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Posts Tagged ‘Sole’

Popped down to Solent Beach again last night to escape the furore and anticipation of the footie. Don’t mind football, but the expectations on England drive me mad. I’m as patriotic as the rest, but I really am not worried who wins the tournament. I have my favourites and dreams like everybody (England and Holland if anyone is interested), but ultimately it is just a game people. I just want to see a good match regardless of team.

Rummaged through the freezer and dug out some Sandeel, Mackerel and a handful of whole mini Squid. Also found some leftover Black Lug down the bottom that I think was put there when Moses was around. Whatever I thought, it’ll do.

I think there must have been a lot of people with the same ‘escape the football’ idea as me, cos the beach was pretty busy. I had to walk an additional five groynes towards Double Dykes than normal, putting me in uncharted waters for this year (lot of changes on this beach cos of all the storms).

Three rods out, two for the rays and one dirty rod close in alternating between a pop up flapper and a ‘down hard’ Sole rig. The ray rods only produced one small Turbot and a couple of Smut pups all evening, but the dirty rod produced another small Sole (on the 3000 year old lug) and for about a 45 minutes period whatever bait or rig I chucked out into the hollow near a rock groyne (20 yards max) saw me bringing in double shots of Scad. Had around a dozen before leaving them to disappear with the tide and light.

Typical!!! The one time I didn’t pack the LRF gear and a fun fish like the Scad turn up. Great fun on a 5g rod. That’ll teach me. Still, one more species for the year. I did try moving a float around the ends of the rock groyne for any Garfish. Good spot for them but not tonight.

One of at least a Dozen Scad.

One of at least a Dozen Scad.

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Lesson time on the beach again last night with No. 2 son. A few hours spent on Solent Beach close to the relatively new rock groynes. Michael has taken to the various methods of baiting up with Mackerel, Sandeel, Ragworm and Squid well, and his presentation is pretty damn good already. I’ve known people take a very long time to present a bait correctly, neatly and securely. Just got to work on that OTG cast mate.

A touch of colour in the water for the first 20 yards or so but a lot clearer than the previous night. Seems to be settling down nicely after a couple of days SW winds.

Looking for the Rays, but in Michael’s case anything to open his beach account. Not a great night size wise with the fish but Michael finally has a beach fish, even if only a smut pup. I managed a couple of puppies plus a large(ish) Whiting, plus two new species for this year in a small Sole and a chunky little Blonde Ray of around 1.5-2lb. Very pleased with the Blonde as this is my first from the shore. Sandeel accounted for everything but the Sole, which was on good old Rag. Incidentally, all the pups had mouthfuls of very small red crabs.

My First Shore Caught Blonde Ray (Solent Beach)

My First Shore Caught Blonde Ray (Solent Beach)

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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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Honeycombe Chine

Spare bait evening again. I planned to fish the pier but there was no-one else there tonight. So I set myself up just East of the pier for a short go at the Bass. One major hiccough was that I had forgotten to pack the tripod. No worries, but it’s been a long time since a fished a whole session (Four hours) holding a rod. And with my current bad shoulder I suffered the following morning.

Good surf running as usual here and I did manage a small school Bass and a slip Sole for my efforts, though I was a bit disappointed as this venue normally chucks out quite few Bass including some lunkers.

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Quite a bit of bait left over from the  Ferrybridge trip, so I checked to see if there was going to be anyone on Boscombe Pier this evening (rules say two minimum after dark), and there was. So quickly chuck the gear into the car and down to the pier for 7:30 pm. Arrived to find the main gate unlocked and wide open, and walking the stem of the pier I could see no sign of any anglers. Fortunately, tucked around a corner and chomping away at a bread roll, was Franco, so fishing was on.

The lights on the pier are still not working, and it is obvious to all the pier members that this has seriously effected the fishing this year. Very poor compared to normal. I know it’s been poor elsewhere around here, but the pier had nose-dived.

A pleasant evening trying for the Bass and Sole that should be around at this time of year. I ended up with one Scad and three small Sole, none sizeable unfortunately. Franco had one Black Bream and also three Sole, but he was fortunate to have one for dinner tomorrow.

No Bass tonight despite a good sea running. A couple of other members turned up around 9:30 and fished into the wind on the other side and were plagued with tiny butterfly Thornies. Almost one a cast.

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Last night I joined a few other members of the Boscombe Pier Sea Anglers for a bash at the Bass that normally swarm around this area after a good blow while there is a good bit of surf around. Well surf there was, but the Bass were far and few between. Not a lot of weed which was a good thing, but yours truly dod manage a couple of good scraps with the good old carrier bag fish.

