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Posts Tagged ‘Dogfish’

I have not caught a Dab in a lot of years. A fish that is pretty common and a staple catch for most anglers around the coastline just always seems to avoid me. So when I heard from Clive in Southampton that he was being plagued with them at Town Quay, I just had to make the trip and bag one for my 2014 species count.

Well that’s my excuse. It’s always a pleasure and a laugh to fish alongside the clown prince of sea angling. I know there are a few young’uns that read my blog so the content of the evenings banter will remain between me and Clive. However, success!! First Dab since ….. for ever.

First Dab in a Long Time

First Dab in a Long Time

As you can clearly see, it was a monster. I don’t care. It all counts.

A very quiet Town Quay last night. Probably the longest, quietest spell I have ever experienced on there. We did however have a few leading up to the dry spell, with Bass, Dabs, Pout, Whiting, Tub Gurnard, Plaice, Dogfish and Silver Eels all making an appearance. And apparently soon after I left the Smoothhounds started showing.

That’s to be my last sea fishing session for a couple of weeks. Saturday sees my Dad and me returning to Kingslake for our annual pilgrimage. Carp and Tench gear at the ready.

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This Friday I returned to Bedford Beach at Southbourne to try once again for a decent Ray as a points entry to the week long SCSF competition. With my usual Friday fishing buddy unavailable I had contacted No.1 son Robert to see if he would like to come down for a few hours dangling and a bit more tuition.

Bucket full of bait at the ready (Sand Eel, Mackerel, Squid and Ragworm) and Pulley and Pompey rigs at the ready, I began the hunt at about 7pm, with No.1 arriving around 7:30. Started with the tuition for a bit and we were off. SCSF buddy Gazza turned up shortly afterwards and with six rods fishing between us, good bait and a good tide we were very hopeful.

And then it started. No.1 spent the next couple of hours showing the long time guys how to do it. Nothing big, but consistent. First in was a target I have yet to get this year, a small Undulate Ray, this was quickly followed by a small Turbot, a pin Whiting (very strange pinkish colouring), another Turbot, a Starry Smoothhound pup and then finally just prior to his leaving at just after ten, a Dogfish.

First Ray (Undulate) for Robert

First Ray (Undulate) for Robert

Undulate Ray

Undulate Ray

Pin Whiting (Strange Pink Hue)

Pin Whiting (Strange Pink Hue)

One of Robert's Turbots

One of Robert’s Turbots

Grinning Idiot with Dogfish

Grinning Idiot with Dogfish

Did I catch anything?

Well I did drag out a small Turbot while Robert was on the beach, and followed that up with a palm sized Plaice and a small Dogfish after Robert had left. Gazza unfortunately blanked.

More importantly I think that Robert is even more hooked into shore fishing, especially judging by the grin on his face. All he wants now is something to eat!

Me? I can definitely feel my wallet getting lighter.

Footnote: Myself and Gazza gave it another go on the following day at Branksome Chine. Result? One small Smut pup for me and another blank for Gazza. Hmmmm!!

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I’m finally back fishing on a regular basis after such a long time with health and other problems. I am currently managing to get out at least twice a week, so hopefully I can now start posting a few new entries here on the blog.

This last week I have been approached by both my lads (26 and 28 – so not exactly boys anymore) to take them shore fishing a bit more as they are both keen on learning and experiencing the joys of sea angling. Both of the guys have coarse fished on and off for a few years, especially the youngest, and both of them have taken to spinning for Bass and Mackerel, but now they want to go further into both lure and bait fishing.

So, Friday last evening found me down on Southbourne beach with spare beachcasting gear and a bucket of bait teaching the basics to my eldest Robert. This area of Bournemouth bay has been producing some reasonable Rays, Turbot and various rounds and flats recently so I was hopeful he would start off with at least something. That proved to be a bit harder than my previous few sessions down there, but Robert did manage to open his account with a feisty Dogfish and a small Starry Smoothhound pup. I have little doubt he will be back on the beach shortly, and I’m also thinking my spare gear may disappear and my bank balance may be reduced a bit.

Tuesday evening was my youngest lads turn. Not quite so good with the tides that night, but he opened his account as well, even if it was only a small Sole. I think you can tell by the photo he was well chuffed.

Michael's First Bait Caught Shore Fish

Michael’s First Bait Caught Shore Fish (occasional use of a razor required mate)

I can truthfully say they will be dragging me back to the beach a lot now. Not that I’m complaining.

Did I catch? Despite spending most of my time watching the lads I did manage a Small-Eyed Ray, a Smoothhound pup and a Turbot for myself. I was aiming mainly for the Rays but not these times.

