Rockling is the 'catch of the day' for Stewart Calligan sea fishing in East Yorkshire

Sea fret, a cold North Easterly and a lively swell greeted me on the beach south of Mappleton in East Yorkshire.

Rockling is unfairly described as slugs

Out of the forecast hot sun I managed to find a beach where the fret was hanging off my eyebrows and dripping off my rod tips.

Contending with a clammy sea mist, poor visibility and cold hands I was still pleased to be out in the fresh air.

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Fishing close to a rock groyne, I had a good bite on lugg worm tipped with a mussel. There was a weed problem and every cast produced a fine red frond-type weed mixed with a green algae that clung to the line.

A large rockling had managed to find the bait through all the weed brought in by the Easterly wind. It was one of the best rockling I had ever caught, about a foot long, it wrapped its muscled body around my wrist.

Scaleless, slimy and eel like in appearance it did not deserve to be called a ‘slug,’ as most anglers do – not to criticise slugs, by the way, who get rid of decaying garden material, including your hostas and lettuce and then provide a nice meal for birds, frogs and toads, etc.

The next cast produced the smallest rockling ever to manage to swallow a size 1/0 hook and worm.

There was the slightest quiver to the rod end and a very small, but perfectly formed rockling was hanging on to the worm for dear life. These rockling were quite handsome fellows when I took the time to look closely.

Brown/orange and black markings on a khaki background to deter predators from above and a lighter underbelly to blend into the sky when viewed from below.

The inland sun had pushed back the fret and it was ‘cracking the tiles’ as I packed up.

The smell of the beach gives me a lift and whether it is the decomposing shore detritus or the salty sea spray, I love it. All the ancient mariners and anglers will have experienced the same smell from the powerful and mysterious sea.

Some people say they can smell forthcoming rain or a storm and it could be the storm downdraft bringing ozone from high altitude.

The only time I smelt something strangely metallic was in a small fishing boat off the coast of Cannes, south of France. It was lightning all around us and looked to be hitting the sea on the horizon and sending up clouds of steam or water or were my eyes deceiving me? My guide wasted no time in getting back to harbour despite the fact that we were catching Bonito, the tuna-like fish around the 15lbs mark.

Away from the beach, the Lobster Luncheon Club had its eighth meeting and I had the great privilege of being elected church warden at my local church. A fisher of fish to a fisher of men – and women.