Posts tagged: sole

Sole & Lobster Lunch

By , 20 July, 2010 14:34

lobster - click for larger imageLast night was going to be a session at Seaford beach but the wind dropping as it did, it meant that there would be little in the way of any surf, so a change of plan saw me opting to go to Brighton Marina instead. The Tackle Box had no fresh lugworm but a visit to The Peacehaven Angler secured some quality worm for the evening. Just before I was setting off, I got a call from Eddy at The Tackle Box to say that a customer had cancelled their order and there was two packs of worm on offer.

I got onto the East arm by 7.30pm, an hour and a half after high water and got myself a space up at bay 31. I set up a rod with feathers to get some mackerel for the bass and another rod was set up with a size 4 two hook sole rig baited with worm and cast out about fifty yards. While that rod did its work, I set about getting some mackerel which didn’t seem to be that abundant.

It was a beautiful evening to be out – warm, with absolutely no breeze, slightly overcast sky and an oily calm sea.  Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the worm rod pull down, I struck and the first fish of the evening was soon on the deck – a bream of around 20cm which went straight back. Another one was added to the tally a short while later. In the mean time, I managed half a dozen mackerel which was enough for the session.

While taking the feathers off and setting up the bass rod, I saw the other rod making the movements that meant the dreaded weed. I decided to bring it in before the weed built up too much and was soon dragging a heavy weight in. As it got near the base of the wall, I felt the ‘weed’ pulling back in jerking bursts and instead of the expected ball of crap, I saw a lovely lobster flapping away. It was carefully hauled up the wall and was soon in its new home – a bucket. Normally they get themselves tangled up in the line but this one was fairly hooked in the mouth parts after dining on the presented worm. They are usually found in the craggy parts near the wall base not out in the open fifty yards out. If I caught nothing else during night, I wouldn’t be bothered as Anna and I would be having a beautiful dinner anyway.

A few more bream were brought in but they were all in the 20cm bracket, so got their freedom. A break from the bream came in the shape of a small thornback ray just as darkness fell, this was followed by two schoolie bass in quick succession before it all went quiet for a long period. The bass baits remained untouched apart from nibbling by whatever micro beasties were lurking in the vicinity.

All chances of a decent bass were blown when a group set up not far down from me and proceeded to make more noise than a noisy thing and insisted on lighting up the whole area like blackpool with unnecessarily bright lights, shining them everywhere and on to the water about them and me.

sole - click for larger imageWith this in mind, I packed up bassing and continued with the sole rig which brought in a few more small bream. While awaiting the next capture, I busied myself, changing the water in the lobster bucket and generally sorting through kit and making sure all rubbish was put away in a bag. I suppose it was half an hour later, when I retrieved to re-bait and noticed that there was a fish on, I was well pleased when I saw that it was a nice plump sole of 28cm – oh what a lunch we were going to have!

Apart from the noise and light show along from me, it was a deathly quiet night and at times I could hear what seemed to be the noise of a Dolphin or Porpoise surfacing some way off, a slosh and whoosh sort of sound. Fish-wise, a couple more schoolie bass fell to the worm bait, along with one small ‘Bootlace’ eel and another small thornback.

By 3am, things had died down and no more bites were coming, so it was with thoughts of a decent lunch, and happy at having had a good night’s fishing, I packed up and headed for home. Once home, I put an air pump in the lobster bucket to keep it  aerated and tucked it into the fridge along with the sole.

Bright Brighton Bass

By , 28 June, 2010 10:35

Sundays at Brighton Marina, especially sunny ones can be purgatory when it comes to serious fishing. You can generally never find your ‘hotspot’  or favourite bay, the place is noisy and quite frankly, the behaviour of some can only be described as disgusting. Anyway, I thought I’d take advantage of  the England v Germany match and hit the marina after the game yesterday in the hope that it may not be way too crowded as normal. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the East arm – there were hardly any people on there at at all. Weather-wise, it was a flat calm, clear sea, bright sunshine with no wind – not ideal  for fishing in the day but I hoped that once dark it wouldn’t be too bad.

I walked out to my favoured bay and started to set up, one rod geared for bass, with a long link running ledger ending in a 3/0 hook to be baited with mackerel once I’d caught them. The idea was to feather for mackerel on the other rod until I had enough and then set that one up with a size 4 two hook sole rig baited with lugworm. As it happens, it was hard work getting the mackerel and they didn’t show until it was almost dark when I managed to bag half a dozen.

The bass rod was baited up with mackerel chunk and cast out before I swapped the feathers for the sole rig on the second rod, baited up and cast that out. First hit was a schoolie bass that took the lugworm. The next to come up was a small palm sized thornback ray, also on the lug.

As  the evening wore on, the bass rod refused to twitch and nothing appeared to be interested in the mackerel bait – not even crabs, the only time it moved was when I retrieved to re-bait! The lug was proving to be a hit though as I had a steady stream of fish: schoolie bass, Pout and Small thornbacks, not great but at least I was busy.

High water arrived (about 1am) and went with nothing spectacular to report. The bait ran out at about 3am and that was my cue to leave with a final tally of 8 bass, the biggest at 35cm, a few Pout and half a dozen small thornbacks. The next trip will probably be a prawn and float and float session, although before that, I do have a mission to bag some mackerel for Anna’s cooking demo at Alex’s school on Wednesday. This will be a first light episode that morning, so I hope that the bloody mackerel oblige and show up.

