Blustery Norfolk Groyne session

27 10 2009

Arranged a night fishing session with Malc and John on Saturday night. The tide was at around 3:30am, so we agreed to meet and be set up by about 11:30pm. I decided on a power nap before leaving, so got my gear ready, and went to bed, setting my alarm for 10:30. This would give me, I reasoned, half an hour to “wake up” and make sure everything was packed, and half an hour to get to the venue.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up until 11:30, so had to get ready in a real hurry. Luckily, I was out of the door pretty quickly, just needing to get my waterproofs on and pack the bait.

I got down to the groyne at about 12:00am, and saw that M and J were already at the venue, with M almost ready to cast. I quickly set about tackling up, deciding on a three hook paternoster as the rig – I’d built two earlier in the day.

Conditions we very blustery, and bite spotting was nigh on impossible. I relied on reeling in every 20-30 minutes, as false positives caused by the tide were getting frustrating.

On my second cast I caught a fairly sizeable Eel – he may have been 3/4 lb. Being the first fish, it won me 50p from each of my uncles ; )

The going was very slow on this session, with the wind was biting and the tide incredibly strong. However, fortune favours the bold, and we persevered with the tough conditions. I used a mixture of Black Lug and King Rag as bait, occasionally adding a mackerel strip.

I managed another Eel before the end of the session, and J caught a nice plump Eel, the biggest of the session, earning him 50p from each M and myself. I didn’t actually pay this (soz unc!), but reasoned that the most fish was worth 50p too, cancelling out my payment ; )

I had a bit of a nightmare few casts towards the end of the session – I was casting out and setting the grappling weight OK, but upon striking, the line was snapping. Strange, as the line was only about 4 sessions old. Definitely needs to be replaced!

Overall a really tough session, highlighted by the low catch volume, and the fact that M blanked.. almost unheard of. Glad I didn’t blank though! Photos to come.

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Species, tactics and venue Hitlist – Update

27 10 2009

So, just over two months ago, in August, I wrote about the species I’d caught up to that point in the year, and those that I wanted to catch before the year was out, the venues I wanted to use, and the tactics I wanted to employ. Thought I’d give a little update as the Summer season has very nearly ended (Bass still relatively prolific, and I did see a shoal of Mackerel two sessions ago..).

The species from my hitlist that I can now add to my “caught” :

  • Smoothhound
  • Sole

I think I’ve probably missed out on

  • Garfish

But am still pretty hopeful about catching

  • Bigger Bass
  • Whiting
  • Plaice
  • Dabs
  • Codling

A few Codling in the Winter season would really compensate for the general terrible conditions that I’ll be fishing in, and I absolutely love Whiting, the bread and butter winter fish.

In terms of tactics, I haven’t yet managed to get in a rough ground fishing session or fishing from the Marina. I have managed to vary venues a fair bit though, with the Banjo beach, King Alfred Beach and Shoreham beach (along Basin Road South) being fished for the first time.

Here’s to a successful Winter season – tight lines!





King Alfred Beach Fishing Oct 09

27 10 2009

Bass, King Alfred Beach, Oct 2009Before it becomes too much of a distant memory, thought I’d better write up the session from the day after the Banjo Beach fishing trip, where I caught a Smoothhound, and Duncs, his first Gurnard.

We had bait left over from the previous day, and had decided on the King Alfred Beach as a venue; I’d fished the beaches along this stretch before but not this particular beach – the one directly behind the car park for the King Alfred.

We set up our gear quite far up the beach to account for the rising tide, and were cast out relatively soon. Almost immediately, we found out how snaggy the beach was, when Duncs got caught up.

I managed to free his gear by tightening the line and walking along the beach (make sure the rod is in a straight line with the reel when doing this, so that the pressure is on the reel spool, not the rod).

We snagged several more times throughout the session, but I don’t think from memory that we lost any gear.Bass, King Alfred Beach, Oct 2009

I caught a non-sizeable Bass on my second cast; he went straight back in.

Paul joined us just before dark.

Nothing else was caught during the session, but we’ve decided not to go back to this beach again – the snags were too annoying. Quite prepared to try the beaches either side though, as the stretch is clearly quite popular, with quite a few matches held there.





New Reel – Abu 6500 C3CT Blue Yonder

25 10 2009

The Abu Garcia 6500 C3CT Blue Yonder is a limited edition re-run of the Abu Elite (of which I have three). Ever since having seen it in the tackle shop the first time, I’ve wanted one.

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and bought one from Lagoon Bait, at a cost of £110. Got the reel home, and took some photos of it alongside one of my Elites – superb little reel – photos to come soon.

Although I’d arranged a fishing session for the night tide with M and J, I decided not to take the new reel, leaving it boxed for now. I’m 99% sure it will come in to service pretty soon, but as I have two perfectly functional and well looked after Elites that I use on a regular basis there’s no need right now. I wanted to secure one before they were all sold – apparently there was a production run of just 400 of them. Perhaps when one of my Elites bite the dust..

Latest session report on the way..





Banjo Beach Fishing

16 10 2009

Duncs and I both have the same week off of work, so had arranged a few fishing sessions. There was a toss up between Worthing Pier and one of the beaches near to the Marina as venue; we went for the beach, as Duncs’ dog, Sparky, came along for the session.

