Monday, 8 December 2014

Whiting and Match Fishing

Just a quick update of what’s been going on over the last few weeks, no lure fishing but more Chesil bait bashing, which to be honest has had mixed results. I’ve picked up a few more cod but had two trips completely wiped out by Whiting. The latest of which was last Saturday, I’d arrived early with a plan to fish the western end of the beach for a late plaice (they had been a few coming out in the week), and with clearish looking water I was pretty confident. The Whiting had other ideas though, absolutely annihilating my baits within seconds of them being in the water and they did not let up throughout the tide. I counted them, just out of curiosity and had 54, uninterrupted even by pout or poor cod so the plaice did not stand a chance. Still was a fantastic day to be out with non stop sunshine which is not bad for December and made up for the poor fishing.  
What was more successful was my dabble into the match fishing world. 2 weeks ago I fished the Bristol Channel Federation of Sea Anglers (BCFSA) winter open which is a measure and release style match fished between Minehead and Blue Anchor. Match fishing is not my thing at all but there was a team element to the match and a few guys from my club wanted to fish so I went along to make up the numbers.

I opted to fish the Minehead town beach, and started of badly , firstly by returning a 20cm + whiting unrecorded (I underestimated the size and assumed it was under the 20cm minimum size) then by blowing up both my reels, which is something I rarely so wasted about half an hour re-spooling and re-tacking. Despite these set-backs though I still recorded 270cm of dogs and whiting which was enough to give me 7th overall, not too bad out of over 100 anglers and would have been 6th if I had measured that first whiting!

I have to be honest and say I really enjoyed the match, it was tough fishing in cold windy conditions but keeping concentrating for 4 hours and fishing hard was a real challenge. I might have a crack a few more.

I’m definitely getting my mojo back for bait fishing though, so much so I have just picked up a couple of 2nd hand Century rods and matched them up with Penn Fathoms for the Bristol Channel, which I’ve not fished for a few years now but fancy having a few sessions over the winter as there are a few codling around.

Anyway, that’s it for now, not sure I’ll get out again before Christmas so have a good one and I’ll be back in 2015!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chesil Cod Fever

Anyone who keeps half an eye on the various sources of catch reports for the famous Chesil Beach, cannot failed to have noticed that it’s been fishing really well for the last few months and in particular the last month, when the number of codling that have been coming off beach has been astronomical with people taking bags of 30 + fish in a session.

These are not big fish generally, being around 2.5lbs on average but what they are lacking in size they are making up in numbers.
So with this in mind I headed down to the Eastern end of the beach on Saturday morning, I went for the early morning shift arriving at around 6:30 am as I knew it would get very busy later in the day. Even at this early hour though, there were lots of anglers on the beach and I still had to hike for 30 mins or so to find a bit of space.

Conditions were pretty good with a nice sea running, although the water was clearer that I would have liked. To be honest it actually looked more bassy than Coddy and I found myself wishing I’d bought my lure gear! Still the clear water didn’t affect the fishing that much and I had bites from the off. The codling were soon coming ashore, fish typical of this year’s class, at around 2-3lbs each. I think I ended up with around 10 or so in total, most coming on fresh blow lug. Not bad for a few hours fishing but quite quiet compared to some of the bags that have been taken here recently.

Amongst the codling though I managed a lovely black bream which was a PB by a mile, weighing in at around 2lb 10oz. I have tried for years to catch a decent bream from Chesil so to get one at last was a real bonus and left me feeling pretty chuffed with the session.
I packed up around mid-day, content with my mornings work and having kept 3 cod and the bream, I had enough fish to weigh me down for that horrible hike back across the shingle to the car park (anyone who has fished Chesil will understand!)

There’s a couple of pics below, I’m loving my DSLR camera but there is so much to learn, I’m taking it one step at a time however but am determined to improve my fishy photography!
So that’s it for now, hoping to get a few more trips in before Xmas, maybe the weather will settle down again and these will be bass trips!


Friday, 3 October 2014

Back in the room......

