2016 CATCH REPORTS
Monday 2nd January
December was a fantastic month of weather for us down South. The Christmas
week carried on the trend. Bryn is first up with a nice Thornback from
Thursdays TOFFS trip. Bryn also beat a big Eel to the boat, where it nearly
pulled my shoulder out while trying to T-bar it off!
The next day was very foggy on the way out and on the way
back. Crookham SAC found the Whiting feeding better with some nice ones
amongst the twenty caught. Richard above shows a 3lb'er, David had the best
one weighed at 3lb 4oz and Keith with the first Whiting of the day, as the
Needles came into view. David then relaxed after reeling in his nice
Undulate Ray. Congers, another Ray, Dogs and Pout also kept the competition
Below is another picture of White Maiden 2. She is still
sporting her original name that was changed that afternoon. It has been
non-stop, I can tell you.
I have the change of owner Survey on Tuesday and so there
are still a few jobs to do. So that's it for now. Another brief update.
Happy New Year and Tight Lines as always, Les
Tuesday 20th December
Above right is Dave from the Sunday before last with a
specimen Undulate Ray. Dave caught the Ray along with five or six Congers,
for a busy day. Next is a picture of myself with a large bottle of Bison
Beer kindly sent by Garry of Loni's Fishing Tackle, New Milton. This will be
empty very shortly! Next is Ian and Pat with Bass from Wednesday's evening
trip, last week. We fished a massive tide with a big full moon and the lads
witnessed a really stunning winters evening on the Solent, just off Park
Below is Rob with his Conger caught during the Highfield
Fire Fighters trip from last Thursday. One fella came straight from the big
Services fire at Junction 6 on the M25. Next is Russell with one of the best
Conger caught on Saturday during his first ever charter trip. Then there is
George with a nice double figure Thornback from Sundays trip. This Ray was a
bit odd, as nearly everything, bar one more Thornback Ray were all Conger
Eels. We estimated the lads boated well over 35 Eels at an average of around
18lb. So that was around 600lb of fish hauled up and released during the
day. The Cod as you can see from the last four trips pictures are playing
hard to get, although there are a few around. There are spaces on Thursdays
trip if anyone fancies a fish down the Western Solent.
Tight lines and a very Merry Christmas to all White Maiden
anglers and friends. Les Jones
Saturday 10th December
I have been very busy with a new boat purchase over the
last two weeks along with some fishing trips too. Note that 'White Maiden'
is still the boat that we will be fishing on until changeover time, early in
January. On Wednesday my new boat 'Emma Jayne' was delivered by the owner
due to poor weather forecasts and limited travel options. After mooring up
and a quick lunch in the Haven Bistro, I took the owner/skipper and mate
back to Itchenor, near Selsey. 'Emma Jayne' is soon to be renamed 'White
Maiden II'. 'White Maiden II' is now tucked up on a winter berth while I get
all the necessary changeover steps put in place. I now need a few practice
trips as she is a lot heavier, much higher on the water, more powerful and a
bit longer. So on Thursday, after insuring her, I had a test drive in the
Solent with Hugh as crew, followed by some close quarter manoeuvres. Hugh
also knows the Raymarine Navigation Systems very well too, so we had a
really good play. I really appreciated his help. This short handling session
resulted in a perfect berthing, without a touch on either side. Very
relieved and a bit more relaxed now.
The fishing has been great on some days but certainly not
consistent. Last week the lads did well with Ken and his 16lb Cod, Alan with
his 9lb Bass and Wee Man with his 3lb Whiting. On this trip there were also
three Thornback Rays and about fifteen Congers to 25lb.
The next day within 100 meters of the Wednesday trip but a
meter deeper we had the same catch less the Cod, Bass and large Whiting...
frustrating. Then on Monday this week the fishing was harder again off the
Needles with a few Eels, Whiting and Pout plus dogs. A couple of nice Cod
were caught nearby but not to our baits. On Friday we had a short Solent
trip for some decent Whiting plus Pout, a small Bull Huss and Dogs but not 'yer
'White Maiden' is now on the market and the advert can be
Monday 28th November
The British Cod Championships - Wednesday 23 Nov.
Ten boats left Lymington on Wednesday and managed to be ready for a 0900
start South of the Needles. We fished the first day in a comfortable sea but
the second day was cancelled due to a 'near gale', a F7 from the North East.
Eight Cod were caught on seven boats. Kev Sampson on Wight
Osprey was the top skipper with two Cod and the biggest caught by Ian Selby
at 14lb to earn a respectable £1000. Each Cod was also worth £100 in prize
money plus an Abu reel for the biggest on each boat. Not a bad payday for
Left is Pete Carnham who won the White Maiden boat prize,
a £100 cheque for the most Cod, one, plus a reel. Two private boats fishing
the same times not far away both boated Cod over 26lb! The
Congers were a pest.
On Saturday the crew of individuals on White Maiden caught
mainly Congers plus a few Whiting, Pout and Dogs plus a couple of Thornback
Rays. Bob on the right is showing the best of two, at about 8lb, both
Today we ran down the Solent to dodge a pending F6 that
never blew. The fishing was OK but slow. The guys caught a couple of nice
Undulate Rays, the first caught by Woody, left at 14lb and then Tony chipped
in with the biggest fish of the day, at 16lb, both were released.
Phil caught a small conger and there were pout, dogs and
the odd whiting but I now wish we had gone out to the Needles.
Tomorrow I'm off to inspect the hull of another boat. This
is the next stage of my plan to upgrade to a bigger vessel, a lovely
BWSeaCat SPEED 11. I will share news as I confirm proceedings.
As sad as it will be to see her go, 'White Maiden' is now
up for sale. Please see the advert below if you know of anyone that could
give her a good berth.
Monday 14th and 21st November
Not so many trips over the last two weeks but I have been
very busy all the same. First up is Sean and his 19lb White Maiden Record
Turbot. It is a cracking fish and he left it for the skipper! It's really
nice to have it packed up in the freezer, cheers Sean, really appreciated
that. The Tuesday guys had Bass and Whiting for their BBQ and the Turbot
needed to be cleaned and stored. The army guys on a days leave couldn't do
that. Also pictured is Nathan with the first Bass of the day and John with
one of the millions of Whiting. John lost a monster fish on a big bait.
Then there is me with a nice Cod, also destined for the
freezer, caught on Sunday last week. Note all of these better fish were
caught on a Whiting bait!
Below is Mitch Jones who caught the first Cod on
Sunday at 11lb and in great condition. It took traditional double squid.
Next is Steve is showing his 19lb Undulate Ray. A second boat record within
a week or so. This big ray also took a Whiting bait. Below right is Andrew
with one of the Solent (false Cod) Congers caught this Saturday just gone.
Phil below is showing another rare fish for these
inshore waters a 5lb Ling, caught on Monday. While Jeff showed the rest how
to do it with a Bass. Steve chipped in with a Plaice on the turn that fell
to a day glow muppet and black lug. Cod never showed up but dogfish and
Whiting were ravenous in the 5 meter tide!
