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!

Shoreham fishing session

10 08 2009

Saturday night fishing with John and Malc combined many ingredients for the perfect nights fishing from Brighton – the venue, the Norfolk Groyne, the high tide, a 6+ metre, at around 1am, clear skies and a calm sea. I envisioned catching numerous Sole, Bass, Mackerel, Eel and Bream, with potential for Smoothhound, Plaice and Thornback Rays – superb.

However, I’d gone no fewer than 6 weekends without having been clubbing, so had arranged a night out with Duncs instead!

I took it fairly easy on the vodka that night, and although I write this during my lunch break at work, *completely* knackered after a busy weekend which also involved an imprompu 9 mile run along the sea front, I felt pretty much fine on Sunday morning. It was a nice day, and I was really feeling withdrawals knowing that the fishing would have been so good on Saturday night (I’ve yet to get a report), so took a trip to Lagoon Bait to get a few packs of King. Whilst there, I bought two neoprene protective multiplier cases, and a reel bag for my Elites; a new filleting knife, some Breakaway Fast Clips and some size 2 Kamasan B940’s.

Filleting Knife

Filleting Knife

I then rode back home, collected my gear, and rode back down to the beach. Being that it was a nice day, with a high potential for sunbathers, I thought I’d avoid Brighton and Hove, and head along towards Shoreham. I didn’t go to Kingston as I’ve overdone it as a venue recently and wanted to opt for a change of scenery. So I headed along the Basin Road South – this gave me the option of choosing one of the many beaches, or heading up on to the sea wall.

I chose to go from a beach, as I thought fishing from the sea wall would be disturbed by the boats going in and out of the harbour. I chose a beach about 10 minutes walk from the car park, and started setting up the gear. I was fishing with King Rag as the sole bait, and using one of my favourite rigs, a 2 hook sliding leger. For a change, I boshed a few beads on the hooklengths to attract inquisitive species such a Flounder and Plaice.

I’d got to the venue with only about 1.5 hours to high tide, so not ideal – I prefer 3 hours – but OK considering it was a fairly last minute decision.

I used both rods, casting my main rod out as far as possible, and the secondary rod slightly shorter. There were a few other fisherman around – a few spinning from the rocks, and some casting out Mackerel feathers (and reeling in with the multiplier upside down!).

Waiting for bites enabled me to check out my new purchases and take some photos – uploads to come. The filleting knife looks a good purchase – it has a short, stumpy, but incredibly strong blade, with a serrated edge on one side. My last knife was one of the items that didn’t stand up too well to several years of usage followed by 10 years of non-usage!

About half an hour before the high tide, I got  strong bite on my main rod (I set the reel on free spool with the ratchet on), so wound down to get a tight line between the rod and the weight, and struck firmly, then started reeling.

I thought I could feel a little kick as I reeled in, but wasn’t sure whether it was the weight bouncing over the sand. As I got the terminal tackle up to the waters edge, however, I realised that I’d hooked a double shot of Black Bream – sweet!

Shoreham Bream, 9.8.2009

Shoreham Bream, 9.8.2009

However, one of them fell off the hook before I was able to get them far enough away from the water to avoid losing them if they did fall off – clearly I didn’t strike hard enough! The remaining Bream, however, was quite a sizeable fish, very plump. I took some photos before throwing him back to let him fight another day. wasn’t too sure about the size of the one that got away, but he was smaller. I got the hooks baited and cast out again as soon as possible, hoping that the shoal was still around.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and I didn’t get any more bites. I was pretty pleased to have picked up the Bream though – my biggest fish of the year (OK, OK, I’ve only been fishing again for about a month!). I started packing up my gear at about 14:45, giving myself enough time to get home for an Ebay auction I wanted to bid on (for an original Abu 6500 CT ; ) but had pretty much run out of bait anyway.

All in all, a good session in the bright sunshine, but one which highlighted again the reasons why I prefer night fishing.