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.