Fat Little Turbot

Fat Little Turbot

 

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Another short session last night on Boscombe Pier from 7:30 – 11pm. I think I will be spending a bit of time on the pier during the coming 3-4 weeks, mainly to get my back and shoulders back into the swing of things again. I’m pretty sure that distance casting from a beach will have to wait for a little while longer.

Nothing stupendous last night, though myself and John did manage a handful of Dogfish and Pout to pass the evening. Early in the session Little Mo hauled out a small Plaice and a Whiting, and one other angler managed a small Flounder, so  the fish are around the pier and in variety. Only downside was the loss of two bottom snoods to probably spider crabs. Looks like we’ll have to switch to stronger snoods or ‘Up’ rigs after dark to avoid the blighters. Should keep the netters away from the structure though.

Conditions were not ideal with an ebbing neap tide, NNW wind and a pretty calm sea. Other fish reported caught during the past week include Black Bream, Bass, Mackerel and Small-Eyed’s.

And we didn’t get locked in this week. Mind you it was close. One of the club members followed the security guys down to the gate at closing time and watched them ‘incorrectly’ padlock up again. Good job he was there to put them right!

I think I may have to include a folding ladder in my pier kit!!!

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The annual SCSF Ray competition for the Raymondo Cup was held last night. A little late in the year really but circumstances pushed it this way. I think there was 11 or 12 members taking part, not quite as many as last year but still good to see some of the guys from the far reaches of the forum.

Fishing at Paddy’s Gap on the Milford-on-Sea stretch over a weak neap high, we were all pleased to see that the big swells of recent times had disappeared and that the weed was virtually non-existent. However, the fish decided not to show in any numbers as well. Terry won the competition with a Small-Eyed Ray of just 2lb 3oz, with only three other rays caught, one Thornback and two more Small-Eyeds.

I managed only the one Dogfish, though a good one of near 2lb, and from memory only a couple of School Bass made up the remainder caught. Never mind, a good fun meet with the guys, plenty of laughs and at least the weather was kind to us if a little cold the final two hours before midnight.

Looking forwards to the next meet, the Flounder comp.

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Haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks now. Nothing to say really. The May Bloom and weed persists in the bay and area but thankfully is reducing now.

I have had a short session on Boscombe Pier with John to try things out and also to try and collect a few species for the weekend rover comp (SCSF). Had a grand total of one! A small Dogfish.

Mackerel and Garfish are now around in numbers in the bay, with the Tub Gurnard also appearing from the beaches along with numerous slip Soles. The Bream are also starting to show but not in any large shoals as yet. Plenty of Smoothhounds packing the Solent with a few leaking out to surrounding areas. So things are definitely on the up. As my home project work comes to a close shortly it won’t be long before I can slot a few more short evening sessions in. I hope.

And it’s only five weeks until the yearly coarse fishing week at Kingslake, Devon. Yay!!! Bring on those Carp and Tench.

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I had an evening session last night at Town Quay in Southampton, mainly to meet up with a fishing buddy, Clive, who has been off the scene for four months or more. For a keen angler that was not good.

Met up with Clive and Steve at the quay at around 7 pm and basically had a fun and laugh filled evening as the TQ Numpty club got back together again.

We did catch quite a few Whiting and Pout (no shock there) and Steve managed a couple of reasonable Dogfish and his traditional TQ Whelk, but the fishing was just an excuse to welcome back Clive to the fold.

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Following a pretty hectic weekend, including helping a friend move to Bodmin, Cornwall, with around 6½ hours driving and 4 hours plus of furniture and box moving up two flights, I fancied a bit of a relax. So a quick message to Steve (SCSF) to find out (and persuade his wife) if he was available for an evenings fishing at the Whitehouse at Milford-on-Sea. Steve’s wife, Fiona, did not take a lot of persuasion, especially after discovering a few peelers in her fridge. ‘Get them out!!!” Enough said.

So 6 pm Monday saw the two of us unloading in the car park at the Whitehouse. First thing to greet us was the site of huge quantities of shingle that had been placed onto the existing beach raising it by a good 6-8 feet in height! Now that is a lot of shingle, which would very quickly disappear after a couple of good SW storms. So I can only assume that this is phase one of a sea defence strategy which nowadays always seems to include half a mountains worth of boulders along the front. If that is the case then the fishing from here is going to be a lot more awkward (unless you are a mountain goat). As this work is new and ongoing, the drop from the top of the shingle to the waters edge came close to drop net territory. A very strange situation. But fishing we came for and fishing we did.

Both of us were hoping to hit the Rays and so we were splitting our rods into scratching rigs and big hook pulleys or up/overs. Plenty of Sand Eel, Bluey and Mackerel with a bit of Squid and Ragworm. The rays didn’t show yet again for us, but we did have a bit of fun with Doggies up to 2lb, Pout and Whiting so not a total loss and a good evening was had.

