So I creep down to the waters edge. First light hasn’t appeared yet, but there’s just enough light from the half-moon to allow me to move across the reef without using my headtorch. I assembled my rod at home last night, rigs prepared, knots tied neatly, so nothing to do but thread my crab onto my hook.
I’ve timed it nicely, as the tide is ‘just’ turning.
An underarm lob is all that’s needed, onto a small patch of sand I know lies in that gulley. I’m travelling light, just some rig materials in my pocket, & a small plastic waist-mounted container for my bait.
Holding the rod, I tune into everything around me. Every plop, splash & trickle. I notice small creatures mooching around near my feet, and can hear their movements perfectly. I’m able to see further & further away as my night vision bites-in. The sound of the light swell breaking on the outer reef booms in the silence. I can taste salt in my mouth, the smell of the low water kelp fills my nostrils. There’s probably no-one within a mile of me. Perfect.
I tune out of my environment, and I tune in to my line. I know exactly what the line is doing. I can feel every movement of my bait in the gulley. The incoming tide is moving my bait. Experience has told me that it could happen any time now. Just wait.
The tiny shock shooting up my line tells me she’s arrived. Wait … wait …
Another shock shoots up my line, followed by another. I lift the rod, strike, the rod arches over !!!
She’s only 6ft away from me, so the fight is brief, & I overpower her. She’s at my feet, a beautiful sight in the low light. The first hints of dawn are appearing over the cliffs in the distance.
I land 3 more before dawn arrives fully, then I leave. The walk back to the car is long but I don’t notice. Complete & utter satisfaction.