Plenty of surfers around very close to the pier during the last two hours of daylight, which I always think is a bit naughty really. Even considering the dangers of a strong surf and swirling eddies around the pier stanchions, there is also a good chance of a line being snagged. They have as much right as the anglers in being there, but some, especially the wind surfers come incredibly close to the pier sides dragging lines with them. They know the anglers are there but totally ignore them. Miles of beach to wind surf and they choose to do it here. Strange ideas.

I managed to haul out one small Bass of around 1½ lb on Black Lug / Squid cocktail, and later on snuck out a small Sole. Not a lot, but more importantly not another blank. Three other Bass caught that I am aware off topped by this little beauty for Paul coming in at 4lb 10z and caught right in the middle of the surf.

Paul's 4lb 10oz Bass

Paul's 4lb 10oz Bass

The only other fish to see the light of night (?) was Scad and Black Bream. Not a bad little session compared to the doldrums experienced recently. The weather locally is starting to slacken a bit now so we will see what happens. I feel a Chesil trip coming on soon.

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I met up with SCSF member Steve last night for an evening session at Harbour Road, Southbourne, scene of last weeks nice Sole in the hope of a repeat performance and to continue the hunt for an early Ray.

Steve was desperate to get a Sole for his species list, but secretly I think it was to placate his wife Fiona (her favourite fish) when she comes back from Ireland. Steve had a rather unfortunate episode with a very muddy bit of bogland on the way back from a Purbeck fishing trip at the weekend. To make matters worse he was using his wife’s car while she was away for a while, and I think half the bogland ended up in the boot and back seat. Major groveling is to be expected.

It was pretty calm conditions last night and quite mild for a change. Importantly, the large swells we have been experiencing during the last few days have died right back. We would be fishing the tide right up from dead low to a high just before midnight.

I had quite a bit of bait to use up so set up three rods for a change, 2 with 2-hook flapper cascade rigs and one with a 4/0 pulley for anything big enough to pull back, but hopefully Bass or an early Small-Eyed Ray. Ragworm,Squid, Sandeel and Bluey as bait.

Nothing big last night, but for both of us a steady stream of pin Whiting and Pout came in with just the one School Bass and a Rockie. I did manage two new species for the year though so the trip wasn’t a total waste.

A very pleasant evening and full of laughs as usual with Steve regaling me with stories of all the nutters he meets on his travels. And boy does he attract them.

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Sole for Dinner

OK, I’m no chef, but I do enjoy my fish (not much of a surprise there really). So after catching my near 2lb’er on Friday evening I decided to cook the little fella tonight for myself and Christine. Nothing fancy, just a straight forward grilling.

Gutted, de-finned, skinned and filleted (collared), and then basted with a mix of melted butter, touch of olive oil, juice from a whole lemon plus the zest, and then plenty of black pepper.

Sole Prepared and Ready for the Grill

Sole Prepared and Ready for the Grill

Sole after Grilling and Looking and Smelling Womderful

Sole after Grilling and Looking and Smelling Womderful

Served with a nice salad and potatoes. Bloody lovely.

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This weekend saw the SCSF monthly shore competition, which due to the time of year was a rover carried out between 6 pm on Friday and midday on Monday. Points to be awarded for Best Flat, Best Round and Most Species.

I decided to start the weekend on Friday evening at Solent Beach, Southbourne, in the hope of bagging some reasonable Whiting (plenty last year) and maybe a Bass or early Plaice or Ray. Stocked up with Ragworm, Mackerel, Squid and Sandeel I fished between 18:30 and 23:00 with high water at 21:30. A breezy SSE wind was bearable and the sea had a bit of colour but little in the way of surf other than the final 5 metres.

A very quiet session overall but I did manage to bag a few Whiting, though all pins unfortunately. The Bass, Plaice and Rays never turned up for dinner, but I did have a surprise around the top of the tide in the shape of a feisty 1lb 15oz Dover Sole that gave me a few shaky moments in the undertow.

1lb 15oz Sole, Solent Beach, Southbourne

1lb 15oz Sole, Solent Beach, Southbourne

Now that put a smile on my face I can tell you. I can’t recall ever landing a Sole of this sort of size this early in the season, though to be fair the water temperature has been increasing steadily recently. I am now looking forward to a good Sole dinner on Monday.

I was hoping to fish Sunday evening as well but have had to change my plans as I had forgotten a 50th Birthday do was planned. Instead I may well have an early morning session on the long groyne at Hengistbury Head to up the species count. More tomorrow.

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