We ended up about 30-40 yards from the “Banjo”, a groyne shaped, surprisingly like a banjo; quite a popular mark in the city.

Smoothhound, Banjo Groyne Beach, Oct 2009

Smoothhound, Banjo Groyne Beach, Oct 2009

The sea was really calm, and the day was bright and sunny – not stereotypically brilliant conditions for good catches but sitting in the sun was pleasant enough in itself.

We had King Rag and Black Lug as bait, and I cast out using a sliding leger and put the ratchet on. Duncs cast out the first rig he’d built 100% by himself (nice one dude!), just a it was time for me to reel in. I boshed on another two King Rag baits, and within 5 minutes got a tug on the line, setting off the ratchet (the lazy fishermans bite indicator!).

I would in a little slack, walked down to the shoreline and struck hard to set the hook. There was a noticable fight with this one, and I though it may have been a Bass. When I got the tackle to the shore however, I was delighted to have caught a Smoothhound (albeit a fairly small one), one of my target species for the year.

After posing for some photos he went straight back in a swam away strongly.

I was almost as chuffed when Duncs reeled in, having caught a very sizeable Tub Gurnard, bigger than the one I’d caught a few weeks back, so a nice fish, but more importantly, a fish that ended a 3 session fishless run for him. He went straight back after posing for a few photos.

Gurnard, Banjo Groyne Beach, Oct 2009

Gurnard, Banjo Groyne Beach, Oct 2009

Both fish were caught during daylight hours, and nothing else was caught for the rest of the evening. We packed up just as high tide arrived – I’d snapped my shock leader off striking, and then snapped my rig off on the next cast, so it wasn’t worth setting up again.

All in all, really pleased to have caught a great species, and also that Duncs caught a fish, and a new species at that.





First October fishing session

15 10 2009
Thornie, Norfolk Groyne, Oct 2009

Thornie, Norfolk Groyne, Oct 2009

My first fishing session in October, last Saturday 10th, was arranged during the day with M. The Norfolk Groyne was decided as the venue, with our chosen baits being King Rag, Black Lug, frozen peeler crab, mackerel strip and squid.

High tide was due at 4:18am, so we met at the venue at 11:30 in order to secure the venue, get set up and have plenty of fishing time. Sea conditions were pretty calm, and the wind was fairly gentle.

I set up with a 2-up, 1-down Paternoster rig with long snoods; M used a two hook sliding leger rig.

First Eel, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

First Eel, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

I had a really good feeling about the night, so was really pleased to get a bite on my first cast. I don’t really look for bites the whole time during a fishing session, preferring to use the ratchet on my reels for bite detection. So when it was activated, I flicked the reel in to gear, gently wound the slack down to the lead and struck pretty hard.

I felt the odd knock as I reeled in, but never count my chickens before they hatch – so was really chuffed to reel in a Thornback Ray. Admittedly a small one, but a Thornie all the same. After posing for a photo, he went back – the tide was still pretty far out so I had to run on to the beach to ensure he actually landed in the water!

Second Thornie, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

Second Thornie, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

I caught a total of 8 fish throughout our 7 hour session, comprising 2 Thornbacks, 3 Eels (one of which necesitated chopping my rig up as he was seemingly making an attempt to garrott himself with the line, as is often the case with Eels. He was freed and went back uninjured), 2 Bass and a large Pouting.

I used my Paternoster on the main rod, and all but the Bass were caught on that. Interestingly, earlier in the tide the middle hook was catching the fish. Later on, it was the lower hook, fished below the lead, and thus tighter to the sea bed. Once the tide had risen high enough, I also set up my 8ft spinning rod with a float rig and boshed on a fairly sizeable King Rag – both my Bass, both of which were undersized, were caught using this technique.

Second Eel (bootlace!), Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

Second Eel (bootlace!), Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

M went a long time without any fish, but didn’t lose enthusiasm, and was rewarded with the biggest Sole I’ve ever seen – it must have been 2.5lb. A picture of the Sole is below; take a look at the fingers in each corner to get an idea of scale – *big* fish.  He also caught a small Thornie later in the session. Both of these were caught on Black Lug. All of my fish were caught on King Rag. The picture of the second Eel I caught shows the Eel next to a 500ml bottle of water, by the way, not a 2 litre one, which obviously would have been preferable!

All of my photos now show something which shows the scale of the fish (with the obvious exception of the Pouting, in this post!).

Specimen Sole, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

Specimen Sole, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

I also set up another beach caster with a single hook sliding leger rig with a size 3/0 hook, and used baits varying from multiple peeler crab baits to large Mackerel strips. This was cast over the other side of the groyne (we were fishing on the eastern side), but didn’t produce any bites. I wasn’t too hacked off with this; I purposely try to use more “out there” or at least specialist techniques on my second rod, while fishing with standard tactics on my main rod. This means that the main rod has the chance to catch fish of any size, while the second rod presents the opportunity to catch bigger fish, with Bass being the main target.

Fairly decent Pouting, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

Fairly decent Pouting, Norfolk Groyne, 10.10.2009

We fished until 6:30am, just as the sun came up.

All in all, an absolutely brilliant session, can’t wait for the next! Took photos of all but the Bass; will get these uploaded as soon as possible.