Hard Pressed for Herrings

By , 6 March, 2012 07:05

With 2012 well under way and not much to show for the very few sessions I’ve put in, I headed off to Brighton Marina to target plaice and herring on the East arm in a bid to increase the species count for the year. It was going to be hard going, as the East arm, after bay 26, is still out of bounds following extensive damage caused during the winter storms. While restrictions are in place, the amount of time that the arm is open during the day is seriously limited.

Tony McDonald and flounderUndeterred, I left home early on Tuesday morning and got to the Tackle Box at around 7am to stock up on bait, ready to be at the head of the queue for 9am opening. At around 8am, I saw one of the wardens, Frank and jokingly asked why he wasn’t at his post and opening the arm, to which he replied it was already open! With thoughts of a packed venue, I shot over to the arm and wandered out to find a spot. Luckily, local guide, ‘Fishyrob’ was already out there at bay 26 with his mini film crew and former international match angler, Tony McDonald. I was invited and gladly accepted the offer to slot in next to the in bay 24 and after a brief chat, I set up my gear.

Lazy way to get herringOne rod was set up with a string of mini Sabiki style lures for the herring, while the other rod had a simple running ledger baited with black lugworm on a ‘blinged’ trace (hook length adorned with brightly coloured beads and small hologram attractor blades). On this rig, I used a plain lead to the let the bait move around in search of plaice.

In a short space of time, the first herrings fell to Rob and a guy, further down from me, while I managed zero for my efforts. I worked the lures sink and draw style, letting the lead and lures bounce along off the sea bed, while Rob used the lazy method of lobbing them over the side, securing the rod with a bungee and leaving them to it. after a bit of arm aching, I decided on the same tactic and followed suit; only mine stayed herring-less.

Brace of small herringThe plaice rig also failed to nail any fish even though the same method was being employed by Rob and Tony – it later transpired that the only difference between our methods, was that I was without the fresh squid strip tipping that they were employing.

While my worms were out there not doing much, I carried on after the herring and eventually rewarded with a couple of small ones which were expertly photographed. You think that this picture is bad? You should see some with me smiling – I look like a sex offender who’s been smacked in the face with a bag of spanners. Thank you Bell’s Palsy; as if I don’t have enough problems already!

The rest of the day was pretty much fish-less for me, only managing a couple of dabs later on in the ebbing tide. For my next forays after flatties, I will make sure I have a decent bait stock to ensure I have a better chance of success. The inclusion of squid on the hooks was the way to go; as proved by Rob and Tony, who were into double figures of fish from the same patch I was fishing – well done guys, great fishing.

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