Posts tagged: gurnard

First Time In A While

By , 20 June, 2015 06:07

Picture of bringing some inHaving not ventured out onto the shingle in quite some time, I thought it time to get back out there and start hitting the fish again. I knew Alex was itching to get out there too, so last Friday, we did a very short evening stint around high water to see what we could muster.

Picture of Alex and gurnardI set Alex up with a set of small feathers and got him working them right and it wasn’t long before he was into his first mackerel of the year, which for some strange reason known only to himself, he called ‘Kevin’. This was followed up with a small, pretty little tub gurnard which had found the lures to be all too enticing.

Picture of Alex and KevinsWe didn’t have to wait too long before the kid was in again, this time with a trio of mackerel, which he also called ‘Kevin’. Just when we thought we might get a decent number for BBQ’s and for freezing, the fish decided otherwise and the session went absolutely dead, with no more getting beached.

Anyway, we left the beach content with four Kevins in the bucket, a smile on our faces and much talk of returning in the near future to have a few more in. With the summer holidays coming up very soon, we’re both keen to do some late evening/night sessions, Alex wants to get his first bass and I’m still chasing the elusive double figure Billy.

I realise now, just how much I’ve missed being out there and I am determined to make it a great second half to the year and start chasing some quality fish.

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.

Quick Seaford Report

By , 26 July, 2010 16:45

I’ve been eager to carry on with my launce trials for bass at Seaford beach but was dealt a blow yesterday when I could only get smaller sandeels. Not to be put off, I decided to go in the evening anyway, so armed with a couple of packs of frozen sandeels and some lugworm, I headed off for Seaford.

I arrived at the Edinburgh Road parking area at about 7pm and walked over onto the beach to be greeted by a fresh Westerly wind, whipping up quite a lumpy sea with large breaking waves on the beach. I could already see rafts of weed in the nicely coloured water but it didn’t look too bad provided there wasn’t more of the damn stuff unseen lurking under the surface.

Fished two rods, one with size 4 two hook sole rig baited with lugworm, the other a long link running ledger with a 4/0 pennel rig with the sandeel. The worms were sent out about 40 yards and although I didn’t expect much on the other rod during daylight, I cast it out anyway to see if anything was around.

Before it got dark, I had a small gurnard and two schoolie bass on the worm and nothing on the sandeel. Once darkness fell, it was a whiting fest on the worm – virtually a double shot of the bloody things every cast; all of them pins and nothing of any decent size.

It wasn’t until about two hours before high water that I had the first hit on the bass rod – a huge pull down and screaming reel but I missed it whilst doing an impression of Billy Elliot as I tripped over the tripod. 10/10 for artistic impression but ‘nil point’ for results.

Had another take on the bass rod about 20 minutes later and this time I connected and landed a plump bass of about 2½lbs. Missed another take about 10 minutes later through inattentiveness and  that was it for the rest of the night.

By 11pm the wind had died, the sea calmed right down to a swell and it remained fishless until I packed up an hour after high water.

Seaford Bass Success

By , 12 July, 2010 10:58

bass - click for larger imageI was thinking the other day that I haven’t fished Seaford Beach since January, so decided to have a go there last night to see what’s about. Not being able to rely on catching mackerel there, I decided to continue my launce (sandeel) for bass experiment. I had some left over lugworm as well and thought I’d use that up on a scratching rig.

When I got to the beach, it was about two hours into the flood tide and I saw that there was some weed present but didn’t look too bad and was certainly fishable. The sea was pretty calm with just a small swell and a bit of movement surf-wise. There was no wind to speak of and the sky was cloudy with sun breaking through at times.

I set up the scratching rig first, a size 4, two hook flapper baited with the lugworm which I cast out about fifty yards. I then set about the bass rod which I would use later on and used a long link running ledger combined with an eight foot trace and a 4/0 pennel to be baited with the launce. These were frozen ‘Ammo’ and were a pretty good size, being about six inches in length and thick bodied. Since I started using these, I have found that the larger sized launce seem to work better than the smaller ones which have caught significantly less fish.

First fish to be landed came in about three hours after low water and it was a double shot of a school bass and a small weever. Next in was a small thornback ray, shortly followed by a small Tub gurnard – all these came in before full darkness and fell to the lugworm. Once dark, I had another hit which turned out to be another school bass.

By about 10pm and four hours into the tide, the weed started to become a problem – long strands of the ‘Spaghetti’ weed got caught up on the hook, sinker and leader knot. The best way to deal with this was to abandon the scratching rod and concentrate on the bass gear which I had by now deployed. While packing the other rod up, I heard the ratchet on the bass reel scream off as a fish took line. I picked up the rod and felt the fish pulling strongly and struck into it. A short while later, a bass of around 2½lbs was on the beach but before I could reach it, the hook fell free and the next wave took the fish back. Ah well, at least I knew there were fish  there.

I re-baited with a fresh launce and cast out again just beyond the breaking waves. Almost immediately I saw the rod lurch over and the reel sing again, I lifted into the fish which was on for a brief moment before going free – arse! Another fresh launce was cast out but nothing touched it – or so I thought. The rod was moving in a wave-weed like manner but when I retrieved it, I found a spider crab firmly attached. Unfortunately it wasn’t peeling, so went back.

By now, it was about an hour before high water and the weed was getting to be a real problem; at least on this rig, there was no leader knot to worry about as it was a straight through line. I saw the rod moving and was about to bring it in, when it dramatically arched over and the reel screamed’ I picked it up and felt a reasonable fish on the other end. As it got nearer the beach, I let the waves carry the fish closer to land and soon a nice fish was on the beach – success! It measured 52cm  and weighed in at a shade over 3lbs – not huge but very satisfying for my first session there in six months.

The weed become intolerable around high water and the place was just unfishable – huge rafts of it could be seen in the waves and after a minute in the water, line and terminal tackle were smothered and being dragged along by the weight of weed in the current. I was down to my last launce anyway, so chucked it to give the fish a free meal on me before packing up for the night.

Given that there was a nice variety of fish (although on the small side), I may give the marina a rest for a while and concentrate on Seaford a bit more along with Newhaven for the sole.

It’s Seaford again

By , 23 May, 2009 17:04

Decided on Seaford (again) for a session yesterday evening. I fished from about 4pm at a spot that was about half way between the Beachcomber pub and West View.

Sea was a bit rough early on with a stiff  South West breeze  in the face but it did calm down considerably a bit later on as the wind dropped and the tide rose but still retained some of it’s energy.  I used one rod with a two hook flapper baited with lugworm and varied the casting distance. On the other rod I used running ledger with a 3/0 pennel and whole small squid cast close in.

The only fish I had were a small Tub gurnard caught not long after I started, two Pout and a whiting which came near to high water (all on the worm baits). About half an hour after high water, I had a tremendous pull down bite on the whole squid but as I was tending to the other rod, I couldn’t get to it in time, and the fish was gone, so that pleased me no end.

Once the hour after high water had passed, there no more bites and it all went dead.

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