OK, one year on from my last post so thought it was time to re-launch my blog! Why? Well mainly because I have just been given a new DSLR camera and I want somewhere to showcase my amazing fishy photos that I’m no doubt going to be taking with it…however, in the meantime you’ll have to make do with all sorts of rubbish while I get used to it!

Over the last year my fishing has focus has changed a little, not massively but I have done a little more bait fishing over the course of this year compared to the last few. That’s mainly perhaps because the bass fishing has been hard on one hand, and the other Chesil beach, has been fishing incredibly well over the course of the summer.

The bass fishing has been tough for some reason, so far this year I have caught 32 lure caught bass in 20 trip, numbers way down on previous years on a fish per trip basis. I have no idea why this should be, but I am not the only one struggling. I’m not convinced there are any less bass this year than normal though, I just think that their habits have changed a little. Maybe that’s down to the great weather we’ve been having, or the mild winter with all the storms, who knows? What I do know though is I have fished a few marks several times in spot on condition in which I would have bet my mortgage on catching and have not seen a sign of a fish, bass or otherwise. Other marks, though, have produced as normal.

Just to fill you in on some of the sessions I’ve had over the last year though….2013 finished with a flourish, then a whimper. I had a blinding session down in Cornwall catching 40 bass in the space of a couple of hours, it was absolute carnage with virtually a fish a chuck and if I had the time to stay on that day I think I could have doubled that figure! Then the season finished abruptly and I didn’t catch another fish!

This year got going in early May and it started pretty well to be honest, but things have slowed down over the summer and almost ground to a halt now, in what should be the best time of year, still with this good weather there is still plenty of time to get in a good session or two.

Bait wise, as I mentioned Chesil beach has been fishing well, particularly for the summer species at the Portland end of the beach, with lots of Bream and Gurnards and a good run of codling to around 3lb to which is always a bonus. I’ve had a few trips down here over the last couple of months and done pretty well. I’ve also caught quite a few Gurnards on lures (or power isome to be specific), bounced around on a jig head or drop shotted at 30/40 yards out. It turns out this is a very effective way of catching them and I’m sure would account for a few other species with a bit more time and effort put in.

Anyway, that’s it for now, here’s a few pics (from the old camera) of stuff I’ve caught over the last 12 months and here’s to more regular updates moving forward!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

August 2013 - A bit a bait fishing!

I’ve been out and about again this weekend and as the wife and kids were away I got in a couple of trips.

 1st up on Friday evening, more bassing down in Dorset, I ended up with 5 in total which all came through last light and into darkness. Three fell to the trusty savagear eels and 2 on a “Flash Arrow J” which is a fantastic looking lure. They cast really well and look incredibly lifelike in the water. I’m going to be getting some more of these in different colours I think.

On to Saturday then and I thought it was high time I used the Daiwa beachcasters I have eventually finished rebuilding so I headed down to Chesil with a view to bagging a few of the summer species and some flats. I did OK and ended up with Bream, 2 (small) Small Eyed Rays, a Thornback Ray and a Dab amongst some other bits and pieces. It was nice to get out and so a bit of bait fishing for a change, I must get in another go this Autumn as there are lots of sole around the moment so would be nice to catch a few of these.

Here’s a few pics from the weekend….


Thursday, 22 August 2013

August update

OK so it’s been awhile, I have to say that the last couple of months fishing has been very slow for me. I have not been out much at all due to being very busy at work and at home, and when I have been out the fishing has been very slow. Which just the odd fish per trip.

Still better signs now, for one I am nearly over my busy work period and two the fishing has been picking up  pretty much everywhere in the last couple of weeks and also water temps are back up to normal for the time of year. Perhaps this year has finally caught up with itself and we can look forward to a productive autumn…I live in hope

In terms of the fishing, I fished the Cornish Lure Festival again this year, with Mediterranean temperatures and flat calm seas it was hard going all round and I didn’t land a shore caught bass through the entire weekend! In fact very few decent bass were caught and in all honesty, I should have concentrated on fishing through the night which would have given me a much better chance. Lesson learnt for next year though.

