Posts tagged: herring

Marina Flatties & Herring

By , 10 March, 2013 12:23

Picture of small herringIn a quest to up my species targets, I decided on a trip to Brighton Marina on Friday just gone to have a crack at crossing plaice and herring off the list.

I arrived on the east arm at about 8am to filthy weather, chucking it down with rain and just the slightest north easterly breeze. The arm was empty of people so I had the choice of where to pitch up, so I settled for bay 25 – one of my favourites.

I got setup, one rod with simple running ledger with blingy hook length to target plaice, the other rod with a small Sabiki string to get the herring.

Plaice rod was baited up with lug plus squid tipping and chucked out at distance. I then started working the sabikis but could only manage a few chucks at a time before having rest due to my back giving real grief.

I had the first herring at just after 9am which sadly, turned out to be the only one of the day.

Picture of plaiceThe first plaice came just after the herring, so that was both targets achieved in reasonably quick time.

The rain was relentless and a real pain in the arse, it wasn’t heavy, just that horrible persistent stuff. The breeze had started to drop had even stopped ruffling the surface of the flat calm sea.

Another two plaice were landed about an hour after the first one. It was turning into a tidy session considering i was now well into the ebbing tide and the sea was dropping quite quickly.

With no herring showing, I took the sabikis off and replaced them with a two hook flapper, baited with lug and squid. I stuck on a 2oz plain lead and chucked it as far as the floppy rod would allow.

Picture of plaiceAnother plaice landed which turned out to be the largest of the day at 34cm and a whisker under 1lb (13oz). It had hit both baits on the flapper and taken them well down (all had apart from one) and so was swiftly dispatched.

I was considering packing up as everything was getting soaked through and I had already accomplished what I had set out to do. I decided to stick it out anyway see how far I could go into the ebb and still nail a plaice.

At just on midday, I was slowly retrieving the flapper, hoping that the movement might trigger a response from a plaice as the static bait had long since stopped tempting them. Just few yards from the wall, the bait was nailed and soon, another plaice was landed.

It was around this time that I was joined by local guide and all round good bloke, Fishyrob. He was targetting the same as me but was going down using the artificial route to try and tempt the flatties out. By this time, we reckon they had all moved on with the dropping tide, as neither of us could manage any more.

Time was pushing on and I needed to be away sharpish – and so it was an extremely wet and happy Vic headeing off home to clean up and get ready for work. Now looking forward to the next session.

In That Plaice Again

By , 21 March, 2012 10:23

Decided to have another crack at the plaice on Brighton Marina yesterday and fish a few hours up and over the 10am high water. By 6.30am, I was at the gates to the East arm waiting for Frank to open up, which he did pretty soon after I arrived. It wasn’t too long before I was in my chosen spot.

It was a chilly morning but not overly cold with very little wind and an overcast sky. The sea was clear and flat and all things looked good for a great day apart from the tide being a little short. There was only one other guy waiting at the gate and I had my spot all to myself. It pays to get down there early or you risk getting to a packed wall with not much space to fish. Dave, at The Tackle Box, who runs the fishing concession reckons the damage to the wall should be finished soon, at which time, the rest of the wall should be open.

I set up using the familiar running ledger, long trace with beads and attractors, ending in a size 2 hook baited with lugworm and long, thin squid strips. This was cast out only about 50 yards or so and then I settled to a coffee and pondered if I should have a go at the herrings, or just fish for the plaice.

Picture of plaiceJust after 7am, I had a knock on the rod and in quick fashion I had my first plaice of the day on the deck. It wasn’t the largest in the world but it was over the minimum size limit and in view of the fact of it bleeding heavily from a deep hook, it was dispatched and put in the infamous ‘dinner bucket’.

I re-baited and chucked out again and while having another coffee, two regular fishing nuts turned up – local guide, Fishyrob and ‘ Mesito’ Steve. After the usual banter and insult trading, they too were fishing.

To say the fishing was slow, would be an understatement; it was very slow. I abandoned my morning’s self imposed ‘no herring’ rule and soon had a string of size 12 Sabikis out and being worked on my other rod. While working away, I noticed a nod on the other rod and in a quick retrieve and swing over the wall, another plaice was landed. Smaller than the first one and nicely lip hooked, this one went back. Back to the herrings which were being a bit elusive, although they did come up in ones and twos.

