Two For The Camera
Despite a chilly North Easterly wind and a little early drizzle, Friday saw me making the most of the unfavourable conditions and heading for Dorset’s premier sea angling venue, Chesil Beach.
The plan for the day was to meet up with pal Julian Shambrook, the man behind the excellent Anyfishanywhere range, with a view to filming a day’s beach fishing that will be later aired through Onlinefishing TV.
Over the course of the day we accounted for a number of different species, including a healthy smattering of well conditioned plaice and some small, but beautifully coloured, Tub Gurnards. It certainly made a pleasant change to have the camera’s rolling and the fish to be so obliging!
Keep an eye out and an ear to the ground for the episode which will form part of a free to view series in the not to distant future. With bait presentation, tackle and traces all discussed, there should be something there for everyone…
Two Plaice And A Dab, One Trace
Jansen has been filming on Chesil with Julian Shambrook from AnyFishAnyWhere for an upcoming venture. Find out how the fishing went on Monday.
I’ve had a poor week. Three fishing trips were either cancelled or I blanked because of the changeable conditions. However, the other morning, following a report of surface feeding fish from my pals Nigel and Bill, I ventured down for an early morning. Stupidly (you’d think I would know by now) I only took the spinning rod. I flogged away for the best part of an hour to no avail. Bill turned up and there were two other blokes spinning as well but none of us had anything. Just before I packed in I had a little walk to see whether there was any sign of action in another spot that sometimes produces under the prevailing conditions.
I scrambled over the rocks and banks of old weed and when I arrived at my destination I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a shoal of mullet feeding in calm water only a foot or two from the boulders – they were monsters and I had no fly rod. What a prat!!!! After a few pointless casts with a plug I packed in and went home for breakfast but, in the back of my mind was the thought that the fish would probably be there again on the next corresponding high water.
That evening I gobbled down my dinner, grabbed the #8wt fly rod and maggot box and set off for the coast. I knew that I’d only have an hour or so to fish because it would be dark by seven, at the latest. I hurried along to the ‘hot-spot’, but when I arrived there was nothing showing. I opened the maggot box and (futilely) threw a few dozen onto the water before sitting down on a handy rock to wait. After about five minutes I saw the first snout gliding along the edge of the sea and within minutes there were half-a-dozen fish guzzling away only five yards from where I sat. I had tied on a fresh length of six pound nylon as a leader and on the end was a new version of a maggot fly sent to me by my pal Alan Bulmer – all the way from New Zealand.
On about the fifth or sixth cast the line twitched and I struck, perhaps a bit too hard (I was pretty excited) and I felt the weight of the fish before there was a ping and the cast broke at the hook. Bugger!!! I hurried back to the bag and scrabbled about for another fly. The first one that came to hand was one of my old, polyethylene maggot-flies. All fingers and thumbs I tied it to the leader and gave it a couple of hard tugs to check the knot. Turning back to the water I could see that the mullet were still there and feeding well. I baited the fly with three maggots, in the traditional style, returned to my rocky perch and sat down before casting again.
This time it was only the second or third cast before I saw a slight twitch of the line and struck – not quite so hard this time. I was in! The mullet set off for the horizon in a spectacular run and I kept my hand well away from the reel so that it would have only the light resistance of the check to slow it. For the next half hour (Yes – half an hour!) it was give and take. I’d gain a few yards and away it would go again. There were no snags so I was not too worried about where it went and the last thing I wanted was to pull or straighten the hook.
Eventually the fish was nearing my stance – tired but not exhausted. I could see that it was a beauty and I was even more determined to take all the time I needed. I retreated from the water’s edge to give me a bit more room to beach the mullet and, eventually, it slid between two big boulders and lay gasping in a big pool. Back to the water and try to pick it up (I haven’t used a net for years). I realised just how big and fat it was when I found that couldn’t get my hand round it to lift it. It was a two handed-job so I carefully laid down the rod, prayed that the fish would stay where it was and reached down for it. I had it! Take a couple of pictures before popping it into my old poly bag to be weighed. Just over eight pounds – the biggest I’ve ever caught by about three-quarters-of-a-pound. Back it went. By now it was almost dark so, well pleased, I packed in and went home.
Our New Gear Guide will be in the next issue of Sea Angler and features lots of new gear. We have 175 lumen headlamps with a 5 year g’tee for only £19.99, New Shakespeare Agility beachcasters and boat rods at sensible prices, new Icon boat multipliers from Leeda, loaded with braid for only £49.99 to mention just a few things. These and more will be on our website within a few days.
PLUS we have just had the new VASS 175 Bib and Braces arrive!!
Icon M20 & M30 With Braid £49.99 ea
Just returned from a weeks fishing with three pals on the Channel Island of Alderney.
The weather was the usual mixed bag of gale force winds and calm sunny days typical of the island, but it was good to get away and enjoy the peace and solitude it has to offer. Fish wise, it would be considered poor by Alderney standards. In the comparatively short time I have been visiting the island, results have been noticeably worse year on year and catches are a far cry from those documented twenty years ago.
The islands resident and migratory fish stocks continue to suffer at the hands of relentless commercial pressure that the States seem reluctant to open their eyes to.
Despite the aforementioned doom and gloom, we had some fantastic sport with Black bream on light float tackle with several fish up to and over 3lb. Targeting these spirited fighters on coarse fishing kit is one heck of a buzz and reason alone in my eyes to keep going back.
Hopefully the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the residing Government of Alderney and the other Channel Islands, will realise what an outstanding fishery they could have here and the massive boost to the island’s economy it could generate through visiting anglers, before it is too late.
For the time being, I would imagine they are happy with their short term gain through the commercial sector- but I live in hope!
Look out for a full feature in a future edition of Sea Angler magazine.
Breaming Under A Blue Sky