Catch Reports 2012
Christmas Caption Competition - Email
caption for this picture of Millie fishing with me last week.
TWO PRIZE's - there are two spaces to be won on
any Individuals White Maiden Mackerel Trip or Evening Trip in 2013. There
are plenty of trips to chose from and you must pick your date(s) before the
end of February. Closing date will be 6th January 2013. I'll post winning
names and captions after that time.
As far as the fishing is concerned.....there's nothing to
report as there's no chance of getting out really with all this wind. So I
will leave you to service your tackle and plan next years fishing trips.
Good Luck, Tightlines, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Sunday 23rd December
After cancelling the Toffs trip today Saturday, and with the pending
Christmas period forecast to be very wet and windy, I went for it yesterday,
have to run the boat as I need to maintain charge in the batteries and force
oil round the engines, so I took the day off work. With a late decision to
go at 7am, there was no point trying to muster a crew, so I nipped out to
the Needles Light and fished for Whiting and Cod 2 miles off. My 'flyer' for
the Whiting worked well with some nice 3lber's coming throughout the flood
tide. Whiting hit hard and their sharp teeth chewed up my big cuttle baits
fairly quickly. I got through a 4Kg box of cuttle, a box of squid and a pack
of bluey too. Well it is Christmas! There are plenty of Congers further out
but I set my stall for a Cod and missed. Another solo angler fishing close
to my previous mark did very well with two Cod, a nice Skate, Congers plus
some big fish dropped, one believed to be a big flattie just under the
surface! The swell increased in size and steepness around 1pm, onto the port
side which made it a bit uncomfortable at anchor even on White Maiden, which
is unusual but there was a lovely end to the day when it sat back down.
Tightlines, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Sunday 16th December
Blown off with gales and a rough sea state outside and big springers making
the Solent a hard choice but there is some fish in there if you look around.
one interesting theory from an expert this week was that the lack of Flounders
is due to the protection of the Bass in the same fisheries. The Bass are
chomping on all the young flatties, a staple diet! There's food for thought.
This week I sourced 5lb boxes of dirty squid and 4kg boxes of cuttle. Now that I
have got the new bait to test I'm all ready and raring to go
again. Mind you the lack of freezer space prior to Christmas was not
a good idea.
Not sure why I like winter fishing so much, it could be because
I'm not spoilt by the summer offshore fishing, who knows? What I do know is that
getting on the sea in the winter properly dressed and in good sea conditions
is a treat and we have not had any Nora Virus on White Maiden so far!
Sunday 9th December
Yesterday, Trident SAC, fishing on White Maiden had a cold but spectacularly beautiful winters
day, around the Needles area. The biggest and best fish was a mighty 2lb 4oz
Whiting! Steve even managed a Conger that must have only weighed a pound!
Considering we were on the same numbers as last week, the only
difference was the high pressure and the strength of tide which was much
smaller and benign. It was not for the want of trying and other reports were
similar. In these smaller
tides, very heavy baits on big heavy hooks will anchor on the seabed and
fail to attract. The better fish in high pressure conditions become finicky
too but the marauding Pout and Dogs chew away at everything still.
Hence discussion point; live baited Poor Cod or Pout are an
ideal bait alternative and we discussed this during the day. Then back at
my moorings I met Kevin Duell on 'Voyager' who was anchored close to us all
day. They had one
Cod and guess what, that fell to a live baited Poor Cod!
Last Saturday while we did OK on White Maiden, Voyager failed
to find a Cod but on the Sunday their best of three Cod went 31lb 2ozs! Yet
the same mark yesterday was hard to fish, as was ours. As ever I am still
working this game out and maybe a hair rigged live bait is the answer. We
will experiment and test. Elsewhere yesterday among the 50 odd boats fishing
the Needle was Gary who boated a 23lb Cod while Bob on another Raider caught
three Cod plus a 13lb Turbot on Cuttle fish.
Sunday 2nd December
Happy days! At last the water temperature is dropping, now around 11
degrees, and we have some frosts. The weed is gone and the fishing is
picking up! Yesterday on White Maiden the Church Crookham SAC fished a
competition where the final tally was two Cod at 21lb and 8lb, 11lb
Thornback Ray, two Congers, fourteen Whiting to 3lb, eighty Pout to 3lb,
eleven Dogfish and one Poor Cod. I recorded every one of them on their score
Their points scheme is complex but very good; basically lots of points for
target species and more for specimen fish.
Paul won the competition with this 21lb
Cod, a nice Thornback and a jammy Conger, plus Pout, Whiting and Dogs. Below is Richard
(left) and Peter, who were also well in the reckoning, until the 'reeled in
Congerette', when untangled was found to be on Paul's hooks. Paul was
distracted from his 'other task' and advised politely :-). That's the way to
win a comp! Peter's biggest
Pout made an escape through a scupper, before weighing but would have
exceeded 3lb easily. Best Cod I heard of yesterday was a 31lb Cod landed on
Greg Woodford's 'Southern Star'.
Meanwhile on Thursday the Western Solent proved hard work on
a big flood tide and a smelly sea, assumed to be sewage and rainwater washed
out from the rivers, following the rain we had four days before! Us three
boats only found Dogs. The next night John Skeggs had a 22lb Cod and a 5lb
Bass in the same area, while Tommo boated a 14lb Cod. It's all about timing.
Sunday 24th November
Boat fishing this week was blown away and washed out. Even
the Skippers, boats and crews fishing the Cod champs on Wednesday were
forced from the Western Solent back into port! That is bad weather. The
Thursday was a too bad to consider and so all was cancelled. My Wed and
Thurs evening trips hade no chance as did today's Saturday trip. I went down
to the moorings to check up and do some jobs, refuel etc and White Maiden is
primed and ready to go.
Sunday 18th November
Yesterday the Trident SAC had a big tide with a nice
flood until midday. We were very expectant in these conditions,
unfortunately the red weed has taken up residence in one of the favoured Cod
holding areas for this time of year so we were forced to fish a bit further
off. Again Chris showed them how to catch Cod with a
small 6lb'er, shown on the left. We believed this was the start of good
things to come but it never happened. There were many small 12oz Pout and lots of
dogs. There was also a Whiting and a couple of small Congers but the fish
all remained on the small side.
On Tuesday evening down the Solent the small crew on White
Maiden fished in ideal 'night trip' conditions. The tide was big and
the red weed still a problem but it was very fishable. We started shallow for a
couple of hours, then moved out over high water for 3-4 hours in 65 feet.
Two Congers, a dozen dogs and couple of Pout made up the catch but we
certainly gave it a good go.
Last weekend the Lymington Cod open winner was club member Bob Miness with a
nice 19lb 8oz Cod fishing Milford Shingles on his own 16' Strikeliner
to claim the £500 first prize. Second place prize of £250 was won by
Southampton angler Russell Saunders on his own boat for a 17lb 1oz Cod and third was a Cod
of 16lb 7oz caught by Robin Lane of Lymington fishing with Vernon Everitt on
'South Today'. John Skeggs on 'Last Laugh' was the top charter Skipper with two Cod for a total
of 22lb 10oz. 'Samantha M' skippered by event organiser Richard Rickman
was the best private boat after weighing in two Cod totalling 21lb 11oz. The
heaviest other fish went to R. Burgoyne for an 11lb 9oz Blonde Ray.
