Again, the Bristol Channel is coming good as the winter season approaches. Charter boat activity has been nonstop with cod and whiting showing from all recognised marks. A cracking cod of 24lb caught by Andy Bickle from the TOR SAC is the best so far from the “AlyKat” but I won’t hold my breath on that being the best of the season! Most trips are now producing double figure cod, not huge numbers but the fish are certainly there for the taking. The smaller fish are, as usual showing a preference for worm baits. Lug or rag will do but you will need plenty of it! A cod has a huge mouth and will think nothing of devouring a dozen worms and a strip of calamari! When rebaiting, to save those precious worms, simply push the old stuff up the trace and add more on the hook to freshen up, simple! The art (if there is one) to cod fishing is patience. Be prepared to sit it out. After all, when you have been fishing in the same spot for say an hour, you will have laid a huge scent trail for the fish to locate and ascend upon, it seems a shame to move away and leave all that behind!
Whiting have also played a big part in charter trips with some nice fish to around 3lb reported. These fish are a great filler in when the cod are slow. A strip of mackerel fillet will always attract these fish. Beware though, the old conger will be only too glad to relieve you of your whiting bait, and your whiting also if you happen to have one!
Congers are at their most active now here in the Cannel. They will be hell bent on feeding up for the winter. Whiting, herring and sprat will be their favoured food as they attempt to fatten up before they slow up for the winter. After Christmas, the eels will be virtually nonexistent for what reason I guess we’ll never really know, it just seems to be some sort of hibernation thing.
January will be the time to get out there in search of that magical thirty pounder. Historically this is the time to really target the big fish. Massive baits and again, lots of patience will certainly be worth the effort for those lucky few who are prepared to put the effort in.
If you fancy a crack at the Bristol Channel cod run with virtually no steaming time, give me a ring and we’ll see what we can find!
Dave Roberts “AlyKat” Charters Ltd.