Posts tagged: brighton

Squids On The East

By , 14 April, 2012 14:04

The pursuit of squid has been a bit of a compulsion with me this year, having fished a few times and only one dropped one to show for it; so it was an early start this morning in the continuing quest. Brighton Marina was the chosen venue and as it was forecast that the wind would be from the North East, I decided that the East arm would be a good bet, fishing in the higher numbered bays on the the straight, which should offer some protection.

I arrived on the arm at about 6.15am expecting to have to wait until Frank turned up to unlock the gate – as it was, he’d obviously been suffering from insomnia, as he was already on the wall with the gate open. After the usual chin wag, I trudged off and settled in bay 48. Flat sea, only rippled by the light breeze and only slightly coloured – conditions looked good.

I set up the carp rod with a sliding 1¼oz float, plumbed the depth, then attached a pink Tronix jig to the business end and had the whole lot in the water by about 6.30. I had a quick coffee while the float was working in the slight left to right current of the ebbing tide. High tide had been at 6am and the hardest current had already petered out.

Picture of squidI didn’t have to wait long before I saw the float slowly disappear in the characteristic squid take. I slowly eased it towards the wall, holding the rod in my left hand while using my right to deploy the drop net (wasn’t going to make the same mistake I did last time and lost one trying to swing it in). With the net now just under the surface, I gently steered the squirting and inking beast closer and then over the frame and safely into the middle of the net – a quick heave and the critter was decked. My first of the year – woohoo!Picture of squid

I continued to fish the current, working the float but the stiffening breeze made it difficult to control. I sent a brief text message to Frank asking about the conditions on the West arm and his reply confirmed to me that a move was probably in order. I then phoned Fishyrob who said the conditions were much better over that side with better shelter from the breeze.

I trudged back to the car and made the very short journey over to the other side of the marina and was shortly onto the West arm and into a slot next to Rob and a client (sorry, didn’t catch your name), who had already decked his first squid. Although the water was calmer over this side, there was very little in the way of movement, with the float just staying where it landed.

The fishing proved to be very slow with nothing added to my tally. Rob’s client on the other hand, decked another one while I was there, By about 11.30, I’d had enough – my back was screaming and I really needed to get home. So final result was just the one for me – but at least I’d broken my duck and my optimism has now been renewed.

Greedy Greens

By , 11 April, 2012 12:31

Just what the hell are they thinking? As if trying to do anything in Brighton wasn’t expensive enough, the crazy Greens have raised seafront parking by 100%, going up to an incredible £20 for an eleven hour stay. You can see on the council pages, how much you’re going to get fleeced for parking in future. You can have a read of an article written in the local paper.

On a fishing front, this means that anyone wanting to fish the Brighton beaches and park in these areas, now has to take this extra expense into consideration. Don’t think you can get away with it by parking in the town centre car parks either – Churchill Square have also increased their charges by at least 25%. Council run car park fees will go up on the same day. NCP have said that their charges will remain unchanged.

Some may say, well use the buses or ride a bike but if you’re like me and tend to carry a lot of gear, that is totally impractical, especially if you like to do longer sessions going into the night, or you prefer to be more mobile and change locations with changing tidal or weather situations.

I have to wonder whether Brighton council members are capable of reasoned thought; can they not see how this latest scam will put people off coming into the town and boost the economy by spending their hard earned cash? This scheme can only be a bad thing for visitors, local businesses and ultimately residents. If this scandal is allowed to continue, it will push beach goers out to other nearby towns such as Seaford, that has ample on-street parking right next to a fabulous beach and is totally FREE.

Do your bit and tell ’em what you think –

First Mackerel of 2012

By , 10 April, 2012 12:33

Picture of mackerelNot a very inspiring post is this, in fact downright depressing as far as squid go.

In an effort to bag my first of the year, I got down to Brighton Marina nice and early on last Wednesday morning, to get a decent space place to hunt for squid. I resisted the temptation to sit in bay 1 and opted instead to get out in the higher numbers where the squid should appear on the ebbing tide. I eventually got myself settled in bay 36, I think it was and set up the carp rod with a sliding float rig and a Tronix green jig.

The water was still quite low and had a fair bit of time until the 11.30 high water. I set about working the jig anyway, more in a bubble of optimism than any real hope. The water was very green and you could see the clouds of rot it in, although this did lessen a bit with the rising tide.

I was desperate to bag a squid, as I knew I wouldn’t be fishing the following day as it was my birthday and had other plans set. In mad bid to drag a tasty cephalopod from the sea, let the float do its thing while I set up another rod equipped with a large Jarvis Walker Razorback weighted jig which I then worked ‘Egi’ style along the bottom.

It seemed that no matter what I did, I just couldn’t tease one out. I even resorted to chucking feathers out to avoid a total blank when I saw a few mackerel coming out a few bays up. Even then, I only managed a single fish.

I eventually called it a day at about 2pm – three hours after high water with just the single mackerel to show for my efforts. Not a good day catch wise but at least the weather wasn’t too bad.

Prospecting Aboard Grey Viking II

By , 3 April, 2012 11:56

Last week, while squidding at Brighton Marina, I bumped into local fishing guide, Rob ‘Fishyrob’ Howard who asked if I was up for a crack at some shore caught turbot. Always up for any fishing session, I obviously jumped at the chance. In the next few days, plans were formulated to head ‘Down West’, leaving in the early hours of Monday morning and fish throughout the day.

