Monthly Archives: February 2013

Plaice Fishing in Spring

A Guide To Plaice Fishing

plaice from Chesil Beach

Jansen with a Couple of Chesil Plaice

As the winter draws to a close many anglers turn their attention towards perssuing that popular spring time flat fish, the Plaice. Arriving around the end of February in some regions if the Winter has been a mild one, this attractive quarry is often the first serious proposition for the angler who has spent the new year catching rockling and Dabs.
Popular venues include Slapton sands in devon, Chesil Beach in Dorset and Eastney in Hampshire. All three of these marks share a couple of common similarities. Firstly, they are all shingle beaches with clean sand within casting range, a favourite habitat of most flatfish.
Secondly, they are all on the English Channel coast where the water clarity tends to be quite good most of the time owing to the lack of suspended sediment ( with the exception of the May Water, an algae that blooms with the rise of the sea temperature in the spring) , a key factor when targeting the predominantly sight feeding Plaice.
Weather conditions play a key role in Plaice fishing too, ideal conditions involve a settled area of high pressure and the light winds associated with it, although any off shore wind will have the desired effect of smoothing the sea giving it that ‘gin clear’ look. The water clarity could be perhaps the most essential factor in successful Plaice fishing, the freshest bait on the neatest rig cast to the horizon will almost certainly result in failure if the water is dirty, so keep an eye on the weather forecast at all times.
Prefered tidal stages are an individual choice and it would be fair to say that Plaice can be caught at most stages of the tide; some anglers will concentrate their efforts over the top of the tide on a spring, others over low tide during a set of neaps, over time you will get to know the hot time at your local patch so fish when you feel most confident.
Tackle for plaice fishing does not need to be in any way complicated or heavy, most average around 1lb- 11/2lb and a 3lb Plaice is an exceptional fish at most venues so light tackle can be used to get the most out of these feisty flats.
With the advent of long continental style rods in the UK, many anglers are now seeing the benefits the extra length has to offer when coupled to a large fixed spool loaded with light mono and the easy casting distance it can bring. Although long range casting catches the lion’s share of the fish, a wise angler would fish a second rod at slightly shorter range as many a good Plaice is caught this way.
Traces can be simple 2 hook clipped paternosters armed with size 2 Aberdeen patterns, the ‘loop’ version is popular in some regions and the addition of colourful beads, sequins and blades above the hook baits are proven catch boosters. Specialist Plaice beads are incredibly popular in some regions where as in others, a sequence of red and yellow beads above the hook are established tradition. Again, this is an area for personal preference but there is certainly nothing to suggest that these additions would have a detrimental effect on catches, so give them a try?
Bait choice for most would be either fresh black lugworm or ragworm, the latter fished ‘head hooked’ in a DVice has given some great results in recent seasons, if you have yet to try one you wont be disappointed. Other useful additions to your armoury would be fresh peeler crab or razor fish, both baits that have taken their fare share of plaice.
Bites can vary from a strong pull round of the rod tip to just a subtle nod and benefit from being given a little time to ensure a hook up. For this reason those anglers wishing to return their catch choose a lighter pattern of hook that can be removed without damage, giving the fish a better chance of survival.
With spring in the air and the warmer weather on it’s way, why not target a Plaice this coming weekend?

A nice chesil plaice.

Chesil Beach Plaice

Boat Fishing Monthly Videos with Veals Mail Order

Boat Fishing Monthly Videos

Tackle Review Videos with Dave VMO and Dave of Boat Fishing Monthly

Veals Mail Order had a visit from Dave Barham, editor of Boat Fishing Monthly, a few weeks ago. As many of you will know, Dave is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable sea angler, who is keen to share his expertise and has made lots of videos that are available to watch on YouTube. Check out the BFM website. During his visit we lashed up a ‘studio’ and did loads of short, informal tackle reviews. To name a few we looked at Penn Fathom and Leeda Icon multipliers; Rovex Ceratec and Mitchell Mag Pro lure reels; Jinza Lures and soft plastics; Varivas PE Braided lines and Varivas Hooks; Vass clothing. We have lots of these short clips in the relevant sections of our site, and as they become available we will add more.


