Weekend fishing

30 07 2009

Two sessions planned over the weekend – sweet! Reports (and hopefully photos ūüėČ to come as and when.

New fishing gear

28 07 2009
£1 Lures!

£1 Lures!

Went¬†out¬†in my¬†lunch¬†break today, and in search for a lanyard or two (one of the items on my wish list), popped in to the 99p shop in town. Didn’t really find anything of use, until on my way out, I went past an aisle which actually had some fishing gear in it! I saw the lures first – these were in packs of three with two of each pack closely resembling an Abu Toby, and the other, a spinner – probably more suited to freshwater. I bought two packs of these, as I’d lost one of Pauls after having forgotten to flip the bail arm over whilst casting on my spinning rod a few weeks ago. Doh!

Next on the list of puchases was a telescopic rod. This will probably prove surplus to requirements, but I thought it was pretty comical (and it may come in useful for catching Pouting down the side of the arm at the Marina or something)¬†so bought it. It’s 1.65m long.

There was also an object described on the packaging as a “landing net”, but due to my perception that a landing net needs a handle, which it didn’t have, bought it anyway, thinking¬†that it¬†might actually be a drop net. As it turns out, it’s a landing net – without a handle. It looks like it may be possible to adapt it to a drop net.

I also bought some weighing scales – I’m not expecting much at all from these, but again, thought them a pretty funny purchase – they may even work! With all of that for under ¬£5, you can’t go wrong really! I’d be lying if I said I’d got a fixed spool for ¬£1 too, but you can’t have the world¬†; )

I’m looking to get some more bargains on Saturday, when I’m planning on an early morning trip to a local car boot sale, to try and pick up some vintage reels to start my collection. Photos of todays bargains to come soon ; )

Telescopic Rod

Telescopic Rod

My actual wish list of tackle, as started during yesterdays fishing session on Kingston Beach, is as follows:

  • New reel bags x 3 – 2 for my multipliers and one for a fixed spool. My current reel bag is 12-13 years old, and the zip is slightly rusty.
  • New fishing bag – my current one has an integrated seat, which I quite like, but due to its’ age, is quite beaten up and quite frankly, a bit pongy ; )
  • Bigger tackle box – to fit in¬†my lead weights and spools of shock leader / Amnesia at the same time
  • Several lanyards, one of which I’ve seen with an integrated set of clippers.

Knowing me, I envisage this list growing! I’ll update it here as it does – should be a useful reminder for me.

More Kingston Beach Fishing

28 07 2009

Tub Gurnard, Kingston Beach, 27.7.2009

After riding 100 miles off-road on my mountain bike for the British Heart Foundation on Saturday, I’d booked a day off of work for recovery on Monday. Although I spent much of Sunday in bed (I’d woken at 4:45am on Saturday, got to bed at 1:00am on Sunday, and¬†had ridden a bike for 14 hours in between, so definitely needed the rest!), as this was the third year I’d entered the event, I knew an extra day would come in handy.

I’d already checked and found¬†the tide¬†to be suitable,¬†so just needed to get some bait and get to a venue. The day had looked pretty changeable throughout the morning, but it didn’t look too windy out. As I got nearer the seafront, on my 50cc scooter, with rather large rod bag and tackle bag on my back, I began to realise that it was incredibly windy, and probably unfishable on the open beach. I bought two packs of King Rag from Lagoon Bait and Tackle, and decided there and then to go to Kingston Beach, which is largely sheltered from the weather¬†/ sea conditions outside the harbour.

Due to my having left slightly late, I arrived at the beach with about two hours to the high tide, at 13:00 – meaning just over an hour fishing the tide up, once the gear was set up. My preference is to fish the tide up for three hours, but as I was using this as an excuse to get out in the sun and relax,¬†I wasn’t too fussed.

As the session length was restricted by the amount of tide I could fish up, I set up a second rod shortly after the first cast with my main rod, using my freshly tuned Abu Elites on each – they were a true joy to use.

I fished a slider rig on both rods initially, with two hooks per rod, and just King as bait. Fishing was incredibly slow, and I wasn’t even bothering to check for bites, as the wind was bouncing the rod tips up and down manically. Instead, I spent the time preparing a two-up Paternoster rig for a little variation, and also making a list of all the new tackle I wanted to buy come pay day!

Set up on Kingston Beach

Set up on Kingston Beach

It was just before high tide when I struck the rod to break out the grappling weight, and realised there may be a fish on the line – it was heavier and kicking slightly on the retrieve.. I got the terminal tackle in, but had to clear the weed from the leader knot before beaching the fish. I could see it swimming around in the shallows, just over the wooden sea defence on the beach. Luckily I¬†was able to get it in without losing it. It was a well hooked Tub Gurnard, my third in a month. I observed that this one was slightly less colourful than the others I’d caught – there were no blue fringes to the pectoral fins, but it was a pretty fish all the same.

