The ‘Fab Two’ (not Lennon and McCartney) beetle off for a spot of rockhopping – they love it… yeah, yeah, yeah!
Wrasse and garfish from the Purbecks.
Having spent a lot of my fishing time heading westwards, well away from my traditional rock-hopping haunts, a trip closer to home to one of my favourite marks along the Purbecks was well overdue.
Both my enthusiasm and adrenaline were on a high as I picked up Steve Lawrence from Poole en route to what is, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque coastlines in the country.
Our final destination would be Little Hedbury, a disused quarry tucked midway between Dancing Ledge and Winspit. I knew from past experience it was one heck of a walk with some steep hills to test our stamina.
On this occasion we parked close to the Square and Compass pub (an excellent watering hole at Worth Matravers for those visiting the area) and then it was a case of donning the hiking boots.
Normally, I would recommend travelling light when heading on a magical mystery tour to these more remote marks but on this occasion we were laden like a couple of packhorses. We had all the usual heavy-duty rock-hopping gear but, due to a shortage of fresh mackerel, we had our float tackle with us to help supplement the bait box.
While many may find the walk gruelling, I really enjoy ambling down through the wooded glades with the buzzards and peregrine falcons swirling overhead, and just to add to the enjoyment there are always plenty of rabbits, deer and other wildlife to see. For the majority of country lads, such as myself, the fishing almost comes second but, once at our rocky platform, my mind rapidly changes to a fishing mode.
As we made out final approach down the narrow, winding track leading into the depths of the quarry I was buzzing with excitement. It had been nearly two years since my last outing to this little hidden gem.
This was Steve’s first trip to Little Hedbury, so he was just as enthusiastic as I was. As we rounded the corner, his eyes lit up as he got the first glimpse of the quarry – certainly a new experience compared to his usual flounder haunts in Poole Harbour.
While it’s a fairly lofty perch, Little Hedbury offers an excellent, flat and safe fishing platform, ideal for casting. On the negative side, it does catch the wind, resulting in big
A lovely-coloured, big, bold ballan
Steve Lawrence with a garfish