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Archive for August, 2011

With the weather forecast to be a lot kinder yesterday I had a session at Ferrybridge, Chesil Beach fishing the wreck of the Adelaide. I arrived and was fishing a flat calm sea at dead low tide by 15:30 and planned to fish the tide right up until 21:00 or so.

Ferrybridge from near the wreck of the Adelaide

Ferrybridge from near the wreck of the Adelaide

The main idea was to try and bag that elusive Trigger. Well unfortunately I didn’t manage that target but had a very enjoyable and busy session regardless.

A Portsmouth Loop rig on one rod, with a two hook cascade on the other, both armed with size 2 Mantas. Bait used was Rag, Rag/Squid, Rag/Bluey or straight Bluey.

My first cast with the cascade to around 70 yards and I had a bite within a minute producing a 1lb 3oz Plaice. So that was tomorrows dinner sorted.

1lb 3oz Plaice, Ferrybridge, Chesil Beach

1lb 3oz Plaice, Ferrybridge, Chesil Beach

My first cast with the loop rig was sent out to 100 yards plus to get closer to the wreck, and a Pollack of around a pound was beached five minutes later. A great start.

The next three to four hours saw two more Pollack, two more small Plaice, about a dozen Bream (all very small) and a new species for the year in the shape of a Tompot Blenny.

Tompot Blenny

Tompot Blenny

To be truthful the Bream were an absolute menace, hitting the baits almost as soon as it had settled. Hooks were cleaned within 5-10 minutes with only 1 in 3 bites connecting. It’s not so bad when they are all a good size, but most were small.

One of the Pollack I caught had not registered a bite at all, but was neatly hooked in the lower lip. Which was a bloody good job really as the rest of it’s head was messily missing. It didn’t look anything like a cuttle bite. The water was crystal clear and the sun was bright on the water, so probably not a Conger. Line was tight and no indication was seen. I have a pic but I don’t think I’ll put it up. Ugh!!

Plenty of feather chucking going on nearby but seemed to be very little caught. Still plenty of numpties not using shock leaders. I dragged in two sets showing evidence of feathers tied direct to mainline of about 20lb. Madness!!

Just prior to darkness there was plenty of back and tail swirls in the gutter. I figured this was probably Bass, so out goes a whole Bluey on a 6/0 pulley but no joy there.

My last hours fishing after dark slowed right down with just the three Pout coming in. I packed it in around 10pm with next to no bait left!

And then I had a problem. This spring tide was a bit of a big one. The result of which meant that following my weary return across the shingle I was faced with the slight problem of a new, deep and very wide lake between myself and the car park. I had to walk 200 yards past the far end of the car park (about half a mile away and which felt like halfway to Checkpoint) just to find a dry crossing. I was totally knackered by the time I got back to the car, which needless to say was at the ‘other’ end of the car park!

I will have to have another go for that Trigger soon. I shall return.

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Emotions in Angling

I have just read and commented on one of the best angling blog entries I have ever read. We are not talking 30lb Cod or double figure Bass here, just the deep feelings, emotion and joy that angling can evoke.

It’s difficult for me to put into words exactly what I mean at the moment as the post has stirred up feelings and memories that have giving me a temporary ‘bloggers blank’. Just have a read of the entry yourself and maybe you will see what I mean.

SouthernMonkey – This Weekend 28/08/11

And I repeat my congratulations here to Chris for the catch of his first fine Bass, and probably the fish he will most remember for the rest of his angling life.

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Firstly, please don’t get excited. There is not a lot to report here I’m afraid.

This weekend saw the August shore competition for the SCSF Forum. Points would be awarded this month for best round fish and best flat fish, and the comp would run from 6am Friday until mid-day Monday.

Friday (Part One)
Myself and John took the drive to Ferrybridge on Chesil Beach in the hope of some different species. We arrived at around 2:30pm and took the walk to the wreck of the Adelaide to find two other members, Bazza and Rob,  already there and fishing. The wind was 12-15mph SW and was forecast to lessen a bit and move NW, so conditions should have been OK.

Not to be.