The event was sponsored by Loniís Angling Centre, England
Boat Angler and Lymington club member 'Stainless Steve' and Skipper John
Skeggs who runs Last Laugh. 144 anglers fished from charter boats and
private boats to make this a record entry. Fishing had proved difficult with
only 13 Cod weighed in despite the excellent weather conditions.
Sunday 11th November
Yesterday started sloppy round the Light where plenty of boats were seeking
a decent Cod. Bexhill SAC crew included young International angler Jack of
the England beach youth team. They all fished comfy on White Maiden and
again no one succumbed due to the stable deck afforded by a catamaran. As it
happened the Cod didn't come out to play for most boats including us but
Lazy Daze found 2 small ones and Last Laugh had a nice one at 21lb. There is
a Lymington Cod comp today so we will keep an eye on their results. Without
the Cod there were still plenty of fish with nine decent keeper Whiting around 2lb
with others returned plus plenty of Dogs and Pout falling to
the smaller hooks, plus a small Bull Huss and small Smoothound. But we were
after the Cod.
The Thursday evening Individuals crew fished hard for just
the one small Cod caught by Wess, pictured on the left. We found a dozen
dogs too but we were there or thereabouts and the weed was fishable on the
For that reason I decided to put in another trip on Tuesday
evening. It is a big tide but I want to see how it fishes, all spaces are
still available at £30pp inc bait and rods if you need them. The forecast is
looking good so text me on 07977241355 or e-mail me on
Interesting conversation in the club last week where a
couple had retuned from holidays roughing it on a beach only surviving off
the fish they caught for three weeks in Ningaloo, Exmouth, Northern
Territories, Australia. They were spoilt by the riches of the sea along this
part of the coast but the conservation is rigorous
Sunday 4th November
Yesterday (Sunday) Trident SAC, who can put up with a bit of weather, were
cancelled from the Saturday, which blew a gale from the North. Sunday was
much less breezy but according to the one boat that went out on Saturday,
far more uncomfortable. We also got plenty of light rain to make it an even
better test of character.
The fishing was 'OK' though and if a couple of the big fish
that broke up tackle, had been boated, it could have been even better. We
started at 7am new time, where early catches were two small Congers plus a
few Whiting, Pout and Dogs before Chris caught this reasonable 8lb Cod just
at the start of the ebb.
We thought that was the start of good things to come but the
fish were either shy or lost to parting tackle, or put off by the weed. The
F5 Westerly over the ebbing tide did not make the fishing easy and the weed
was a thorough pain but the crew fished really hard for another Conger plus
Well we were there! 'Last Laugh' fished the Saturday and
found 6 Cod to 31lb just round the Needles Light and another 5 Cod down the
Solent, for another crew, in the evening!
Check out my Diary for Solent Cod trips on the next two sets
of neap tides for individual spaces, at £30pp inc rod hire and bait. Looking
forward to next weekend.
Sunday 28th October
Wednesday evenings' trip for the Pat Warne crew was another murky night
down the Solent. The weed was there still but less and fishing deep was
quiet. When we were forced to move in shallow, this proved to be a bit more
interesting with Dogs and Pout plus a Hound and a nice Cod.
Stuart had this 17lb Cod 30 minutes before the end in
shallow, while Paul caught the Spotted Ray 45 minutes from the start out
Tuesday evenings' trip for the Paul Hayward crew was a very calm, warm
and murky evening which proved to be fairly lively at the start with plenty
of Dogs, a couple of Hounds and Pout.
When we were forced to move in shallower and out of the tide,
and heavy weed, Marina caught the Conger, which went like a very good Bass.
This turned out to be the nights biggest fish. It is shown here held by
I didn't realise they were fishing for a £25 prize for the
biggest fish. Maybe it was a coincidence that both these fish came on a bait
prepared and cast by yours truly and reeled in by Marina.
Marina deserved every bit of the prize because as well as
hauling up fish and occasionally weed, she put the burgers together and
served the crew!
On Monday we returned from Gatwick at 0115 in the morning and I was up again
at 0615 to take out the Paul Baker crew. The weather was ideal and warm too
although a bit misty with visibility down to less than a couple of miles all
Alan Headley is showing his Thornback while Mike on the right
is showing his.
We also found four small Congers plus a few Whiting to 2lb,
plus plenty of Dogs and a few Pout. We missed out on a Cod, but others
nearby caught them. The best report was one of 18lb.
Sunday 21st October
This week my report is very late as we have been away on holiday, sailing
(and fishing) in
the South Ionian, Greece. Guess what, I caught two baby Marlin (or
Swordfish). I missed them on two other days, after they bashed the bait then
They were both very small and cute but still the real deal.
The damaged Marlin pictured here with a broken bill, was
dispatched, gutted and handed over to our Sunsail flotilla hostess, Sara,
who prepared cutlets for the BBQ on the beach, in Abeliki Bay, Megannissi,
in the evening. The taste and consistency was similar to Silver Eel and very
The other baby Marlin was allowed to swim free!
Tightlines from Greece, Les
Sunday 14th October
Yesterday was cancelled. I went down to the boat to see all
bar one boat, still on their moorings. I called some others too and was
relieved not to be in the minority with our forecast interpretations
obviously similar. One that did go out, managed the whole day round the
light and found a small Cod, three Bass, a small Skate and plenty of Dogs
for his crew.
Wednesday evening was fished in a tiny tide down the Western
Solent. We had two small Congers, a small Hound, a couple of Dogs and Pout
but it was the weed that spoiled the fishing. A couple of small Cod were
caught the night before in the same area.
Sunday 7th October
The conditions on the favoured inshore mark yesterday was ideal,
with surprisingly little weed and a nice flat sea afforded by the North
Easterly coming from behind the Island. Pouting, lots and some large, made
up the bulk of the catch along with, poor Cod, Dogs, Scad, a mackerel and a
strap Conger making up the rest. I definitely dropped a nodder, attracted by
a large cuttle and squid bait, while Ray Pitt on Sunrise netted a nice
12lb well conditioned Cod for one of his crew. Jeff on Lazy Daze found
similar to us plus another Conger, plus a Bull Huss and a Whiting. Others
reported that things are picking up, so weather permitting we will have a
nice autumn to get out and catch some early winter species. Looking forward
to the mid week evening trips and next weekend. Tightlines, Les.
Sunday 30th September
On Saturday, the Toffs crew from London, had a big tide and
so the Bay was ideal with the wind in the North West.
The high end F4 was supposed to ease off towards the end of the day, it
didn't. First stop for a flatfish failed but that does not mean they are not
there as the next tide gave up some nice Plaice
and Dabs to another boat in the same area. Hopefully we will have another go
for them in the week.
