Posts tagged: bream

Sea Mistress

By , 21 July, 2013 08:21

Picture of pollackSunday morning a couple of weeks ago, saw me down on the slipway at Newhaven, waiting for boat owner and fellow angler, Terry Hill, as we were going out on the hunt. The plan was to hit some wrecks and hopefully find some cod before heading West in search of bream.

Once supplies for the day were loaded, ‘Sea Mistress’ slipped out the port and we headed to the first mark. We stopped en route to stock up on fresh mackerel, which were duly plonked into the live bait tank.

After a not too long steaming time, Terry found one of his favourite marks and set up the drift. The rods were rigged with running ledger with a six foot hook length. Live joey mackerel were hooked and sent down to the bottom to work their magic.

Picture of pollackAlmost immediately, something hit the bait and although there was a fish on, it could only have been small, as there was no fight. It was brought to the surfaced and I was gob smacked to see a pout fairly hooked in the mouth and no sign of the joey. The bloody pout wasn’t much bigger than the bait and had no business being there!

Anyway, a fresh joey was sent down on the next drift and both our rods arched over as the baits were hit. Two fine pollack were boated, mine going 8lbs, terry’s 13lb – a nice start.

My next catch wasn’t so good as I got got snagged in the wreck. I wrapped the braid around a stern cleat and hoped for a pull out or a break. Unfortunately, the braid slipped on the cleat, pulling the rod tip onto it and snapping it clean off… Bollax!!

Terry loaned me a rod for the rest of the trip but the words.. “you can christen this one, it’s hasn’t been used before” made me shudder… no pressure then.

Picture of black breamWe boated a further two pollack on this wreck, both just under the double figure mark. On the way out, Terry had told me of some fish that had been lost previously on this mark, strong, fast fish that smashed tackle up. Could be big coalfish (coalie), maybe even tope or similar sharky things. I was to experience this myself when something below grabbed my live joey and took off like a bat out of hell. With the drag set as hard as I dare, the fish just stormed off and snapped the 30lb mono leader like cotton. I guess we still don’t know what the mystery fish is.

Picture of black breamWith not much else happening, we moved off West to fish Kingmere rocks, a reef just off Littlehampton known for its black bream fishing. Once there, Terry dropped anchor and started to fish. I used a two hook flapper baited with strips of cuttle and was almost immediately in to a bream, albeit a small one. Although most were small, I did manage a few keepers, while Terry had the best individual fish of the day at 2½lbs. He also bagged the one and only bass of the day.

Later in the afternoon, with the wind starting to freshen, it was decided to call it a day and head back to port. I had a fantastic day in good company and with a few fish fillets for the freezer. The only downside, was the smashed rod with a good 12-18″ lost, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with it – a stubby boat rod maybe. I guess it means having to go shopping for another – shame 😉

Tea time was nice, lovely fresh bream fillet gently fried and served up with a crisp salad… yumm.

Well done Terry for putting us in the right place and many thanks for the loan of the rod.

Martello Pick ‘n’ Mix

By , 3 September, 2011 14:34

It was back to Seaford beach on the bass hunt again last night, although this time I moved a little further East and fished a spot between the Martello tower and ‘The boats’. At 7.30pm – an hour and half before low water, I met up with fishing pal, Phil – well I think it was him, I couldn’t really see much of him through the thick fog that had blanketed the area. After confirming his identity and having a quick chat, we decided that we’d stick it out until the 3.20am high water, which would maximise our time with bait in the water and to fish the spread of a whole tide.

The sea was flat calm with barely a ripple apart from the small wavelets at the waters edge, which was hardly surprising, seeing as there was bugger all breeze to ruffle it. Did I mention the fog? It was foggy. In fact it was more like a drizzle and it wasn’t too long before our clothing was getting a bit damp through. What was surprising, was how warm it was, so warm that it was down to just a ‘T’ shirt under my floatie trousers.

On to the fishing! The plan was to fish live baits throughout the tide if possible, with the backup of big squid baits if no suitable pout of whiting were forthcoming. So the first thing was to set up the scratching rod with the usual size 4, two hook flapper baited with small sections of lugworm and flung it out while I set up the bass rod – long link running ledger with a bead above the running swivel. Doing it this way meant I could either clip on a trace with the pennel for using a squid, or leave it off and then use a slider for a live bait – two rigs in one.