I will hopefully have some great news to share with all my
customers very soon. Keep an eye out on my weekly updates.
Monday 7th November
A cold winter's week of fishing in pictures
only,........... for now.
Me with a 15.5lb Pollock on Tuesday, Kevin Witt with an
11.5lb Cod from Saturday and Steve Miller who caught everything but a Cod on
I have some job's to do so will catch up with more words
I'm assembling a crew for Tuesday (tomorrow) as its a good
forecast, sod golf!
2016 Cod Championships entry deadline
is about to expire end of this week, please call Kevin Duell on 07843
Sunday 30th October
Amazingly this week we found Mackerel on all three
Needles trips, erm its nearly November! Matt above is with his small but
target species Cod, James with a bonus Bass and Dave with a decent 14lb
Undulate Ray. These were the stars of the show. All three pictures are from
Saturday's trip as the quiet and benign conditions and high pressure kept
the 'fishing' officially hard all week. There was the odd Hound and decent
Whiting plus lots of Dogs too.
The day before on White Maiden, a good crew found two 17lb
Congers, two Thornbacks, two Spotted Rays and a couple of Smoothounds and
too many dogfish, Andy caught 17 dogfish on his own! Note, not one Pout,
Whiting or Cod! Now that has to be caused by high pressure surely?? On the
Wednesday it was similar again, with quiet conditions only giving up Rays
and Dogs, along with the Mackerel odd hound, tiny Congers and a few Whiting
Monday was the hardest as we explored the Western Solent.
We probably had too many moves in the SE 5/6. We caught a couple of Hounds,
plus Pout and Dogs but the best fish was Steve's Whiting just shy of 2lb.
Glen Greaves in his boat called 'EI', close to our fourth and last mark,
caught a nice Cod of 21lb, at the end of the tide.
Sunday 23rd October
What a fabulous week on the water. Saturday was a
cracker again with again some good fish too. Steve caught the first Cod,
surprisingly on a freshly caught mackerel, that had the fillets off, so head
and bones, quite amazing. Tom caught his lovely Undulate Ray on a poor cod
bait while Lee caught his Cod more traditionally on squid. Other fish were
Rays and Congers plus Whiting, Pout and Dogs.
Friday with the Keith Peto crew started as the
coldest so far but ended up in a warmish sun and a decent catch. Peter
nailed the first Cod of the year for White Maiden at 7lb. Ruben soon beat
that with one just short of 13lb and his first ever. Peter then followed
that with a 6.5lb Bass. Whiting were abundant, along with Pout and Dogfish.
Other species were Congers, Hounds and Rays.
Thursday was a lovely day and fish included
everything but a Cod with Whiting, Conger, Thornbacks, Hounds, Pout, Dogs,
Mackerel. While Wednesday evening was a cracking evening that completely
defied the forecast with hardly a breath of wind. Alan caught one of the
best Thornbacks of the year with a 14lb crackert in 10' of water. Other
species were small Hounds, Bass, an Undulate Ray and lots of bait bashing
Monday 17th October
Only one trip last week due to strong winds and, by the
weekend, plus huge tides. On Friday TOFFS had the calm slot with an Easterly
4/5 on a ebbing tide and took advantage of the small congers and marauding
dogfish, exactly NOT what we wanted. I was fishing too due a small crew and
a pending birthday. Within minutes of the drop our pennel rigs were being
chewed and often a bait blocking doggie would be hanging in there until
retrieval! If you had a small conger too that would provide some hope but in
the end I lost patience, after two double hook up's of both species! We
moved about 5 miles for the last two hours. Inshore we found the fish
feeding really well with better species like Bream, Plaice, Rays and Hounds
all making the rod tips come to life. Great sport on light gear.
This coming week is looking much better after today and
tomorrows SW's swing to the NW.
I have spaces on Thursday for two people, so time to take
advantage of those great eating fish that are moving back into our area now.
Monday 10th October
On Thursday we dodged into Christchurch Bay and
close to Milford found the fish feeding well in a strong Easterly. There
were too many bait robbing scad and a few mackerel plus dogs, bream, hounds,
conger, thornback and spotted rays. Below left, is Michael with a 10lb
Thornback Ray, the biggest fish of the day. On Saturday we had much less
wind and the guys were fishing for lots of species again with congers,
hounds, tope, whiting, pout, dogs, poor cod, scad, mackerel and a thornback
all taking the smallish baits readily. Katharine caught the biggest fish of
the day this 15lb conger, that she wasn't too pleased to hold! Sunday was
same forecast and same mark, well within a couple of hundred meters of
Saturdays spot. The lads fished big baits all day for a couple of hounds,
rays, dogs and whiting. It was a quiet and relaxing day all round as the
guys set their stall for the big fish that couldn't be caught. Gary is
holding up one of the thornback rays. There is a good mix of species about
and a few Cod are being caught round the Light with the best at 13lb that I
am aware of, while down the Solent there are more Cod being caught in the
10lb and 6lb size groups.
Monday 3rd October
The fishing last week around the Needles was blown away.
Most were postponed, all except for Saturdays trip, that we could move to Sunday,
yesterday. The weather was great although there was a bit of a swell and
chop to start with
that got to the lads a bit but they never succumbed. The fish seemed to fix
Dave is showing his cracking 'double shot' of an 8lb
Undulate Ray and a 7lb Bull Huss. Craig caught the best and biggest fish of
the day a nice 16.5lb Undulate Ray.
Other fish caught were Hounds, Tope and Small Eyed Rays. A
few mackerel are still about but they take some effort.
All fish were returned to fight another day.
The pictures to the right were sent to me from last
Friday's trip. Frank is with his 15lb Undulate Ray and Tim 'the fly
fisherman', who, on his first boat trip, caught Conger, Undulate Ray, Small
Eyed Ray, Thornback Ray, Dogs, Pouting and Tope! Needless to say he was
chuffed to bits. His secret? Well he was very busy and did exactly as asked,
re-baited his hooks often, at least every 15 minutes, and occasionally
nudged his bait back down the tide. Tim picked up our 'downtide fishing at
anchor' technique really quickly.
I'm going to get a new phone this week, only to improve my
pictures, as my iPhone has the 'purple flare fault' and its starting to
There are spaces available and some midweek days, in
October, in the week after next, please see my diary.
Saturday 24th September
Fishing by day and by night with the weather ideal
for this time of year. Night fishing shallow has been great fun with Bass,
Hounds, Bream and Rays. Fishing in daylight has been tougher although there
are a few Bass about along with Hounds Rays and Congers. One or two Cod have
been reported too.
On Saturday we fished around the Needles for a mix
of species with Congers, Pout, Bass, Rays and Tope. Stuart is showing one of
two Bass. On Monday the tide was massive and the lads struggled a bit with
big leads although we still found Rays and this nice Huss for Derek. On
Wednesday a short trip found a few species and Darren boated his first ever
boat caught fish which went like a train in the tide. The Thornback weighed
12lb and was released.
