The sound of the sea drawing back the shingle, the screech of gulls, the smell of the sea breeze are a distant memory but how I yearn to feel the salt air on my face with a rod in hand whilst looking out across an emerald sea.
As the saying goes ‘Time and Tide Waits For No Man’. Just over a month ago my work took me close to the port of Ramsgate, a jewel of the Kent coast. Over a century ago Londoner’s flocked in their thousands to take in the sea air and bathe. The promenade would be full of ladies and gents in their finest dresses and suites and most men wore a hat even in the height of summer.
I remember in the early sixties being taken to Ramsgate by my Grandparents. I recall the trip taking hours in an old Cortina Mk 1, with it’s distinctive rear lights. We were also privileged to have a webasto roof fitted.
I remember the grandeur of the buildings, formal gardens and size of the port. In some ways nothing has changed other than that the buildings took in need of some tlc, the shops have that run down feeling about them with most being Charity offerings, however there is that quintessential charm about it.
Having concluded my meeting I drove down to the sea front. In the distance the vista offered that blight of our seascape of rows of wind turbines, I guess it heralds the change to harnessing power and all that but they are an eye sore.
The sea was flat calm and at high tide. Along the silver painted railing were recreational fisherman casting out their leads to over 60 yards, the white splash indicating their distance. I engaged in conversation with them to enquire if the bass were showing. They responded by saying that it was mainly flatfish showing with the odd Dog Fish taking the lugworm bait. Whilst stood there mid conversation they broke away to check the twitching tip of the rod and then pulled hard to hook the fish, another Dog Fish cane to the surface and then up and over the silver painted railing.
It was great to see these gents using vintage rods and vintage ABU reels. Modified Rockets and tweaked 6000 series. Mastering one of these reel and getting good distance is an art but looking at these reels glint in the sun put a smile on my face.
I then decided it was time to head home after my salt air fix and on my way back to the car I cane across Fishermans Corner. The shop was full off everything you need and everything you don’t, as my wife say’s ‘Fishing Tackle shops catch fishermen’. The shop has been run by the same guy for several decades, pleasant in manner and knowledgeable.