Posts tagged: codling

Sea Mistress

By , 19 April, 2011 18:36

Now, normally I would write up this report and insert pictures in a chronolgical order but to be honest, I couldn’t say with 100% certainty, which fish came from which wreck and at which time. Plus too many pictues and not enough text make it all look a bit messy, so to keep things tidy and to stop me blathering about on about anything and everything, I’ll give a bit of an outline and put up some nice pictures. Photos are curtesy of the resident photographer for the day, Mr Terry Hill.

Following my trip out on Friday, I had the opportunity to again set out to sea on Sunday – this time, aboard a private boat, ‘Sea Mistress’ skippered out of Newhaven by WSF member Terry Hill. We met up at about 8am at Newhaven and after a bacon butty and coffee at The Captain’s Table, Terry arranged for his boat to be trailered from the boat yard, down the slipway and into the water. We set about stowing our gear aboard, while Terry fuelled her up and did other stuff. We were joined by fellow forum member, Dave and once everything was ship-shape, we set off out of the harbour.

Terry opened up Sea Mistress once we were clear of the harbour confines and headed off to some wrecks in search of cod and pollack. Like Friday, the sea was mirror calm and with no hint of a breeze to ruffle the surface, we made good time. It wasn’t too long before we were over the first wreck and Terry set up the drift.

Tactics were the same – long flowing traces with artificial lures worked close to and over the wreck. Although the water was clear, it was evident that there was already a lot of the dreaded ‘May rot’ in the water which could have an effect on the fishing. Terry was the first into a fish and nice bass was soon aboard. Expectations were high and we were buoyed up by such an early result. Unfortunately, that was the only fish on that wreck, so after a few fruitless drifts, we were off to the next mark, a few more miles out.

Fishing was slow over the next couple of wrecks but Dave managed a couple of reasonable pollack, while I seemed to be attracting large pout for my efforts.

Terry started up the engine again and we were off, this time to a wreck some sixteen miles out. Progress was good, with a steady cruising speed only interupted by the wakes of occasional passing larger vessels. First couple of drifts, I was getting small snatches at my lure but couldn’t get anything to take it fully. It wasn’t long though before I boated my first ‘proper’ fish, a small but welcome pollack.

…and then not long afterwards, Terry got the first of the target fish of the day, a tidy codling.

With renewed vigour, we continued to work the lures but to no effect, apart from more pollack for me and a beautiful little tub gurnard for Dave.

I then boated a whiting of all things – all this way out and I still get bloody whiting. At least it was of a decent size anyway.

Another wreck later and although we still weren’t getting large numbers of fish, we sort of ticked over with bits and pieces. Dave then had his first bass of the session after a short tussle.

…and he followed this up a bit later with the biggest pollack of the day at a shade under the ten pound mark.

While he was doing the pollack – so to speak, I had my first codling of the day but unfortunately didn’t get a picture of it.

We fished on for a bit and did some wrecks on our way back to port but as the tide slackened off, the fishing died with it. We decided on some ground fishing on the shoals off Beachy Head, so swapped our artificials for ragworm fished on long traces with plenty of beads and colour, in the hope of attracting a plaice or two. Alas, this wasn’t to be the case and all we managed to attract were pin whiting and pout.

So it was with an Easterly breeze picking up and chopping the surface, we headed back to port. I attempted to fillet my catch on the return but this proved a little risky, so after one fish and deciding I’d like to go home with the same amount of fingers as I had when I left, I opted to fillet the rest at home.

Back at port, we unpacked the boat and did other nautical things with ropes and pipes before collecting up our assorted bits and pieces and going our seperate ways. A big thanks again to Terry for the day out and putting us on the fish.

Here’s the stuff I didn’t get around to preparing on the boat and is awaiting the filleting knife.

Lady of The lake

By , 16 April, 2011 15:18

FrankOne of the wardens from Brighton Marina, Frank was celebrating his birthday by having a trip out on one of the local charter boats, ‘Lady of The Lake‘, skippered by John Barrow. I had been lucky enough to be invited out by him to join his party, consisting of his daughter, sons and friends, along with some indiviuals (sorry, I didn’t catch your names) and two additional crew, Alan and John(2),to make up a full complement. To say I was excited is an understatement, as it was my first trip for quite a few years and I was keen to venture back into the boat fishing scene.