On Wednesday evening we drifted for Bass with no joy
in the mid ebb tide, then fished in 7' of water at the bottom of the tide
where the fishing was very busy with 25 plus smoothounds, 15 plus Bream,
Bass, Pout and Silver Eels. Great fun on light gear! On Thursday evening we
tested the Bass again with a different approach for no luck then anchored in
12' at the bottom of the tide. The Undulates went well with three caught to
16lb plus ten or so larger Hounds . There was a Bass and lots of Pout and a
Silver Eel. Again plenty of life.
Friday was a stunning day for the Doveguard crew. Darren
shows one of nine species caught, a fiesty hound. The best fish went to
Frank another nice Undulate Ray.
Not such a good weekend now for boat fishing due to
strong winds from the South and South West so have given the fish a rest.
Saturday 17th September
Back on the water, after a proper job. Look at those
shiny bows!!! A big thanks to Vincent Cooke, Martin Cox and Andrew and the
hoist team for doing such great jobs. The engine servicing and anti-fouling
was by yours truly. After another busy week, following a great but very
active week at Padstow, I really need a rest.
Well that didn't happen as the first trip post re-launch
went ahead on schedule and we found fish in 'strong winds' sheltered in
Christchurch Bay. Not lots of fish but a couple of good specimens plus usual
culprits. And no weed! Richard caught the best specimen a nice 16lb Undulate
Ray. Then Paul followed that up with a 10lb Thornback Ray and an Undulate
Ray of his own. Other species were mackerel, scad, small conger and bull
huss, plus dogfish. All non-bait fish went back to fight another day.
Tuesday 30th August
Busy, busy with fantastic weather and a few fish
too. Tuesday evening was tricky as the Bream have disappeared and been
replaced with marauding dogfish. In the end we found a few Bull Huss with
Dave turning 80 years old, catching the best of the week at around 9lb.
Wednesday was a patient day as the fishing was OK but not easy. The best
fish was another Undulate Ray of 13lb to go with Spotted and Thornback Rays,
small Congers and Tope and plus a Bass. Fire fighter Dave is showing his
best of the day. Wednesday evening was fun fishing a mark round the Needles
into the night but the Rays were the better fish again, with Tristan
catching a cracker just shy of 18lb. The sunset was incredible.
Thursdays trip was full of banter but not so many
fish as the conditions started to bite into the catch rate. Very still, hot
and quiet. Duncan won the Prossecco with a 6lb Thornback, yes a very hard
day! While Thursday evening found plenty of fish. Mainly dogs and Pout and
Mackerel but also a couple of nice Huss, for Eric and a nice Undulate for
Robin. Then right at the end something huge took Eric around and then under
the boat to break the line. I suspect it was a big stinger.
Friday evening was one of the better trips of the
week as far as fish were concerned with the first Whiting of the year. Also
the short trip accounted for three Small Eyed Rays and a good Undulate Ray
for Sean, plus small Congers for a tally of nine species.
Saturdays trip was targeting Plaice originally but
due to the lack of those we searched for other flatfish, and drifted all
day. The lads fished long enough for fresh bait but we couldn't track down a
single Mackerel! Then, eventually, after targeting Brill and Turbot for five
hours we managed a target Brill, caught by John, on the way home.
Meanwhile, the other John, John F, boated a 14lb Blonde
Ray which if was a Turbot, would have made it a different day. The lads set
out their stall and unfortunately the conditions were against us. It was
during this trip that I learned how to fix the camera problem on my phone. I
have to place it screen down for a short period!
We never stop learning with this fishing lark. Marine
Biologist Sam Hook explained that Rays excrete waste through their skin and
that's why they don't taste so good if eaten fresh. It's also best to leave
them about four days to relax and help get rid of some of the excreta and
then skin them. Of all the Rays caught this last two weeks only one was
killed for the pot. The big ones are magnificent animals.
Monday 22nd August
Undulates, it's been a busy Ray! Different marks but
same species. On Monday we started off outside the Needles Light only to
seek a calmer sea from 1100 behind the shingles. Robbie caught the first
Undy with another coming at the other end of the day for Roger. There were
also Bull Huss, Bream and Dogs, along with Gars, Mackerel and Scad. On
Wednesday we drifted for a few Macky and Scad plus a Bass and small Tope, at
Anchor the lads caught three Undulate Rays and a few Bull Huss and Bream and
lots and lots of small Tope. On Thursday we were fishing for the Undulate
Rays for Sam's PHD project and managed to catch nine! Along with them we
caught five Bass, a number of small Tope, Mackerel and Scad. The star fish
of the day was Rogers Allis Shad caught on feathers. It was huge, not
touched or even weighed and as they are protected we slipped it back in. I
reckon it must have weighed 1lb 2oz, maybe more. If you touch them they die.
Tuesday 16th August
Hang on, can someone pinch me, is this really
England? We have had some stunning weather on the south coast and some
exceptional fish too over the last week. Top of the list was Peter's 16lb
Turbot caught on Friday. That came along with four Undulate Rays all swabbed
and measured for a Manchester University study. Nick an ex-commercial
fisherman from St Ives caught two Undulates with the best of the week
weighing 17lb 8oz. Then to cap it off on Friday when we ran down the Solent,
after the sea kicked up outside, we caught big (38cm) aggressive Mackerel on
Bream rigs and Mike caught this 6lb 8oz Bass on his last drop.
Saturday was a re-run of the Friday, where we found
four more Undulate Rays with Ian and Mike boating two at the same time. All
Undulates were swabbed and measured again. Bryn also tricked a Small Eyed
Ray and a Thornback Ray. Then after running back down the Solent again off
Pennington a lovely coloured 4lb Bass fell for Ian's squid along with a nice
Hound to Bryn's rod, also liking squid.
On the Wednesday we found a bit of ground that was an
Undulate hideout. The lads caught seven beauties all 16lb to 17lb in weight!
They also caught Tope and a Small Eyed Ray.
Mackerel were everywhere.
This was only a short trip, followed by an evening trip.
Unfortunately after we swapped around crews at 4pm, the wind got up and
doubled in apparent strength to a F5+ against a small neap tide which caused
havoc and completely spoilt our evening. The lads still managed six species
but it was an early night.
Sunday 7th August
It has been a breezy week which meant we lost a few trips but got out on
two. On Friday a full day was shortened to a morning before the wind chuffed
up,. We had a nice time with a good crew and a few fish inshore. I saw a
plaice at the surface, as I put the anchor down but we couldn't catch one.
The lads regularly caught small Bream along with a Thornback Ray, and Dogs
and Mackerel and Scad to keep the scoreboard going. In the big tide there
was a bit of weed.
Saturday was a warm day again and fishing was interesting
with nine species. There were two good Undulate Rays, Paul is showing the
slightly smaller one at 13lb 8oz. While Phil caught the best with a nice one
of 14lb 8oz and also a target Plaice, on the drift, at around 2lb. There
were seven small Tope, a Small Eyed Ray, Dogs, Mackerel, Scad, small Conger
and this crazy mixed up Ray held by Tony. I don't know what it is but it
wasn't one of our usual six species, so my guess is that it was a hybrid eg
part Thornback / Blonde or Spotted Ray.
