Posts tagged: herring

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 Herring and a Mackerel

By , 27 March, 2011 18:35

Yesterday was a tale of two two halves – crap and brilliant.

Round 1:
Up at 4am, get ready and leave the house at 4.30 to get to Brighton Marina for first light and a crack at the herring that have been showing. I arrived on the East arm at about 5am, two hours after high water, to a flat calm and clear sea, slightly overcast sky and no wind. I headed out on to the virtually empty arm to bay 32 and firstly setup a scratching rod, using a size 2, two hook flapper baited with lugworm and ragworm and cast this out about 30 yards, just to see what, if anything else was about. On each subsequent cast, I varied the distance to cover more ground.

The other rod was set up with a string of 5 size 10 Sabiki lures and a 3oz lead which I then started working. On the 3rd cast, I had a herring on, right up until it got to the wall, at which point, it flicked off the hook and was away. There were no other takes for the rest of the morning. I did have two pinwhiting on the scatcher rod while i had been working the feathers though. By 10am, it became obvious that no herring were going to show until later in the day, so I decided to head off home and return later to catch the 4pm high water.

Round 2:
weeverI returned to the East arm at around 2pm to find it a bit more crowded than earlier but managed to get a space at bay 35. The Easterly breeze had picked up a bit with a resultant to chop to the water surface. It was still an overcast sky with occasional breaks of sunshine. I again set up a scratching rod using the same rig and bait as before and cast that out. The herring rod was set up exactly the same as before.

I started working the lures through the water, just bouncing the lead of the sea bed in a sink and draw fashion. The current was quite strong on the run up to high water and using such a small lead, the lures were being dragged laterally at quite a rate. With so many people having lines out nearby, it beame difficult to prevent manoevre through them, so decided to quit for a while until the current died down a bit.

herringAnna and Alex had by now turned up for a flying visit after doing the shops in the marina. While Anna and I chatted, Alex spent time exploring but failed the “sit quietly, watch the rod and see if the end moves” test but he did manage two retrieves of the feathers before declaring enough. While there, they witnessed my one and only catch on the scratching rod – my first weever of the year, that had taken a worm bait that was bigger than itself. As I’m awaiting delivery of a new camera due to the demise of my old one, Anna managed a quick photo on her HTC phone.

herringAfter they left, I had another go at the feathers and found that the current had eased a bit and working the lures was a bit less troublesome. Just to make sure, I brought in the scratching rod – it wan’t exactly doing much good out there anyway – and packed it away. It was about half an hour after high water when the herring appeared, my first of the year was a safely landed double shot. It was then a steady trickle of ones and twos until about 5.30, when it went a bit hectic with a few more landed, along with a solitary mackerel in amongst them. Most were caught only a few yards out from the wall, while a few were out at about fifty yards or so. I did get a couple of pictures but had to use the iphone camera, so not brilliant. By 6pm, it was over and they departed as quickly as they came and in that time, I had managed just shy of two dozen herring and the mackerel – a nice few suppers and lunches shared out.

So after a disappointing morning to a fantastic afternoon, some nice fish and a great day out. Managed it all while wearing ‘normal’ clothes, got a bit of a red head from the sun – summer is on it’s way.

Little Herrings

By , 1 March, 2009 12:14

My previous session had gone reasonably well, so I decided on a day time session for Saturday on the East arm of Brighton Marina in the pursuit of herring and maybe a plaice.

As word has got out about the herring to be had on the marina, the usually quiet, wintery days have turned into a bit of a bunfight with multitudes of people fishing there. I hate to have to walk too far in search of a suitable spot to fish and I’m no great fan of crowded, shoulder to shoulder fishing, so I opted to set off early and get there in time to bag a decent spot.

I arrived in the marina and was at the door of The Tackle Box by just after 7am, just in time to see the owner, Dave arriving followed by the worm guy delivering some tasty fresh ragworm. After a quick chat and purchase of some odds and ends, I set off full of expectation.

Walking onto the arm, I noticed the lack of people there and the free reign I had to choose where I wanted to go. I walked around the bend and settled on bay 24 (or 25 depending on which painted number you take notice of) and started to unpack. With the tide rising I first had a shot at drifting a float through my section dragging the bait along the bottom to see if it brought any interest but this was impressively ignored by anything that might have been down there. I persisted for a while but as the tide picked up, it coincided with more and more people arriving, making it difficult to let the float drift through.

As time wore on, I began to work a set of 5 size 12 Sabikis and was immediately rewarded with a triple shot of small herrings, beautiful little bars of silver, dashed with a light mauve colour across the back and looking comletely unlike the grey dull offerings you normally see in a supermarket. Wanting to have some a bit larger, I continued to work the small lures, bouncing the lead across the seabed. Each time I had a hit, it was always the smaller herrings and nothing of a retainable size.

In an effort to try and bag something else, I swapped the float setup and went for a single size 2 hook ledgered DVice setup baited with ragworm. This was cast out at varying distances over the time I was there but each time I retrieved to rebait, the bait came back as good as it went out with nothing having given it a chew. The only exception was the capture of a small Masked Crab which had latched on to the worm and had refused to release it.

Had a few more goes for the herrings but only ended up with the little ones and these were very sporadic. As darkness fell, I felt there was little worth staying for, so decided to leave it for another day.

All in all it was a great day to be out and was another session of testing my back and showed that things are improving all the time.

Back in the hunt again

By , 19 February, 2009 16:04
Following the back surgery I had to have a few months recuperation which meant I was not allowed to stretch, bend, lift my arms above my head and all manner of other restrictions which drastically meant no fishing. Well, after about five months of no worm drowning, I finally felt fit enough to go out on Tuesday evening for a few hours. Rather than tackle the shingle at Seaford, I opted for the easier flat concrete of Brighton Marina, arriving on the East arm at about 6.30pm or so.

I had planned to get there earlier in the day and try for some of the herring I’ve heard so much about but unfortunately that was not to be, so I was a little peeved that I got there in darkness.  I was even more deflated when I met FishyRob and Dytiscus, two of the guys from WSF forums who had finished for the day and were leaving with a bucket of herrings.

Anyway, I went to bay 16 and set up two rods, one with 2 hook flapper and one with single hook ledger DVice, both baited with either lugworm, or ragworm or a cocktail of both. I didn’t hold out much hope of anything decent, this being renowned as the worst time of year and the tides heights and times were not good but I was just glad to be out in the fresh air once again. Fishwise, the weather wasn’t brilliant either, flat sea, no wind and no rain but at least it was comfortable.

By the end of session, things had gone as I predicted, with just a load of pin whiting and a 5 Bearded rockling. On the plus side, my back held up with no major problems, so I’m confident of some serious fishing for the coming year. If things carry on improving, I might even be able to get some boat trips in as well.

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