ADDENDUM: The following evening, a fellow forum member (Ian) went down to near the same spot and caught this.

Ian's 7lb 1oz Small-Eyed Ray

Ian's 7lb 1oz Small-Eyed Ray

7lb 1oz Small-Eyed Ray. Well done Ian (you jammy git). Still, having heard of a few Rays coming in from this venue, it was nice to get absolute confirmation that the decent ones are definitely about. Next good tide!!

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As the SCSF forum was holding a whole weekend Cod competition I’d thought I’d have a go for the Coddies by fishing the cottages at Abbotsbury this evening, a first for me. I have fished Chesil beach on numerous occasions, but mainly concentrating directly in front of the car park at Abbotsbury, West Bexington, Burton Bradstock or Ferrybridge. Fishing the cottages involves a little walk west from the car park, but with the humpalumpa packed and most of the walk on a narrow tarmac road to the rear of the shingle bank, I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. It wasn’t on the way there, but on the return trip I had to drag the gear and humpa up three slopes of shingle before I got to the road. Out of breath?? I thought I was dying.

I fished from just after 4 pm unThe sil 10 pm. Sea was almost flat calm after the two days SW and W blow we have had down here, but surprisingly very little colour in water. Due to the depth I assume. The beach was pretty packed from beyond the cottages to beyond the teeth. Helluva lot of anglers.

View from Abbotsbury Cottages

View from Abbotsbury Cottages

Long story short. No Cod. In fact not much being caught anywhere near me. Lots of Whiting and one dogfish was all that I saw or heard of within hundred yards either side of me. I had four Whiting. The buggers were snaffling big  squid! Especially if I had a Black Lug wrap incorporated into the bait. I was fishing two rods, both with 4/0 pennel pulleys, but the Whiting didn’t care.

A lot of the lack of fish I put down to clear water and a very bright full moon that poked it’s head up soon after a lovely sunset. Quite a sight with the silver hue everywhere, but no good for us anglers.

Sunset from Abbotsbury Cottages

Sunset from Abbotsbury Cottages

An 80 mile round trip to catch something I catch too much off locally. Still, I tried and got a couple of big Whiting for supper tomorrow.

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TQ and the QE

Number two son Michael has recently been asking me if he could come along fishing with me. It’s been quite a time since he has done so, and then it was to knock out a load of carp between 2 and 10lb at the notoriously easy (but now no more) Lake Farm at Alderholt. So, with forty odd King Ragworm , a bit of Squid and some Blueys, we headed for Town Quay in Southampton to join SCSA Forum buddy Clive for a crack at whatever would fling itself onto our hooks.

Arrived around 6 pm and promptly set up a rod each with two hook pop-up flappers baited up with Rag and slivers of Bluey. Straight away we were inundated with small Whiting and the occasional Pout. And that was basically the way it went most of the evening. Mike made a good show of getting used to the bigger gear, very unlike the carp gear he had used previously. He also made sure that myself and Clive knew that he was initially catching more than us!!

Set up a second rod with duplicate rig for Mike and he continued to catch on both. In the meantime I set up a second rod with a 4/0 pulley rig aiming at anything big enough to pull a water skier. Only had the two bites all evening including a good rod bender followed by a slack line. There have been a few cod reported from TQ over the last two weeks so that is a possibility. Neither bites hooked though so I will never know.

When Clive fishes at TQ he always puts out a hand line dropped over the side of the quay for anything that comes along. Now this evening produced something a little bit different. It’s normal for most angler to use a rod and reel to bring in the line. But Clive decides to do things in reverse and use the hand line to pull up a 15ft beachcaster complete with fixed spool reel and a few months worth of weed, shellies and other mud covered growths.

 

TQ Recovered Rod

Recovered Rod from TQ

 

He decided to clean it up a bit and amazingly the reel still worked fine, but the eye on the rod were well and truly gone.

 

Recovered Reel from TQ

Recovered Reel from TQ

 

The only other fish to come in that night was a rather chunky 12oz Scad to Clive from directly under the quay, and a small dogfish to Mike, which made his evening as the novice ends up with the biggest fish of the evening. Ain’t that always the way.

 

Mike's Little Doggie

Mike's Little Doggie

 

Behind us on the opposite side of the quay was berthed the new Queen Elizabeth liner from Cunard. All ablaze and resplendent after it’s official naming ceremony performed by the queen earlier on in the day. She is one big mother of a liner.

Not a fantastic evening for the decent fish but a good number of little ‘uns to help pass the time. Now Mike’s got the bug. Looks like my wallets going to be getting thinner.

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