After 45 minutes of nothing with the tide starting to ease we moved out to a
rocky mark and immediately found plenty of life. The three Ballan Wrasse
above all came on the first drop hence the picture before release.
We had Pout and Bream plus more Ballans before Brian caught this fairly rare
Cuckoo Wrasse followed by Ian with a big Corkwing Wrasse, probably the
best specimen at around 8 ozs! Looking to get the species count up we moved
out deeper to find a scad, Mackerel and Dogs, before moving again for the
biggest fish of the day a Small Eyed Ray for Bryn.
Accept for the six or so BBQ Bream and a few large Pout
everything was released to fight another day. We recorded nine species in
total with very little weed caught all day.
Midweek was not great weather wise but we managed to get out on Wednesday
evening where the weed and very heavy slow moving showers made for a testing
session in the dark down the Solent. BUT we were there and you cant catch
them watching TV. The sea was flat calm and the potential felt good but the
weed was a problem for us, even on the last mark fishing in 16' of water, in
the ebb, during the last hour before 11pm.
The evening produced a dozen or so Dogs plus a couple of Pout and
a couple of Bass for Pat but all in all it was a hard night.
All the fish were released.
Pat is pictured with his second Bass that was returned to
grow and hopefully be mother to many more little un's.
Sunday 23rd September
good forecast and reasonable mid range tide allowed the Trident SAC to
test Atherfield and Chale area. We tried a bank at the end of the ebb for 90
minutes for no bites at all. We then went into a deep but rough ground area
and found a few more fish but it was not easy going. Final count was four
Bull Huss to 8.5lb, some Pout at the start of the flood if fishing small
enough and a few poor cod. Six mackerel were caught throughout the day
enabling for decent baits along with the squid and black lug and frozen
mackerel but the fishing didn't pick up at all and the end of the flood
produced nothing. The same as the end of the ebb. We escaped the weed,
fished heavy most of the day, lost some gear and had a hard fish but it was
one of those days. A few reports from other boats were of a hard but nice
day. I will blame it on the Easterly wind.
For those that know Dean and Julie Nash they are visiting
form the States and are having a gathering on TUESDAY evening 7ish at the
OLD MILLl. Contact Candy Huxham.
Next week is looking like a write off for the evening trips
but I will keep you all posted. Tightlines, Les
Tuesday 18th September
Sad news, for those that knew Geoff Wheeler. Geoff passed
away on Sunday, after fighting to the bitter end. I guess that's not an easy
characteristic to shake off, that 'last cast optimism', that makes for a
real good angler, monster vegetable grower and fine bowler. His funeral is
on Friday 28th September at 11am at the Crematorium East Chapel, then back
to the 'Esso Club'.
Geoff made 80 years and was
the wise man of local sea angling. He taught me a lot of what I
still use now. He fished with Jack Hargreaves on the 'Out of Town
Episodes' on ITV. He won £1000 for the best specimen, on one of my old
boats. It was a Ballan Wrasse just under 5lb in the Lymington open. He knew
where they were and we went and caught one! Geoff still holds a fair number of Ashlett
Club records from the boat and shore and was a lifelong member of Lymington
From what I can remember Geoff always seemed fairly old to me
but he was as strong as an ox and had the eyesight of a shit house rat. His
flat fish angling skills were second to none on boat and beach, with the
Ventnor plaice one of his favourites. By the way, Geoff was the only fella
to comb his hair before every photograph. A great character, who has been
sorely missed for sometime now on beach and boat but will now rest easy and
learn what is being landed from a better place, no doubt.
Weekending 16th September
A specimen 16.5lb Smoothhound, for Paul King on White Maiden. This cracker
was caught at slack water, fishing a bank, five miles South of the Island,
yesterday. The big fish collected lines and became part of a cats cradle
under the boat but stayed hooked and swam into my net when asked. Good boy.
One note was a mass of hermit crabs that came up on a launce. I think this
is what the hound was scooping up on the squid bait. Les (another Les) added
a Thornback of about 7lb and Paul a small Tope but the fishing was quiet.
There are Mackerel but they cant be counted on from now. September is a time
for specimen fish and this hound proved it again. Two miles off in the
strong ebb tide we found Dogs and a dozen Mackerel. The red weed was only
just evident on that line. The weather was fantastic again although high
pressure may have put the fish off. Reports were of one or two inshore Cod
being caught during the week and some good Bass amongst the weed.
Wednesday evening was hard as red weed made Sole fishing
nearly impossible in the Solent. The Alan H crew worked really hard, used
lots of worm bait and proved that Soles in red weed were very difficult to
catch. On the island side we had a Hound, small Bream, Dogs and a Spotted
Ray in the light. Now waiting for a sharp blow to get the weed up on the
Weekending 9th September
Back to normal now, with our Okehampton, Dartmoor golf
Holiday a mere distant memory. The inclement weather made the courses play
long and it was hard going but we still enjoyed the change of scenery and
both of us definitely improved.
This Saturday was perfect on White Maiden. September is a
good specimen fish time, for inshore marks and although we never had the
quantity, we certainly got the quality with Steve catching Blondes of 23lb
and 19lb plus a good 9lb Bull Huss. Alan (first timer) had a Bass of 10lb
exactly and a 6lb Bull Huss. Kev had six Bull Huss to 6lb and an 8lb Bass.
Bob caught a feisty 32lb Conger, a 14lb Blonde and a 2lb Bream and a Lesser
Spotted Dogfish (only one!). Dave caught Bull Huss to 4lb and a 4lb Small
Eyed Ray. Robin managed a nice 2lb+ Bream and a small Blonde with John
catching bits and pieces as did most of the others. Bits and pieces included
Poor Cod, Mackerel, Scad and Pouting. The species count came to eleven for
the day, all in lovely sunshine, a slight breeze and a flat calm sea, now
that makes a change! Note the majority of fish caught on the day were
returned to fight again, including the 23lb and 14lb Blonde, most of the
eight Bull Huss and most of the smaller fish.
The Wilts Farmers Wednesday evening trip was a cracker
as far as weather and sea conditions were concerned. We found a couple of
nice Plaice and a nice Bream and one Sole after dark but the shallow inshore
trips are being spoilt by the copious red weed, maily on the bigger tides.
Below is Clive with the best Bream along with Richard and his Plaice and
then Ian with a slightly bigger Plaice of around 2lbs.
To see next years available dates click on
Weekending 26th August
I have been on Holiday but the Bass are going well when you
can find them this week. Along with the Bass fishing, Soles will be number
one or two in the charts for some, at night and well into the dark, which
does not suit everyone. Along with the Soles come all sorts of species with
some Stingers hitting 50lb last year!
I am now working on next years boat availability and will
publish my 2013 fishing schedule over the next two weeks, after advising my
regular crews first.