There is the odd space left in August but only a few, see
Sunday 31st July
I skippered a few charters either side of a testing
Okehampton golfing holiday this week. It's been another tough week again, he
he he ! Last Saturday the Trident lads and guest Steve fished a bank for
Bass and did OK with a dozen or so Bass all caught on live baits. A long
drift found a couple of starfish and a Tub Gurnard. We then relaxed at
anchor, still in thick fog, for some Rays, Dogs and a few more Bass.
Mackerel were all over. It was a good day of simple fishing. George caught
the biggest Undy at 16lb and another Bass at anchor. Bob shows another Undy.
After the golfing break had nearly broken me, the
Andy Waterhouse crew, a stag do for Ian was to go ahead, based on a
radically changed last minute plan due to the strong westerly wind. Well
after some bumping around looking for live baits the lads managed to catch
five sizable Bass for Beanie, 'Ian the stag' and Matt.
Yesterday the Paul Baker lads wanted big fish. The
forecast and small tide meant we could fish for Tope and Eels. Steve caught
the biggest Tope at 33lb and the best Thornback at 10lb and a Conger. Matt
caught a Conger or two and the best Undulate Ray at 15lb. It was a good day
out in ideal conditions. The others chipped in with Tope. Quite a few were
lost half way up, which made for an exciting day for all. Tightlines,
Sunday 24th July
Last Sunday was a nice test day on a bit of
sheltered ground in the Solent. This is a stunningly beautiful and
comfortable fallback area on a breezy day! Well it worked for us with some
Mackerel where they should be and then at anchor, as Matt and Sarah prove
above, using mackerel heads and strips, we found some nice Tub Gurnards too.
Monday was a cracker and the Micky Evans crew were
up for some patient drifting. The tide and weather was ideal to search for a
flat fish and catch some incidental Bass. The Bass weren't there this time
but Tony did catch one real nice Brill at 4lb 5oz. George caught and
returned the first Brill. Phil accounted for two small Turbot (also
released) and a couple of Small Eyed Rays. It was slow fishing but enjoyable
along with some nice fish and plenty of mackerel.
On Thursday and Friday I 'hosted' a Belgian crew who came along with a
refrigerated van, six large freezer boxes with ice and a tonne of rubby
dubby. Well the inevitable happened and we struggled. They wanted to take
everything, for some reason, even Dogfish and Congers and guess what......
they couldn't catch one dogfish!
Too many rods, too many tangles and too many tackle
changes, generally away from what I had suggested, after they didn't catch
immediately, which didn't help. It wasn't their fault or mine but trying too
hard along with a massive expectation often backfires. We found some good
specimens with a 9lb Bull Huss and a 9lb Bass plus one another reasonable
Bass on the drift to a live bait plus the odd Pollock, Small Turbot, Ray and
lots of mackerel. Fishing at anchor included 120lb braid mainline, a tad
excessive. Leo called his gang the 'Crazy Belgians' and I think their
fishing tactics were a bit crazy but they were a great bunch of guys. They
had some great weather and a good couple of days fishing, not catching.
I'm saving yesterdays Trident report for next week.
Needless to say with relaxed anglers that returned most of their fish, as
usual, we had a good day. Maybe Neptune has a say in these things as well?
Tuesday 19th July
Sorry for the late update. Last week was best described as
a proper 'summer mix', with an evening trip, an 'offshore' trip, a Mackerel
session and a 'half and half'! It was good fun having a variety of crews,
chasing fish and at times, a good test for all. Here's some pictures with a
very brief back story.
Above Left to Right (from Wednesday's evening
trip) Peter and nice 16.5lb Undulate Ray, Nui with one of three Thornbacks
and Simon with 14lb Undulate Ray. also caught were Tub Gurnard, Bream, Macky,
Scad, Dogs, Pout etc...
Above far right and left below (from Thursday 'inshore/offshore'
trip) Bob with the best Tope of about ten at 22lb and Andy with a Bass, also
caught were a Pollock, small Brill, Blonde Ray, Thornback Ray, six Small
Eyed Rays etc.. there were thirteen species caught.
Below left (from Friday's Needles/Solent trip) Charlotte with a
decent Bream from the Solent, one of three good ones. Not an easy day but
they also caught small Tope, a Smoothound, Dogs and a some Mackerel. it was
comfortable for most of the time and very enjoyable.
Sunday 10th July
What a good week of fishing it has been with three days
past the Needles, fantastic. Ask the Weymouth commercial Bassing boats, they
were here all week! Monday's weather was OK with a bit of mist and drizzle,
while Wednesday was a cracker with little wind and lots of sunshine.
Thursday was a good fishing day too but Friday had a brisk breeze from the
South West. The Solent was a challenge again in the light, although the weed
situation is still fine.
Peter started off Monday well with the best of 19 Tope.
His lively Tope weighed 32lb. Later in the day he caught a nice Undulate Ray
of 14lb. The guys were staying at the Southlawns Hotel near Milford and
about 4 miles away from the boat. They recommend the location and the food.
On Wednesday we went further offshore in search of
Pollock, Bass and Flatties. One wreck showed up some decent Pollock with the
best again falling to Peter's twin tail, weighing a hefty 14lb. The lads
were joined by Glenn, Rod and Pete. Glenn caught another nice 15lb Undulate
Ray at anchor, while Rod caught a nice double figure Pollock. The lads took
some back to the Hotel. The Southlawns Hotel chef cooked up a Pollock dish
for them, great service.
On Thursday we used knowledge gained the previous day, eg
we know what didn't work for the Bass! So this time we went armed with live
baits and more time and Richards luck was changed on its head as he caught
the best Bass, on the drift, at 9lb 12oz and the best two at anchor later on
at 6lb 8oz. However after our Bassing session was disturbed by a
Weymouth commercial, we headed back inshore for Peter to catch and release
the biggest Undulate Ray of the week at 17lb. Richard found this decent
small eyed ray, just before the end of their three day holiday.
On Friday the wind got up and was more than promised from
the start and so a trip down the Solent was prudent. Fishing was very
comfortable on the flood tide. There were a few small Bream plus this nice
Smoothound for James but the biggest Hound by far eventually wore through a
patient Andy's 30lb trace. We moved across to the Island side to be buzzed
by racing yachts and catch a few more Bream and another Hound with Anya
showing the lads how to do it.
A good feathering effort for mackerel failed but we will
keep trying. That's why we calling it fishing not catching! The day finished
early just before the ebb got away against a WSW F6+.
Saturday was cancelled and again the forecasters
underestimated the actual wind speed by a factor of 30%. I think they need
an even bigger computer!!