Jinza Sandy 100mm

Jinza Sandy 100mm Soft Pastic

Jinza Sandy

The Jinza Sandy is100mm, and a rather weird looking soft plastic, designed along the lines of a ragworm. The deeply ribbed rear imitates the legs and creates bubbles and turbulence. The fine tail adds movement and a strike ‘trigger’, the more solid head is ideal for mounting the hook, giving a firm hook hold.
Fished weedless or on a small jig these look the business for wrasse, bass, and pollack off the rocks or piers and they should really work well, mounted on a jig head twitched over sand, with the head bumping the bottom kicking up puffs of disturbance, but, as with all these lures the potential uses are only limited by your imagination.
8 lures per pack colours as above, and only £2.90 a pack.

Jinza Rocker Soft Plastic

Rocky Jinza Soft Plastic

Jinza Rocky Colours

The Jinza Rocker is a new slim sandeel type lure with a large paddle tail. This gives the soft plastic lure even more tail action to trigger strikes. Try fishing it slower, its great when fish such as Pollock or Bass do not want to chase after your bait, as you have a frantic tail action, even at a crawl.
The body is really supple but still reasonably strong, and, as it ‘folds’ easily, you stand a better chance of converting strikes into fish. They work well with slim jig heads, but can also be used on ‘ball’ type jig heads, or even un weighted on a long trace, ‘ redgill ‘ style.
When fitted with a jig head they can be either cast from shore or boat as well being fished from the boat ‘on the drift’, hopping, or on a long trace.
Two sizes125mm with 6 in a packet, or 150mm with 4 in pack, either for only £2.90 and you get to choose from the outstanding colours above.

Jinza Sensei Hard Plastic Lures, Shallow Runners

Grauvell Jinza Sensei Hard Plastic Bass Lures

Jinza Sensei Lures from Grauvell

Introducing the new Jinza Sensei hard lures. We at Veals Mail Order are very impressed with these outstanding shallow runners, fishing from 10cm – 20cm.they have a rolling, tail wagging action depending on retrieve speed.
As you may have noticed they have a resemblance to lures such as the Komomo but at a more affordable price. Internally they feature moving ball bearings to give a rattle and extra distance, without affecting the action even in the smallest size.
They are available in 3 sizes , 95mm/ 8gm, 120mm /15gm and 130mm/ 19.8gms, and in three holographic colours; 103 Pearl, 104 Sardine, 105 Sandeel.
Fitted with VMC trebles and an outstanding holographic finish these sub surface lures are going to catch more than their share of bass and at a very cost effective way …they start from only £9.98 …..
The smallest Sensei casts a surprising way and is ideal when bass are hitting small fish, the 120mm are a good, all round, hard lure plastic, the 130 scores in a bigger sea or later on in the year.
Want a shallow running hard lure at a sensible price ?? Check these out we even have a mini video on line featuring Dave Barham of Boat Fishing Monthly.


Never too early in the season…

One of the reasons why I have always loved fishing, be it from the shore, or from a kayak, is that you never really know what you are going to catch next. This is particularly true of sea fishing. However long in the tooth you are, or however good you think you are – you can never completely predict the result – that makes fishing frustrating at times, but also, I suspect the reason why it can become an obsession for many people.

Last year, I launched the kayak from a small shingle beach in Devon called Hallsands – a location with a ghostly past (just google it and you will see !). It was March,and still quite early in the year for any crazyness – we were hoping for some plaice, due to the closeness of the nearby Skerries banks.

As it turned out, something different appeared – very much left field – not what I would have expected. On that particular trip, I was using a side imaging sonar setup on my Trident 15 kayak. This is an amazing fish finder which scans the sea bed 200 feet either side of the kayak and picks up minute details in the sea bed and water column.

When we were about 1/4 mile out, I started to get alot of returns on the fish finder in mid water. At that time of year, I was thining maybe sprats or possibly a few very early mackerel. I switched to a set of small shrimpers more in hope than expectation…

After a few yards – the Conoflex QT kayak rod started to buckle under the weight of a fish – I reeled in, and to my surprise I had a couple of herring. When they are fresh out of the water, they are incredibly irridescent – like a silver mirror.

To cut a long story short I ended up with a bag full of herring – probably the last thing I expected that day – and yes….. they tasted great (I also kept a few for pike baits !)

When I think back over the years, some of my most memorable trips had been when my expectations were low – so the moral is; its always worth a trip – you never know what you might catch 😉