Posts tagged: plaice

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.

Dab competition

By , 27 January, 2011 09:43

I fished a ‘dab only’ small comp at Seaford beach yesterday with a few guys from WSF. Apparently there had been loads of dabs the previous day, so I was feeling lucky. We fished from 9.30am to 2.30pm opposite the Beachcomber.

Result?… feck all. Bloke to my right (Barry from DVice ) had a couple of dabs and a plaice and bloke to my left had dabs, flounders and whiting. It must have been like a bloody desert in front of me. I tried blinged traces, non-blinged, tried squid tipped lug and non-tipped. Varied ranges but nothing. As much as I stared at the rod tip, it remained motion-less for the duration.

Going to sulk now…………………………….

Beachcomber Bass

By , 8 September, 2009 16:19

Having been weeded out at the Beachcomber in Seaford last time around, I was eager to have another go and to see if there were any decent bass in a feeding mood, so I had another session last night. Got there at about 7.30pm while still light and parked about 50 yards East of the of the pub and hopped out onto the beach for a peek to see if the dreaded weed was lurking. At first glimpse, I couldn’t see any weed but I did see what I thought was a string of net markers only about 10 yards from the shoreline. It wasn’t until I got closer and had a good look, that I could see they were Gulls – strangely all equidistant and in a perfect line and parallel with the shore, it was so weird. Anyway, I’m off to Specsavers tomorrow so as not to be so easily fooled next time.

Seaford bassHaving seen that there were no signs of weed, I set up one rod with a ledgered DVice, size 2 hook baited with lugworm and chucked this out while I set about setting up the bass rod in preparation for darkness. Having got everything sorted and had a coffee, I tended to the worm rod, to find it rattling away. On bringing it in, I saw an obvious small flatfish coming in that I first thought was a dab but having taken hold of it and turned it ‘colour side up’ I saw that it was a small plaice. Unhooked and put back, baited up and re-cast. The next two fish were whiting which although not ‘pin’, weren’t exactly ‘jumbo’ either.

As darkness fell, the bites dried up with not one bit of interest shown except by large balls of the ‘Spaghetti weed’ we’ve been plagued with. Anyway, I decided it was time to deploy the bass rod in earnest. I put the worm rod to one side, baited up the 4/0 pennel rig with a whole squid and lobbed it out into what was not so much a nice surf but a gentle tumble of wavelets. First hit was a small bass which threw the hook at the waters edge. Next was another bass of about 1½lbs. which was quite a spirited little blighter.

Deformed Seaford bassIt all went a bit quiet after that until about 2 hours before high water when it went a little hectic with a bass a chuck, the biggest going about 2½lbs but not one was on squid. I’d changed tactic when it had gone quiet and had tried to some largish blast frozen Ammo launce (Greater sandeel) which the bass hit really hard. One of the fish had a distinct deformity of the lower jaw and lip which made it look like Victoria Beckham at a photo opportunity. Its mouth could hardly open and it was a hell of a job to get the hook (how a 4/0 got in there in the first place is a mystery). Hook was removed and ‘Posh’ was returned to pout another day.

I was full of expectation for the ‘Golden hour’ after high water but it was not to be. After the earlier flurry of activity, it went to none at all and before long it was 2.30am with not one more fish added to the tally. As I packed up, I reflected that it hadn’t been too bad really – total of 8 bass, 2 whiting, 1 plaice. Now, I know the bass weren’t huge – not even big but it was good fun and its better than a blankety blank. I think I may give the launce another try on the next trip and see if I get similar results. I was surprised that only two were taken on squid but it could just be coincidence that at the time I changed over to launce, the fish came on at the same time and that if I’d carried on with the squid, I would still have caught anyway… who knows.

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