Archive for December, 2010

2011 Targets

There was a post placed on SCSF recently asking members what targets they were going to set themselves for the coming new year. Now I am not one who normally sets targets for my fishing as I am more than happy to just get out there and enjoy the experience regardless of size and type of catch. I do target species during sessions, but I am just as happy catching a 2lb Bass as say a 8lb’er.

However, I thought that this year I would set myself a few aims and see how I cope with the challenge. Therefore, here is my short list for 2011:

  • A double figure Smoothhound. Despite the larger numbers appearing around our area I have yet to bag a double. A few more sessions at Park Shore, Sowley or Southampton water will be slotted in.
  • A PB Bass. Hopefully this shouldn’t be too hard to achieve as my current PB is only 4½lb. I have caught 3-4 Bass of this figure and have been unable to break past this barrier.
  • A 3lb+ Flounder. Been stuck on 2½lb for years. And there are plenty out there in Poole Harbour.
  • Catch a Bass or Mullet on fly tackle. Always wanted to have a go at this but never got around to it.
  • 30 plus species caught during the year. Current PB total stands at 26.

That’ll do. Make the targets or not, I will enjoy my angling as usual, and for me that is the main priority. I have a few new marks to try out and a few new techniques to use, so hopefully it will be an interesting and productive year.

Watch this space.

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So that was Christmas

Other than the dozen people around for Christmas day dinner and the evening jolly-up, that was the quietest for a long, long time. With Number One son now in his own property, and Number Two staying in bed late with a Christmas Eve party hangover, the place was like a ghost house compared to previous seasons. Follow that with a ‘nothing is happening’ Boxing Day until the evening and it felt very strange, quiet and to be honest, boring.

I miss the kids shouts of excitement and flying, torn wrapping paper at 6 o’clock in the morning. I suppose I’m just going to have to wait for the grandchildren. Could be a long wait.

Christmas dinner and evening tea was superb though, with plenty of good grub and one of the best spreads Christine has ever laid on. She should be hostess a bit more often.

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OK, so it’s been cold recently, with temperatures well below average. I have personally experienced temperatures down to -7º whilst fishing during the previous 3-4 weeks. Combine that with our naturally damp climate and a bit of wind and that is a raw cold. Thank the stars that we have more or less avoided the snow problems suffered elsewhere in the UK.

Last night Christine, myself and a few friends met up at the annual Christmas Céilidh at Tarrant Keyneston just south of Blandford, Dorset. Now this village is situated at the base of the Tarrant river valley and so is low and sheltered. Our route from home took us through Wimborne and and up along the Badbury ridge. The range of temperatures along this route was interesting (nerd mode engaged), with the lowest reading in the valley trough at -15º, an average of -12 along the ridge towards Wimborne, -9º in Wimborne town and -8º at home. In other words, it was bloody cold.

To top the evening of nicely, I walked into home around midnight to receive a phone call almost instantly from Number Two son. Would I please pick him up from his mates at Verwood as he has slid sideways on the ice / snow into a high kerb and knocked the steering tracking out. Car drives fine but tends to end up back at the same spot soon after driving off! No worries. It happens.

Temperature in Verwood? -6º.

(Nerd mode disengaged)

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This past weekend has seen the final SCSF competition of 2010 take place. This competition consisted of two parts: a full weekend rover with points for largest Flounder, heaviest bag and best other fish, plus a day meet at Weston Shore with prize for the for the largest Flounder.

My self, John and Shane started the weekend by fishing Holes bay on the Friday evening. Usual spot, rigs and baits. Quite cold to start of with and getting colder as the night progressed, and not helped by the NNW wind adding further chill to our faces.

Not great tides for this weekend but I managed to hook into a 1lb 4¾oz Flounder on the very last cast, and John landed one of 1lb 7½oz about mid-session. Slow, but we were off the mark.

Neither of us got out on Saturday, so next session was the Weston Shore competition run from 11:00 until 16:00. Great to meet up with a load of the guys from SCSF again with 15 members taking part. Excellent weather with clear skies and plenty of sun for a change after all the cold conditions of the previous fortnight. Unfortunately the fish more or less stayed away with only two guys managing to catch (1lb 6oz and 12oz), but an enjoyable day nonetheless.

So, with quite a bit of bait left over, John and me decided to have a late session at Holes Bay as a last ditch attempt to raise our tally. Fishing from 21:30 until 00:30 in freezing conditions and a very weak neap tide, I am not surprised to report that we both drew blanks.

Not a very successful weekend fish wise but great company and mostly good weather. The fish all around the area seem to have gone into a dormant stage. Can’t help thinking that the rapid drop in sea temperature recently hasn’t exactly helped, currently 5.8°C which is a full 4°C below last years level. I just hope this isn’t a precursor to yet another long cold winter destroying the next years fishing.

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