Saturday 2nd July
Monday this nice 14lb Undulate for John, was caught in 20' of water in a
small tide, on a spinning rod. Great fun and quickly released to fight
again. Out a bit deeper and the same spinning rod caught this 10lb Thornback
Ray, also for John. More great fun. The fish came along with small but the
odd keeper Bream and Dogs plus two well marked Spotted Ray's.
Thursday John caught the first Bream at 2lb 2oz, on the firs drop. Then
close to the end, after a very quiet 'excluding dogfish spell' Adam nailed
this 2lb Bream. What a contrast to Monday.
So another tricky week, due to more challenging
British summer weather. On the Monday we anchored alongside Richie Cooper of
Ashlett SAC. He was in a Kayak! Just before we arrived he caught a 4lb 1oz
New Club Record Gilthead Bream, what a cracker! This was weighed officially
ashore so no pretend bouncing fish record. Well done Richie! It was fishing
well as we had two Ray's plus small Bream and a Dog. As the tide eased we
moved out deeper for a nice 10lb Thornback and two spotted Rays plus a
kennel of dogs and more Bream, a busy short day and good fun. Then the next
trip, a two boat comp, along with Kev Duell in Voyager, to the same marks,
fished completely different in a similar but smaller tide. The guys got
their one off, short day, fishing competition fished but this fish chasing
can be extremely frustrating!
Tuesday 28th June
Wednesday the weather was perfect and the lads had a good day with a couple
of Bass of which the best was caught by Rod at 8lb 4oz returned. The guys
also caught 19 Tope with the best around 12lb. Note the tiny one above,
caught by Stuart, must have only just been born! There was also three
Hounds, of which the best Starry Smoothound went 12lb 8oz for Ali. There was
a Ray and a couple of nice Bream plus dogs. Friday was not an easy day for
beginners in the brisk breeze but a Hound that fell to crab was very
stretched and pregnant. Darren skilfully retrieved her and released her.
Sunday was another breezy one with the South of the Island
Ok until 1230 before a move to finish the day off in the Solent, where the
weed was no problem at all. Early on Duncan caught the 12lb Undulate below
while right at the end of the day Trev weighed in with a male Undulate Ray
of 10lb. Other fish caught were Spotted Rays and Bream plus dogs. Looking
forward to some better weather soon, fingers crossed.
Monday 20th June
Another busy week with some inclement weather to work with at
times but that beautiful Isle of Wight did the trick again providing
sheltered fishing on three separate occasions.
On Wednesday we tested a deep mark further East in the
Solent after finding a Bass early on near Yarmouth. It was a quieter day but
small Bream with the odd keeper plus a couple of Hounds and plenty of
Dogfish gave the guys a chance to practice their fishing and compete, like
you do, for a good day, enjoyed by all.
On Wednesday evening Lee Tovill and school friends
competed for 'Roger' the annual gnome trophy fishing comp. We 'anchored up'
and caught some decent Bream and big Pout plus three Rays and the ever
present Dogfish for a busy evening. Glyn caught the biggest Ray to secure
'Roger'. I had to 'leave' my anchor which I recovered successfully over
slack water on Saturday.
Thursday was a day spent fishing alongside another boat
'Hermit' and the Grant Thornton team and clients. After a nice big breakfast
at The Haven Bistro we headed West to the Ledge to find Bream a Red Gurnard,
Rays and Dogs. Paul catching the Gurnard and Chris a decent Bream. A sortie
deep in the afternoon failed to find a Tope but the very neap extended slack
water didn't help.
On Friday the Keith Peto lads did well with some good Rays
plus Tope. Good looking Charlie with the best picture, made the report,
sorry Keith, you have huge hands! We headed next for some nice Bream along
with more Tope, to make a good day out in very comfortable seas. Chris had
the best Black Bream at 3lb 8oz.
On Saturday TOFFS were again catching Tope and Bream but
the highlight of our day was a leaping Thresher Shark a mere 100m from the
boat. Well spotted 'shark man' Pat who also caught the best Tope this week
of 25lb and 17lb, both on full Tope baits. Pat is holding the smaller as I
didn't boat the biggest Tope as it wasn't worth putting it through the
stress. I will boat a bigger Shark if the angler insists, as its their fish
but all have to be released following MAFF and AT guidelines anyway.
On Sunday the annual 'BAM two boats trip competition' was
competed for at the Ledge and then back down the Solent as the wind got up.
Jeff put his Lazy Daze on a nest of Black Bream. At the 'weigh-in' even I
hadn't expected him to do as well in the fairly short session, luckily my
guys and gals found some Hounds in the afternoon for the biggest fish prize.
A windy, rainy and mizely end to the day didn't dampen the BAM spirit.
Sunday 12th June
What a day, Trident SAC had on Saturday, with the Pollock
showing up well for us. Bob and Steve tricked the best two both weighing
11lb with many more to go along with them. Then, as some of the guys were
pooped, we looked for a Bream only for Chris to catch a successive haul that
consisted of a 4lb 8oz Spotted Ray, a 9lb Thornback, a 40lb Conger, a 7lb
Bass and a Tope, all returned to fight again. Others chipped in with Tope
and Rays too!
On Friday Dave caught a new White Maiden boat record, a
nice Small Eyed Ray and the best I have ever seen at 11lb 4oz. She was
'purse showing' and so returned quickly. Dad Paul was photo bombed while
presenting one of two Undulate Rays and Andy weighed in too with this lovely
8lb Bass, returned as per current legislation. Other fish caught were many
small Tope, a Blonde Ray, Thornback Ray plus pout and dogs.
On Thursday Dan caught this lip hooked Tope weighing 18lb. Rick guided a
feisty 30lb Conger to the nest on a small hook and George caught this very
nice 14lb Thornback Ray (Skate). Other fish caught were many small Tope plus
Pout, Whiting, Undulate Rays and Dogs.
Again the Bream didn't show on an inshore mark we tested
but the Tope were there too quite close in, near the cliffs at Tennyson's
Not many spaces or dates available now until the beginning
of August, so if you have gift vouchers please book your spaces asap.
Interestingly we still only managed a couple of Mackerel
yesterday but quite a few Cuttle are showing up on the surface. These cuttle
fish make a good sliver to add to your bait to attract all sorts of species.
On Saturday the Pollock were coughing up small squid.
Monday 6th June
last week in pictures. This is a brief report as I'm now on a short
break...... on the boat, in Yarmouth, doing some cleaning jobs!
Plaice inshore for Larry and the first Tub of the
summer for Ken. Hounds by the shore with a nice one for Liam. Richard and
Harry with another hound.
Best Bass for Amanda, helped by hubby Phil. A very
nice specimen Brill at 4lb 12oz for Dave. Nice Bass for Chris, these were
all returned to catch another day. Yes, that's a ship wreck alright.
A rare Tadpole fish for Tony. This is only the
second one I have ever seen and a first for top angler Tony Riddout. A nice
Bream for David. Plus another nice Bream for Ryan both nearing the 3lb mark
and turning black very quickly after a knock on the head.