Weekending 19th August
Funny week this one as it has been very hot and very humid
but quiet on the fishing front. The Mackerel trips on Thursday around
Yarmouth was OK weather wise but we struggled to find a total of six caught
Mackerel plus a few Scad on the first trip, matched by a similar return on
the second trip.
Then today the Trident SAC, with me having a go too, well I
am on 'holiday', struggled to find a decent specimen while drifting the
banks. I managed two Turbot and an Undulate Ray all very interesting fish
but very small too. Andy, after recovering from the swell, had this
Thornback on the drift and Chris caught a small Bass the same way but apart
from Mackerel and Scad, it was a very quiet day. Bling and bait seemed to
put the fish off, as I guess the water must be clearing all the time. The
live Mackerel completely failed to catch but the ''vanish' flurocarbon nylon
traces with small size 2 hooks and small slithers of belly mackerel worked
Weekending 12th August
Yesterday was a bit breezy from the East and so we fished
Christchurch Bay on a species hunt. The rocky areas held fish while the
sandy marks seemed almost devoid of them even a dogfish wa snot interested
in fresh mackerel and worm! The rocks claimed plenty of tackle but catching
rather than not was the order of the day.
We started with nine species from the first snaggy mark, then nearly
duplicated the same species count when we returned in the afternoon,
after our sortie to look for a Plaice along Barton and more Bream and a
Ray off Milford. We failed while drifting at Barton and while anchored at Milford but
managed a comfortable day even with the wind at 18 knots. On the
left is Dave and Ian showing two of the four Bull Huss. These were attracted
to simple baits
along with Black Bream, Pollock, Mackerel, Scad, Pout, Poor Cod, Tom Pot
Blenny and Ballan Wrasse. Garfish would have been caught if they were fished
for and a ground bait net hung off the stern. Maybe next time. Mackerel were
easily caught on the way back on the flood.
There is a species comp this week, I think Tuesday, Tim
Doswell, on Ocean Lass is the competition secretary. It will be interesting
to see what is caught. I have been denied leave from work as we are too busy
and half staff.
On Thursday evening the 'Chas crew' fished an the ebb tide which means the Mackerel disperse
from the usual haunts found on the flood. In the end, after a really good
evening, which included the 800m and 200m Olympic finals, watched on White
Maidens flat screen TV, we managed to find just sixteen of them searching on
a thirteen mile round
trip. Now that's fishing and not catching! We had a great evening though in fantastic summer weather.
On Wednesday evening the Alan Headley crew found a few
species too, only out deep this time. We nipped out to three miles on a good
forecast. If other people did this for £175 per evening charter I wouldn't
have ever got my own boat! The evening started with three School Bass and
finished with three Congers to around 20lb. There was also the odd Pout, Poor Cod, Scad, Mackerel,
and a rare 1lb 2oz Three Bearded Rockling, for Ben on the left. The fishing
wasn't blistering but John Bellamy proved again that cuttle draws in the
Congers in the summer too.
Next week is looking annoyingly 'changeable' but note that
there are some spaces still on Mackerel trips on Thursday.
Weekending 5th August
Sorry, nothing to report from me after all three scheduled
trips this week, were cancelled due to Strong South Westerly Winds in the
forecast. Note that strong winds were also recorded during the times that we
would have been out there. The forecast has been pretty much spot on which
is good as it has saved us all wasting lots of time and effort.
Here's looking forward to next week. Note that I just added
two Tuesday evening trips planned on small tides in September targeting
Soles and other species.
Weekending 28th July
We went to Weymouth today, Sunday, to watch the first day of Olympic
Sailing. It was a great day out and the racing was better seen from the
Nothe than it was on the big screen. My binoculars were handy though,
keeping an eye on Big Ben. This was very well organised and well run event,
with the Park and Ride spot on. We had such a good day out we may return to
watch a final or two with GBR interest in Gold, as that would be a fantastic
experience. We will have to keep an eye on the results.
Yesterday, Saturday. the Trident SAC crew from Watford found a
dozen Bass early on with 8 keepers amongst them while drifting in perfect conditions. Mackerel were
more available in the top layer too today, for a change. Moving out to a
wreck with the wind picking up and tide easing we tested both sides and over
the top for a few Pout before anchoring up the bottom edge of the face of a
bank. Here John caught two Rays in succession first a 13lb Blonde Ray and then an
Undulate Ray, both were returned to fight again. A few dogs and a Bream was all we
could find over slack water. The wind picked up and the sea built and the
anchor dragged on a fairly short rope. While doing a small job I had
forgotten that I had kept the anchor short,
anyway it was time for a change so on the way back we had another drift and found another Bass and
plenty of Mackerel.
Thursday's evening Mackerel trip of Individuals was well
attended. The Mackerel were not over abundant but they were on the large
size. There was a Bass and a Gar too making up the catch and the evening was
as good as it gets this time of year with Alum Bay and the Needles, before
sunset, as ever an awesome site.
Wednesday's evening trip was one of the quietest
ever with the Pat Warne crew, less Pat. We really did struggle to find the
fish, with just a couple of Small Eyed Rays and a couple of Dogfish, a few Mackerel plus a
single Pollock and a single Scad making up the catch. It was not for the
want of trying either. The evening was flat calm, beautiful, still hot at 19
degrees at 11pm but incredibly quiet, unbelievable.
There are a few spaces left on the Thursday evening Mackerel
trip but we will have to see what the weather does.
Weekending 22nd July
About time too! A weekend with a bit of decent weather. The
high pressure made for a really lovely day round the Needles area with light
winds and partly cloudy skies making for a decent summers day. The fishing
for the London and Cardiff Toffs gathered by Bryn was not so good on the morning flood
and while on the drift but we tested a few
likely banks, a reef and a wreck, with no results excepting the odd Mackerel
and Scad. On anchor over the slack water and start of the ebb we found a few
species with Bass, Bream, Dogs and a Thornback livening things up. Star men
were topped with Chris and his Bass of 5lb and 6lb. He's shown above with
his two good Bass that preferred whole squid to fresh Mackerel. Then came Shane with his Tope and Thornback while Ian also chipped in
with a Tope. I didn't like to say too much at the time but young Chris had
the best specimen, a big old Lesser Spotted Dogfish, not far short of 3lb.
Well I had to weigh it didn't I... thanks for the good clean up on the way
There's just a few spaces coming up, on Mackerel trips, a
space on a Saturday and one evening trip free in August. Here's looking
forward to summer!
Weekending 15th July
Wind and rain stopped play. The forecast this Friday was the
same and turned out as
inaccurate as the previous Friday and I wasn't getting caught out again so
decided to cancel. After talking to one or two boats that tested the Needles
on Saturday it was a good plan not to have gone out. Thursday evening was just
Of the boats that went out today Sunday, they reported Mackerel
to be found but the shoals have been split up by the weather inshore, 4
miles off and there is loads. There are Rays and Bass plus the odd Turbot
out on the Banks and Bream inshore plus lots of Hounds down the Western
Solent. So if you can get a nice day, it is definitely worth a bash pretty
much anywhere at the moment.
