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!

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 ; (

*Another* Kingston Beach session 1.8.2009

2 08 2009
Flounder to King Rag, 1.8.2009

Flounder to King Rag, 1.8.2009

We were saved by Kingston Beach as a venue yet again on Saturday – the sheer amount of weed on the open beach promised to make fishing conditions difficult. Kingston offers great shelter from the wind and rough seas, so makes fishing much more comfortable.

The downside to the venue is that the available species are more limited than a standard beach venue – the most common species to catch are those associated with brackish water. Bass, Flounder, Eels are the mainstay, with a few other species, including Red Mullet and Gurnard, thrown in for good measure. That’s not to say it’s impossible to catch other species, it’s just that these are most prevalent. The best bait tends to be Red Rag, with King performing well on its’ day, and Peeler also often proving a killer bait. Black Lug and fish baits tend not to perform too well.

Malc, John, Nige and myself arrived at the beach at around 17:30, with high tide due at around 20:30, and started setting up. We had a good selection of bait, comprising Peeler Crab, King Rag, Red Rag, with some Black Lug  thrown in for good measure.

Schoolie Bass, 1.8.2009

Schoolie Bass, 1.8.2009

The tide was around the 5m mark, so quite far from my preference of a 6m+. It had been raining as I left the house, and this continued for about half of the session. Fortunately, I was pretty well prepared, using extensive layering for warmth, and waterproof jacket and trousers. 

First fish, a Flounder,  fell to me on my second cast – I guess distance was about 100 yards. Bait was King Rag tipped with a few Red on a size one Kamasan B940, the rig being a two hook slider rig with wishbone.

About half way through the session, I set up a second rod, fished with a single hook on a long flowing trace. Whilst I was hammering the main rod as far as I could, I chose to plonk this one only about 10-15 yards out, in an effort to find the fish.

The session proved difficult, producing a Schoolie Bass each for M and J, and a further Schoolie Bass and an Eel to myself. Red Rag performed well, but I found that the King Rag was pretty effective. This took my Flounder and Eel, whilst my Bass fell to Peeler Crab. The Schoolie and Eel were both caught on the close-in rod, whilst the Flounder was further out on my main rod.

J’s Bass and my Eel were both produced on the ebbing tide; we fished the tide down for much longer than usual, with the session ending around 12:30. The combination of the weather and the small tide made for a difficult session, but once the rain stopped we were left with a clear, crisp night, and I found the session pretty enjoyable. The darkness defeated my modest camera phone, so I wasn’t able to get a picture of my Eel, but here are pics of my Flounder and Bass.

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!

Lagoon and Kingston Beaches

23 07 2009
Black Bream, Lagoon Beach, July 09
Black Bream, Lagoon Beach, July 09

This is a Black Bream I caught on a trip recently with Duncs and, later, Paul. Conditions were quite rough, and we didn’t realise just how much weed there was until on the first cast, our rigs were dragged right across the beach by the sheer amount of weed that’d accumulated on the line. I reeled in to find this pretty little Bream on the end of the line. They seem to be much more prolific this year than they were around 10 years ago, the last time I fished on a regular basis. Needless to say, he went straight back in after posing for this photo.

There was so much weed that by the time we’d reeled in and cleared it all from our lines we were well and truly ready to change venues. Paul turned up and gave us a hand clearing off the weed, and we packed up and moved to Kingston Beach, in Southwick. A great venue for being fishable when the open beach isn’t.
Paul caught the next fish, a Schoolie Bass (a picture of this currently forms the header image of this web site!) and I caught a Gurnard. Duncs blanked for the first time in three sessions, pretty good going for a newbie. My Gurnard also got popped back in. Bait was the leftover King Rag from the night before, write up soon. We left about 10:00, when the tide started to recede – being a Sunday we all had work to look forward to the next day. Not a great session, what with the move in the prime part of the tide, but we made the best of the situation and got a few fish out of it.