Rare Deep-Sea Greenland Shark

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Sometimes watching footage of the seabed can be as exciting as watching paint dry, but when something like the mysterious Greenland shark appears where no-one has ever seen one before, people like Alan Turchik (National Geographic Mechanical Engineer) can get very, very excited indeed!

The camera which was placed 211 meters (700 feet) down on the seafloor and recorded over 3 hours of absolute nothingness, only to be briefly interrupted by a small jellyfish, but after staring at the sand for much of the time a Greenland shark bumped into the camera and lumbered through the frame! For a species which remains an enigma to scientists to the day, any new information such as sightings like this one – is invaluable.

Catching Turchik’s joyful reaction on camera expletive-filled reaction on film was pure luck. The cameraman Michael Pagenkopf wanted to take some shots of the team working on the boat for a film of the expedition, so he trained the lens of Turchik who was reviewing the video footage downloaded from the camera.

Just as Pagenkopf swapped his camera’s batter and started filming, the picture on Turchik’s screen started bouncing around – It didn’t take long to hear how he felt about the sharks presence.

greenland Rare Deep Sea Greenland Shark

A Deep-Sea Enigma

These sharks are a conundrum, says Greg Skomal, a senior marine fisheries scientist at Massachusetts Marine Fisheries who wasn’t involved in the survey. Scientists aren’t sure how long the sharks live—a hundred years is one estimate—how big they get, or even if they’re predators or scavengers.

Based on the sharks’ stomach contents, “they seem to be chowing down on cod, wolffish, squid, and a variety of marine mammals,” says Peter Bushnell, a fisheries biologist at Indiana University South Bend. They may also be taking bites out of beluga whales.

 They can be as big as great white sharks, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes, growing to an estimated  7.3 meters (24 feet) long. With a maximum speed of just 1.7 mph and being mostly blind one would think they’re happy to eat rotting carcasses.

However, if the history of fishing is any guide, Greenland sharks are common as muck. The sharks were fished from the early 20th century until the 1960s; mainly for their liver oil, which was used as lamp fuel and industrial lubricant. In some years, over 30,000 were taken. That suggests a very healthy population.

In line with that, a recent expedition used 120 hooks on a longline, (not your normal sea fishing equipment!) and caught 59 sharks. “I think they’re fairly common,” says Aaron Fisk of the University of Windsor in Ontario. “When we want to catch them we don’t have any trouble.”

 

 

Quiz! What kind of fisherman are you?

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Are you a hunter, a lounger, a competitor perhaps?

There are as many types of angler as there are anglers, from those who take their sea fishing tackle very seriously, to those who are more concerned with a snooze by the river.

And we thought, since it’s Christmas, why not have a little fun? Here we give you the chance to find out just what kind of fishing enthusiast you are!

bigstock Young man fishing on a lake fr 49801037 Quiz! What kind of fisherman are you?

What’s your ideal Christmas gift?

When you get to your favorite fishing spot, what’s the first thing you do?

When you catch a fish do you:

When fishing in company do you:

Later, you’re at the pub with friends do you:


Christmas fishing folk tales

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Dicken’s Christmas Carol is one of the most famous ghost stories ever told.

The spooky writings of MR James were originally Christmas Eve tales the Cambridge don told to entertain his students; Susan Hill’s acclaimed gothic ghost story, the Woman in Black is recounted during a Christmas Eve house party. Christmas ghosts are a rich tradition that harks back to Victorian times and beyond.

But what about ghostly fishing stories? Tales of the sea, pond or riverbank that will have your carp fishing equipment trembling in your hands…

Hella Point

1. Shipwreck 525x350 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: AlienCat
The chilling tale of a missing sailor, love and a shipwreck.

The Southern tip of Cornwall is a wind ravaged place. Isolated and bleak, in winter, its cliffs and coves are storm lashed and lethal. When young Nancy fell for swashbuckling sailor called William, their union was frowned upon by the girl’s family and she was forbidden from ever seeing him again.