Picture of Lady of The LakeWe met up at The Tackle Box to stock up on any last minute items, after which, we were soon down by the boat loading up, making ready for the 7.30am departure. I have to say, Lady of The lake, a Tremlett 42, is a fantastic, sleek looking boat, is extremely roomy with a well set out deck and ample facilities. While we waited, we set up the rods to save time once at our destination. The basic tackle consisted of what is essentially a single hook paternoster with long flowing trace (sometimes known as a flying collar rig) and artificial lures such as sidewinders and shads.

looking back towards the marinaSoon, engines were fired up and we set off out of the marina and headed to the chosen marks, which were to be deep water wrecks out in the channel. The tactic for the day was to drift and work the lures in front of and over these wrecks in the hunt for the cod and pollack which inhabit these rusting hulks. Frank’s target and a great way to make his birthday better was to get his first cod, in fact he had said that he “Didn’t mind catching chickens for the rest of the day, providing I get my cod”. So, fingers were firmly crossed – and that went for all of us!

Another view of the coastAs we left the marina, we motored out onto a flat calm sea, which was going to make the jouney a lot quicker and a lot more comfortable than you would get on bumpier water – Perfect conditions for a great day out.

Soon, the engines were opened up more to a good cruising speed and we headed for our first wreck which I believe was some 20 odd miles out. I took the opportunity to go over my kit and make sure everything was in order, with all knots nice and secure and extra traces and rigs made up ready in case of losses caused by getting getting caught up in the submerged ironwork.

The anticipation mounted as the engines throttled back and John began positioning the boat over the first wreck. Once the drift was established, the buzzer was sounded which meant we were safe to drop our lures down to the bottom. I felt the lead hit the seabed and then I began the slow retrieve, working the gear up and over the wreck, waiting for the tell-tale pull down on the rod and the weight and power of a fish crash diving after taking the lure. Sadly, the first drift produced nothing – or the next, or the one after that. Hmmm.. disappointment all round.

Another view of the coastWe headed off to another wreck and this produced similar results apart from a couple of pout. I had one tentative take with a fish briefly on before it was lost. We then headed off to another mark, where I had my first proper take and after getting it to the surface, I had my first codling of about 4lbs aboard – thing were looking up at last.

The next drift saw my gear caught up in the wreck, the line was quickly wrapped around a cleat by John and I waited for the drifting boat to break the line – damn, my first loss. I quickly retackled in time to catch the next drift, which produced nothing for me but I believe a couple of pout to the others.

Frank and his codThe next drift saw me blank again but there was a shout from the other side of the boat and Frank’s long awaited cod was soon on the deck… and he was a very happy bunny.

Another couple of blank drifts and John decided to move onto another hulk which again produced zero results. Things were not looking good on the wreck front, so John asked Frank what he wanted to do (it was his day after all) – stick it out with the prospect of similar results, or move inshore and have a go for dabs and mackerel, so that at least some people went home with fish. Decison made, he motored back inshore and drifted over the ground just off the marina.

Tackle was changed – thanks Alan and John(2) for providing the lighter gear that I hadn’t taken with me. A spreader boom with beaded traces and size 2 hooks baited with lugworm were dropped over the side and before long, I had my first dab aboard – pity it fitted in the palm of my hand though! Things went very quiet and apart from a couple more undersize dabs and a couple of pin whiting, I had no more luck. The rest of the crew were bagging up on mackerel and Frank had a couple of lunker garfish. By 5pm, it was evident that we weren’t going to get anything decent, so it was time to had back into the marina and the end of the day.

Despite the lack of quality fish, it was a great day out with excellent company and great weather. Thanks again to Frank for the invite and to John and crew for helping out and making things run smoothly. I’ve now got the taste back for boat fishing, and am looking forward to making my next trip whenever that may be.

Change of Scenery

By , 25 October, 2010 15:45

For a change of scenery, I had a session down at Eastoke, Hayling Island on Saturday with some lads from Hampshire and Sussex who inhabit another web site. It was a first for me, having never even been to Hayling before, let alone fished it. It was great to be out somewhere different from my usual and predictable marks and I was full of optimism. The object of the meet was a friendly get together and cod competition.