Anyway, on the Sunday, Rob rang me to ask if I fancied a change in plans, as a chance had come up to fish aboard Brighton based charter boat ‘Grey Viking II‘, an Aquastar 38′ Pro Fisherman, skippered by Ray Burn. We both agreed, that as the beach we were going to fish would be rammed with people taking advantage of the current glorious weather, the change in plans could be more productive.

Picture of Brighton Marina from Grey Viking IIIt wasn’t to be a full proper charter but a prospecting session, researching for some good turbot/brill/ray ground. The obvious advantage to this was that there would only be the three of us aboard, thus maximising the available space.

Shortly after 7am yesterday, saw me arrive at Fishyrob HQ for a quick coffee, before heading off down to the marina. Even then, Rob couldn’t resist a quick, ten minute go for some squid on the east arm. It was then off to meet Ray and wolf down a hearty breakfast at the West Quay, a Wetherspoons pub. All stuffed and ready to go, gear and bait was stowed aboard and soon we were off out of the marina, heading to the first mark for some extensive surveying and mapping of the sea-bed.

Once done, baits were dropped down and we started the first drift with anticipation of a large large ‘flattie’ engulfing our mackerel fillet or launce that were trundling along the bottom. A few drifts later and with no fish to show for it, we headed off to the next mark, where we drifted along the edges of a submerged wreck. No ‘Flatties, but I did manage two large pout that had taken a fancy to my large launce fillet baits.

Picture of flat sea from aboard Grey Viking IIIt was soon time for a move and we headed off to try another area. This didn’t prove to be fruitful either, with none of us hitting any fish. If nothing else though, the weather was fantastic, lovely warm, bright sunshine and with not a breath of wind across the flat mill pond like sea.

We shot off to another likely mark that had produced before – but sadly on this occasion, it was blankety blank time. We were wishing now, that we had packed some bait to have a go at the plaice but then we agreed, we would have stuck with that and not done what we were supposed to be doing, which was researching and looking for specific turbot marks.

By early afternoon, a sea breeze had picked up and things turned a bit chilly, even with the still bright sun – I even had to resort to putting my ‘fishy’ jacket on in an effort to keep the breeze out. Ray decided that if nothing showed on the next few drifts we should call it a day and head back in. As it happens, nothing happened and we remained fishless, so headed off back to port.

Rob and I were going to have a squiddy session at the marina when we got back – but as it happened, we got sidetracked and ended up having a beer at the pub instead. We thought we might still have a shot at them but in the end, with my back screaming, I bottled it and headed off home.

Even though we didn’t manage to bag our target, the leg work had been done in getting most of the info Ray needed for future shots at the turbot and brill. It was a still a great day out and I can’t wait to book up for a full charter wrecking trip aboard this great boat with a top skipper.

Thanks to Ray and Rob for a great day out.

Not Squids In

By , 28 March, 2012 15:52

Picture of Brighton SeafrontHaving heard reports of squid already being caught at Brighton Marina, I felt like having a go for the critters on an early morning session at the west arm, so Tuesday was chosen as the day. For some unknown reason, I found myself wide awake at 4am instead of the planned 6am, so ended up kicking my heels (well watching the news and drinking coffee) until it was time to go.

I arrived on the West arm at just before 7am and found I was the only one there, so had the pick of where to fish. I trundled up the rest of the way to the end and dumped myself in the last float bay. The light breeze was coming from a North Easterly direction but I was well sheltered from it in my space; it had in fact, been the deciding factor that made me decide on the West arm as opposed to the East, which is more exposed to winds from that direction.

Picture of may rot in waterLooking at the sea, it was relatively clear but there were the definite signs of early May rot which could be seen in swirling cloudy patches. This annual phenomenon is a right royal pain the arse, as it tends to make the fishing crap and you end up with the slimy muck coating everything it comes into contact with. It’s caused by an algae bloom that then dies and turns into this unspeakable gop.

Seems that it has turned up early this year, probably caused by the unusually warm weather – oh lucky us!

Picture of ABU Enticer carp rodI began to set up and pulled the latest weapon in my arsenal from it’s protective bag – a 2½lb test curve ABU Enticer Pro carp rod (Pictured. As usual, click on the pic for a larger image). I’d got this in an Amazon deal for £20 instead of the normal forty odd quid. Time would tell if it was a wise choice or whether it would end up as yet another white elephant in amongst all the others in my garage.

It was teamed up with my trusty old Shimano Aero GT 6010 bait runner reel which is loaded with 20lb braid. A standard sliding float rig was employed but using a Tronix squid jig instead of the usual hook. I started with a pink one but later alternated with the green and even tried the blue.

Now, as hard as I tried, I just could not get a hit on the jigs at all – nothing, nada, zilch – all morning. I varied the distance out, experimented with the depth but nothing could induce any interest. So much for the ‘Enticer’ bit.

I have to say, that even though nothing was caught that would test the new rod out, it felt light and very comfortable to hold and use. It has a nice action that made casting or just under-arm flicking very easy. So far, I’m very pleased with it and can’t wait to test it properly with some critter on the other end.

I eventually called it quits at around 2pm, although I was tempted to stay longer, if only just to bask and enjoy the lovely warm sunshine that was bearing down as I left. Alas though, I had to work that night – good news is, it’s only until Thursday and then it’s off for a month over the Easter break – woohoo!

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