Posts tagged: whiting

Another Whiting Fest

By , 13 January, 2012 10:41

I decided on another session at Seaford beach on Wednesday evening after work and managed to be on the shingle by 9pm. Another still night, with hardly any movement to the water and a bright moon in the clear sky, indications were not leaning towards a great night. As usual, I was going to fish the flood tide up and maybe over the 12.50am high water.

Using just one rod again, I set it up with a simple size 4, two hook flapper baited with ragworm tipped off with thin squid strips and cast at varying distances through the session.

From the off, it was whiting hitting the baits almost as soon as they were in the water and nearly always a double shot when brought in. These were punctuated with the odd pout in between. One good thing though, was that I only hooked one slug (rockling) the whole time I was there.

I eventually wrapped it all up at 1.30am having caught a shed load of whiting; some were reasonable in size but in the main, it was pins. I don’t normally like wishing may time away but in fishing terms, I can’t wait for Spring and the prospect of catching other things apart from whiting.

Seaford Slump

By , 10 January, 2012 16:56

Picture of a poutSunday was my second session at Seaford beach this year and not expecting much, it was more about testing some rigs I’d made up using adjustable crimps by Breakaway  in place of my usual silicon stops or normal crimps (more on this at the end). It was also an opportunity to kickstart the season with maybe ticking some of the more common species off the list. Of course, I should have done this on my first session of the year but didn’t take any pictures as I knew that I’d already got them ticked off; but being a complete tosser, it wasn’t until later that I realised of course, that we are now in a new year and starting from scratch.

I got onto the beach at around 4pm to find it almost deserted apart from a few fishing just to the West of me. There was a South Westerly breeze blowing which chopped up the water nicely but wasn’t enough to churn it up properly. It did increase later on but to be honest, it didn’t have much of an effect on the rising tide. The plan of action was to fish the tide up and over the 11pm high water and maybe a couple of hours down. I was going to specifically target the dabs during the last of the daylight into darkness and then go general scratching with the chance of some lunch sized whiting.

I set up the one rod I was going to be using with a slightly adapted Wessex rig baited with lugworm tipped with thin squid strips on one hook and ragworm tipped with squid on the other. I did have some party squid too, which I also used to tip off the other baits or use on their own.

After half an hour, the first knock produced a small pout on the higher hook – so that was one of the list! It always amuses me to be taking photos of these ‘lesser’ species that you wouldn’t normally take notice of – but when it comes to species hunt type competitions (like the one being done on another site I frequent), if it ain’t on camera, it doesn’t count.

Picture of a dabI had a few more knocks that ended with more pout but then after about forty minutes or so, I had another repeated knocking which produced a small dab. Now this was what I was hoping for, after hearing reports of some half decent dabs coming out from here, they were worth targeting, as Anna and I are quite partial to dab dinners.

It wasn’t too long before darkness crept in and the oh so predictable whiting fest started with a double shot. These were not the plump dinner sized ones I’d been having before but the more common pins which aren’t worth keeping. Picture of two whitingIn the manner of a self conscious pervert, I made sure that no-one was watching, quickly got the camera out and as fast as you like took a quick snap before setting them free. At least now, I was almost done with this chore of having to get these embarrassing photos done – all I needed to complete the set was a slug (rockling) and that would be it.

Picture of rocklingI didn’t have to wait long, as the next retrieval brought in a double shot of a slug and a whiting, so a quick photo and the task was complete. Now, I could have done this on my last session

Anyhoo… by about 9.30, I’d really had enough of dragging undersized whiting and slugs out, so decided to pack it up. At least that was four species to tick off the list.

Breakaway adjustable crimps. Excellent things that give the best of both worlds; a secure and simple way of trapping swivels on rig bodies like a normal crimp but with the advantage of being totally adjustable like a stop knot and of being allowing precise tensioning. They are identical to a normal crimp but before being used, you push a small rubber insert into it and pull it through before cutting off the excess. You then thread onto the rig body as normal and use crimping tool to squeeze down until the desired tension is reached. These little things prevent any damage being caused by pinching on the line like a normal crimp can do. Now I’ve used them, I won’t be going back to the old normal crimps or the laborious task of using the silicon tube stops.

First 2012 Session

By , 3 January, 2012 12:31

After a lay off for a couple of weeks or so, I’ve been eager to get back out on to the beach. Normally around this time of year, the fishing on open beaches can be best described as …err crap and so with little hope of anything decent, I headed off to Seaford beach yesterday evening. It was a bit of a last minute decision, so I didn’t get there until just on high water at 5.30pm or so. Bait wise, I had to rely on some ragworm that had been languishing in my bait fridge for a while, which were surprisingly still active (just) and some frozen party squid obtained from a local shop, ‘Tools & Tackle‘ in Newhaven.

I used just the one rod, set up with a simple size 2 two hook flapper and baited with ragworm. The sea was a tad rough with a brisk South Westerly blowing straight into my face but undeterred, I cast out over the breakers and waited. Due to the strong wind I kept one hand on the rod to prevent the possibility of it being toppled over in the tripod,

It wasn’t long before the first fish of the year was brought ashore and it just had to be a bloody slug (rockling) which infest the waters at this time of year, so it was no real surprise there. I re-baited, cast out and waited again.