But the two met in secret on the beach at Porthgwarra, where they pledged their undying love for each other.

When William returned to sea, Nancy would pace the headland at Hella point, looking out for the return of her lover. But as weeks turned to months, and still there was no sign of him, Nancy became frantic with worry, and nothing anyone said could calm her.

Then one stormy evening, an old woman saw Nancy down in the cove. Sat on a rock, huge waves roared and seethed around her. The elderly woman began to hobble down to the beach to warn the girl of the danger of the tide. But then she stopped in her tracks, for there sitting beside the girl was none other than the missing sailor.

A breaker rolled into the bay, and broke over the rock. Nancy disappeared, never to be seen again. And when news came to the tiny hamlet, it told of shipwreck and disaster. Williams ship had sunk, and all aboard were drowned.

Dead fisherman’s family

2. Dead fishermans family 525x393 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: donatas1205
A starved fisherman’s family haunt this river.

The river Adur in West Sussex is a spooky body of water if ever there was one. One of the sights that greets visitors is an old wooden boat, long since wrecked, its rotting timbers slowly decaying in the turgid river current.

On dark nights, it’s said, anglers have been chilled to the marrow by the sound of sobbing that emanates from the boat’s crumbling bulwarks. Closer inspection reveals the spectral horror of a woman and her children damned to an eternity of sobbing despair.

The boat once belonged to a fisherman. One dark night in 1893, a tempest blew his fragile craft upriver from Shoreham harbour to be wrecked on the rocky riverbank. No matter how hard the poor man tried, he couldn’t refloat his boat.

Death by starvation was the fate of the fisherman and his entire family. Now the ghosts of those unfortunates appear hollow eyed and desperate, forever trying to push the boat back out to sea.

Jack Harry’s lights

3. Jack Harrys Lights 525x350 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: Digital Storm
A ghosty ship in St Ives Bay, yep, you’ve seen Jack Harry’s Lights.

If ever you’re out sea fishing at St Ives Bay and you see a ghostly ship cruise against wind and tide across the bay, put away your tackle and run for dry land. If ever you see the lights of that dread ship glimmer and disappear in the night – run for your your life because disaster will surely follow.

You’re gazing upon ‘Jack Harry’s lights’.

Jack Harry was the man who one afternoon watched a ship sail into the bay. He watched with horror as it sailed straight onto the rocks. Horrified, he ran to round up a rescue crew who rowed to the stricken vessel intent on saving as many of the crew as they could.

Just as they reached the ship and Jack went to step aboard, it disappeared. Confused and scared, the men returned to shore. Later that night, another ship was seen to founder. But fearing it was another ‘ghost ship’, nobody would put to sea to rescue her crew.

But this ship was real all right. The Neptune was wrecked on the rocks and next morning, the first of the bodies washed ashore. For ever after, Jack Harry’s lights have been seen up and down the rocky Cornish coast. And they’re always an omen of ill fortune and death.

The Ghost of Claremont lake

4. The Ghost of Claremont lake 525x393 Christmas fishing folk tales

Image source: n1kcy
A ghost with a grudge lurks on this lake.

Think phantoms are confined to wild Cornish coasts? Think again, all you carp fishermen. Claremont Lake in Esher is as haunted as they come. It’s a National Trust property now, but even if you could fish there, you’d do so at your peril.

William Kent was a renowned landscape gardener. When he was hired to revamp the grounds by Claremont House’s owner, the Duke of Newcastle, he must have been delighted at the prospect of completing such a high profile project.

Kent set to, moving streams and creating a stunning new lake fed from a grotto. But when the work was done, the Duke welched on the deal, offering to pay a paltry £100 for the huge works. Facing financial ruin, Kent argued the point, and the Duke responded by having the man thrown in his own lake.

William Kent caught cold and died a penniless pauper. Now on dark misty nights, the figure of the dead designer walks the grounds. Dressed in long brown cloak and gaiters, his tormented spirit is doomed to haunt the lake forever.  

