Posts tagged: WSF

Brighton smoothie hunt

By , 18 June, 2008 15:54

On Monday 16th myself and a few blokes from WSF decided to have a session at Brighton Marina. The target was smooth Hound (aka smoothie or smut). There have been a few small ones caught recently with the beginning of the annual moult of the Spider crab. It was hoped that the larger ones were not far off, coming in to feed on the soft, recently moulted/peeled crab. Not renowned for large smoothies, the marina does produce a few reasonable ones at times.

I arrived at around 6.45pm and while walking out on the arm, I spotted Fishyrob fishing in one of the lower bays using live prawn on a float rig. After a brief chat, I continued along and saw that there were a few already fishing along the ‘bend’ and filling the bays. I could have wondered all the way out on the arm for more room but wanted to stay in the lower mid section as we had decided earlier, for the best chance of a smoothie. I finally found a vacant spot and settled myself in bay 22.

I started off with a bit feathering for mackerel to top up the bait situation and managed a few. There didn’t seem to be that many around compared with other days but that is the way at the marina – some days loads, other days scarce.

As the evening wore on, I set up my rods ready for darkness to fall. One was set up with running ledger DVice with peeler crab or hermit crab on a 3/0 hook and fished at varying distances. The other rod was set up again with a running ledger but with a 4/0 pennel rig and alternating between whole calamari and mackerel fillet as bait.

The other lads turned up and after introductions and a quick chat, unpacked and set up their gear to begin fishing. We filled a few adjacent bays which apart from making for a better atmosphere and almost competition conditions, it is better as we were all in one place. The fishing was a bit on the quiet side with not even Pout to break the monotony. At least it gave us a chance to have a natter, as some had never met before and were just known through the WSF forums.

We had a brief period of activity where a few smoothies were landed which although not large, were in the 3-4lbs bracket. The spell was short-lived and as quickly as it started, it went quiet again and no further smoothies were caught.

Picture of small ray.By the end of the evening, for my efforts, I was rewarded with one pout but determined to have a least one half reasonable fish, I stayed after everyone else had gone. Shortly after Rob left, I brought in a small thornback ray which went for the peeler crab on the DVice rig. I really like rays, there’s just something about them that appeals to me. It’s just a shame that for some reason, this venue and Seaford produce numerous small rays but never anything of a decent size. Quite why this is, I don’t know but maybe I should do some research into the matter and try and find out why. I should make the effort to travel to better ray spots but there is nowhere relatively near for that produces decent rays in larger numbers apart from maybe Hampshire. Widewater at Shoreham does throw them up from time to time but not enough to go there specifically for them.

Picture of small *bass. Click for larger imageAnyway, enough of the muttering, the next piece of action was shortly after this. My second rod lurched over sharply and the ratchet screamed loudly as something below grabbed the whole small mackerel fillet I had lobbed over the side. I knew it wouldn’t be a Smoothie and that it was more likely to be a bass. It gave a very spirited fight and I did think it was going to be somewhat larger than the 2½ lb specimen that came aboard. However it was another fish under the belt and made up for the direness of earlier. I had intended to pack up around this time but opted to stay a just while longer (how many times have we done that) to see what else I could bag. I should have gone with my earlier decision as no more fish showed and it went back to unfishy. This being the case, I decided to jack it in at 3am.

Although there were no Smoothies in quantity, it was a nice little meet and good to see a few more faces from the WSF forums.

Squiddly diddly

By , 12 May, 2008 21:43

Having had some success at the WSF organised event on Saturday, I returned to Brighton Marina again yesterday with squid being the target. I arrived at at around 3pm with high water expected at approximately 5pm. As before, the marina was quite crowded, so I headed out to the bays nearer the end and eventually set up in about bay 54.

Tackle consisted of an eleven foot, 2½ lb test curve carp rod, bait runner fixed spool reel loaded with braid. Terminal tackle was a green jig under a float cocked with a 1½ oz ball weight.

click for larger image.Things started slowly with no indications of activity showing. By about 4pm, I tried a tactic change and decided to bait the jig. I’d been unable to get any mackerel for bait at the ‘Tackle Box‘, so after being persuaded, I thought I’d try frozen ‘Blueys’, otherwise known as Pacific Saury which are an imported oily fish, mainly used as a food source but have found their way onto the bait market. I cut a section from the tail end of a Bluey and lashed it to the jig with bait elastic. I cast to roughly the same location as before, hoping that there were more waiting there.

I propped my rod against the wall, set the bait runner and started to get a drink when the bait runner wailed as line was pulled from the reel. While picking up the rod, I looked over the edge and saw my float disappearing. I lifted gently and began to recover some line and saw a nice squid below the surface. click for larger image.

This is where I took a chance in deciding to lift the squid straight out rather than using a drop net. I pointed the rod down, wound in as much as I could until the squid was just on the surface below me and lifted in one smooth movement. Job done, one squid landed safely. It was photographed by a kind chap who was fishing just along from me. Whoever you are and if you’re reading this, many thanks.

