different fish than when catching them in the deep water so if the weather allows I might be back while they are still around in numbers.