Posts tagged: smooth hound


By , 18 July, 2015 09:49

Weed in the surfLooking at the conditions yesterday, it tempted me into hitting the shingle once again, in search of the silver spikey one. The plan was to get setup at low water and fish the tide up and over high water, which was a little after 1am. One rod, one bait and hopefully target achieved, the prospects looked promising.

I was on the shingle bang on low water and although the sea conditions looked great with a good amount of surf churned up by the gusting South Westerly breeze. What I didn’t like was the amount of weed in the water, big clumps of the stuff just where I wanted my bait to be. Not to be deterred, I set up with the familiar long link running ledger, ending with a 6/0 hook loaded with a whole squid. I sent this out into the turbulent water and settled in for the wait.

Lovely sunsetFrom the off, this was a battle of the weed. No more than a minute or two after casting a bait out, the line looked like granny’s washing line, lumps of weed clinging on and dragging everything down and along in the current. I spent more time bringing in clumps of this shit and clearing it than I did actually fishing. There was the ‘orrible clingy muck that’s like wet cotton wool and then that nasty, slimy ‘Seaford spaghetti’ type, stringy stuff. Thankfully it did ease off throughout the evening but was always there. At least there was a gorgeous sunset to cheer things up in this weed festooned, fish-less period.

SmoothoundFirst fish didn’t arrive until the sun had gone and darkness had fallen. At around 9.45 I had a half arsed attempt at a pull down bite which resulted in a very brief tussle in the waves and weed followed by a smoothound pup of around the 3lbs mark up on the beach. Not a massive fish but at least it was a fish – another on the plus side was that the dreaded blank had been avoided. A quick photo and then the unavoidable lower leg soaking while putting it back.

It was not long after this that I had a visit from one of the local beach foxes that was taking an interest in my bait bucket. Didn’t last long though, it obviously thought there were better offerings further along, as it scuttled off pronto.

BassAnother two hours of line clearing and general annoyance followed before I felt a distinct tapping through the rod, I lifted into it and…..nothing… arse!! I left the bait out and as quick as you like, more tapping and this time it was fish on. Through the waves and up the beach it came, it nicely proportioned school bass of about 1½lbs. Not big but a bass – target species caught. Quick photo shot and then more lower leg wetting while releasing it.

Sadly, that was the last fish of the night, even the ‘golden’ period following high water produced nothing. So surprisingly, it was a very quiet session in what should have been very productive conditions. It’s often like that though – it promises everything but in fact delivers very little.

Ah well, I seem to be back in the swing of things now and I’m looking forward to the next stint, wherever that may be.

Saved By A Pup

By , 17 July, 2015 10:43

Picture of Seaford beachDecided to have another session at Seaford beach on Wednesday evening, to keep the momentum going in my return to shingle mania. However, there was a snag to my plan, having decided too late in the day to get any worm, I only had frozen squid available on the bait menu.

Looking out of the window, I could see it was not ideal for big bait fishing – calm with only the slightest of wavelet action. Although there a tiny band of colour in the margins, it was mainly clear. Ah, well nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

I hit my preferred spot at about 8pm and having missed low water, I knew it was going to be a tough wait, to see if anything happened over high water later on.

A ledger rig was set up, baited with squid on a 5/0 and chucked out about twenty or so yards. The bait sat out there and did…. nothing, no interest at all, not even the slightest of knocks to show that small stuff was having a nibble.

While waiting, I was joined by a guy who had popped over for a look, ‘Lighthouse Si’, a fellow member of WSF and LISA . We had a good old chin wag and talked about everything fishy, locally. Once Si had departed, I set about waiting for nothing again.

Picture of smoothoundOnce darkness fell, I had a cunning plan and changed tactics. I removed the ledge setup and replaced it with a simple two hook flapper baited with little squid strips and hoofed it out in the hope of some small pout. While waiting, I quickly made up a simple live bait rig and once done, I waited again.

