Posts tagged: flounder

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.

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.

Seaford 6.6.11

By , 8 June, 2011 16:32

Following on from my previous entry, I met up with Bill last night at a spot just opposite west View on Seaford beach and after the initial intros, we wondered onto the beach. We were about an hour before low water and intended to fish up and over high water and maybe some down. There was a bit of a South Westerly breeze blowing and the sea surface was just chopping up

I was beginning to set up when I noticed some mackerel just off the shoreline in very shallow water, I clipped on some feathers and had a few chucks, which resulted in some nice fresh bait for the night.

My two rods were then set up for the evening – one with a size 4, two hook flapper baited with luworm and the bass rod using a long link running ledger with a 4/0 pennel baited with launce or squid.

Picture of Bill's flounderBill was first in with a nice flounder and I followed this up with a lesser spotted dogfish which took a ledgered launce at a relatively close range. Bill then did tit-for-tat and pulled a dog of his own. Once darkness fell, bites were frequent and I was heartened when I saw a good tug on the bass rod and heard the ratchet chirp. Picture of whiting I struck into something that was very obviously not large and not exactly putting up the scrap of the century and was surprised on beaching it, to find a nice table sized whiting of all things. This was to be later joined by two more of about the same size – so that was lunch sorted then. These last two took the worm baits at about fifty yards well into the flood.

Picture of Bill's soleIt was around this time that I saw Bill walking back from the waters edge carrying what like a nice fish. I popped over and saw him clutching a very nice sole which he told me was his first. I was really pleased for Bill, it’s always a lovely feeling to get a new species under the belt, especially a tasty one like that. The photo shows a very placid and cooperative sole but what it doesn’t tell is the story of his ‘sole juggling’ act just moments before, as the critter leapt and slid around in his hands – a very funny thing to see. Personally, I think it should be a ‘must have’ in the next series of that shite TV show otherwise known as X Factor, it would certainly be a step up entertainment wise.

My next big moment was while I knelt to retrieve some bait from the bucket and felt something give ‘down below’ – not anatomically but my jeans beginning to fall apart. As I went to stand, there was the sound of old, bait soaked, manky fabric literally giving up the ghost and as I rose to the noise of rending cloth, I could see and feel that my nether area was ripped from ‘arse to breakfast time’. I now had the pleasure of that cooling breeze blowing around the man vegetables for the rest of the night.

On the fish front, I managed a couple of schoolie bass along with a few pout that took the worm baits but nothing else bothered the bigger bass bait for the rest of the night. As it neared high water time, the bites dried up and it went completely dead, apart from Bill who managed a new one for him – a bloody rockling.

I did however manage to get myself a nice boot full of cold water while trying to get my bucket filled, so not only did I have chilly parts, I now had bloody freezing, wet foot – which was nice. I was glad when we both agreed enough was enough and decided to pack up.

So that was Seaford done on Bill’s marathon fund raising and now he’s off to Shoreham for the next leg. We had a great session, with a few species and great company, I look forward to his next visit.

Please support Bill if you can, all donations to a good cause – the RNLI. Details of his trip, along with dates and venues can be found here:
Bill’s RNLI Marathon

Banjo Bass

By , 19 May, 2011 12:22

Photo of Banjo GroyneYesterday evening, after work, I met up with a Nigel, a guy visiting from sunny Devon and a member of another site I visit – South Devon Fishing. We had initially planned to fish Brighton Marina but the wind conditions at the time put paid to that, so to plan B, we decided to fish Brighton beach, just West of the Banjo Groyne. We got onto the deserted beach at about 8.30 pm to a brisk South Westerly breeze and a nice lumpy, coloured sea, lovely looking conditions for bassing.

I setup the bass rod with a long link running ledger ending in a 4/0 pennel baited with launce to start with. After the first cast, it became apparent that weed could be a problem, as it was soon clogging up the line and tackle and I ended up having to bring in the baits at frequent intervals to clear the line. Nigel had setup his rods with flappers and vaious combinations of baits and was soon in the water.

Photo of small thornbackNigel was first in with the fish when he landed a small thornback – and no matter what he tries to tell anyone, that is not a size 47 wellie, it is my rather demure and delicate size 11! I do like these little rays but they can be a pest at times and I do wish we got them in the larger size off the shore around here.

