Posts tagged: mackerel

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.

Mackerel Mayhem

By , 14 June, 2012 17:03

Picture of feeding mackerelHaving been given an order for some mackerel by the guys at work, I took the opportunity of a break in the weather to head off to Brighton Marina nice and early on Wednesday morning to bag a few. I arrived on the east arm at about 6.30 am just before high water, to find it nice and calm and the sun shining and as I walked along the top deck, I could hear the promising sound of mackerel boiling on the surface somewhere below.

I plonked down in about bay 18, I think it was, set up the feathering rod and began working the lures close in. Now the water was murky but mackerel were feeding – just not in the bit I was in! In fact it wasn’t until gone 7am and the top of the tide before they came in strong and then it was non-stop, they were everywhere, patches appearing all along the wall and further out too. Bloody gulls didn’t know which way to turn, flitting between the different shoals.

Picture of feeding mackerel shoalI took a bit of a break to try and get some photos but as is always – turn the camera one way and they show in the opposite direction. Anyway, I managed a few shots and a bit of video (Excuse the quality – haven’t done this for a while). If you enlarge the first picture (click on it), you can clearly see individual fish withing the shoal.

Picture of feeding mackerelBack to the rod but this time the light one and float gear; had some great fun hoiking them out one at a time instead of strings. Wasn’t long before I had a bucket full and plenty for the guys, the in-laws, friends and ourselves. If I was of a mind, I could easily have stayed and filled more buckets but just can’t see the point – having said that, I need to get down again soon and get some for the bait freezer which is empty!

Even as I left at about 10am, they were still shoaling in patches all along the wall, a great site to see. The thing that did surprise me was that apart from a couple of blokes fishing further round the bend, I was the only one there enjoying the sun and fish.

Looks like weather is breaking soon, so hopefully back to the beach during the evenings for some action.


First Mackerel of 2012

By , 10 April, 2012 12:33

Picture of mackerelNot a very inspiring post is this, in fact downright depressing as far as squid go.

In an effort to bag my first of the year, I got down to Brighton Marina nice and early on last Wednesday morning, to get a decent space place to hunt for squid. I resisted the temptation to sit in bay 1 and opted instead to get out in the higher numbers where the squid should appear on the ebbing tide. I eventually got myself settled in bay 36, I think it was and set up the carp rod with a sliding float rig and a Tronix green jig.

The water was still quite low and had a fair bit of time until the 11.30 high water. I set about working the jig anyway, more in a bubble of optimism than any real hope. The water was very green and you could see the clouds of rot it in, although this did lessen a bit with the rising tide.

I was desperate to bag a squid, as I knew I wouldn’t be fishing the following day as it was my birthday and had other plans set. In mad bid to drag a tasty cephalopod from the sea, let the float do its thing while I set up another rod equipped with a large Jarvis Walker Razorback weighted jig which I then worked ‘Egi’ style along the bottom.

It seemed that no matter what I did, I just couldn’t tease one out. I even resorted to chucking feathers out to avoid a total blank when I saw a few mackerel coming out a few bays up. Even then, I only managed a single fish.

I eventually called it a day at about 2pm – three hours after high water with just the single mackerel to show for my efforts. Not a good day catch wise but at least the weather wasn’t too bad.

Poor Marina Session

By , 28 July, 2011 11:03

Picture of scadAfter the hectic and enjoyable morning at Seaford, I nipped over to Brighton Marina yesterday evening in the hope of bass that might fancy something from my bucket of treats, namely the heads and guts from the morning’s catch – yummo.

I arrived on the east arm at about 7.15 and walked out to the 40’s where I would meet up with Danny, Mike and Ant, who had got down there earlier. I was looking forward to seeing what festering crap Danny had brought with him this time for bait! as I got to the mark, our heroic trio were already hard at work with their – what seemed like – fifty rods between them. I was surprised (and disappointed) when I heard that they had fresh bait. My spirits were lifted later on in the night though when Danny cracked open a hermit crab and I heard that shout of “It’s minging”. Ah, normality resumed!

After the usual abusive pleasantries, I set up for the night – one rod with feathers for some fresh mackerel (by now my bucket of heads was smelling pretty awful and had liquefied), one scratcher with a size 4, two hook flapper, baited with lugworm and the bass rod using a long link running ledger, long trace and single 6/0.

First chuck with the feathers brought in a joey mackerel, so it was quick change and off came the single 5/0 on the bass rod and swapped with a sliding live bait rig; within seconds, the joey was back out. once the livey was expired, I started using mackerel head ‘n’ guts and fillet from fresh the mackerel I was catching on the feathers – I managed half a dozen before calling a halt. Despite my best efforts, the bass rig was ignored all night.

The scratching rod? Well, to cut things short, that stayed untouched all night! The only other thing to come aboard for me, was a lone scad (pictured), otherwise known as horse mackerel on feathers – not a very inspiring fish but at least it’s another one ticked off the species list.

As for the three musketeers, I think they had a mix of mackerel, small ray, small smooth hound, pout before finally bottling it and escaping by about 1am. I, of course, stayed the duration but even my normal optimism was well and truly dashed by about 3am, so decided on getting off home.

Not had a lot of luck at the marina this year really – but to be fair, I haven’t fished it nearly as much as I have in previous years, so maybe I should put a few more hours in and pay it more attention.

Morning Mackerel

By , 27 July, 2011 16:44

Picture of Alex with a fish onSeeing as the weather has been settled for a while and conditions looked good for a mackerel or two off the beach, I decided to take our son Alex for a promised session for him to catch a fish.

Arrived at Seaford beach at around 8am and set up his small spinning rod with a single Dexter wedge and it wasn’t long before he was getting into the swing of things. With each cast, his distance was improving and he was managing to hoof it quite a way considering how light the rod was.

Picture of Alex with his mackerelAt about 8.30, I saw some activity not too far out, so guided Alex where to cast and he managed to hit the right spot straight away. Soon enough, the little rod was bending and bouncing away with the weight of a fighting mackerel. Within a short while, he got it in and beached the little scrapper.

He was soon away again and with the mackerel shoals now very close to the shoreline, he had no difficulty reaching them. It wasn’t long before I heard the cry “I’ve got another one” and I had to put the camera down and take the fish off the hook, dispatch it and bag it.

Picture of a feeding mackerel shoalBy now, the shoals were in a feeding frenzy and they were so close, they were right up to the waters edge, chasing small sprats which ended up beaching themselves in an attempt at evading their pursuers. I could see along the beach, people were just picking up handfuls of the small silver fish – much to the disgust of the many gulls circling for an easy meal. As not to waste such a fine little fish, we had a few ourselves!

Picture of spratsThis carried on for quite some time and I could see anglers along the shoreline having a bumper session. Meanwhile, Alex was continuing to have a right old time, bringing fish after fish. I couldn’t resist it, so asking if he needed a break, I kindly took the rod from him to give his arms a rest – see how kind I am! While I was having a chuck, the sprats kept leaping up onto the beach in their reckless escape attempts.

Picture of Alex with his haulIt wasn’t too long before I decided that we had enough mackerel for our needs (about a dozen), some for supper and some for bait, so packed up and went off to get Alex the ice-cream that he’d been after and had gone on about – again and again. To be honest I was ready for a cup of well earned coffee and a sit down!

And so we left after a very entertaining morning, with the bonus of a few fish. Alex enjoyed himself and seems to be getting the fishing bug from me – although I have a sneaking suspicion that it was the ice-cream offer that got him out of the house. Some of the the mackerel have now been put in the fridge and ready for an evening session down at Brighton Marina tonight. Hopefully there will be obliging bass hanging around ready for dad.

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