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary December 2014

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mix of baits 525x349 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary December 2014

That disgruntled look on the tackle dealer’s face when you ask him if he has any bait tells a story – Those first heavy frosts, the torrential rain and the failing daylight all conspire to make lugworm more valuable than gold at this time of year, well the way prices are rocketing they soon will be. (£5 for ten blacks) What makes things worse is that anglers in generally are just not appreciative enough of how difficult it is to dig or pumps worms and I always suggest those that whinge and moan should try digging their own worms before they complain. Especially when it comes to the size of the worm – the diggers just cannot get giant worms all the time.

The simple fact is that the diggers and pumpers cannot get enough worms to make their efforts worthwhile, especially during the neap tides. That’s why the late summer and autumn army of part time, beer money diggers and pumpers vanish in December – they just cannot collect enough bait per tide. So it’s left to a hardy bunch of pros that dig in any weather to supply an increasing demands. This season is going to be exceptionally difficult because there is a glut of small codling that’s fuelling a bigger demand for lugworm.

So what is the solution? Well for the majority its, talk nicely to the tackle dealer time and hope he can help you out. Or more reliance of the stock of frozen worms and squid you have in the freezer. You don’t have any frozen bait? Well sorry but you should have seen the shortage coming and prepared. It’s a pain having the best tackle on the planet and no bait to fish with, but there IS always a way to raise something to put on your hook and a visit to the largest supermarket in your region that has a fish counter is called for. Desperate to fish, there are fresh farmed mussels which make a great bait tied on the hook with elastic cotton. The fresh frozen tropical prawns also catch, again tied on the hook with cotton. As for squid it’s usually available and if you can’t get Calamari try the larger English type squid or cuttlefish fresh or frozen. In some fishmongers and in some regions direct from the boats, etc you may find fresh herrings, sprats and even a mackerel so all is not lost.

If you can get lugworm, any kind of lugworm – then appreciate it. Although many don’t and be-moan the smaller common or blow lugworm. Indeed it seems everyone has become brain washed into thinking that only blacks or yellow tails catch cod and that the smaller, softer common lugworm is useless as bait – Well let me say that in the past small common lugworm have caught lots of cod and a hook full of small worms can out fish one giant worm because one it gets washed out all scent has gone. Six worms on a hook and the juices last longer. Any lugworm is better than no lugworm!

Razorfish e1418402128898 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary December 2014
As for frozen black lugworm, it’s soft and sloppy and goes in the hook like mash potatoes, but add some light bait elastic and you can make it compact and attractive – so much so that lots of anglers fish all winter with little else.

The last bait source I can recommend is the low tide beach on some regions after a storm – Enough shell fish like cockle, razor fish, clams, queenies etc can be washed up in a single tide to keep you in bait all winter. You do have to watch the wind and tide for the perfect storm and be prepared to travel at an instant, but when it occurs you will have enough bait for the freezer for the rest of the winter. I prefer to freeze shellfish as it comes, again tying it on the hook with elastic cotton, but some recommended blanching shellfish which allows it to stay tougher when frozen.

My final piece of advice if its cod you are after which requires very little bait is to adopt a tactic that is becoming increasingly popular for cod around the UK and that’s live baiting. In lots of regions, especially in the South and East, there are so many small whiting present that any bait is devoured in minutes. So anglers have solved the problem of the pest whiting by fishing a double hook rig or a Pennell rig with a small worm or fish hook baited for the whiting so that when it gets hooked it stays on the rig until a bigger predator comes along and that gets hooked by the bigger hook. There are still bass around and with the bigger cod moving inshore this month it’s the method to use!

drew Cass 11 lb 12½ oz WG e1418402110443 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary December 2014

Whitby sea angler, Andrew Cass landed this beauty of 11 lb 12½ oz on a big cocktaill bait during a four hour night club match.

You can of course fish with bait if you have plenty, but make sure it’s a giant mouthful the whiting cannot devour with a cocktail of worm, crab, shellfish and squid in various large combinations!