Weekending 8th July
Yesterday, Saturday, the Church Crookham SAC crew and I
learned that the
forecast had changed from that given the night before. Instead of the F4 - F5
with slight seas, we got a F7 mid morning which was not very nice with the continuous rain
on it too.
The fish played along for their competition though with Bream and Dogfish
keeping Paul and Richard in for a shout right up to the end when the sea had
built to a point where we had to leave for home. They tied first place with 6
6 Dogs each. We had some very hard rain with winds that averaged 28 knots at
11:30 gusting to 38 knots. Not ideal and so the trip
was restricted to a 1pm finish.
There was no way I was getting the camera on
the deck for any of this. The mackerel were playing hard to get. And the
Gannets seem to be getting braver over the last couple of trips hitting the
water right around the boat and stealing anglers bait. They are the last
things that I want to unhook being twice the size of a Herring Gull!
On Thursday evening Rick Godwin and the Carnival House crew
were blessed with perfect weather, absolutely flat calm, no wind and
The fish didn't like it though with Mackerel still hard to
catch in numbers and the Bass shy too compared to the day before.
The huge amount of rain we have had must have affected them
somehow. We managed to find some Pollock and also recovered an anchor that
was buoyed off fine but also had 80' of brown warp floating off of it.
The picture on the left was taken at 9:30pm on a really
On Wednesday the Stuart Young Fireman crew had a favourable
forecast for their inshore Bass trip. The first mark we drifted produced 14 Bass
and needed some time before we could move away from it. This threw timings
slightly but we got to a deeper bank heading South just before the tide
eased right off for a couple of drifts for just one small tope.
We anchored up for
a 90 odd minute period over slack water and at the start of the ebb caught Tope to 15lb, a couple of Thornbacks to 8lb and
this cracking Small Eyed Ray for Bill at 10lb 8oz weighed prior to release.
On the right Paul caught the best Bass just under 6lb towards
the end of the day.
Below is the crew showing off their catch, each keeping one
Bass and releasing the rest. The two commercial boats hitting the same banks
wont thank us but a couple may escape them, we hope.
Weekending 1st July
These strong winds are becoming very annoying now. If it was
not for my Tuesday evening trips throughout June I would have hardly got out
at all. So yesterday, (Saturday) and also Thursday evening fell foul to
strong winds, again.
Tuesday evening with the Wiltshire Farmer crew, was a bit misty to
start with but we ended in dense fog. I wish I had returned a little earlier as
approaching the Needles Light from the South in a bit of sea, in the pitch
black, shrouded with fog was horrible. Slightly worse, was the leg from the
light down to Hurst in a following sea but we were OK with the Garmin RADAR
overlay doing its job again, allowing me to 'detect' two trawlers on my
The fishing was OK too with plenty of Mackerel, far too many
at one point, some good eating size Pollock, a Bass and a Thornback plus two
really big Scad or Horse Mackerel for Justin and myself. They were between
1lb 13oz and 2lb and were the biggest specimen Scad that I have seen. It was
nice to get the Bass and this week the plan is to target them, if we get the
chance that is. I am all prepared and ready to go, lets hope the weather
plays it's part. Justin, on the right, is showing off his specimen Scad,
while Richard's Thornback was returned.
Meanwhile the Solent is producing some good double figure
Hounds to worm and
crab and the Bream are still on the feed. There is the odd sole too.
If anyone is looking for a boat trip over the next eight
weeks, I have spaces on evening Mackerel Trips 19/25 July and 2/9/16 August
at £15 pp. Also I have a couple of evening individuals trips on the 11th July
and 8th August at £25pp.
The 4th August and 11th August are both available Saturday individual trips at
£45pp. All these dates can still be booked as whole boat charters if
all spaces are available still. My admin was a bit lax after leaving a
couple of trips showing booked when they should have been showing as
also added an extra evening.
Looking forward to less breezy conditions in July and August.
Weekending 24th June
Today, Saturday and then again on Thursday evening, both
charters fell foul to strong SW winds. Annoying but this pattern is bound to break soon,
isn't it? It has to be the law of averages that turns the summer round for
However, earlier in the week we did manage an evening trip on
White Maiden on Tuesday evening, this time hosting the Alan Headley
and Bryn crews.
We were blessed also with loads of Mackerel, and plenty of
Pollock all caught on the drift. These Pollock are not big but they are a
great eating size and are plentiful when you find them, a bit like the
Mackerel. During our
anchored time, which coincided with the footy England 1 - Ukraine 0, the
lads caught a nice Brill, a small Tope, a Whiting, a Small Eyed Ray and lots
It was such a clear night there was even enough light
to see us back round the Needles Bridge at 10:20pm, the picture above was
taken from the helm. That's what it should be like this time of year! If the
government did align our clocks with Central European Time (GMT +1hr) that
would mean in the summer we could have an extra hour of evening sunlight and
activity would certainly increase all around the country after work on these
light evenings! I have to mention the excellent boat clean up lads and
thanks for the fish, all cleaned and bagged-up ready for the fridge.
Weekending 17th June
Long time no update! Well the weather has been awful, however
we did get out to the Ledge last Tuesday with the Pat Warne crew and found
the water temp down at 12 degrees again and the Bream fishing gone quiet.
Just Wrasse and Dogs were taking the bait selection. Back in and on another
mark we fished into darkness for more dogs, it was unbelievably poor
fishing, considering the tide and weather conditions were perfect. The
Sunday that before a few good fish were taken on the banks with Bass and
Rays taking the fresh Macky. There are one or two good plaice showing now
too. Tuesday looks good again so I have another chance then. Sorry no
pictures from last Tuesday as I think you know what a wrasse and a dogfish
look like :-)....
Weekending 2nd June
Yesterday, I hosted a local crew in a F5 Easterly, with an
ebbing tide and a nice bit of weather, to learn that the better Bream have
now started to move in and be caught more easily. The sea temperature is
still low for June but is getting up to a heady 13 degrees! I am convinced
it is necessary for these spawning Bream in our area to have the sea
temperature up and over 12.5 degrees. Pictured below are some of the crew
who accounted for a load of Mackerel, about 20 odd Bream to 2.5lb, Wrasse,
the ever present Dogfish plus a small Tope. For some this was the first
Bream they have had and so the quality along with the weather made for a
reasonable day out. My first aid training came in useful too after a small
accident. While I was putting a spoon of sugar in a mug, some wash forced
boiling water out of the kettle spout and onto the back of my hand. Regular
immersions in the 'cold' sea water appears to have done the trick. Time will
tell but this morning all appears to be OK.
On Tuesday we got out round the Needles Light with the Wilts
Farmers crew. They caught plenty of fish with the biggest ones biting off
the hooks. Some small Tope were in the area and we were alongside some rough
stuff again. There was plenty of effort but the better specimen fish never
gave themselves up easily and so the camera was not called into action.