Tuesday 31st May
We had a busy week again inshore with some fine weather
and good fishing. Last Monday, Rod's Small Eyed Ray (below), was the best
fish on the day, when the dogs were rampant, while searching further
offshore. On Wednesday, very local, Davina showed the lads the way with a
nice Tope and then a Pollock on a simple Bream rig with size 6 hooks! Ken
again proved the Hounds were there with his biggest going a tad under 11lb.
On Wednesday evening Bob (left) had the best of the Bream,
while on Thursday evening Jason (above) caught a well marked Undulate Ray,
amongst other Rays, Bream and the odd Hound.
On Saturday Chris (above left) had the best smoothound of
the day at 14lb. On the warmest day on the sea yet this year.
Sunday 22nd May
Plenty of fishing this week. Monday started well on
the Bream with Tom below showing one of the best of two he kept before
releasing the rest, good man. While Alan with our target Hound proved they
were there after Andy picked out this nice Dab. Tuesday was Kens day with a
double figure Hound and a 7lb Pollock the best two fish by far. On Thursday
we found a few Bream, with Steve above catching the best before nailing a
7lb Bass on the drift for Plaice! He flicked it back before the photo. I
don't like this catch and release for all Bass but most anglers don't
actually seem to mind. Friday found us some bits including a Plaice and a
Bream on one drop for Ken, a small Hound, a big fish smashing up for Peter,
Dogs etc but it was hard work in the Solent so we finished early and had a
pint! After the difficult week it was hard to talk Crookham SAC down the
Solent in a F6 plus rain having given it a test already on Thursday and
Friday, so Saturday was cancelled Sorry guys but I'm saving you for later!.
Sunday 15th May
The slow start on Monday for Shane and Julie, notched up a
couple of gears by Thursday for Mike & Co, Kev, Will and Malcolm and the
week finished with another good day on the Bream on Saturday. Bream were
steady but the Cuckoo Wrasse stole the show, with Jeff's the best ever for
White Maiden. Along with Bream came Ballan and Ballions Wrasse, Dogs, Bull
Huss, Pout, Gars, Pollock and Edible and a Lobster plus a couple of
Thursday started OK with some reasonable Pollock,
but we chased around for the Bream again and headed for Southborne before
Malcolm spotted a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins around a potted baiting his
pots. The first a snap was through the window, the second from the deck but
to see the full show click here!
Bream caught from one area were all hen fish, a move found
mostly males but the Dolphins made the day, awesome.
On Monday the forecast was spot on and the fishing
comfortable but a plague of Dogfish spoilt the first mark. The Plaice were
quiet before we moved for a Bream and that was hard too with just the one
It now looks like the weather will change for Wednesday so
I have moved the Wednesday boys to Tuesday but not all could make it so
there are now some spaces on Tuesday, on a great forecast and before the
strong Westerly wind kicks in on Wednesday morning.
Sunday 8th May
Some pics from this weeks catch; above Pete Hellyar with
our best Bream today at 2lb 8oz, Garry of Loni's and Glenn with the best of
four Plaice. Bellow is Chris from yesterdays trip with a nice Pollock caught
same time as my Ballan Wrasse, on the drift, on lures. Julia caught the best
Bream so far this year, a 3lb 12oz hen, returned. Next is Liam with one of
the best Bream from Friday at 3lb 5oz, along with me holding a massive
cuttle, caught at the surface down the Solent.
Below Brian is holding his best Plaice from Wednesday,
then Dink is showing off one of his eighteen quality Bream all returned,
while Dean caught one of the biggest at 3lb 5oz. A great week's fishing!
Monday 2nd May
Had a good day out yesterday on White Maiden hosting and
observing some of the England Boat Team members with Matt Osborne catching
the best Black Bream at 3lb 2oz. Steve Batchelor proved they were there, at
our second mark, with Black Bream getting bigger through the tide. Gary
Galbraith caught his contender followed by Martin Bobbet but both were
pipped by Matt just before we moved off, for a go at the Plaice. The better
Plaice showed up in the end with Gary taking a few small ones before this
double shot and then again, at lines up, Cots took the money with the
biggest Plaice at 2lb 2oz. Other species caught were Pollock, Bull Huss,
Ballions and Ballan Wrasse, Dogs, Pout and Garfish.
Earlier in the week we had the best Plaice of the year so
far, caught by Peter Hellyar on a razor fish bait. The good condition (non)
red spot weighed 4lb 2oz! The short session accounted for some double shots
and plenty of quality Plaice. Most were released and even some found to be
strong at the end of play, in the fish box, were put back to swim off
strongly. If you fish for these lovely eating fish and want to release the
small ones or extra ones like we do, then you must get the pencil disgorger
with what looks like a rugby ball with a split at the end as they work
really well. All the England boys used them too, so quick and safe for the
fish. Micro barbed hooks help too!
On Thursday White Maiden passed a rigorous mid-term survey
with a couple of Cat C observations to be complied with before taking Guy
and crew out for a half day. We missed the best part of the day but still
managed to find a couple of Plaice before being forced back inside by a F5
to F6 Westerly that was building steadily. Still a very social and friendly
trip to finish off the day nicely.
Great start to the season, as you can see from reports
below, I hope this continues along with some better and warmer weather.
Monday 25th April
we had a friendly Pub competition between two boats and the team above of
Steve, Callum, Jenny and Kim fishing with me on White Maiden whooped the
fellas on the other boat with fourteen Plaice, six Bull Huss, Scorpion Fish,
Bream and lots of Dogs. Below is myself showing a normal and a strangely
coloured plaice. Middle is Dave with our only Plaice on Thursday, among too
many Dogs with the Tim Mason crew. Bottom right is Andrew Nunn with the boat
record Lesser Spotted Dogfish of 3lb 1oz. Not interested, well I was,
as its the only one I have ever seen over 3lb and measured 71cm. The big
dog, came along with Plaice, and following a move Small Eyed Ray and small
Conger. Things are warming up but still hats and sunglasses time! Tightlines,
Monday 18th April
Yesterday was one of those special days where a
good crew got what they deserve; plenty of fish and a calm sunny day.
The final count was 19 Blonde Rays with the best tricked
by Ian King at 22lb. A cracking Smoothound for Clive Wall weighed at 14lb, a
nice Undulate Ray also for Ian at 14lb plus a lovely double figure Spur Dog
for Chris Smith. Other notable species were a couple of Small Eyed Rays, two
Thornback Rays, six Congers, around 10 Whiting best 1.5lb, and the first
Tope of the season, plus usual Pout and Dogs.
All were returned except the best Whiting and one Blonde
On Wednesday we tested the same bank but on the drift for
three hours with bait. It was a proper session but we only caught one fish
so we moved on and tested wrecks as far as 15 miles from the Light only to
prove they weren't there yet. There are plenty of Pollock in the shipping
lanes mid channel but that wasn't our plan.
On the Wednesday evening we found lots of life close
inshore that included Plaice, Hounds, Whiting, Pout, Dogs and a Spotted Ray,
that is until they ran out of bait. What a cracking day!