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

Save our eels!

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Eels are in danger of becoming extinct in our rivers, and without them, the fragile ecosystems of our wetlands will be seriously impoverished.

Since the 1980s, we’ve lost a staggering 95% of our eel populations – populations that used to be so vast people were once paid in eels. But now, as stocks dwindle, the last of the remaining eel fishermen are packing up their fishing equipment forever.

But while the eel is still with us, there’s hope, and now the eel men are fighting back. Read on to find out what’s being done to save the eels, and how can you play your part to help stocks recover.

Eels

Spotted Garden Eel Save our eels!

Image source: Peter Dutton
Eels are mysterious creatures.

Izaak Walton, who penned, The Compleat Angler, thought eels were generated by the “action of sunlight on dewdrops”; a wise old bishop once told the Royal Society that eels slid from the thatched roofs of cottages; some thought they materialised from the mud at the bottom of rivers; even Aristotle was flummoxed – he thought eels were “born of nothing”.

Now we know that eels are born in the Sargasso sea, but to this day nobody has ever seen an adult eel there, or for that matter an eel egg. What we do know is that they’re disappearing from our rivers.

Life cycle

Glass eels Save our eels!

Image source: Wikimedia
Glass eels, before they gain colour.

When eels hatch, they’re minute, flat, willow leaf shaped and see-through. It takes them about two years drifting in the Gulf Stream to reach the shores of Europe. By this time, they’re 7 – 8 cm – so called ‘glass eels’. They swim and slither up our rivers, gaining colour as they go, until they find a nice spot and there they’ll stay, males for around seven years, females for perhaps 12; some linger for even longer, eating, swelling, becoming darker in colour.

Then, for reasons unknown, one dark autumn night they turn mottled green on top and silver underneath, and leave the river, swimming the 3000 miles back to the Sargasso sea where they (apparently) spawn and die.

Concrete evidence

Grey Heron swallowing an eel Save our eels!

Image source: Gidzy
The eel faces a lot of threats – including the heron!

So why have populations crashed? Like many other species, the eel has suffered a battering from a multitude of threats – we’re talking disease, pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, water abstraction and flood prevention schemes. Chief culprit for the steep slide in eel stocks is thought to be the sheer number of obstacles barring eels’ passage up river.  

But now, thanks to EU intervention and the tireless efforts of eel campaigners, it looks as though the tide is turning. Huge efforts are being made to restock our rivers – this year alone, over 90 million eels have been translocated from estuaries into rivers all over Europe. That’s good, but to create a sustainable future for eels, much more needs to be done to fit eel passes to river obstructions. Unless they can get up and down rivers, eels can’t complete their life cycles.

Your help

Jellied eels Save our eels!

Image source: Jessica Spengler
Anyone for jellied eels?

The best thing you can do to help reverse the decline in eel stocks is to eat eels. This might sound counterintuitive, but sustainable fisheries are key to ensuring a bright future for one of our rivers’ most vital natural resources. That’s because, responsible fishing communities fight hard to look after their way of life.

Whether you like your eels, fresh, jellied or smoked, look for the ‘Sustainable Eel Group’ Kitemark on the packaging and enjoy a delicious, traditional treat, safe in the knowledge that you’re helping replenish our eels for future generations to enjoy!

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report End of November

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10645084 313692815489917 6116931814364876703 n 525x349 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report End of November

Platform courtesy

Most anglers have their favourite platforms or would like an opportunity to fish the current ‘hotspots’ and it’s difficult to know the best way to reach a compromise, especially when some platforms are fishing particularly well. For the next few weeks, to be fair and courteous to all please move off a platform after you have taken/released four fish and return only if no one else wants to fish that particular platform, and we’ll see how that works.

No bags/tackle to be left on platforms

Continuing the theme of courtesy, if you leave a platform eg to come up to the lodge for a cup of tea, please do not leave any items on or around the platform.   There is plenty of room between platforms to leave tackle if you don’t wish to bring it up to the lodge during a break, but remember that all items are left at your own risk.