The first couple of pout that came in really were a little too small and although, I could have used them, I would have preferred something a bit larger, so out went the worms again and the squid stayed on the bass rod. As Darkness proper set in, the bites stepped up and soon we were getting the whiting, although not as many as we would have got further West along the beach. I could have used these as livies but I really wanted pout.

Next fish was a snotty eel which swallowed the hook, luckily though, I managed to cut it free before it caused too much damage to the rig, so I got away with only having to tie on a new hook. A few more whiting came in to me, while Phil was getting whiting and pouts.

The fog seemed to get thicker even though a very light Southerly started to come up and was enough for me to have to add another layer over the ‘T’ shirt just top try and keep the damp out.

Picture of soleAt 11.30, Phil and I were having a chat, when I saw my rod tip rattle a few times, then fall still before a lovely little pull down a short time later. I lifted into what was obviously a fish and soon, I had a double shot on the pebbles – a whiting on the top hook and a gorgeous sole on the bottom one – so that was lunch sorted, Anna would be pleased – she do like her soles. This was actually my first sole of the year and I was beginning to wonder whether I would manage to bag one or not. I have to admit, that I really haven’t targeted them as much as I have before but you can normally bank on one turning up by ‘accident’ while fishing with worm. In the photo, it looks a bit like it’s raining or that there is crap all over the lens but that was ‘the fog’ (reminds me, damn that was a good film).

It wasn’t that long before Phil was in with a possible sole, until that it is, it turned out to be a white plastic bag – an easy mistake. Mind you, it was a particularly striking looking bag (Sorry Phil, couldn’t resist it mate).

Next up for me was a bass but alas, it were only a tiddler of a schoolie which had picked up the worm. Phil meanwhile, had brought in a small ray. He also caught a small pout that looked like it had gone through the wars, fins all ragged and deep lacerations down both flanks, so something had taken a fancy to it but I guess we’ll never know what it was.

The hours went on and nothing else of any note came to the shingle apart from more whiting (one of which was a keeper for me) and we got more and more damp from the fog. Phil called it a day shortly before 3am and as is usual, I just had to stay, even if it was just see over the high water period.

Just after Phil left, I had another double shot but this time it was a whiting and a small bream. Woohoo – I then had two double shots of suitably sized pout which were added to the bucket for use as live baits. So that I was prepared, I dismantled the scratching rod that had now done its job and packed it all away. I then put a pout on the slider rig, sent it out, sat back, poured a coffee and watched through the gloom for signs of predatory activity. After about 20 minutes, the rod tip started rattling away like crazy, so I stood by the rod, with hands resting on it gently and patiently waiting….bang! Just one hit… but no follow up, no dramatic pull down….nothing. I left the bait out there for another ten minutes before deciding to bring it in – it was dead and looking the worse for wear.

Next pout was slid out into the gloom and I sat and drank the last of my coffee. Half an hour went by and … bang!.. again one hit and nothing else. Another dead pout brought in and the substitute sent out in its place. That was to be the last bit of action as nothing else happened until I eventually admitted defeat and headed off home at about 5am.

So, no decent bass but an enjoyable session anyway, along with six species and the added bonus of a tasty lunch.

Eastern Promise – Not Delivered

By , 12 July, 2011 16:16

After the drenching I got the other night, last night was a complete contrast – in weather and in results. With the calm conditions looking promising, I felt like having a go for a bass down on the East arm of Brighton Marina, so got down there about 8pm with the intention of bagging some mackerel for bait over high water and then to do some scratching until the early hours and fish mackerel head and guts over the 3am low water period.

It was a warm, clear evening with no wind and a flat calm, clear sea; as said completely different to the other night. It was nice just wearing a t shirt and jeans instead of the clobber I had previously worn and positively thrilling to have dry hands.

Unlike last time I fished the marina, I had made provision this time and had taken some frozen joeys with me, in case the mackerel didn’t show. Just as well really, as the buggers were conspicuous by their absence and the only fish activity I could see on the surface were probably scad.

Anyway, I set up the scratching rod with a size 4 two hook flapper baited with lugworm and chucked it out and almost immediately had a knock which resulted in a small dab – blank saved. Re-baited and then set up the bass rod with the usual long link running ledger, size 5/0 hooked through the snout of a mackerel head and guts which I lobbed out and sat back.