On Wednesday and Sunday, three of us positively identified
a 'Great Skua' as it fed on our discarded bait along with the gulls. It was
a biggish thing, bit stumpy, black with white banded wings, triangular tail,
a strong looking bird, made a strange noise. Well pleased to have seen it
twice and to have others on board that took notice and were interested.
Oh and there's a few Bream about now, so it looks like its
all kicking off again with some style! Tightlines, Les
Monday 11th April
Its a 'hats and sunglasses' time of year, as who knows
what the weather will do next? Today was half a day of rain and a flat calm
followed by a half day of sun and still flat calm.
The Martin Harris crew were great at catching dogfish but
that wasn't what we wanted.
Plenty of Dogs and small Pout plus a useful 44cm Bass was
returned while trying to catch a plaice. Then at the end of the session on
our 4th dogfish mark 'Brian the Bass' also caught a 16lb+ Conger.
It was a funny old day with little to show for the good
soaking received in the morning on the plaice mark. The Bream didn't play
But what a cracking afternoon, it was just like summer,
except no one told the fish that.
Looking forward to more of this great weather on Wednesday
when I have spaces on the day trip chasing Pollock and Turbot a bit further
Monday 4th April
On Friday we started on the Plaice with a small crew. They
came slowly amongst Pout and Dogs. We had six of reasonable quality around
2lb, before we moved off to fish for Ray's. I was shocked at the first fish
following the move, while fishing a bit deeper at 45', as Ken battled a huge
fish on a light rod which turned out to be a Conger at around 40lb. He id
well to get it to the boat before it bit through under the net. It's very
odd to see such a big eel, so shallow and at this time of year, when the
water is at its coldest. On the Ray mark we also found an edible crab and
three Rays plus the usual Dogs for a very nice day out. Andy (top right)
caught the best two Plaice both around the 2lb mark. Liam lost a nice fish
too, that looked like a Cod to me but who knows? Meanwhile out on the banks
Spurs to 23lb, Congers and Blonde Rays to 27lb were also caught on Friday's
On Saturday, our intended distant banks trip, was kept local due to a F6 in
the forecast. Again 'slow but sure' best described the Plaice fishing. The
guys don't mind a good half day on them but we often (not always) move for a
change of scenery. Gavin (top left) is pictured with the best Plaice of the
weekend at 3lb. This one fell to 2 live lug on a 3/0 with no bling just
before we moved. A total of six Plaice were caught with the others between
12oz and 1lb 12oz. Priscilla showed the lads how to catch them with the
first Plaice of the day and a nice 4lb Spotted Ray. Our move to a 'Cod mark'
failed to find a fish other than a Doggie but I suspect it was the state of
tide, as a few boats have caught spring Cod, which is very nice to see.
Tight lines, Les.
Monday 28th March
very happy Easter to all. We are now ready and raring to go, following my
annual White Maiden maintenance work and routine. First proper trip back was
on Good Friday when we found a eleven Plaice to 1lb 12oz. The afternoons
efforts, fishing deep and then drifting didn't work great but it wasn't for
trying. Anchoring was best in the murky seas. Ryan, left, caught the first
Plaice of his four on a home made rig. The lads did on the Plaice but
fancied a change and we had a move. Star man was our Stag, Tony Lewis, who
also caught one of two star fish.
Bookings have been steady but I still have plenty of
spaces and dates available and now really looking forward to a great spring
and summer, Tightlines, Les
Sunday 6th/13th March
My maintenance period is going along just fine thanks to
some lovely dry weather.
Monday 29th February
Back to work again and its been great! Although finding
fish is a challenge for skippers and anglers alike this time of year but all
three trips tricked a few fish out so it was worth the effort in the murky
seas and most importantly, kept those boat fishing skills tuned in! Top left
is Dean with the best specimen, a 12lb male undulate ray, caught on
Thursday, when we searched banks and wrecks on the drift, before anchoring
on 10 miles. Ken bagged this Conger which was the biggest fish. Also caught
was another conger, a blonde ray, a smoothound, along and plenty of dogs. It
wasn't a great return but what a lovely day and good fun.
On Friday the predicted smooth to slight sea, first thing,
was wrong by a few hours and the choppy moderate sea meant for an
uncomfortable few hours for the lads before we tested a more sheltered mark.
They did well to hang in there after losing a couple of good fish among the
dogs. The comfortable mark found a thornback ray for Colin and a small eye
for Odi (top right). Other fish caught was a Pout, Whiting, Dogs and another
small eyed ray. It was a difficult day but with a good crew, its always fun.
On Sunday we were forced close to the shore due to a
strong Force 7 NorEasterly but we still found a few nice fish due to the
guys all having quality bait provided by Garry of Lonis, who was also
fishing. Richard started things off with a nice 2lb 4oz plaice. That was
followed by another four but it wasn't exactly red hot and if we didn't have
the right bait I'm not sure we would have caught much at all. Each angler
had two wraps of black lug, 2 packs of sandeel, 50 ragworm, prawns, squid
and mackerel! When we moved to target rays, John started off with a nice
small eyed ray before Garry followed that up with another. Again not an easy
day but good fun. Other species caught was a spotted ray, pout, dogs and two
Wednesday 25th February
Total Sea Fishing magazine has recently got much bigger and
better with a greater Boat Fishing content to fill the gap following the
passing of Boat Fishing Monthly. TSF editor Paul Dennis contacted me regarding a
regular article called 'Skipper's Spotlight' and has published my brief
almost word for word. I am very grateful and now looking to fit Paul on a
good forecast fishing excursion with a small group of my regular
individuals. Also in the current March TSF is a Des Westmore article on
wrecking with some good pictures of some of our locals and also Terry Smith
picking apart and explaining 'slow pitching jigging', which like all lure
fishing is completely obsessive, if you enjoy 'the chase'. Plus lots of other
Meanwhile, we have been away on annual holiday, mainly to miss some crap
weather but also for the wife to relax. This year we tried, for the first
time, Cape Verde, Boa Vista.
We stayed in the Riu Hotel Karambola. Some days were
cloudy and misty with a constant F6 to F7 NE which was off the beach but it was
a nice 25 degrees.
Second week was much brighter and a bit cooler at 22
degrees with the wind never easing below a F5 and always blowing from the
North East. This stopped me booking a boat trip but the beach fishing was
great fun with some good bait provided by the Hotel kitchen staff.
In the first week I was casting feathers and lures for a
few small exotic fish but the wind blew and the sea was crashing in and not
We needed some heavy beach gear to fish the surf
Eventually in the second week when the sea had settled
down a bit and I knew I wasn't getting out in the boat. I said to my mate
that we were going to 'catch some sharks'. He laughed, as Biz is not an
angler, as much as I'm not a builder.
Typically after baiting him up he caught the first shark,
a beautiful baby sculpted hammerhead shark on a spinning rod!
We waited a couple of hours for my reef shark to come
along at a handy 10lb. Although it was caught on an inappropriate 7' 30/50
travel boat rod, it went went crazy and was great laugh.