Species were limited to copious Mackerel, Pout, Dogs and a small Tope. I
struggled with the wind against tide as it prevented us exploring more
ground while on the drift but when the tide got going we settled nicely at
anchor. The bigger fish could not be 'lip hooked' and the Mackerel kept
jumping on their baited Mackerel feathers on the way down, well they would
wouldn't they ;-)....
Weekending 27th May
Yesterday the Paul Johnson crew were camping at Hurst Spit
for the weekend and wanted a morning trip. As it turned out this was ideal
in the strong sunshine and brisk force 6 Easterly. The wind set us beam on,
wind against tide, for the whole time at anchor. As we were protected by
Milford we still had for a comfy day on White Maiden a BWSeatCat catamaran.
Even the wind was ideal, taking the edge off the heat. This was like fishing
abroad, fantastic. The fish obliged too with plenty of Bream, some large
Mackerel and the trusty dogfish making a show. The guys kept and cleaned
just enough to take back for a BBQ and released more than they kept. A very
enjoyable but rare half day trip for me.
On Thursday evening the Chas crew were blessed with sunshine
and no wind only we were surrounded by fog, sometimes down to 30 meters vis.
We found some Mackerel first and then when we anchored on a rough mark where
we found lots more mackerel! Below the Macky were Tope, Dogs, Pout and a
Whiting. The colours of the evening in the fog as the sunset was 'truly
awesome'. The company was great and the fishing good. It was a relaxing trip
with the Garmin 'High Definition' RADAR overlaying the 12" electronic chart
plotter, guiding us home safely. It's for these occasions that we invest so
much money into this navigation equipment that makes it worth while for both
the skipper and the crew.
Weekending 20th May
Yesterday we had great conditions and found lots of fish for a busy Church Crookham SAC competition.
There were plenty of Mackerel plus one Herring and early too,
when we needed them. Over some rough ground we found a couple of reasonable
Pollock and a load of Pout which made chalking the board a busy job. Then
after just one Bream and a building ebb tide, we chased the Bream closer
inshore, only to find more Pout and Dogs plus a few Whiting. One Whiting was
retrieved 'alive' with at least half of it bitten off but at this mark we
still failed to get the high points scoring Black Bream. After a third move,
back out deeper again, as the tide eased right off, we found more Dogs and
Pout, and eventually more Black Bream. The target fish came more or less on
the final whistle. We ended with seven Bream most caught in the last fifteen
minutes, that's fishing! However, this made the competition one of the best
these guys have had with myself, as Richard piped Paul, right at the end of
The Bream still feel like they are making their way inshore.
The hen fish are rowed up and in good condition and I suspect that
finding them will become easier from now as this week warms up and the sea
Note that I have just removed an incorrect voice mail on my
advertised phone number. I do still have some trips available in 2012!
Note too that I have written a
report about Guernsey and added a few more pictures.
On Saturday the Simon Moody crew were blessed with perfect
weather with a Northerly dropping off to nearly nothing. The pressure was
right up there at 1038mb but the fishing was quite good. We found our first
decent Mackerel and Bream, probably about 4 weeks later than last year but
now they are here!
In the end the crew of six caught seven species, mainly
quality Black Bream between 2lb and 2lb 12oz. Then there were the skippers
favourite tea, specimen Pouting up around the 3lb mark plus a Bull Huss,
Whiting, Mackerel, Dogfish and Gar, to make seven species in all. How we
never got a Skate, Pollock or Conger, where we were sat, I'll never know.
That's saved for next time out.
Guernsey 2012 with Trident SAC - Over last weeks bank
holiday weekend, I was away with Trident SAC in Guernsey. Pictures say a thousand
words so here's the story in pictures to be scripted when time permits!
Thanks for a nice time lads and for some good fishing with Richard Keen on
the Margaret K, St Peter Port, Guernsey.
Weekending 5th May
Dreary, murky, damp, cold and quiet and that's not just the
fishing, that's the weather too! On Thursday the Johnny crew had a 'flat
calm' all evening, with a bit of drizzle, a plague of Pout, some dogs and a
solitary Bully. A pleasant trip but nothing to set the world alight. The
Solent is chocolate brown in places as is Christchurch Bay with a big tide
line extending a mile off Barton with brown water one side and greener water
the other. Unfortunately the sea temperature is still down at 10 degrees.
Those bream must come back on the feed soon.
I'm off to Guernsey with the Trident SAC in the next half
hour where we will be fishing on a Lochen outt from St Peter port called 'Margret
K' with Richard Keen. The weather looks crap but I am looking forward to it in a
masochistic sort of way:-). The only let down is that spotty dog tackle
could not get my order through to me within ten days of the order. So I have
to rely on my existing stock of shads, rappallas, eddystone eels and
sidewinders. The plan is to experiment with speed of retrieval and colours
and see if I can catch anything special.
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend and Tightlines, Les.
Weekending 29th April
A washout, with gales, as predicted by the 'law of averages'.
John Skeggs reported a hard day in the Bay on Friday with the sea the colour
of tea. This can only mean the fish are saved up for when we can get at
Weekending 22nd April
The TOFFs, a crew from London and Cardiff, were blessed with
perfect weather to test the Bay for Bream. We spent the first 90 minutes
over a rock and sand area before trying another 90 minutes on a deeper mark,
before trying a more inshore mark, before running down the Solent to a
fourth mark to finish the day with no Bream! The best time was before the
end of the flood on the deeper rocky Christchurch Bay mark where we found a
few Pollock, Pout, Dogs, a Tompot Blenny and Wrasse but nothing to set the
day alight. The win was for this crew is that they were on their holidays
and managed to get some practice in and although the wind increased all day
we stayed comfy and competitive with good Bream traces and bait somehow
failing to capitalise on the conditions. It was not for the want of trying.
Other reports from the others boats were much the same, so obviously it was
one of those days. Maybe the heavy showers and hale that we have had this
week has cooled the water down enough to put them off. Anyway these were the
first Pollock of the inshore season so not all bad, especially as they left
them for me.
The fishing was not easy this weekend but we are expecting
the bait fish to come closer again next week and the tide will allow us to
push off further if the weather is kind again. I have five spaces next week
so if you want some fresh air and banter call me on 07977241355 or e-mail on
firstname.lastname@example.org we may
even find some fish!
Weekending 15th April
This quickly assembled crew allowed me to have another good
go at the banks with conditions inshore eminently viable. We probably could
have pushed out even further in hindsight but the comfort factor had to be
included. Two Blonde Rays went 19lb and a third 10lb which meant they were
good fish but interestingly all caught more or less the same time. I
estimated that all three were hooked within four minutes of each so they
must have been moving as a small 'shoal' across the face of the bank we were
fishing. However after this hectic period we struggled with only Dogs, pin
Whiting and Pout taking an interest. We had our first inshore Mackerel of
the year after just one fell to a string of feathers left out for the
A tactical move inshore to some rough ground found more dogs
a Pout and a big fish that bit through believed to be a very big Conger
because of how it fought and where we were. So not great yet but a couple of
good fish all the same. Pictured from left to right is Ian, myself and Kev
with three nice Blondes all live and kicking.
