Posts tagged: launce

Nothing Too Exciting

By , 24 March, 2012 15:52

Picture of dogfishHaving spent the last few sessions chasing plaice and herrings at the marina, I thought I’d have a change, so headed out to Seaford beach after work last night. Few would believe it but one of the reasons was to get a dogfish for my species list. The main reason though was to prospect for any bass that might be in, so the only bait I used was frozen launce. I had contemplated taking some worm baits but thought better of it, as it would probably have meant picking pin whiting and slugs off the hooks every five minutes – not my idea of fun!

I arrived on the beach at about 8.30pm – about three and a half hours before high water. Weather-wise, it was a very still, clear night with no wind to rough up the calm sea. After the warmth of the day, it was actually a bit chilly and I was glad of the jacket I had nearly left at home.

I used two rods with similar rigs, both using a running ledger but one was fished ‘up n over’ style for extra distance. Both rigs ended in 4/0 hooks that matched the size of the launce perfectly. So with two baits out – one at distance and one in reasonably close, I had a coffee and waited. Looking up and down the beach, I saw a few lights a bit further West by the Beachcomber, some even further West somewhere near Edinburgh Road, I guess and some East, up past the Martello end of the beach.

At about 9pm, there was a nod on the distance rod and the first fish of the night was on the shingle and one of my targets for the night, a plump doggy (lesser spotted dogfish or LSD for short) of 1lb 14oz as measured on my scales. Not long after it was released, it showed up on the shingle again; I wonder why, they nearly always seem to swim back up the beach. It was released again – this time a bit further out and as I didn’t see it again, I presume it managed to re-engage it’s satnav and find the right way to go.

While all this had been going on, I hadn’t noticed the close-in rod bouncing away merrily which, on retrieve, produced another doggy. This one was smaller and actually managed to find it’s way back into deeper water.

The next two casts on the distance rod produced two pin whiting which had somehow got themselves hooked on the big baits. It then went quiet for some time until about an hour before high water, when the close-in rod bagged another doggy, which was somewhere in between the other two size-wise.

There then followed a succession of small whiting an few pout just on high water before it went dead again. By the time 1am came around, I couldn’t stop yawning and the thought of a warm bed overpowered the thought of maybe ‘a few more casts’. I packed all the gear away and suddenly thought; I’ve only got one more week of work and then it’s a month off for the Easter break (ya just got to love working for a school) and loads of fishing to be done – woohoo!

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.

Breezy Seaford Bass

By , 14 May, 2011 14:10

With the local waters being murky with May rot, I was going to give it a week before trying any serious fishing again but as usual, the draw of the sea was too strong and I just had to hit the beach. So last night, after work, I rushed home, filled the flask with a good strong coffee or “mud” as the FPO describes it, threw my gear in the car and headed off to Seaford beach.

Once there, I saw that condition wise, it was breezy with a South Westerly blowing straight into the face. Sea was nice and lumpy with some colour but with some weed thrown in. There was some cloud cover but this was somewhat patchy.

Photo of bassThe spot I had picked was just East of the Martello tower and with lightning speed, I was setup and in the water around high water time. The rig was just the one rod with a long link running ledger, ending in a 4/0 pennel baited with whole (well minus head and tail) launce. It was then time to sit back and wait – I wasn’t expecting too much activity while it was still light but was hopeful for when darkness fell. I was a bit surprised when I heard the reel singing and saw the rod arch over (yet again it happened when my attention was pouring a cup of the aforementioned ‘Mud’). I picked the rod up and felt a fish on and quickly navigated it through the breakers and onto the beach. My first bass of 2011… woohoo. Not large but a reasonable one of about 2½lbs. (First picture)

Photo of bassI re-baited and sent the rig back out at the same distance and thirty minutes later another little run and another bass on the beach – smaller at about 1½lbs. (Second picture). Re-bait, re-chuck and not long afterwards, another schoolie on the shingle. Another similar sized schoolie came in about twenty minutes later. Subsequent casts produced nothing and the fish seemed to have gone off the feed completely as the tide fell rapidly. It was at about this time that weed started to become a problem, clogging up the gear within minutes of being out. Also, local beach foxes became a nuisance – two them stalking and checking my bait bucket out at every opportunity. I don’t know if they understood my accent or not but I couldn’t seem to get through to them, until I used an old trick and spoke louder, which seemed to do the trick – for a while. They stayed hanging around and showed no sign of disappearing completely.

With no more bites coming and my patience with the weed and foxes wearing a bit thin, I packed up and trudged back over the shingle to the car. No big fish tonight but at least there was some fish to be had. Looking foward to some more beachy stuff in the near future.

Seaford Doggy Session

By , 7 April, 2011 10:48

Yesterday evening, I had another ‘big bait only’ session over at Seaford beach. Arriving in the West View area of the beach at about 7pm in daylight, I found a flat calm sea with a gentle swell, no wind at all and a clear sky. I was going to fish from 8pm low water up and over the 2am high water.

Plan was to fish one rod at varying distances in the medium range and one rod at the closer ranges. Both rods were setup with a long link running ledger ending in a 5/0 pennel arrangement. The medium distance rig was baited up with whole squid, while the closer range bass rod used launce.

After both rods were cast out, I did some practising on the new camera (Fuji S2500HD), to get a feel for it. There are far more variables and settings on this compared to my last one, which was a pocket compact and looking at the results, I really do need to do more practising and tinkering to get better pictures.

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Once I’d finished messing around with the camera and darkness fell, I got down to the serious business of fishing properly. The first fish didn’t show up until about 9pm when I saw the bass rod tip diping and bouncing away. I lifted into some weight and within seconds, a lesser spotted dogfish (LSD) was on the beach. Once despatched, I re-baited and lobbed another launce out to about forty yards out. I then tried a ‘self portrait’ photo but the result was crap to say the very least.

10.20 saw the bass rod on the go again and soon, another LSD was on the beach. Photo opportunity number 2. The result is not good – the composition and stuff isn’t too bad and the doggy looks ok but who the hell is the bloke holding the fish?? Anna, my lovely FPO summed it up nicely when she said ‘”Darling, you need to work on your smile. You look like you’ve got a brain problem – a real gumby”. Well thanks for that love, there’s nothing like having your self esteem smashed on the rocks of honesty and love. Having looked at the picture again, I think she may have a point.

A further two LSD’s were beached during the session, before I called it a night at 2am. Out of the four LSD’s caught, three were taken on launce and one on squid and all were caught within the fifty yard range. Three were males and one female. Three were prepared for the pot and the one female was released.

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