By about midnight, a brisk easterly picked up and made it feel a bit chilly in comparison to earlier – certainly enough to put an extra top on. The good thing that came with it was a bit more in the way of cloud cover.

The only action coming my way was on the scratching rod, with a few small bream and then on low water, lots of school bass taking a shine to the worm. There was one half hearted attempt at a run on the bass rod about half an hour before low which had the tip buried down for a brief few seconds and then nothing.

I gave it until about an hour after low before tiredness set in and I had an overwhelming desire to have a good kip. Looks like Thursday and/or Saturday will be my next outing when I’m hoping for more promising results.

Marina Mix

By , 5 July, 2011 12:34

I haven’t had a session down at Brighton Marina for a while, so I thought I’d take advantage of the fine weather and calm seas yesterday evening to have a crack at some bassing with in-close big mackerel baits, plus a bit of general scratching with worm baits.

I arrived on the East arm at around 7pm and walked out to a free space at bay 36. Conditions were no wind, a flat calm sea and a bright sun. The plan was to snag out a few mackerel on feathers for bait, before fishing in earnest – only one problem – the mackerel decided they weren’t going to play and despite my best efforts, there were to be none. On to plan B then – use the worm to get a few pout for bait (more on that later).

A couple of fishing pals, Jonah Danny and Mike joined me not long afterwards, which I should have known would be the kiss of death. They had planned ahead though and brought some ‘bait’ with them in the form of ‘orrible, minging, poisonous mush; otherwise known as supermarket ‘fresh’ mackerel. Honestly, I’ve seen better conditioned fish in the bottom of a bin that’s been run over and set alight.

Picture of black breamNot being able to get any proper fresh mackerel and with no signs of them even being in the same sea as us, I baited my feathers with small sections of worm and dropped it over the side to temp some small pout. In this exercise, I only managed to catch small bream (Pictured) and for the life of me, I could not get a pout – silly really as normally they are a bloody bait robbing nuisance. Anyway, at least the bream was another one on my species list for the year.

Picture of black breamIn the meantime, my other rod had been setup with a size 4 two hook sole rig (hoping for a sole once darkness fell) baited with worm and lobbed out – maybe I could get a pout on that. Even that didn’t work, as the first fish on that rig was a small thornback ray, followed by another small bream – it wasn’t looking good on the bass bait front. The second picture isn’t another bream – it’s the same as the first but artistically photographed by Danny to make it look bigger (I don’t think it worked).

I later managed more bream, another small ray and a small flounder but I reckon the pout had hitched a lift with the mackerel and gone to wherever they went. So then, while I was busy breaming, the boys were busy blanking with their poisonous offerings.

They packed up around midnight (lightweights) to head off home. Kindly (I think), they left me with a bag containing the remains of their toxic and by now dried out yet still slimy fish offal. Having examined it in the style of CSI Grissom and deciding not to bait up with it, I put paid to my chances of catching anything decent by lobbing the bag of offending shite over the side (not the bag though, obviously).

I stuck it until just after the 2.30am high water but only managed another couple of bream in that time. Although the target species (all three) weren’t forthcoming, it was a lovely evening to be out and with some good company, a great time was had.

Marina Mixed Bag

By , 3 August, 2010 18:01

Just a quick report: Fished the East arm of Brighton Marina yesterday from 6pm through until about 2.30am. Bay 32 to start with then a short move to 36 a bit later. No wind. Flat calm, clear sea. No weed to speak of. Was especially interested in fishing the low water (10.30 approx) period for bass.

Fished mackerel head on a long link running ledger for bass and used lugworm on a size 4 two hook flapper as a scratching rig. Could only get one wrap of lug so used very small pieces to make it last longer. As it happened, it ran out very quickly and resorted to small pieces of mackerel instead.

Final result was: Two small schoolie bass, one small bream, loads of Pout and one small Red Mullet falling to lugworm and a small thornback ray and a scad on the mackerel. I did feather for some fresh mackerel at dusk but only managed one. Nothing at all on the bass rod, even live baited with the Pout but nothing interested in it.

Disappointed at not getting anything decent – especially on the bass front but it was a decent evening out.

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