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.





Norfolk Groyne session

24 07 2009

Duncs and I headed out for a session on the Norfolk Groyne, Hove at the beginning of the month. We had shop bought Black and King as bait, and the high tide was at around 20:00.

With Duncs only having had a few fishing sessions at this point in his short fishing career, I was confident that this, my favourite venue, could produce some good results for us.

Thornback Ray, Norfolk Groyne, July 2009

Thornback Ray, Norfolk Groyne, July 2009

We got to the venue at about 17:30, giving plenty of time to get set up. I set up a slider rig on my rod, and for some reason, chose to rig up Duncs with a clip on the end of his line, on to which I clipped a hooklength and a weight. This ended up being a blessing, when after being in the water for a short time, the shoals of Mackerel materialised on the surface, on a feeding frenzy, chasing the whitebait. The slider rig isn’t the most flexible when it comes to swapping rigs, but the rig on Duncs’ rod enabled us to switch straight over to feathers.

Mackerel feathers clipped on, I cast them in to the shoal, and Duncs reeled in, hooking our biggest Mackerel of the night straight away, and a new species for Duncs. Sweet. Another cast resulted in two Joey Mackerel; all went back to swim another day. At this point, the shoal moved on and we went back to fishing a standard baited rig each. We did switch back to feathers several more times during the evening, catching one more Mackerel.

This proved a good start to a productive night.. the next fish was one of my favourite species to catch – a Thornback Ray, albeit a rather small one! Brilliant fish to catch, although it didn’t fight as much as the others I’ve caught – I thought it was a flatty before it came to the surface. So it was a pleasant surprise, especially as it was on Black Lug – I’ve only ever caught them on Peeler Crab before.

It was dark by this time, so in our efforts to get some good photos on our camera phones (poor show), we neglected to get anything in the photo that helped show the scale of the fish – it really was  about as small as a Thornie can get though ; ) 

During the session I also caught an Eel (which didn’t snarl up my rig!) and a Pouting, with Duncs getting a Pouting in the same cast. Duncs also had a Bream from one cast, and another Mackerel.

Overall, we had 9 fish between us, including 5 species – a great session for the variety of species caught, great weather, and some enjoyable Mackerel bashing!