Posts tagged: eel

Martello Malaise

By , 10 September, 2010 10:52

I wish I’d gone to Edinburgh Road at Seaford beach but didn’t and went to the Martello (also known as the canon) instead in search of bass and maybe a lucky  codling. Arrived on the beach by about 9.30 having shot home first after work to load up the car (should have done it before I went to work). Sea was lumpy with a fresh Westerly breeze helping to push some largish waves up the beach. The plan was to fish up to the 1.30am high water and down and hour or so.

The bass rod was set up with a running ledger and 5/0 pennel baited with squid but with the option of live baiting. This was done by just adding a free running swivel above a bead which was above the weight. A hook length with a 5/0 on one end and a snap swivel on the other was made ready. If a suitable live bait was caught, the procedure would be to retrieve the squid and unclip the hook length, cast the weight out, let it settle and then clip the snap swivel onto the main line, stick the live bait on the 5/0 and let it slide out into the water.

A scratching rod was set up with a two hook flapper – one size 1/0 hook and one size 4, both baited with lugworm and sent out beyond the waves which were crashing up the beach. It wasn’t long before the scratching rod was bouncing around and two whiting were brought in – too big for a bait and too small for table, so back they went. This was pretty much the theme for the next hour or so and while I was busy with the whiting, the squid was busy doing absolutely nothing just sitting out there being ignored.

By about 11.30, the breeze died right down until there was nothing. The sea started to flatten out, leaving just the swell running the occasional larger wave up the beach. This was just what the doctor ordered, as the next two fish were an ideal sized pout and whiting.  The pout was sent out on the slider reasonably close in just outside the main waves. While the whiting stayed in the bucket (with water in it, I might add), I quickly rigged up a DVice on a running ledger, stuck the whiting in it with a 5/0 and chucked it out at distance.

The incoming tide had pushed me back up the beach to an area where there was loads of washed up and rotting seaweed (nice) which was covered in clouds of small flies. They were annoying enough anyway but each time I used my headlight, it was like being in a bloody sand blasting booth! They were an absolute bloody nightmare, ended up moving my gear further back up the beach and out of the way.

I then sat back, smugly, drinking coffee and thinking I was in with a chance. This was not to be the case, as although I imagine the baits were having a lovely swim around, they remained untouched. Once the tell tale signs of movement ceased, it was time to bring them in – both expired. Ah well, back to the squid and the worm it is then.

The squid remained apparently unattractive, while the worm worms did well with more whiting, until the rig was trashed by a ‘snotty’ eel which managed to turn my nicely made rig into a tight ball of line and snot that was only good for being cut up and the components retrieved. The eel was successfully removed from its own mess and sent back to where it came from. A new rig was clipped on, baited and re-cast.

Another bite, another ‘snotty’ and another wrecked rig. Yet another rig clipped on, baited and re-cast. A few more whiting and then a bass, yeah, a bass only trouble it was, it probably weighed less than the lead I was using. That was it then, high water came and went and no more fish brought in, it just died completely.

I stuck it out until about 3am before calling it a night. It really was quite a disappointment, I had had high hopes of a reasonable fish but I guess that’s fishing for you – sometimes you strike gold and some times you don’t.

Marina Disappointment

By , 16 August, 2010 15:19

Had a session at Brighton Marina last night, on the East arm along with some fishing pals, dannyc, Mr codling and antonfish.  We set up in the high 50’s on a still evening with the tide dropping to a 10pm low water. The idea was to fish low water up in the hope of some bass action.

I set up one rod with a size 4 two hook sole rig baited with lugworm and chucked that out about 50 yards or so. I tried for some fresh mackerel using small sabiki feathers but only succeeded in hitting three scad and a few small pollack and pout that went into the live-bait bucket.

Once darkness fell, I set up the bass rod with a live-bait slider rig and sat back and waited… and waited…

In the meantime, I had some limited action on the sole rig, landing an under-sized sole, more pout and a ‘snotty’ eel. Once the live bait had expired, I switched to ‘joey’ mackerel heads on a long link running ledger and once those had gone, went on to use small calamari sized squid. This all proved to be a fruitless exercise, with nothing showing any interest in my offerings.

By about midnight, the other guys decided to pack in and head for home, while I, in my ever growing optimism, opted to stick it out for a couple more hours. This turned into a session of drowning worms and star gazing as nothing happened apart from some more pout and another slip sole. Feeling a bit deflated, I left at about 2am.

I was originally going to hit Seaford beach but had changed my mind in favour of the marina. I wish I’d stuck with the first option because at least there, I’ve had some success on the bass front and there’s always the chance of some decent whiting amongst all the bait robbing ‘pins’.

Ah well… Seaford will be the next session later in the week.

Saved by Eels

By , 7 July, 2010 16:50

Monday evening / night was session at Brighton Marina out on the East arm in the company of Mike and Danny. bass were the target again and mackerel heads the preferred bait. Got there about 8pm, four hours before the midnight low water and walked out onto the arm.

Once we got to our spot, Mike and I set about trying to get some some fresh mackerel to supplement the frozen stuff we already had but er some time time trying, we gave that idea up as none seemed to be about. Time to set up the main tackle of the night. One bass rod with a long link running ledger, 8′ trace with a 5/0 hook and mackerel head and another rod out as a ‘scratcher’, using a size 4 two hook flapper baited with some stinking old lugworm left over from the last trip out on Saturday, to be used for any sole (or anything remotely fishy) that might happen to be about.