I unhooked him and watched as he swam off in to the depths, rebaited and cast out again. I then reeled in the other rod, and as slack tide was approaching, decided to swap over to the freshly built paternoster rig, and a plain weight instead of a grap. I hoped that this mix of tactics might help eke out a few more fish, but was unsuccessful. I snapped off the rig on my main rod after getting snagged and being too confident that I could free it without changing the angle too much. So I boshed one more lot of bait on the other rod and blasted it out while I started packing the other gear away.

Final result, one Tub Gurnard to King. Conditions were pretty rough for Kingston, with a larger than usual amount of weed, but there was plenty of white water on the waves outside the harbour so I was grateful of the shelter offered by this venue. All in all a good chance to relax and catch some sun, with a bonus fish thrown in!

Light tackle Bass fishing

26 07 2009
Okuma Fixed Spool Reel

Okuma Fixed Spool Reel

Most of the fishing I do, and have done in the past, revolves around beach fishing – multiplier real, relatively heavy duty rod, thick shock leader and tough terminal tackle.

Having said that, one of my most memorable sessions involves fishing in Shoreham harbour, in a section very close to Hove Lagoon – sadly, it is now fenced off.

The lead-in to this session, which was in the school holidays (so quite a while ago..), involved my cousin Nigel and myself groundbaiting the same spot with bread for several weeks prior to the session – we were¬†targeting Mullet (a 4lb 4oz specimen of which I’d caught from the Norfolk Groyne earlier in the year, on float fished Red Rag. That’s another post – I couldn’t possibly write a fishing blog without mentioning the best ever fish that I’ve caught!).

On this particular occasion we’d plumped for a good supply of Red Rag as bait, and were using a 6ft float rod that I’d recently purchased for about ¬£1 from a car boot sale, along with a rear drag fixed spool reel.

Our tactics involved float fishing the Red in the same spot we’d ground baited, with the drag on the reel slackened right off. From this point the details in my memory are vague, but the general idea is that we caught 3-4 Bass of around the 3lb mark in the session. The feeling when the drag screams¬†as a Bass goes on that initial run is unbelievable. Playing the fish, in much the same way freshwater anglers do, with only light tackle to rely on, and nothing to hinder or weigh down the fish, is¬†something rarely experienced in the course of standard beach fishing, so a great treat once in a while.

Of course, I’m not able to use that specific mark in the course of my new fishing adventures, but the harbour is pretty large, and there are quite a few spots suitable for the same type of fishing.

It was with a summarised version of these memories in the back of my mind, when, in a recent fishing trip with Shuo and Wade, I heard Dave from the Tackle Box at Brighton Marina tell a customer about a 6ft light rod / reel combination that they were selling for £18. I simply had to snap it up Рthe reel looked decent enough, and it evoked those great memories of warm Summer nights float fishing for Bass. Bring it on!

Norfolk Groyne session

24 07 2009

Duncs and I headed out for a session on the Norfolk Groyne, Hove at the beginning of the month. We had shop bought Black and King as bait, and the high tide was at around 20:00.

With Duncs only having had a few fishing sessions at this point in his short fishing career, I was confident that this, my favourite venue, could produce some good results for us.

Thornback Ray, Norfolk Groyne, July 2009

Thornback Ray, Norfolk Groyne, July 2009

We got to the venue at about 17:30, giving plenty of time to get set up. I set up a slider rig on my rod, and for some reason, chose to rig up Duncs with a clip on the end of his line, on to which I clipped a hooklength and a weight. This ended up being a blessing, when after being in the water for a short time, the shoals of Mackerel materialised on the surface, on a feeding frenzy, chasing the whitebait.¬†The slider rig isn’t the most flexible when it comes to swapping rigs, but the rig on Duncs’ rod enabled us to switch straight over to feathers.

Mackerel feathers clipped on, I cast them in to the shoal, and Duncs reeled in, hooking our biggest Mackerel of the night straight away, and a new species for Duncs. Sweet. Another cast resulted in two Joey Mackerel; all went back to swim another day. At this point, the shoal moved on and we went back to fishing a standard baited rig each. We did switch back to feathers several more times during the evening, catching one more Mackerel.

This proved a good start to¬†a productive¬†night.. the next fish was one of my favourite species to catch¬†– a Thornback Ray, albeit a rather small one! Brilliant fish to catch, although it didn’t fight as much as the others I’ve caught – I thought it was a flatty before it came to the surface. So it was a pleasant surprise, especially as it was on Black Lug – I’ve only ever caught them on Peeler Crab before.

It was dark by this time, so in our efforts to get some good photos on our camera phones (poor show), we neglected to get anything in the photo that helped show the scale of the fish Рit really was  about as small as a Thornie can get though ; ) 

During the session I also caught an Eel (which didn’t snarl up my rig!) and a Pouting, with Duncs getting a Pouting in the same cast. Duncs also had a Bream from one cast, and another Mackerel.

Overall, we had 9 fish between us, including 5 species Рa great session for the variety of species caught, great weather, and some enjoyable Mackerel bashing!