Mixed Bag

By , 21 May, 2010 19:43

black bream - click for larger imageAfter managing some sole the other night, I thought I’d have another go last night, so with bait in a bucket, I headed off to Brighton Marina after work, arriving on the East arm at around 8.30pm. From the off, I wasn’t expecting much, seeing how the Mayrot (an algae bloom) had discoloured the water turning it cloudy and just plain nasty. Anyway, as I was there, I thought might as well carry on and see what was about, if anything, so I tackled up one rod with a two hook size 4 sole rig baited with lugworm and ragworm and sent that out. At one point, I did consider using the second rod for bass but as I only had a few manky sandeels, I thought I’d have a thrash with some feathers on the off-chance of mackerel but after a few casts, it became obvious that nothing was going to see the damn things through the murk in order to be tempted, so took them off and replaced them with another sole rig, similarly baited and sent that out too.

Weather-wise, it was warm, absolutely zero wind with a flat calm sea, a beautiful night to be out and found it odd that I was the only one out there, with no one else within sight.

Fishing itself was a bit sporadic with busy moments interspersed with no action at all, nothing of any size was landed but there was a bit of variety in species caught and landed my first bream of the year which was surprising considering the state of the water. I packed in at about 3.30am with the final tally being:  one bream, two schoolie bass, two slip soles, one small thornback, countless, rockling and Pout.

Ah, Sole

By , 19 May, 2010 11:53

sole - click for larger imageOne of my target species for 2010 is sole, a particular favourite of mine as they always provide a tasty meal for the following day. It is also the subject of humour in our household, as whenever I mention the fish, my FPO always retorts with “sole?… Ah, sole”. We find it amusing but then we always find childish toilet type humour funny.

High water was predicted for 3.30am today, so yesterday afternoon, I packed all my gear into the car and went off to work with the intention of going straight to Brighton Marina after I finished. I stopped off at The Tackle Box before work to pick up some bait and got some of the best wrapped lugworm I’ve seen for a while – all decent sized worms which would give at least two baits per worm.

With everything sorted, I went in to work, hoping for an easy ride and an early get away. Why is it always the case that when you have plans, things attempt to sabotage them, whether it be work, heavy traffic or some other inconvenience. Anyway, I eventually managed to get away and headed off for my session.

It was about 8.45pm by the time I got to my spot on a deserted east arm of the marina and 9pm baits were in the water. It was a very still and quite warmish evening with no wind, an oily flat sea and overcast sky, so signs were pretty good for what I wanted. To start with, one rod was set up with a sole rig using two size 4 fine wire hooks baited with the lugworm; I wasn’t really expecting any action until it got dark but you never know. While it was still light, I set up another rod with a string of ‘feathers’ and set about seeing if any mackerel were about that I could use as a bass bait or take home for lunch. I tried until after dark but there was nothing, zilch, zero, bugger all, so I packed that in and set up the rod with the same sole rig and sent that out.

First two fish were schoolie bass of around 35cm that came at about 10pm after a series of rattly twitches on the rod tip. These were followed by a string of rockling and Pout interspersed with a palm sized thornback ray. It wasn’t until just before midnight and mid flood tide that the first sole was hooked and landed, it may only have been a slip of about 25cm but it was a sole at least; the first of 2010 and target achieved. A second one followed about 20 minutes later which was identical in size and could have been  the first one’s twin. I was feeling optimistic about landing a table fish but after an hour or so passed, this feeling ebbed away and was gone after yet another hour passed.

I fished through the high water period with only one bite which turned out to be everyone’s favourite (not) rockling. It was at this point that the bait ran out as well as my optimism, so packed up, cleared my area of any crap and walked back to the car, happy that I’d got my target species but downhearted that they weren’t table size.

Sole time

By , 20 August, 2009 10:56

Haven’t been out for a while, so yesterday I thought it about time to have a chuck down at Brighton Marina in the evening and have a go for some sole. I picked up some fresh lugworm and ragworm from The Tackle Box and then made my way over to the east arm. I decided on taking the hike out to the higher numbers and eventually settled myself in bay 58 at about 6pm. It was a glorious warm  evening, although perhaps too calm, with no wind at all and a flat calm sea.

As it was still daylight, I started with one rod using  a two hook flapper baited with luworm and lobbed it out to see what was about. I rigged up another rod and stuck on some Sabikis and tried my luck at trying for some mackerel, even though it was perhaps too bright. Even so, I managed one quite quickly and then nothing, so gave that up.

I had intended to use a close in bass rig but this plan was scuppered on two counts, firstly by the huge  amounts of slimy, Spaghetti like weed that was infesting the water near to the wall and was clogging up the hook and sinker soon after casting; secondly lack of fresh mackerel which failed to show up.

As dusk came, I concentrated on sole. Two rods were set up with identical two hook sole rigs in size 4 and baited with either fresh lugworm, ragworm or stinking, evil ‘sticky’ lugworm that I had found in my fridge leftover from my last session.

Bites were quick to come but the first few fish were Pout and two ‘snotty’ eels that completely wrecked my rigs – thankfully I had made a few, so little time was wasted, re-rigging. As an aside, this is where I find the ‘Tronix’ rig winders far superior to the rig wallets I used to use; just clip on and unwind – no more hassle of tangled rigs.

The first soles to hit the deck were slips and then then a nice one of 32cm which was to become lunch. This was followed by another slip and then back to Pout. The surprise of the night was a small thornback which reached the dizzy weight of 1lb 2oz – much bigger than the usual palm sized creatures. This was the last fish of the night although I did bring in a Spider Crab that was hiding amongst a huge ball of spaghetti weed that had to be hand lined up it was so heavy.

I stuck it until about 3am before calling it a night and making the long walk back to the car and heading for home.

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