I had just re-baited the bass rod with squid and cast out and was in the process of tackling up my second rod, when I heard the ratchet on my reel go briefly and thought it was another clump of weed pulling line off in the waves, so let it go. It then went again and I noticed my line was way off to the left – big weed! Photo of BassIt wasn’t until I started to retrieve that I could feel the definite kick of a fish on the other end. I carefully brought it in through the waves and up onto the shingle where I found a lovely small bass of a measured 47cm and around 2½lbs. A nice and promising start to the evening, just needed to get its big brother now.

By now, the wind had started to drop and thankfully, the drizzle had also stopped, for which I was eternally grateful as my lovely neck warmer was somewhat damp and it was beginning to feel more like a wet cat around my neck – or what I imagine a wet cat around my neck would feel like.

Photo of two small thornbacksNigel was soon in again with another small thornie. He had told me that he had spent six? sessions in his native homeland trying for a thornie and had finally managed his quest. He then comes up here and they come along like buses. I know, I know they’re small and I hear you say that they’re not real thornies but it’s all we can manage in these ray deprived parts. Anyway, he then started to show off his ray catching prowess by landing a double shot of the little critters. Honestly, there was no way of stopping the guy. I thought I was going to spend the entire night taking pictures of the damn things.

Photo of a thornbackNot to be outdone, I then had one of my very own which took a crab bait out at distance. I must point out at this point that I believe mine was the biggest one of the night – Nigel may have had the edge on quantity but I defintely had the quality factor 😉

As the tide pushed up, the wind dropped completely and as a result, the sea flattened out completely with virtually no wave action. The good thing though, was that the weed had gone and gear was coming back clean. Bites also dried up and it seemed like the fish had gone too. Launce wasn’t working and neither was the squid or crab; varying distances made no impact either.

Photo of small bassI heard a shout go up from the thornie king and saw him walk back from the waters edge clutching a fish – and it wasn’t a thornie! He’d got his own bass, although somewhat smaller than mine :) A quick photo and off it went back into the oggin.

With nothing doing, I was thinking about packing up but as usual, I can never resist that ‘last cast’ and so carried on, even though my optimism levels had dropped to those of a Christmas turkey – but as they say ‘you just never know’.

Photo of a flounderAs I stood there pondering what to do, I saw a rod tip dip down – the one at distance baited with crab. I waited and it dipped again and I lifted into what felt like heavy resistance with a bit of a kick. Another thornie maybe? Anyway I dragged it into the shallows and saw a flounder – must have been a greedy bugger to take whole crab on a 3/0 I thought. It was then that I saw there was another line tangled in there, which turned out to be one of Nigel’s previously lost flapper rigs -and it one of these hooks that was in the flounder. We’ll call that one a joint effort I think.

With the tide dropping quickly and at about 3.15 we decided to jack it in for the night and head back. It wasn’t the busiest of sessions but at least there were fish and it was a great time in great company. I’m hopeful of a re-match at some time in the summer when I’ll be heading off down Devon way.

Brighton Beach

By , 7 March, 2011 09:45

Saturday nigh night saw a change in venue as I headed for a small, unofficial competition organised by a young lad passionate about his fishing (well done Ryan for your efforts). Brighton beach, down by the Banjo Groyne was the mark chosen.

I arrived there at about 6pm and walking onto the beach , just West of the groyne, saw that there were already some of the guys down there. The plan was to fish the tide up and over the midnight high water. Conditions were slightly better than the previous night, with an overcast sky and a bit of movement in the clear sea.

Two rods used, one with a two hook flapper baited with lugworm, while the second rod was setup with a long link running ledger terminating in a pennel baited with launce, hoping for bass.

Nothing happened until darkness came and then it was as the previous trip – tiny whiting and slugs (rockling). After Ryan truned up, we wondered over for a chin wag with some of the other guys who are also members of  WSF a fishing website that I frequent.

It was then back to the fishing which really was a just an excercise in bait up, cast, retrieve, unhook small whiting/slug, re-bait, cast out etc etc. The launce was being savaged by the small fishs, I ended up taking that rig off and putting a flapper on that rod too. It wasn’t long before Igot fed up with watching two twitching and rattling rod tips, so I packed up one rod and continued with just the one.

High water came and went along with my enthusiasm. It wasn’t long after this that I decided bed was better than beach and upped sticks and left.

I think that between us, we shifted a lot of whiting and a load of slugs. Ryan did have a small flounder and the other guys managed flounder and a schoolie bass.

This was the first time I had fished this beach for many years and I’d forgotten what a great place it is. There are always promising reports from this area of the coast and good fish are landed every year. This being the case, I’ve promised myself that I’ll make the effort to fish it more often this year.

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