I was somewhat surprised that I wasn’t even get a hint of anything that could be used as a bait, there was just nothing at all. It was almost certain that this was going to be a blankety blank session.

At gone 1am there was suddenly movement in the rod tip and I was thinking this could just do it. When I brought the rig back in, I was disappointed to see that it had the smallest of smoothound pups dangling from it. It was at this point, knowing that the deadly blank had been avoided, I thought that home and bed were the best idea I’d had all night.

Woof Woof

By , 9 July, 2015 11:10

Picture of smoothoundRecently, having given myself a good kick up the arse, I’ve started to get the motivation back to get out on that beach and get some fishing time in. Up until now, I’ve done a couple of makkie sessions with Alex and the latest one got that old ‘shingle itch’ going again.

Picture of smoothoundNow yesterday was not the best of days to kick off the re-kindled career but needs must. Although the tides were crap, we’d had a bit of a good blow overnight and the earlier part of the day, so I reckoned on a decent amount of movement in the water. The plan was to get out onto the beach for about 11pm and fish the first few hours of the flood to see what, if anything was about.

Conditions were ok, the wind had dropped and had shifted Northerly which was flattening the surface out, although there was still a residual swell which was making a few breakers.

Armed with a box of squid, I settled in familiar spot on Seaford beach and rigged up with a long link running ledger ending in a 6/0 loaded with whole squid. This was gently swung out into the white water (what little there was) and the wait began. From the off, weed was a problem close in, loads of fine stuff that began building up on the line, along with larger clumps of wrack.

Picture of dogfishNothing happened over low water apart from the weed and I had to wait until an hour into the flood when there was an almighty pull down that took me by surprise and almost had the rod out of my hand. Proper fish on!! It went well and I though “First fish of the year and it’s gonna be a decent bass”. Well, this thing went all over the bloody place and as it neared the breaking water, I was thinking, “Please don’t come off in the surf, just don’t”. Anyway, I got things all timed nicely and as a largish wave receded, I could see the glint of something on the shingle, not the expected bass but a bloody smut!

I know I shouldn’t have been disappointed to have this as my first fish of the year, as it would usually be a bloody whiting, rockling or similar unworthiness but I was a tad peeved that it wasn’t Mr. Bass. Anyhow, it was a lovely looking fish which I guesstimate to have been around 5lbs or thereabout. Unhooked, quick couple of pics and back it went.

Nothing else came in the next two hours apart from the odd bits of weed and paper, so I was happy to see the rod tip bounce a few times – another fish on and beached, this time time another dog variety in the shape of a skinny LSD. Again, unhooked, photo’d and back in.

By 3.30, the last of my squid had gone and it was time to make the long journey home (hehe!!). Summing up, I was pretty pleased with the first ‘proper’ fishing trip of the year. Two species, no crap and an enjoyable evening back where I belong.

Busy Seaford Session

By , 20 July, 2011 13:42

Although the recent South Westerlies have subsided and the seas have calmed considerably, I thought I’d go anyway and have a bassing and scratching session last night. Armed with a couple of boxes of squid and some ragworm, I headed over to Seaford Beach. I arrived at about 8pm – an hour or so before low water and found a calm sea with a few gentle breaking waves to stir things up, virtually no wind, just a light breeze and a slightly overcast sky.

To start with, I set up the scratching rod with a size 4, two hook flapper baited with the worm and sent that out. I planned to start with the bass rod just after low water and into the dusk, so I set it up in readiness with a long link running ledger with a 5/0 pennel.

It wasn’t long before the scratcher showed signs of activity and the first retrieve brought in a double shot of a small dab and a micro smooth hound. I re-cast and within seconds, it was on the go again, only this time, it was small school bass of about a pound. In the following hour or so, I had another four similar sized bass and another dab.

At about 9.30, I deployed the bass rod, just lobbing the bait beyond what breaking waves there were. I kept the scratcher out as well, which brought in a few small pout to add to the tally.

