Posts tagged: ledger

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.

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.

A Few Rigs

By , 8 August, 2010 20:48

Have just spent a bit of time while not being able to fish, doing some diagrams and writing a few words on some of the rigs I use. I’m hoping to add to them at some stage and include some of the more obscure ones out there. This isn’t and wasn’t meant to be a definitive guide to rigs and rig building and I realise that there are many variants of these rigs  – but the ones shown here are just the ones that I use.

Click and be taken to the wonderful world of rigs.

Running Ledger

By , 6 August, 2010 20:34

In the simplest terms, this is a rig that has the weight sliding on the main line and is a rig that targets bottom feeders. By allowing the line to run through the weight, it lessens the resistance a fish may feel when making off with the bait. The illustrated rig is the way I set mine up when fishing a wired lead and just illustrates the principle. You can substitute the weight for a drilled bullet, barrel, coffin lead or whatever you want, to suit your needs and conditions.  You can also swap the sliding swivel and split ring with a zip slider or a snap swivel, or you could just thread the line directly through the weight – it’s a matter of personal preference.

1. Depending on what type of weight being used, feed main line through either the eye of the weight, a zip slider, snap swivel or in the case of drilled bullets etc, the weight itself.  Thread on a bead and tie to a swivel.

2. Tie or clip your hook length to the end of the swivel

3. If you aren’t using the ‘thread through’ weights – drilled bullets and the like, remember to clip your weight to the zip slider or snap swivel.

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