Late in the morning, the clouds parted and we were briefly bathed in lovely warm sunshine; it wasn’t long though before the clouds came back and it was time once again, to stick a jacket on. Due to other commitments, I had to leave the marina by 1pm and by the time it came around, the fishing had slowed further with the dropping tide. I did however, manage another two plaice which sadly were under sized. Rob, donated one of his catches which had again been deeply hooked and unlikely to survive after release.

So with a brace of plaice and a nice few herrings, I left, leaving Rob and Steve to carry on fishing. The plaice would be for Anna’s dinner, while I would divide the herrings into some for my dinner and some to be frozen for bait. It wasn’t a too shabby session and I was pleased to walking away with some rewards for the hours put in.

More Plaice

By , 17 March, 2012 14:15

Another early start on Friday morning in the hunt for plaice. I got to the east arm of Brighton Marina at about 7am and I have to say though, from the start, I wasn’t that hopeful. Conditions had changed to a South West breeze ruffling up the water a bit that still remained clear. The tides Weren’t ideal and I would be fishing down to the 11.40am low water and some of the flood but missing the 6pm high water due to work. The temperature had dropped a bit too making it a bit chilly throughout the session.

AS I pitched up at my chosen spot, another WSF nut, Martin (Bubbles) slotted into the bay to my left and Fishyrob a couple of bays down from there. Also down for the day to do an article, were some guys from ‘Sea Angler‘ magazine.

I decided to concentrate on plaice this time, so was not going to set up a rod for herring. Main rod was rigged with an up n over ledger which allowed for better casting with a long hook length. The hook length was outfitted with some ‘bling’ beads and reflective spinner blades and ended in a size 2 hook baited with lugworm tipped with thin squid strip.

Fishing was so slow, that I ran the risk of going into a vegetative state, so despite earlier plans, I eventually broke out the herring rod and had a go just to do something active. This wasn’t any better and even though I gave it a decent go, the herrings weren’t exactly forthcoming. Meanwhile, in the next bay, Bubbles was bringing them out with alarming regularity. At one point, I accused him of having a large bucket of them down the side and he was fishing into this.

I did eventually manage three, which I donated to Dave from ‘The Tackle Box’ as he seemed to be doing a collection of them to try. After this though, I packed up the herring rod and put all my effort into plaice.

Picture of plaiceThis wasn’t to last though; with time moving on and thinking about packing up to head home early, I retrieved my plaice rig only to find one of the critters had hooked up without me knowing. It was deeply hooked, taking down a couple of beads as well as the hook. I cut the line as close to the hook as I dare and released it back into the water. Deciding that that was a good time to call it a day, I packed everything up and headed off.

It will probably be a few days now before I can get out again and have to decide whether to have another session or two on the plaice or have a go at an early squid or even maybe going after bass on the beach. Decisions!

Plaice and Herrings

By , 15 March, 2012 10:10

Picture of Brighton cliff tops in the mistAfter Saturday’s enjoyable session, I decided on another daytime foray after herring and plaice at Brighton Marina. The plan was to get there early and have a few hours fishing up and over the 2.30 pm high water.

I got to the East arm at about 6.30am and while waiting waited for Frank to appear to unlock the gate, I had a look around at the conditions. The air was misty and pretty still apart from a very light Easterly breeze. The water was gin clear and calm with just the hint of surface ruffling. Looking to the cliff tops, I could see my place of work and I thought of my unlucky colleagues doing the early morning bus run while I was out here relaxing. Picture of clear seaBeing the efficient and conscientious type, it wasn’t long before he arrived and by about 7.15, I had both rods set up and was fishing.

The routine was the same as before, one rod – running ledger, long ‘blinged’ hook length with beads and shiny Tronix spinner blade ending in a size 2 Aberdeen hook baited with lugworm and squid strip to try and tempt the plaice.The second rod was equipped with a string of size 12 Sabiki’s for the herrings.