An hour and a half after arriving the wind had increased to 20-25 mph and had remained SW, making it a bit uncomfortable. Rob and Bazza packed up and left to go back to the Solent at around 5:30pm, leaving the two of us to battle on for a further hour before heading back to the car ourselves. One fish, a silver eel to John, so a bonus new species for him, but that was it for Chesil.

Friday (Part Two)
Driving back towards Dorchester I decided to go to Shell Bay at the entrance to Poole Harbour in the lee of the Purbecks to try for some decent Bream and maybe a bonus Smoothhound or Bass. I have not fished here in a long time but considered it a possibility. We arrived and we were fishing by just after 8pm. The conditions could not have been more different. Flat calm sea, virtually windless and the only waves being caused by the occasional passing boat or ship.

My luck held out though and I ended the evening on a blank. John however did manage two more for his species list. One Starry Pup and one Common Pup, both around the pound mark admittedly, but welcome just the same.

Sunday
We met up with Phil at Gordon’s Zig-Zag (Grange Hotel) on Southbourne Beach to try for some Sole, Rays and Turbot. Arrival saw a nice bit of chop and colour to the water on a rising spring tide. Looked good so far. My first cast with a Portsmouth Loop rig at distance bought me my first Tubbie of the year.

Tub Gurnard, Southbourne Beach

Tub Gurnard, Southbourne Beach

A couple of casts later and I had a Mackerel on my second rod set-up with a pop-up rig. And that was it. A few smallish bites during the evening but nothing forthcoming. This time it was John’s turn to blank from the session. The poor fishing local wise continues.

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I had a ‘Billy-No-Mates’ session from eight until midnight at Harbour Road, Southbourne last night. Only had the two bites all evening, one on large bunched Rag and one on whole Squid. Both of these bites had a typical Ray look to them but the rigs came back with clean hooks and a placard saying ‘sucker’.

I therefore ended the evening on a blank with only one slip Sole, one tiny Plaice and a Tub Gurnard seen between the five other anglers present on the beach.

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Sorry but it wasn’t big fish.

It’s not often you can get to fish and watch a bit of history as well. Last nights session with John at Sandbanks coincided with the evening section of the Bournemouth Air Show. So there we were on the beach catching Black Bream (2), Mackerel (3), Bass (1) and Smoothhound pups (2) while being entertained by WW2 stalwarts like the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster. This was one case where staring UP at a rod tip has it’s benefits.

Of more importance,  John has finally broken his run of four blank trips, and christened his new Shimano Vengeance at last.

Finally, has there been a volcano eruption around europe again recently? The moon was the darkest blood red I have ever seen on it’s rise last night.

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Parley Lake Algae

Dad and myself went back to Parley Lake this evening. The swims that we fished the last time were occupied so we walked around to the far side of the lake to be presented with a section that was almost entirely covered in a pretty ugly looking algae slick.

Parley Lake Algae

Parley Lake Algae

Now we have been told, and it has recently been reported, that this type of algae, though evil looking, does not effect the fish or the fishing. Hmmmm!

Following four hours of fishing we saw very little movement and only managed one Bream and one small Crucian between us. OK, so it probably had had nothing to do with the algae, but when you are fishing in what looks like the set for ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’ you can’t help but wonder.

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I met up with Phil (SCSF) and Matt last night on the beach at Sandbanks just to the left of the long groyne. We had decided to try out the waters around there for a change, especially as the rest of the bay has been pretty dire of late. There where loads of anglers present when I got there around 18:30 so maybe something was happening. Although on closer inspection there did seem to be a few feather chuckers on the groyne, and it is grockle season.

My normal two rod setup, first with the standard two hook flapper / size 1’s and the other with a big pennel ready for any passing Bass or Smoothhound. No fancy baits, just Ragworm, Squid and Mackerel.

My second and third casts produced quick, sharp,  bait stripping bites. Figuring these were Bream I changed the flapper to a two up / size 6 rig loaded with small bits of ragworm tipped with thin squid strips and in came this little chappy (my first of the year). Sorry about the poor pic, but I always forget to switch to macro on these little ‘uns.