In a brief lull in the wind, I left the rod in the tripod and grabbed myself a cup of very welcome coffee. On turning back to the rod, I was just in time to see the whole lot starting to topple over; I was in time to save it from crashing into the shingle. I initially thought it was huge breaker or maybe weed that had caused it but that thought left my mind as I felt something unknown tugging from the other end. Codling perhaps?… bass?… It was certainly pulling back, whatever it was. I brought the creature through the breakers and onto the shingle – an eel but a biggun though. Luckily it was neatly hooked through the lower jaw and so was easy to release without too much damage to the rig. On holding it, I would say that it went at least 2½, maybe even 3lbs and certainly, if the law didn’t forbid keeping of eels, it would have been going home with me. Alas though, they have to be returned, so that was what I did and watched it slither back into the waves.

Next up was a brace of whiting but unlike the good sized keepers we’ve had recently, they were just pins. It was a mixed double of whiting and another slug shortly after – again, the whiting was a pin.

The wind speed started to increase and as the tide dropped, it became more perilous to get near the waters edge for casting. Very large breakers started to sweep, making the fine shingle/sand more unstable under foot.

With the tide dropping quickly and the sea getting lumpier by the second as the wind increased, I decided it wasn’t really worth staying any longer and so packed everything up and was back on my way home by about 8 pm. It had been a very short session but I had at least kicked off my 2012 season with three species unfortunately they won’t count in the species hunt competition on a fishing site I frequent because I didn’t bother taking any pictures.

Catching Dinner

By , 18 December, 2011 15:26

Decided on a few hours at Seaford beach last night to get some decent whiting for dinner. I arrived there about an hour before the 10pm low water and walked across the shingle to find that the beach had been virtually flattened by the recent gales. The concrete ‘prom’ was covered in shingle, almost making it part of the actual beach. Instead of the usual steep ridges, the shingle descended in a shallow slope towards the sea.

There was a bit of a North Westerly blowing but it was nothing compared to recent winds. The sea had a nice bit of movement to it, stirring things up nicely and making things look promising.

Initially, I set up one rod with a size 1/0 two hook flapper baited with frozen lug and party squid tipping. This was chucked out a way past the breakers in the hope of bigger whiting. The second was set up with a long link running ledger, 4/0 pennel and whole squid, more in the hope of a late bass than specifically targeting them.

It wasn’t long before rod two with the big bait began jumping around and shortly after, a plump whiting of 37cm was on the beach, dispatched and put in the ‘dinner bucket’. By the time, I’d re-baited and cast out, rod 1 was rattling away. A double shot of smaller whiting were soon beached before unhooking and returning them.

Rod 1 was bouncing away with some quite dramatic pull downs which indicated it may be something a bit better but on bringing it in I had in fact a double shot of whiting, a smaller one on the top hook of the pennel and a dinner sized one on the lower one. The smaller one went back and the other… well into the bucket it went.

A double shot of small ones on the flapper were beached a short while later. This was followed up with a double shot of ‘dinners’ coming in at 36cm apiece. The big baits were being ravaged by whiting and frequent bait changes were needed. I was beginning to wish I’d brought more bait with me, as I had to resort to using the tattered leftovers bound up with bait elastic. One of these ‘scrap’ baits was responsible the next ‘keeper’ fish, nice really plump whiting of 36cm.

Lots of small whiting were brought in but were not sizeable enough to keep, the sea was literally alive with them. With bait being used up at a rapid pace, it wasn’t too long before I was using the last bits of bait on the flapper and rod 2 packed away. I had a final hit which brought in yet another 36cm specimen.

I packed up at about 1am and with some nice fish in the bucket, it had been a good session, with the target of dinner achieved.

At Last – Out Again

By , 10 December, 2011 12:04

Due to continuing problems with my back, I haven’t been out on the beach for a long while (apart from a couple of mini sessions), so it was with great anticipation, that I headed out to Seaford beach last night.

I got to my chosen spot at around 7.45pm, and was going to fish up and over the 10.30pm high water and maybe a couple of hours down. There was a bit of a breeze coming in from the West with some nice breakers and lots of action in the water. Spurred on by recent reports of some nice bass coming up along the South coast, I went for the all or nothing approach and opted to fish one rod with big baits close in. This also meant I didn’t have to do any twist, turn and wack it casting.

I set up the one rod with a long link running ledger, 6/0 – 4/0 pennel baited with whole squid and chucked it out into the turbulent water. It wasn’t long before the first bite came, a few sharp taps and…. nothing. The bait came back shredded – ahh that’ll be whiting then surprise, surprise. Re-baited and chucked it back out, tap, rattle and shredded bait again. I resisted the temptation to scaled things down and stuck with the big bait in the hope of something decent. This theme went on for a while before the first fish was beached… and yes, it was a whiting, skinny thing that had no business taking the size of bait it had done.

Picture of whitingApart from that, there was no action, only the continual bait shredding which was becoming a bit tiresome. Almost two hours after high water, I had the first ‘proper’ bite, a short, sharp pull and slack line. I took in the slack and struck; there was a fish but no fight, just some weight and sharp tugging. I brought the fish out onto the shingle – whiting but a nice plump table sized one that went 35cm and a pound on the nose. Whiting are a real pain the arse when they’re just the small ‘pins’ but nice ones like this make lovely eating and I’m happy to catch them all night.

As the tide dropped away, I was getting more bites than ever – all whiting but nice decent sized ones and all caught in close, at no more than fifty yards out. By the time I packed up at around 1.30, I had half a dozen plump keepers for next days dinner. So, no big fish but an enjoyable evening with some decent table fish for my efforts

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