I did spend a few hours out with my brother in his boat on the Saturday though, were I proved the value of lures V bait, landing about a dozen Pollack to 8lb and a 4lb bass whereas the guys fishing live mackerel blanked!

Onto to this weekend just past, and I headed back down to my normal Dorset lump of rock, and for the first time for the year the water felt alive, the water was full of bait fish and I getting plucks and tugs from Gars on virtually every chuck. In total I managed three bass, the first off the top on a small patchinko, and then a couple after dark on a savagear sandeel. My normal after dark lure (Komomo II in JFP)  had unusually not resulted in any action but as soon as I switched over I have two in quick succession, one of them a really nice fat 61cm fish that went like a train on its first run.  To be honest I feel I should have caught more than three but once I had the biggest fish I was happy enough to head home.

The only other thing of note is a new bag! Not the most sexy of tackle products I know but I had been looking for ages for a sling style bag which was big enough to hold enough gear/clothes and food for an all day session. My search was ended by discovering the fantastic maxpedition range of kit. I opted for the Kodiak bag which is perfect for me… will easily swallow two or three lure boxes and all the kit I could wish to take. It’s not cheap at around £120 but it is built like a tank so I’m sure I’ll get many years good service from with no more broken zips or split seams! Highly recommended or you could consider the smaller stika bag which is more like the snowbee bag for size.

Monday, 10 June 2013

59cm through the mayweed!

Just a quick update, I went down to Dorset yesterday afternoon, a lovely sunny day and perfect conditions for where I had in mind, however my heart sank when I arrived and saw the horrible green/brown colour of the water, thick with Algae and restricting visibility to around 18 inchs.

I gave it a bash though, and after a couple of hours of hard fishing I tempted this one out on a pearl Feedshallow. It gave a cracking account of itself over the shallow rocky ground and came in at 59cm or around 5lbs, a nice result given the conditions and made the trip worthwhile. After this success though I couldn't get motivated to keep on fishing through the sludge so with the blank nicely averted I packed up and had a swift pint in the pub by the beach!

Friday, 7 June 2013

May 2013 update

It’s been a long slow process, but finally, the sea has heated up and lure fishing has kicked off around the country. Unfortunately it seems that may weed/water/rot (the annual algae bloom) seems to have killed it again instantly in some areas but this only be temporary lapse.

I’ve got a couple of trips to report on, the first a few weeks ago now was my LRF debut! I bought an LRF starter outfit a couple of months ago, with a view to using it to teach my daughter how to fish on our trips down to Cornwall, but with a couple of hours spare on a Sunday afternoon, I thought I’d try it out and popped down to Westbay Harbour. It didn’t take long to christen the outfit as I quickly landed a little flounder. A bit of a triumph this as I really wanted to catch a Flounder on a lure, so I was well chuffed. I also ended up with 4 weaver fish, which seemed to be around the entrance to the harbour in numbers. Luckily I managed to unhook them all with no damage to any of us, although the novelty of catching them soon wore off…nasty little blighters.

Then last week I kicked my bass season off, at my usual mark in Dorset. I fished for a few hour on the first of the ebb, and ended up with 2 fish. Both taken on my now top catcher, the Savagear Sandeel (I can’t recommend these lures highly enough, absolutely bass killers and pretty cheap into the bargain).  The first of the 2 bass was a nice fish, pushing 4lbs maybe. What was really stunning about it though was whilst I playing it, it’s fins were glowing bright blue, I’ve never really seen this before but in the sun it was an incredible sight! You can just make our a bit of the blue in the anal fin in the picture below, however in the water this was much more prominent.

So that’s May over with, now into June. To be honest this summer is going to be difficult to get lots of fishing in as I am going to be very busy at work but I’m out this weekend (top conditions for my “big fish” mark) and the Cornish Lure Festival is looming so I’m looking forward to that.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the plaice fishing it great to put away the beachcasters and finally get this year’s lure fishing campaign underway, so until next time……