The water was very coloured with silt and the amount of weed was shocking. The bigger weed had big root balls encrusted with mussels while the other was something that resembled wet cotton wool mixed with mud and clogged up the terminal tackle within minutes of it being in the water. My biggest ‘weed fish’ was too big to handlined up the wall and actually broke my 20lbs test line.

As it happens, apart from the weed situation, the fishing was dire and I think Danny and Mike had the right idea packing up early and having the time better spent at home. I decided to stick it out and being the optimist I am, was convinced I’d hit the jackpot. In the end, I was saved from a blank by two snotty eels that knackered two of my rigs and that was it, no other interest shown. It was indeed a pants session but to get that big result, you have to put the hours in.

Marina Session

By , 10 June, 2010 15:57

I haven’t been out for a few days, so thought I’d have a go down at Brighton Marina after work yesterday. Arrived on the East arm at about 8.15pm with a predicted high tide at 10pm – not ideal, as I prefer to fish from low tide up. Anyway, beggars can’t be choosers, so got myself sorted in bay 28 and had a look at the water. The mayrot had disappeared but the water was choked with masses of floating weed, moving in the West to East current (this did thin out over high tide and the ebb). The sea was flat calm with virtually no breeze in the clear sky.

One rod was set up with a size 4 two hook sole rig baited with lugworm on one hook and ragworm on the other and cast out about 30 yards. Tried for some fresh mackerel and only managed three by the time darkness fell.

First fish was a very small smooth Hound pup which took the ragworm and was quickly followed by another. Then had a surprise mackerel which took the remains of the lugworm that was being retrieved for re-baiting. A schoolie bass then took a fancy to the lugwom a few casts later.

I packed away the mackerel gear as darkness came and swapped it for a long link running ledger rig which I alternately baited with either mackerel head on a single 6/0 or fillet on a 4/0 pennel in the hope of a decent bass. To be honest, I would have been better saving the mackerel for taking home for all the good they did. The baits were either clogged with weed or savage by crabs, with no interest shown by Billy bass at all.

My painstakingly built sole rig was utterly destroyed by a snotty eel which had taken the ragworm and then spun itself into a sort of cocoon of tangled line and slime. I managed to cut away the line and release the bloody thing which would no doubt make someone else’s life a misery later on.

The only other fish of the night were a brace of Pout and another small smooth Hound pup followed by nothing. By about midnight, my enthusiasm was flagging, a brisk easterly breeze got up and the bait ran low, so gave it another hour before calling it a night.

Berserk Marina Bass

By , 1 June, 2010 14:24

Moonshine - click for larger imageNormally I would avoid Brighton Marina on a bank holiday like the plague but a few guys I know were fishing down there yesterday, so I thought I’d pop down for a few hours. I stopped in at The Tackle Box and picked up some quality lugworm and squid before heading off to the East arm. Just as I was walking onto the arm, my phone went and it was Steve from the shop saying I’d left my squid behind – damn. It was arranged that if possible, one the wardens could bring it out when they next did a ticket round and left it at that.

Got out on the arm about 1.30pm and met up with Danny, Steve and Ant and set up in bay 31 with them. High tide was predicted for about 2.30pm but the current was already pulling hard to the right, the sea was dead calm but looked like soup with all the rot in it.

I set up one rod with a size 4 two hook sole rig and lobbed that out baited with lugworm, the other rod, I rigged with some mackerel feathers as I wanted fresh mackerel for bass bait but this was more in hope than probability looking at the state of the water – but you never know.

My first fish of the day was a bass, or basslet to be more precise, as it was barely bigger than the bait I was using but at least it saved me from a potential blank. As the tide dropped away, things were very slow with no fishy action at all. Not long after this, one of the wardens Frank stopped by for a ticket check; I mentioned the squid I’d left at the shop and just asked if he could pick it up if passing. a short while later, Frank returned with the abandoned squid. Top marks Frank and also well done on getting that bloke to return the undersized bass he was about to pop in his bag.

When the other guys left, they kindly left me the contents of their crab bucket which had a couple of peeler shore crabs and two nice peeler velvet swimmer crabs. I peeled one of the shore crabs but jeez, it stank like a tramp’s shoe, it was very, very off  (cheers Danny). I peeled another shore crab, which this time wasn’t quite so aromatic and stuck half of it on the size 3/0 hook of a running ledger rig which had replaced the mackerel feathers. I slung this out around fifty yards and waited only a short while before the rod tip was bouncing away to indicate fishy action. I struck into a fish and brought in a smooth Hound pup of about 2lbs which was quickly unhooked and returned. There were a few more pups but the really, really small ones.

The next fish was a reasonable eel of about 1½lbs. Things quietened down then with only  a couple of small eels, until just after low water at about 8.30pm when it seemed to go bass mad, when they hurled themselves at the baits as soon as they were in the water and a couple of times, I had double shots on the sole rig. OK they weren’t big, all averaging around 1 – 1½lbs but it was enough to keep me busy and was good fun. At one point, I had a double shot of  a bass and a flounder, which made a change. Although good fun, it didn’t do much for my attempts at more sole! This kept going until 3 hours into the flood tide when someone somewhere suddenly flipped a switch and it it died off, with the odd Pout and of course the obligatory rockling.

I stuck it out until 1am, with bait running out and fishy action sadly lacking, I called it a night and headed off home. The final tally was over a dozen bass, a few smooth Hound pups, one flounder, a few eels, numerous Pout and rockling.

The latter hours of the session were a joy to be out, a quiet, still night with no wind, flat sea and although not good for productive fishing, a bright moon behind scattered clouds – this combined with a few fish reminded me of why I enjoy this so much. I tried to get a decent shot but the camera is a bit limited as to what it can do. Click on the picture for a larger image.

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