Black Bream from Sandbanks (Little bait stripping b...........)

Black Bream from Sandbanks (Little bait stripping b...........)

I love to eat Bream, one of my favourites, so I carried on with the rig hoping for something a bit larger. After dark the quick bites continued from the Bream but nothing else appeared to be swimming out there. The big baits on rod two produced nothing all evening and come the rain around midnight it was of home.

Final tally was four Black Bream and one embarrassingly tiny Starry Pup which I am going to have to put on here cos it’s the first this year (all the others being commons), and also to cheer David up (SouthernMonkey). Get that back sorted out pronto mate.

Starry Smoothhound (Honest. It's not an Airfix kit.)

Starry Smoothhound (Honest. It's not an Airfix kit.)

Oh! Phil and Matt blanked.

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I’ve just got in following a five hour stint with Dad on the banks of Parley Lake (Ringwood DAA Water). Now this is the first time we have ever fished this water so it was a case of try it and learn a bit about the location. A lovely small winding lake stocked with Carp, Crucians, Tench and Bream, we love the dense forest feel of the place. I would imagine that no matter which way the wind blows, shelter can be found. Both of us have always preferred to fish the smaller lakes and this one was spot on. Hopefully we will learn to get the best out of this venue over the weeks ahead.

Tonight we turned up with unflavoured 4 / 6mm Expanders (for the float), sweetcorn, Luncheon meat, Halibut pellets (8mm), Robin Red Pellets and Bread. It soon became apparent that the small pellets on the float were mostly attracting tiny Skimmers and Crucians, with the larger Crucians falling to cubes of luncheon meat or corn. Feeding a point next to an island with 2mm Halibuts, I soon had several Carp feeding happily, but the only bait that seemed to entice them to the hook was good old luncheon meat, with the larger pellets getting no response.

I managed several Crucians to around the pound mark and a hatful of Skimmers. I did hook into two good sized Carp on the meat, but both ran hard and fast towards the far bank and both very quickly slipped the hook. Dad also had a few Crucians, a Bream between 1½ and 2lb and following a couple of lost Carp at short range managed to land a plump Mirror of around 8-9lb. Not too bad for the first attempt here.

Plump Mirror Carp of around 8-9lb

Plump Mirror Carp of around 8-9lb

A lovely location that will become a regular visit.

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Had a short two hour fish on the Hants Avon tonight from 7:30 til 9:30 pm. I haven’t fished this river for many, many years so I had spent a couple of hours the previous evening walking the banks at the top of the Severals beat. Plenty of weed throughout the stretch but, fortunately, there are several (no pun) nice looking deep glides adjacent to some good weed cover. I spotted plenty of Chub and Dace but no visible sign of Barbel. But they will be there. Like the Dorset Stour at Throop, the banks are pretty overgrown but still there are plenty of opportunites to fish.

As to my short session? I selected a deep glide that ran for about 25 yards into thick weed with a narrow channel continuing through. No bites at all during the session though fish movement was evident. Tackled the swim with an open end feeder stuffed with a mix of 3mm Hali pellets held in with a meaty mix. 8mm Pellet banded at the sharp end. I will have to experiment with a few different baits during the coming few weeks and find the current local taste.

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Myself and John finally managed to get back to the beach after 4-5 weeks of horrible work, moving house (John) and the equally nasty job of having holidays (week in Spain and a weeks puddle fishing in Devon).

We thought we would give the Harbour Road stretch at Southbourne Beach a go for Gurnard, Bass, Rays and Sole, the normal residents at this time of year. John blanked again and I only managed a tiny Bass and a Lesser Weaver, neither of which I knew I had until the retrieve. Both caught on straight Ragworm. All other baits tried (Sand Eel, Mackerel, Squid and cocktails) were coming back totally untouched by fish or crab. Deadly quiet down there.

Several anglers nearby had zilch as well. From chatting to other anglers and reading current reports on the forums, it doesn’t look like we have missed much recently. Is anywhere producing around here (other than Smuts)?

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