I arrived at the appointed meeting place to find it empty and with that “Oh shit – am I in the right place” feeling. It wasn’t until another guy, ‘Browners’ introduced himself that I realised I was an hour early. Anyway, we waited and about half an hour later, a few more turned up, including Lee ‘Cuckoo’, the organiser. Introductions made, a chat and three quid each chucked in the ‘winner take all’ kitty, the ten or so of us set off up on to the beach.

The weather was supposed to be strong breezes dropping later on with rain also stopping later on. In fact,what we got were no wind, calm sea, clear skies and a bright full moon – comfortable but not ideal for codding.

I set up to the left on a section of beach between the groynes, with ‘Browners’ setting up to the right of me. The rest of the group were spread out along the beach to my left.

I started off with one rod, using a single 3/0 hook fished paternoster style with a cocktail of black lugworm and cuttle fished at distance. The other rod was set up with a long link running ledger, 4/0 pennel which I would later use with whole squid  close in.

First fish for me was an LSD ‘doggy’ (lesser spotted dogfish), while ‘Browners’ had one, followed by a huge pout at 2lb 4oz. While he seemed to doing well with a steady stream of fish, I was struggling to get much action.

Some time later, ‘Browners’ let out a triumphal shout of ‘cod!’ It wasn’t large but it was a codling of just over 2lb and it turned out to be the eventual winner with no others being caught during the night.

Even with both rods out, I had a very quiet night with nothing really showing much interest apart from LSD’s. I had a few missed bites which again I suspect were LSD’s

We stuck it out until 4am before packing up and re-grouping at the car park. My tally for the night was five LSD’s – not brilliant but at least I didn’t go all the way for a blank. After a chin wag and the handing over of the cash prize to Browners (well done by the way), we went on our separate ways.

A big thanks go to Lee, a top bloke for organising the event. Pity more didn’t turn up but perhaps more for the next time. His report can be found here. 2010 Cod Meet Eastoke.

I have vowed to make more of an effort to resist the temptation of fishing locally and travel a bit further afield and enjoy something a bit different.

Seaford Codling

By , 1 September, 2009 09:17

Early codling were the target on this exploratory session at Seaford yesterday evening, on the off-chance they were in following the recent winds. Fished just East of the Beachcomber from 8pm through until 1am. HW at 10pm.

While I waited for darkness, I feathered for some mackerel which were there in their thousands chasing fry right up onto the beach. It’s always a fantastic display when you see mackerel feeding in a frenzy like this and in a world of self preservation, it amazes me that they will risk beaching themselves. By the sound of it, the people who were swimming just along from me got a shock too when they suddenly had hoards of mackerel and whitebait swirling around their legs.

Once dusk set in, I sent out a whole squid on a running ledger close in for any bass that may be around and on the other rod an up ‘n’ over rig with lugworm on a 1/0 hook at varying distances for the codling.

Seaford codlingI was plagued with whiting all night (some a decent size) which were taking everything I chucked in – including the whole squid. It got to the stage where it really didn’t matter how far or how close I was casting, it seemed like there was a carpet of whiting. Mind you, I prefer it like that than there being nothing there and you come away empty handed.

At about 1020pm, the rod with the lugworm had a couple of taps then pulled down hard and I lifted into fish which definitely felt bigger than the whiting and with the tell tale nodding indicative of codling. A short while later and my first codling of 2009 hit the beach. In the hope of hitting a shoal, I quickly re-baited and cast out again to roughly the same spot – about 80 yards out. Sadly though, no more codling for the rest of night. After that it was more and more whiting – which were still biting as I left.

It’s all calm

By , 13 February, 2008 20:27

Just a quick report this time. Last night, I fished Seaford at the Edinburgh Road mark from 8pm-3am. High water was 2.30am. No wind to speak of, sometime very, very slight breeze from NE. Clear sky, flat calm sea.

Baits used were lugworm, calamari & ragworm, either singly or as cocktails. Rigs used were one size 1 hook clipdown.

Total for the night was five 5 Bearded rockling, two whiting, one Pout and one tiny codling of around 6 inches. Not fantastic results but better than blanking and it certainly was a lovely night to be out in the fresh air.

Hopefully, we’ll soon be out of the ‘Doldrum’ months and into proper Spring fishing. I have vowed to wait until then before fishing again and to spend my time cleaning gear and building rigs – but you never know when the fishing bug will bite!

Theme adapted from: Panorama theme by Themocracy