Weekend fishing – blanked(ish..)

17 08 2009

Decided on a relatively last minute fishing session on Sunday. Tide was a 5m, at 20:00, which would involve around 3 hours of fishing in daylight before the sun went down. Wanted to fish on the open beach, as the sea had been really calm on Saturday. However, come 16:00 it was a complete maelstrom – unfishable. Kingston Beach it was then!

Headed down to Southwick, and saw that the beach was relatively busy with fishermen already there, but there was still quite a bit of room for one extra. As I made my way to a clear section of the beach, I thought, correctly it turns out, that I recognised one of the said fisherman as my uncle John, along with Malc – they’d not long arrived themselves, and had yet to cast. I started to set up next to them. Set up was standard – two hook sliding ledger rig, size 1 hooks. I’d bought 2 packs of King Rag – they were *monsters* – and some Sandeel.

I wouldn’t have bothered with these if I’d known the venue I’d end up using, but did give them a go. John and Malc also had Peeler Crab and Red Rag, which I was also able to make use of. So, a good selection of quality baits, proven tactics, and a proven venue – what more could you ask for?

Well, it seems that this was one of those occasions when everything can be almost spot on, but if the fish aren’t around, you won’t catch. Ended up being a 5 hour session, during which I varied baits (I found it hard to resist those juicy Peeler Crab myself, so not sure what the fish were thinking!) and casting distances, trying to eke out any fish that were around, but no joy. In fact, I was far from joyous when my tripod fell over, marking the side plates of my newer Elite – not a happy bunny! This was due to the incredible amount of weed that was around, which only eased once the tide went slack at high, making the fishing difficult.

Malcs daughter 11 year old daughter Vicki and some of his grandchildren came down for a few hours, and Malc had a few spare rods which he set up. Vicki then proceeded to catch the first fish of the session, a Bass of about three inches, from about 2-3 metres out, and next to an outfall pipe.

Much later on in the session, when the tide had started to recede, and through absolute desperation, I unleased the float gear and 8ft spinning rod, and cast the float about 4-5 metres out, within the vicinity of the same pipe.

After 10 minutes or so, it ducked under the water, so I gave it a little strike and started to reel in. I had also managed to hook a tiny Bass, and it *was* tiny, but as we often quote to each other when ribbed about catching a miniscule specimen, “a fish, is a fish, is a fish..” He he.

We continued to fish, not losing steam or enthusiasm, but our efforts proved fruitless. At least the weather was pretty good for most of the session though! Finally packed up about 21:30, the Bass being the only fish between the three of us.

The best thing to come out of the session was a reminder how much fun float fishing is! We’re planning a session on Saturday (a *very* big tide), venue shall remain undisclosed, which I have every confidence will redeem us, and will also give the opportunity to get the float gear out again. Sweet ; )

Oh, I almost forgot to mention – I sat on the seat I bought and wrote about here, and went straight through it. Quality. New seat has gone back on the wish list.. but not a £14.99 special from Argos ; (

Abu 6500GR

13 08 2009

Won my second reel on Ebay today – an Abu Garcia 6500GR. This is a magnetically braked reel, released in 1985 and on sale for only a short time, apparently. Like my Abu CS Rocket, this one has been CT converted. This was a penny more than the Rocket, at £31.02 including P+P.

Abu Garcia 6500GR

Abu Garcia 6500GR

I got my Rocket home last night (couldn’t resist taking it to work to have a look), and gave it a partial strip down, oil, greased the gears up and also fitted one of my spare centrifugal brake pads, because it didn’t have any.

Looking forward to taking it on a fishing trip to see how it casts. It polished up quite well, but I still had problems retrieving the bearings from the spool – any ideas on how to do this would be gratefully received. I’ve tried inserting pins at an angle, to try to get purchase on one side of the bearing, but this hasn’t worked. I think the pressure needs to be equally spread around the bearing. It has been oiled with 3-in-1, and then Abu Rocket oil last night; hopefully that, in conjunction with a few casts, will loosen them up a bit.

Will be interested to see what the GR looks like inside; the Abu’s I’ve dismantled in the past have all been of the same basic configuration, and none of them have been Mag braked.

Abu 6500CS Rocket Arrives

12 08 2009

Took delivery of my 6500CS Rocket, bought from Ebay, this morning. Initial impressions are that the reel is pretty much as described, so not in perfect condition, but I was glad to see that the CT conversion used a proper replacement bar, rather than the other method I’ve often seen, where the level wind bar is removed and the holes sealed, but the top bar is left in place. That negates one of the benefits of a CT cage, which is to be able to get a better grip on the spool for casting, due to the open cage.

Partially dismantled the reel, and realised that the bearings are stuck in the spool, so popped out to buy some 3-in-1, and applied it, to make them easier to remove once I get home. also bought some lighter fluid to soak the bearings from all my reels after the next fishing trip.

Also noticed that the instant anti-reverse is not instant any more, and when you spin the handle fast and hold on to it, the gears slip round inside the side plate. So will have a look inside and see what needs to be replaced.

Servicing Abu Garcia 6500C3CT Elite Multiplier

12 08 2009

This post has been transferred to a permanent page, located here:

Servicing an Abu Garcia 6500C3CT Elite Multiplier 

1. Reel before dismantling

Servicing an Abu Garcia 6500 C3 CT Elite

Species, tactics and venue Hitlist

11 08 2009

Thought I’d summarise the species I’ve caught so far this year, which includes the month of July, plus a few sessions in April / May, and then detail my hitlist for the coming months! I’ve also detailed a few types of sea fishing that I’ve never done before, but really want to try. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit them all in!

Caught so far:

  • Gurnard
  • Flounder
  • Black Bream
  • Bass
  • Eel
  • Mackerel
  • Thornback Ray
  • Pout
  • Rockling

Species I want to catch in the coming months:

  • Bigger Bass
  • Smoothound
  • Whiting
  • Codling
  • Pollack
  • Plaice
  • Sole
  • Garfish
  • Dabs

Fishing techniques:

  • Rough ground fishing – probably on the beaches to the East of the Marina, but maybe as far along as Saltdean or Peacehaven. I’m thinking rotten bottoms, juicy Peeler Crab baits, 25lb mainline.. and *big* Bass ; ) This will take some convincing of my fishing buddies, as doing this alone is not a great idea.
  • Float fishing from the Marina – for Mackerel, Scad, Garfish and maybe Bass. The only Garfish I’ve ever caught was foul hooked.. I want one on light tackle, to Mackerel or sandeel baits.
  • “Down the side” fishing from the Marina – for Pout, Poor Cod, Blenny etc – sorry, but this type of fishing is great fun on light tackle.. it’s gotta be done ; ) wouldn’t go specifically for these species, but in combination with floating or Mackerel feathers.
  • Floating for Bass – not sure on the venue, now that my beloved spot on Shoreham Harbour is inaccessible, but I want Bass on light tackle. The NG will qualify, and maybe the Shoreham Harbour Arms.. potentially the area in Fishersgate where there is an easily accessible fishing spot for fishing in to Shoreham harbour.. bit mainstream though.

I also want to give Eastbourne Pier a go at some point, and perhaps even Worthing Pier. I’d like to vary choice of beach venue a little more too, trying stretches of beach that I haven’t given a go yet. I may be tempted to check out the sand at low tide, to get a flavour for where the sandbanks and other underwater features are.