The next day was a mere F5 (48/ 55 Km/hour NE) so on our
second attempt I refined things slightly and on the same baits we caught six
sharks and lost three. Again the first one out was a baby sculpted
hammerhead, this time to my rod, ye ha! Then just before high water, with a
crowd of Germans watching, the fishing went mad where we couldn't get a bait
in the water without a shark hitting immediately! It's a good job I can cast
50 yards with a 7' boat rod and a shimano torium reel! Biz managed to sort
himself out and in the end he caught his reef shark on the spinning rod. We
knocked it on the head as it was getting dark. I was
'bent out' on one fish, my mistake, after the fish took a sinking
bait, on a wound up drag! Next time I will take some beach gear. All you
need are some 4oz weights and wire traces. Fish, look out!
Sunday 7th February
No fishing to discuss again this week as both trips were
cancelled due to the strong to gale force wind. I don't fish those FCs! So,
maintenance will start earlier from tomorrow now and for the next two weeks
so no updates from me. If you do get out then I wish you all the best of
luck and the tightest of lines, Les.
Monday 1st February
Recently, while considering an upgrade to a bigger boat,
to be covered by a bigger mortgage and a much bigger workload, I saw the
Light! I already have what I need; a great customer base of keen anglers,
good moorings, a lovely quiet, quick and economical boat and more
importantly I guess, my health. White Maiden is ideal for my inshore patch and on a really
nice day the occasional mid-channel sortie. Although there could be a few
more winter trips to come yet, I am already looking forward and preparing to
fish for the Spring and Summer species. As you can guess, all trips were cancelled this week and
this weekend due to the awful weather and persistent wind. A big thank you
to all the crews that are rebooking their trips and leaving their deposit
with me. It's most appreciated.
Sunday 24th January
Two trips this week, starting with Individuals on
Wednesday. These guys checked the forecast and moved forward from the Monday
trip, cancelled due to more wind and rain. Well it was not the flat calm
that we were hoping for, with a brisker SE4 making it a surprisingly lively
sea but the lads coped well for ten Congers to 20lb, a nice 7lb Pollock for
Liam, a 10lb arse hooked Thornback that needed a team effort to boat and a
Spotted Ray. Whiting were scarce. The sun was shining and it was a nice day
but with one fella, recovering from a broken ankle and another waiting for
his ankle operation (footballers ankle), it made sense to move into
sheltered waters at about 1pm. Inside it was comfortable and quiet except
for dogfish. A couple of Cod were caught nearby, on Wight Sapphire.
Yesterday the Trident SAC lads were desperate to get out,
after a string of cancellations. The changeable worsening 'coastal bbc/met
office forecast' made me defensive, so we tested the Solent. We found
Whiting keen on Mackerel, best 2lb and the odd Pout and Dog off Sowley but
otherwise it was quiet for us. Ryde middle was 'dead'. Andy Stevens however
fishing solo nearby recorded two Cod and a released Bass, so there is still
some life down there.
On Tuesday, Jamie fishing on his own boat out from
Lymington at the Needles, recorded one of the best land weighed Cod I have
heard about this winter with his lunker Cod dragging the scales down to 31lb
3oz. What a super specimen Cod, well done Jamie!
Tight Lines, Les
Monday 18th January
trips this weekend. Report pictures starting from top left and finishing
bottom right. On Friday Colin caught the best two fish of the day with a
nice Solent Whiting and a Solent Cod. The Devizes lads fished the Needles
for the first ninety minutes for three Congers to 30lb but it was lumpy at
anchor, so we shot back to the sheltered waters off Sowley. We still had a
great day with wall to wall sunshine over a comfortable sea. This
enthusiastic crew provided plenty of banter plus bread rolls, bacon, eggs
and sausages, to make it a great day out. On Saturday Crookham SAC fished a
winter species competition. Keith is shown pictured with his Undulate Ray,
Pete with the first of four Cod, Paul with the biggest Cod at 12lb and then
Sid with his cracking 4lb Whiting. Other species caught were a dozen
Congers, a Thornback Ray, Pout, Dogs plus more quality Whiting. On Sunday
the wind veered to the ESE which made it a bit uncomfortable after the first
couple of hours so we sheltered up off Alum Bay in 80' of water. It was
warmer but felt colder than the previous days and the Easterly wind
quietened down the fishing. The lads did well though with Lee Watts catching
the first Conger outside soon followed by a 10lb Cod. Inside the Light Lee
caught another Cod. Dave chipped in with a nice Whiting of 2lb 12oz, Colin a
Spotted Ray and Lewis a small Conger. The Sholing lads did well against the
odds and were well prepared for the conditions to make it a reasonable day
in the end.
Sunday 10th January
We had a great Needles day out on Wednesday with a
crew of local individuals that needed to stretch their fishing muscles and
test their gear. Well that is certainly what they all did. I fished some of
time catching six Conger Eels and a Thornback Ray while trying to get to the
Cod. The Congers were feeding too well as the other five all caught more,
making a total catch up around 40 Eels! That's a lot of 'T bar'
shoulder work I can tell you. Glenn showed us all how to catch, with
two nice plump target fish, amongst his Eels. The best Thornback of three at
10lbs was a nice change for Rod too. The sea started off a bit lively but
flattened right off to a perfect day at 12 degrees with some needed
I lost all trips last weekend and all three trips again
this weekend to the SW F7's and unfortunately one of those included Paul
Dennis the Editor of Total Sea Fishing (TSF). Since Boat Fishing Monthly has
stopped being published TSF appears to have increased their Boat Fishing
content to keep us all happy. Those that get TSF should see my Skipper
Spotlight at some point so book your trips soon if you have only been
thinking about it.
Happy New Year to all and a big thanks again for making
2015 the best year ever on 'White Maiden'. I hope to see you all again in
2016 to improve even more Personal Best's.
Monday 30th December
Well that's another fishing year over, already!
TOFFS rounded off White Maiden's year yesterday in the
Solent due to the forecast worsening overnight. We saw the Sun, it was dry
and it was not cold. The potential was there with one Cod caught late in the
day in the ebb tide. The guys mainly caught
Whiting, Pout and Dogfish plus a small Hound, it was that
sort of day, along with very little weed. Slack water produced Pouting and Whiting to
Hokkais and the lads finished off with a tangled and released Herring Gull
and the plump 8lb Cod for Pat. The best Whiting for Ian was a good 2lb 8oz.
The London lads made for a good day out and limbered
up their fishing muscles and skills. Note that the Cod had two 'sea anemone' in its gut!
Here's a quick round up of the White Maiden INSHORE year.
Please note too that MY numbers do not include any
mid-channel fish, this year, with most coming within 5 miles of the Needles
This was an outstanding year for Cod and Undulate Rays.
Its been a good year for local Plaice too. Its been my best
ever year for Bass, Turbot and Brill. Not because there are more but because
I am learning where, when and how to catch them and getting out on better
forecasts more often as bookings increase. Following one of the best
years ever for Bream, this year was one of the hardest for our area, unless
you were lucky.