Picture of a small plaiceIt wasn’t too long before I had the familiar tugging and wriggling of herring on the Sabiki’s and they were soon swung in and dropped into the dinner bucket. A short while later, a couple of knocks on the other rod showed that there were signs of interest in the worm bait. I left it to develop while I slugged down a cup of hot ‘mud’ coffee and then returned to it and brought in a small plaice – too small for the table, so back it went. Signs were good and I hoped for a half reasonable catch throughout the day. Unfortunately, the fish had a different plan and were not in a co-operative mood.

I was soon joined by a couple of guys from WSF, Steve and Martin aka ‘Mesito’ and ‘Bubbles’ who set up in the bays to my left. They didn’t take too long to get in amongst the fish and in the time it took me to write this, they had overtaken me in the catch rate. Another fishing nut, Steve aka ‘scottish_and_mental’, from a different forum I inhabit came over a chin wag. He was up for the day from down the foreign Western parts along with fellow fanatics, ‘DannyFisher’ and ‘Jaycee’ to try and plunder our plaice stocks.

For me, the fishing was dead slow all day, with very little activity on the worm rod and just a few herring showing to the lures. I knew I had to leave before 3pm, so that I could get home, get scrubbed up and ready for work that evening, so pressure was on to get a plaice for Anna (she doesn’t ‘do’ herrings).

Soon, the ebb current was fairly ripping through from left to right, making it difficult to hold bottom; as soon as the gear had been cast out, it was being dragged around to the right, putting a nice bend in the rod. It was in these conditions and on the last knockings, that I saw my rod being pulled along the wall. Grabbing it and lifting, I could feel that there was a fish on. To my surprise, the plaice that came up was smaller than anticipated but still big enough for the bucket – as soon as Steve sends me the photo, I’ll add it here.

Pressure was off and not long after this, I had to pack up and head for home, not really wanting to, I would have loved to have stayed through the rest of the ebb. That’s the trouble with work – it gets in the way of fishing! Anyway, not long now until we break up for Easter and the luxury of a month off.

Eastern Plaice

By , 14 March, 2012 11:17

Picture of large herringSaturday was the day for another crack at herrings and plaice at Brighton Marina. The forecast for the day was great, the tides were great and that meant it was going to be packed to the gunnels, so to avoid any disappointment, I had to be there early.

I trotted up at around 6.30am and found myself at the head of a non-existent queue but It wasn’t too long before another hopeful turned up and was quickly followed by Fishyrob with a client and Frank, one of the wardens.

Once Frank had unlocked the gate, We headed out onto the arm and settled into our preferred bays, out as far as we could get. I setup one rod with a simple running ledger, longish hook length ending in a size two Aberdeen hook. This was baited with black lugworm tipped with thin squid strip in the search for plaice. The other rod was rigged with a string of four, size 12 Sabiki’s and a two two ounce lead for any herrings.

Picture of large herringWith the plaice rod cast out, it was time to start working the herring rod close in, where the herrings have been hugging the wall. The first one didn’t come in until about 8.30 but it was a decent sized one which would make excellent lunch. There then followed a steady stream of smaller ones but only ones and two’s. I had a brace of decent sized ones about an hour or so later which were followed by some smaller ones. By the end of the session, I had taken just over two dozen, which would make fine eating.

Picture of plaiceThe plaice rod seemed unwilling to move and I was beginning to wonder if my fishing mojo had abandoned me to remain un-plaiced (sorry) in the day’s standings. However, at about 9.30, the rod tip dipped down briefly to indicate some interest at least. I lifted the rod and felt some weight, and on reeling in, I felt the resistance of a fish. Within short time, a chunky small plaice was lifted up and over the wall. It wasn’t the biggest plaice in the world but it did mean that both targets for the day had now accomplished and it was another species ticked off the 2012 list.

Another plaice fell to my bait a couple of hours later but sadly that was it for the session and by about 4pm I’d had enough and decided to call it a day and make my was home. It’s funny but normally at this time of year, the marina would be devoid of people fishing off the walls but the mention of the excellent plaice fishing has made it busier than I can remember and it has certainly brightened up what would usually be a pretty crap time for a fishing nut.

Dave and his crew from The Tackle Box are working hard to try and get the whole of the East arm up and running after all the damage caused. Let’s just hope for continued good weather, so that this work can be completed as quickly as possible.

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