Steve Davies on 'Agay' fishing solo a few miles East of us
had a great day with Blondes to 21lb, two Undulate Rays of 13lb and 14lb a
couple of Congers and a Tope that was bigger than 35lb plus Dogs and
Whiting. In Christchurch Bay the Bream are starting to show along with a few
Pollock plus other species.
Fingers crossed on the weather next week for a first go at
the Black Bream during some of the evening on Wednesday and Saturday
Tighlines, Les (Rugby season nearly over!).
Weekending 8th April
Happy Easter. This is serious 'scratching' around time of
year, particularly in these big tides, while we wait for the bait fish, the
humble Mackerel, to find their way inshore. There are a few fish around
including some early Bream but none are easy to catch as they concentrate on
their spawning. On Saturday the Trident SAC had perfect conditions, good
bait selection and put in plenty of effort but it was difficult and returns
The Dogfish were prevalent and only Mike left could find
something bigger than a Dog with this small Hound and then Roy caught the
only Pout! I told you it was hard work! Still we actually had a good day of
banter and weather along with a well earned bacon butty. So a big thanks to
the lads for their perseverance working through the Dogs.
During the day we tested a bank in two places, drifted some
rough stuff and also an inshore wreck. We all tried hard to no avail.
Sometimes, that can be fishing, for us.
Friday's crew of inexperienced anglers organised by Paul
fared slightly better with a Bass for Sam, a Small Eyed Ray for Paul and a
Smoothound for Billy plus another hound and a couple of Whiting and of
course plenty of Dogfish. The weather was perfect again. Thanks for a great
day on the sea and see you next on the Good Friday, which will be later in
With some nice small tides coming up next weekend, weather
permitting, we will aim to get offshore and exploit the banks and wrecks
Note on Saturday 28th April I have 5 spaces. This is a small
tide so Plan A will be to get offshore a bit but we will also have a good
Plan B down the Solent on that tide, so basically we have a really good
chance of getting out and finding a few fish. Around the beginning of May is
a good time in our fishing calendar.
Happy Easter again and Tightlines, Les
Weekending 1st April
What a lovely day to be back out there again with Trident
SAC, and hardly anyone else except for Skeggsy on Last Laugh and the dinghy
boys. We never saw a wave all day. It certainly didn't feel like summer as
the Easterly breeze was cool and seemed to keep the fish down too. Reports
from everywhere were of a slow day.
We tried a couple of banks about ten miles South and it was
quiet out there with a small Conger, Dogs and this big looking Whiting
caught by Chris, which looks much heavier than the 2lb 4oz showed by the
scales. In the end we anchored just up tide of a large wreck and lured the Congers
our way with about 8 released to 20lb and around the same number lost. This
at least tested their gear.
Other reports were of some good Rays with one boat that
drifted our wreck saying that he found a nice Blonde at 28lb, although apart from
that they too had a very quiet day. There were few good Spurrs found but not on
the line that we chose to fish but then we may have moved around a bit too much
to let them find us.
Super angler, aka 007 or Cuzzy, Mick Cousin caught a nice 25lb Cod from his own boa
'Black Hawk'. Well
someone had to catch one as there is always a couple swimming in our area.
Next week we have very big tides over the Easter weekend so we will be species hunting
in and around
the Bay and eating chocolate eggs and some decent bacon sarnies.
Weekending 25th March
Two weeks of hard graft! Thanks largely to the extended Jones
family 'White Maiden' is now back on her moorings, as good as new and all
ready to go.
Last year was a fairly quick job and so this made this years
effort twice as hard!
This weekend for those on the water already, the bigger tides
either made for a mid-channel sortie for Pollock or for an inshore chance
your arm with some lovely weather. T Shirts and sea in March, this is bloody
awesome weather for the UK before the clocks spring forward.
Some nice Rays were caught on the inshore banks and a few Bass were caught
up the Solent.
The Shambles are giving up some lovely Turbot for the
Weymouth and poole boys, with Dave Wilson catching a new Wessex Record,
heading out from Poole, a tad under 30lb. Dave is not slow coming foreward
so I am sure you will see alot of him and his Turbo in the angling press.
Not only is the boat in but the Mullet are in early too, see below, some of
them are massive, not these mind these were only a few pounds.
Tighlines again, Les (looking forward to next weekend).
Weekending 17th March
Bloody back breaking! Thanks to Brian and Mitch, Rob and
Alison, I will still get all the work done. Tightarse, Les.
Weekending 11th March
She's out! All hard work form now on. My back
was bad before she came out and now it is really solid. I got a couple of
hard weeks ahead of me, not a nice thought. Tightbacks, Les.
Weekending 3rd March
The only trusted report I have is of three solo boats that
tested the ground more than a few miles off on Friday. They found Congers at
slack water and a couple of nice Blondes both over 20lb with the best at
25lb plus a cracking Ling of 23lb. So when the tide is small there are still
some good fish to be caught out deeper.
White Maiden is coming out this week and so my work on her
begins in earnest. The Fawley U16's rugby tour to Guernsey this weekend is
now becoming a treasured memory. Guernsey is a truly great place to visit so
now looking forward to my fishing holiday out from St Peter Port in early
May. I'm with Trident SAC, on Richard Keens 'Margaret K', which he recovered
himself, after a new engine and complete refit and after she had sank, all
Weekending 19th February
True to form Trident SAC coincided with a F6 - F8 SW forecast
again on Saturday, so we cancelled.
A few boats got round on Sunday. Inshore two solo skippers found one Cod
each but it was quiet. On the Thursday last week another skipper found the
Congers a bit further out, while on the 10 to 12 mile banks there is some
excellent fishing still to be had if the tides and forecast allow for it.
Look out for Ryans Blonde Ray below, in this weeks Thursday echo.
Weekending 5th February
Yesterday, (Saturday) I took a local crew out on the coldest start I have
possibly ever had, with temperatures showing -6 degrees! The deck was iced
up and we needed to pour on warmer Solent sea water to clear it off. Once
out round the back we found the Channel was like a mill pond with a slight
and chilly breeze but the sunshine took the edge off that. The first stop
produced a Conger for Kev of 26lb plus a dogfish and after ninety quiet
minutes, I gave the option for a move. It was a small tide and I was torn
between the Whiting inside me or the bigger fish that I assumed had started
to move offshore, outside me. In the end we went out deeper. The move worked
as the lads caught another seven Congers between 15lb and 25lb and a nice
Ray. Mike is seen doing the Conger on the right. On the last drop Ryan who
persevered well latched into this very pretty Blonde Ray of 21lb. A lovely
fish. All the Congers and the Ray were returned to fight another day.
