Calm seas ahoy

30 09 2009

Particularly excited about the fact that the sea has been so calm in recent days – hopefully this represents the start of a winter of no weed, to make up for the awfully weedy Summer! Woohoo! (Touch Wood)

Shoreham fishing session

29 09 2009

Despite most of my fishing gear, bar my reels and a 6ft boat rod, being inaccessible for the weekend, I was determined to get out for a session. Planned one with Duncs and Paul, and arranged to meet Paul to go to the tackle shop to get bait. I pre ordered 3 packs of King, and 2 of Black, just in case the whiting were in. Chosen venue was the beach about 5-10 minutes walk past Carats Cafe along the Basin Road South in Shoreham. This was chosen to avoid the crowds of sunbathers, which worked – once we got there, we had the whole beach to ourselves.

Gurnard, September 09

Gurnard, September 09

At the tackle shop, I had a cheeky look at the rods available.. really wasn’t keen on fishing with a 6ft rod from the beach. I wanted to spend as little as possible – with two perfectly functional beach casters already, I just wanted something to get me fishing for the day, and to use as a spare going forward. There were two models that I was interested in; a £30 light beach (Bass) rod, with a casting range of around 2-4 oz, and a heavier use beach caster (4-6oz) at £35. I decided to go for the latter, but not before knocking the price down to £30, as it was an ex display model. I also had to buy one pack each of beads, hooks, swivels and clips, and a few weights as well.

High tide was at 19:00, so normally we would’ve got to the beach at around 15:30/16:00, in time to get set up and cast out for about three hours fishing up to the top of the tide, and two hours over and down. However, being such a great day weather wise, we thought we’d make the most of the sunshine, and got to the venue at around 14:00 instead. Being a small tide, the water didn’t really advance that much between the time we arrived and high water.

The session didn’t start too well for me.. I’d set up my gear and gently cast out to wet the mainline, and the rod gave an almighty crack, and the top half flew off and landed in the sea! My Elite also blew up in to a massive birdnest (Luckily I had a spare!). A little investigation showed that I’d only put the top half of the rod in to the bottom half by about an inch – very stupid. Fortunately, there was only an inch missing, so the rod still fit together OK, and I was able to fish for the session, casting tentatively at first.

Drama over, nothing was caught for the first few hours, but it was nice to sit in the sun and banter. At around 15:30 Paul and I took a quick walk along to the cafe for some grub. We were gone about 20 minutes, so on returning, I picked up the rod, reeled in the slack, struck and started reeling.

I had an inkling as I was retrieving that I’d caught something, but didn’t get much of a fight so wasn’t positive.. I was happy to reel in quite a sizeable Tub Gurnard.. the biggest I’d ever caught, at maybe 3/4 lb. Once he’d posed for a few photos, I set about trying to remove the hook, but found it impossible due to the fact that he stubbornly refused to open his mouth! Concerned that I’d damage him, and that he’d be left out of the water for too long, I snipped the line off at the hook and returned him, confident that the hook will rust pretty quickly when permanently exposed to the salt water.

Time ticked on and we remained fishless until I retrieved a nice little Black Bream – not sure if he was sizeable, but a pretty fish all the same. He posed for a quick photo before going back too. We stayed until around 20:30, with no further catches. The sea was looking really calm, perfect Whiting conditions, had the tide been timed slightly different, to coincide with darkness.

Overall a satisfying session considering it was during the day, although I was disappointed for Duncs and Paul. I caught some sun too, bonus!

Happy Holidays ; )

13 09 2009

Won’t be fishing for a week or so, as I’m off to Zante for a bit of sun. I did contemplate taking the telescopic rod I talked about here, but decided against it on account of the amount of space that all the other gear would take up.

Tight lines!

Fishing on Kingston Beach

9 09 2009

Duncs and I headed for another Kingston beach session last Saturday, again due to unpleasant external conditions making the sea too rough to fish.

We had King Rag, and what Lagoon Bait refers to as “fresh lug” – I know it as Blow Lug, having bought it quite a lot to use on the Marina in Summer.

The tide was due at 1am, so we got to the beach for 10:00ish, in order to give us time to tackle up and have a good 2.5 hours fishing. Not a spectacular session; I ended up with another of the minute Bass that I’ve been catching lately – he went straight back in without posing for a photo. He was caught on a three hook, two up, two down boom rig, on the middle hook, which was probably a little higher in the water than my usual slider rig fishes. As Duncs was using a slider rig, this may have been the reason for his not having connected with a fish on the flooding tide. I screwed up an off-the-ground cast and pinged all my gear off – so went to a slider rig myself.

Caught another a bit later on, he was a bit bigger, at about 20cm. Got a few photos on my digital camera; I’ll upload them later. Duncs blanked.

I’ve decided that I’m bored of Kingston Beach after all these sessions – the venue is too limited in terms of species available and the tactics that can be used, so from now on I’m going to do my best to endure whatever sea conditions are present, unless they’re completely unfishable.

I’ll be off on hols on Sunday, so won’t get much fishing in between now and then, but once I’m back, I’ll be out on the open beach to see what I can find!

“Nursery School Bass” at Kingston

1 09 2009

Once again my plans to fish an open beach venue were scarpered by poor weather conditions, so I headed to Kingston Beach, grateful that I’d got King for bait.

This proved to be a hard session; I can’t put my finger on what it was exactly, but things didn’t seem to come together. Bait was King Rag, and I’d also bought some frozen Mackerel, chunks of which I lashed to a 3/0 hook at various points, to at least provide a good scent, if not to catch (Mackerel is not a great bait from this venue). It was incredibly windy, and the tide was a 4.8m, at 20:00. The session started at about 17:00.

I’d bought some booms from the bait shop earlier in the day, and once both rods were out and fishing, I set about building a three hook boom rig, in a two up, one down configuration. This rig was about 5 feet long altogether, which was well suited to my decision to start using the “Off the Ground” (OTG) cast, instead of an overhead thump. I did this with mixed results; overall, I don’t think distance was increased too much, but a lot less effort was going in to achieving the distance. Once I get the technique sorted, and can start putting power down, this should translate to more distance.

Ended up with two Bass during the session, but these were embarrassingly small – at about three inches they were only just longer than my fingers! There were both caught at fair distance, on King Rag, and both fell to my boom rig, which I was pretty happy about. I did get a photo of the second one, but that was on my digital camera (it was dark by this time so didn’t bother with the camera phone), and I haven’t transferred it yet.

Nursery School Bass ; )

Nursery School Bass ; )

I’d taken both my 6500 Rocket and my 6500GR, with a view to having a cast or two, to see what they’re like. I got in a few casts with each, but didn’t use shock leader so was limited to a gentle overhead thump, not ideal. Both reels have about a centimetre of back wind after reeling, which means either that they didn’t have the “Instant Anti Reverse” feature of newer Abu reels, or that the Instant Anti Reverse bearings are worn. I think the Rocket should have this, being made around 1996, but the GR, which was produced in 1985, may not.

Overall a slightly disappointing session, but was glad not to blank in what were difficult conditions.