In the next ten minutes, I had a further two squid landed, both on ‘bluey’ baited jigs just off the bottom and no more than twenty yards out from the base of the wall. Biggest of the three weighed in at 2lb 6oz.

click for larger image of squidThe action died after not long after these three had been caught and no more were found. I tried various tactics – baited and non-baited jigs in varying colours and sizes from the medium sized green one I’d caught the three on, to blue, orange and red, small and large. I am of the opinion that groups of squid work their way along the wall hunting their prey of prawns and small bait fish and do not remain static in one place. On my next trip, I’ll travel lighter and be more mobile while attempting to follow them along the wall and try to establish a pattern of feeding behaviour. Of course, I’ll be experimenting as I go, trying different rigs, methods and even baits, trying to gather more information on these interesting (and tasty) creatures.

Squid competition

By , 11 May, 2008 16:43

Saturday 10th May was the date for ‘squid Only’ competition organised by ‘Fishyrob’ a local angling guide and member of WSF forums. The venue was to be the East arm at Brighton Marina.

click for larger image.We gathered on the East arm at about 12.30pm and walked our way out onto the arm. It was packed beyond belief with nearly every bay occupied. From the antics of some, it appeared that they were only there for the mackerel.

We managed eventually to find some vacant spots near the far end from bays 40 odd up. Everyone tackled up virtually identically – light carp rods, float gear with one or more jigs.

First hit for was for Steve ‘Mesito’ who brought in a decent specimen to get the ball rolling. Things were really looking positive for the competition. Soon after, Steve landed another nice looking one. Reports came in of further squid being landed along the wall.

click for larger image of my catchIt wasn’t until sometime later, after I thought I was going to blank, that I had my one and only of the day. I had being watching my float carefully, when I noticed a small dip before it gracefully slid slowly under the surface. I wound in slowly and felt the weight at the other end of the line. as I retrieved, I was mindful of the fact that squid have a habit of escaping at the last moment. Rob leapt to my assistance and carefully landed my prize with the drop net.

Click for larger image of competition winnerBy the end of the day, most of the competition entrants had caught at least one squid. George of ‘Tronix‘ fame also had a prize Cuttlefish. It was only fitting really, as he had provided all entrants with a jig at his own cost. Steve ‘Mesito’ was the final winner with a total of five decent squid. His prize was a wonderfully vibrant pink spinning rod kindly donated by Dave Grinham of the ‘Tackle Box‘. It was a fantastic day which also resulted in £70 being raised for the RNLI

Full report can be read here

Widewater Wockling

By , 15 April, 2008 16:49

Well, in a bid to try and find some species other than rockling, I felt a session at somewhere other than Seaford or Brighton was in order for last night. I knew some other members of WSF were going to fish at Widewater beach near Shoreham, so decided I’d join in.

I arrived at the mark just before 8pm – just about on high water which meant having to fish the tide down. I spoke to the other guys only to learn that it was only the dreaded 5 Bearded rockling being caught. The weather was fine but there were ominous dark clouds approaching from the North and appeared to be showering as they made their way towards us.

Undeterred, I set up one rod and fished a running ledger with size 1 hook alternating between lugworm, ragworm or cocktail of the two as bait. First couple of taps on the rod tip resulted in rockling. This was followed up by more rockling and then more. This continued for a while before stopping altogether.

With the tide dropping ever further and there being no more bites, I packed up at around 11pm and made the journey home.

I’m fairly confident that within the next couple of weeks, the pesky rockling will bugger off and leave the areas open for something with a bit more oomph.

An evening of Whiting

By , 26 October, 2007 09:50

Fished Edinburgh Road at Seaford last night from 6.30pm, just after low water through until about 2am.

Flat calm sea, no wind, overcast sky (sounds familiar) wasn’t ideal but you gotta try haven’t you.

One rod set up with one hook ledger baited with lug/squid strips, the other my habitual whole squid, alternated with mackerel on a 4/0 pennel cast out around the 15-20 yard mark.

Samfish – one of the lads from World Sea Fishing Forums wandered over and we had a chat before he disappeared over to his preferred spot for the evening.

It was a quiet start with a few knocks here and there but no real action. As the water rose, so did the activity but it was whiting all the way, some not an un-reasonable size.

Over the high water period, I had some real hard takes on half mackerel fillets which had the rod being slammed down hard in a bass-like manner. These turned out to be whiting too. To be honest, it got bloody irritating, cast out, settle the rod, pour a coffee and bang, over the rod goes, drop the coffee, optimistically scuttle over to the rod in the hope it’s a bass and all for a bloody whiting!!!

Can’t complain too much though, it was a lovely peaceful night to be out in the fresh air and it wasn’t a blank.

While packing the gear into the car, Samfish returned from his session, so we had a quick exchange of notes in which I learned that his evening had been pretty much the same as mine.

It looks promising for early next week with a brief change in the weather, so I guess I’ll be there again, maybe try and get the council to donate a bench for me to sleep on.

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