Tight Lines, Les
Weekending 28th January
Yesterdays (Saturday) crew found the conditions good for this time of
year. Not as
cold as promised, no frost, a bit breezy from the North, so only small waves
when inshore, and a nice bit of sunshine. The first big fish broke me off,
this was later caught by Dave in the stern, with my trace hanging
out of the Congers mouth. I messed up another heavy bite. Off the wire and
now on braid the next big hit felt like it
was hooked on, so basically ignored I my own advice when fishing big
baits, and struck and missed. You must give line and be patient and feed the fish. A few Whiting
came on the feed at the end of the flood, the first being shown by Colin
here. Alan caught a reasonable one maybe a tad larger but generally the
Whiting were playing hard to get. At the start of the ebb a very big fish, nodding
and fighting just like a Cod, broke Mike's
leader, as he tried to stop it taking line. So all in all, if you take out the forty odd Dogs fish and Pout, not
the best fishing but we had a chance and who knows what Mike lost, it was
Inside of us was Eric on 'Wight Rebel' who found two Cod
for his crew around the 12lb mark, John Skeggs on 'Last Laugh' found four
Cod for his crew plus Whiting. Another boat near John lost a huge Ling, well
over 20lb, initially believed to be a Conger, which was left in the water
while a tangle was sorted, only for the Ling to shake the hook, as it was
noticed, not to be a Conger! They even up anchored to chase it down the
tide but the big Ling went back down again. They also has plenty of Whiting
to 4lb. Stainless Steve, had a Spurr Dog, a Smooth hound, a Cod and good
Whiting in the same area.
You Just got to get out there and test the ground.
Looking forward to next week, Tightlines, Les.
Weekending 21st January
Too breezy this weekend so I used the day well and changed my engine
oil, oil filters and spark plugs on both engines while still on the
moorings. It was gusty which didn't help much but not too cold and I never
dropped anything. After a quick test drive out to the end of the river and
back I was home watching the Rugby. Hanging off the back of the boat for 5
hours was more akin to gymnastics than engine maintenance, I was shattered.
John Skeggs on 'Last Laugh' fished the Needles on Tuesday for three
nice Cod and some big Whiting, so they were still around then. He also
tested the Solent last Sunday with a crew that needed to get out, and they
pulled a nice Cod out of there too, so fingers crossed for next week.
Weekending 15th January
morning the ice was on the outside of the windows at first but when cleared off,
it began to freeze up on the inside, before I left my moorings to pick up
Church Crookham SAC. It was their January Needles competition. This was the
first genuine frozen 0800 start of the winter so far. We got to
the mark just as the flood got away against a F4 maybe even a F5,
coming straight at us from the South East. Luckily the sun helped take the
edge off the cold breeze at a time when White Maiden swung from side to side
on anchor. Not very nice for the anglers.
Fishing was slow but very fishable in the 85% spring tide. First to show was
a small Thornback, followed by a few dogs but not a sign of a big fish. This
signalled the trigger for plan A to maintain it's course with a
pre-determined move at 'half time' when the tide was easier for the crew. We nipped out another mile,
probably 30 minutes late with hindsight and found a
bit more life but it was still fairly quiet. The barometer read 1034mb,
possibly a reason for the slow fishing?
Paul added some nice Whiting, a 15lb Conger and Dogs to his
small TBR to take the competition honours. Peter fished hard all day on wire
and when a really big fish pulled hard away, very shortly into the scrap,
the obvious monster simply let go.
Keith caught the first of the Whiting at the end of the flood
on his Cod bait and is pictured right. Paul seemed to be the only one to
find them consistently at the start of the ebb, which was frustrating for
the rest. It felt like a fairly hard day as the fishing was slow and we we never found a Cod.
After talking with some of the other skippers, there was the odd double
figure cod caught on some of the other boats. The previous day two boats
caught 10 Cod between them while the wind was from the West. Today we had
high pressure and Easterlies not a nice combination but sometimes we still
buck the trend. Here's looking forward to another go at them next week.
Tightlines, Les Jones.
Weekending 8th January
three hours of fishing, a few miles off, over the top of the tide for very
little, we came back in a mile or so and soon
found the fish feeding on the ebb. I managed to coax a 20lb Cod onto a massive
bait of cuttle and squid, presented on two 10/0 hooks. The bite required plenty of
time as I gave it lots of line. Next came Steve's Cod which believe it or
not was not as big as it looks but more clever perfect camera
presentation. This is Steve's 20th personal Needles Cod this season thus
far. After the first two Cod, two Congers at around 30lb and a 15lb also
fell to Steve's baits and just to prove that some of the bites being missed were Cod,
I boated another one of 12lb. The
other lads worked hard and stuck at it but on these high pressure days it is
best to feed the Cod rather than strike early. Having said that, we all
still lose them.
squid and cuttle combination was deadly but is not inexpressive and very
messy but works well. The trick is to get that ink leaking out down the
tide. A good cuttle can be used for three drops. One Cod coughed up a sea
mouse which had a fluorescent hairy back. The local nickname is 'mermaids
snatch'! The actual translation of it's latin name is just that a 'Mermaids
Vagina'! Here is a picture of the belly at
about 70mm long it looked almost prehistoric.
to Steve Forster, we believe this little bird to be a juvenile Black
Guillemot, a member of the Auk
family and not a member of the Diver family. Guillemots cousins include Puffins and Razorbills. We often see
Guillemots in small 'flocks'
swimming on the surface often directly above the mackerel and Bass, useful
When I returned this 'anchor' the Manager of the
chandlery shop was a bit dismissive. Surely if you buy and test something and it doesn't work you can get your money back
(see last weeks story on 2011 link below). Anyway after an extended conversation he agreed to swap the Delta copy (that
looked like an anchor) for a Bruce (or Claw) copy anchor. I now have two
Bruce copy anchors and
White Maiden is better prepared now. After
reviewing the August 2011 PBO article I found that the PBO team didn't even
test a Delta copy. Is that because the results may have been too
controversial? If you have one, you may as well throw it away.
I noted that most sailing boats in our Marina use a Delta copy, Plough' or CQR type anchor.
If only they spent more time anchoring in a bit of weather, rather than tying
up in Marina's, they may not bother with them either. I suspect the original
Deltas work much better.
Note I have added a new link, to Ben Creasers sea angling
blog at his 'WightWaterAngling'
website, check out my Angling Links page.
Reminder that I added 'Buoys' as a regular and useful link on
my FrontPage. This
links directly to the Greenwich Lightship data page at the National Data
Buoy Center or NDBC. There are two buoys in our approximate sea area giving
us live data. The Greenwich Lightship is about 40 miles, mid channel, SE
from us and the Channel Lightship is about 50 miles, mid channel SW of us.
To see the Channel Lightship data, enlarge the small chart and click on the
square North of the Channel Island's. I use these to give me an idea of how
big the sea maybe when I round the Needles Light, after a blow. Note
the maths behind the wave height figure. Significant wave height, WVHT,
is approximately equal to the average of the highest one-third of the waves,
as measured from the trough to the crest of the waves. Therefore there could
be much bigger waves out there, so be warned.
Happy New Year and Tightlines, Les.