Bang on the stroke of 11pm was when the squid was hit hard, hooping the rod over and after a spirited little fight, a plump bass was on the shingle. It went around 2½lbs and 46cm. A quick re-bait and cast and just in time to see the scratcher rod tip pull down which resulted in a small thornback ray hitting the beach. At this point, I decided to abandon the scratcher and concentrate on the bass rod. After packing the rod away, I saw that there was a huge slack line on the bass rod and after a frantic wind in, another bass of about a pound was on the beach.

Half an hour later, the bass rod trembled in my hand and then the tip slammed down hard and the fish shot off to the right, then out before spitting the bait, leaving the squid in tatters. Another good bite was missed, some twenty minutes later while distracted with my coffee.

Picture of four pound bass1.15am and just over four hours into the flood tide there was a repeated tapping on the rod tip before a good pull down and it was another fish on. There wasn’t so much spirit in this one just some dogged tugging and dead weight – until it was on the shoreline, when it took off a bit before being gently slid up the shingle. A better fish this one at 54cm and 4lbs on the nose.

Re-bait, re-cast and re-coffee while awaiting the next one – hopefully. By now, it was actually quite warm and a really pleasant night to be out. The sea had flattened out even more and I wasn’t expecting much else to happen, when suddenly, bang! The rod tip went over and another fish was on but as quick as it came, it went, leaving another shredded squid.

Picture of three pound bassWith about half an hour to go before high water, thoughts of packing up were in my mind, when out of the blue I had another take and shortly after, a three pounder emerged out of the wavelets and onto the beach. The last squid was impaled on the hooks and lobbed out, where it remained untouched until it was time to go.

This turned out to be quite a night – especially when I hadn’t expected so much action. Just goes to show that sometimes, fish don’t always conform to the predictions on times, states of tide and weather. The next trips to this beach will be purely bass in an attempt to get that allusive ‘double’. It’s there and it’s waiting.

Marina Whiting Fest

By , 3 September, 2010 14:35

As a change from Seaford, I decided to have a stint down at Brighton Marina yesterday. Couldn’t get any lugworm, so instead, I got some decent king ragworm and some squid from the Tackle Box. I arrived on the East arm at about 7pm and was greeted by a light North Easterly breeze which was putting a little chop on the surface of the ebbing tide. It was a decent evening, quite sunny and warmish.

The idea was to fish the tide down and target bass over the low water period. After getting a space in bay 22, I set one rod up with a size 4 two hook sole rig baited with worm for scratching. Once this had been cast out, I set about getting some fresh mackerel for bait. It wasn’t long before I had a couple in the bucket and later on, just as the sun began to set, the mackerel went mad and were shoaling along the wall. I added a few more to the bucket before stopping. Once the bait collecting session was done, the rod was re-rigged with a long link running ledger, a long hook length ending in a single 5/0. I also had a similar long hook length but ending in a 5/0 pennel all ready made up. This gives the option of fishing a mackerel head on a single hook or a fillet or squid on the two hooker.

Nothing much happened during the time it was light, apart from the hooks coming back clean on the scratching rig but this all changed once it got dark. The whiting came on in a absolute frenzy, every cast brought in a double shot of the buggers, nothing of any size though. It didn’t matter where or how far I cast, it was whiting every time. To be fair, they were interspersed with the odd pout and even one small suicidal smooth hound pup of at least six inches.

It was during the retrieval of another double shot that I missed the one and only bass take of the night – a real screamer as the mackerel head was taken for a ride, only to be dropped within seconds. I never learn; I know I should always be near or holding the rod but I can never resist scratching to while away the hours of bass waiting.

Back to the whiting that failed to show any signs of stopping their gluttony. By now, they were also hitting the big bass baits, either ripping the guts from the head or shredding the fillet or squid. By 3am I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t going to be anything other than whiting (I’m a bit slow see), so decided to jack it in. I only had a couple of worms and squids left anyway and gave those back to the fish as a give away.

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