Bag checking

All bags/tackle boxes will be checked on every visit as I have realised recently that not to check everyone’s makes it difficult to check anyone’s, and I am sure you appreciate the dilemma. Please also remember not to return to the car park at any time without calling at the lodge first, so that I can frisk you en route!   Calling at the lodge is also very important as I need to be sure that everyone is accounted for.

How’s it fishing this week?

Firstly, I must have had a senior moment last week as I forgot to include Mike James’s catch in last week’s report: Mike took four cracking rainbows home for various family members. One fish was taken on a humungus and intermediate line and three on a small black daddy , floating line.

The east wind persisted until Sunday, when it couldn’t quite make its mind up, switching between east and west, interspersed with periods of flat calm on a very warm and bright day which saw many anglers leaving with empty nets. Those few who caught had to work very hard, with the late afternoon brining success to Luke Thomas, who took one and released three on a bloodworm and a floating line. John Turner on his first visit this season took one on a goldhead damsel with a floating line, while Alastair Denness took one on a black buzzer and a floating line, estimating that the fish were about three feet down.   Christian Jones on his second visit this week took a superb rainbow weighing 5lb 10oz, another Troutmasters entry, taken on a white nomad and a floating line, releasing another on a pink blob.

Exmoor Stock delivery

While Sunday was extremely difficult the previous days had been mixed in terms of fish taken and returned. After a slowish day on Wednesday with the lake quite calm and only the occasional light east wind, about half took fish. The delivery of 50 cracking rainbows (from 2.25 – 3lbs) from Exmoor Fisheries livened up proceedings with the majority of anglers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday taking and returning fish.

Over two visits Ken Bowring took 2 and released 19 on a bloodworm and a cats whisker and a red legged daddy, on a full floating line as well as an intermediate line, entering a 5lb 12oz rainbow for Troutmasters. Also over two visits Roger Martyn took two and released 11 on a bloodworm, a black gnat and a cats whisker. Ted Lyons took four on a bloodworm and intermediate while Craig Bowles took one and released four on a mini-cat, with a diawl bach on a dropper and intermediate line,  three rainbows in front of the lodge and two on the far bank.

Gareth West also entered Troutmasters with a 4lb 6oz rainbow taken on a black and green fritz and a floating line. Mike Porteous took one on a cat and intermediate, Colin Cox, Terry Griffiths and Roger Andrews each took one on a bloodworm, floating line; Keith Higgins took one and released one on a damsel and intermediate off the main island platform; Dave Eckett took one on a cats whisker floating line; Dave Smith took one and release 1 on a damsel and a cats whisker, sink-tip line; Garry Collins took one on a daddy and a floating line.

Tony Hemming took one and released one on a diawl bach floating line; John Hefferman took three on an orange goldhead floating line; Garry Wharton took one and released 5 on a yellowhead damsel and three on a jungle cock diawl bach; Russell Barry took one and release two on a green nomad and a diawl bach; Mike Mckeown took two in the main bay and released one on a tadpole.

Plenty of fish were moving on Saturday, which turned out to be a lovely mild and quite sunny day especially late in the afternoon. The east wind blowing towards the lodge is not the best direction for good fishing at Cwm Hedd, but it pushed the food and the fish to the front of the lake where those confident enough to fish into the wind had considerable success. A range of flies and fly lines were used including a few new to me, such as the zobble and zulu, employed by John Belcher and Wales international Sally Ann Iles. Sal took two and released two on the zobble, fishing off the man island as well as behind it. John took one when he fished the zobble dry, while his pheasant tail zulu brought him another.

Regular Rob Collier and son Tom had a great few hours: Rob took one and released 3 on a cats whisker and a black fritz intermediate line, while Tom took one and released eight on a mini cat, and a black montana with a floating line. Most were brought to the bank on the main island, but Rob also took two of his in the bay where he stream enter the lake.

Paul Elsworthy took one and released two on a cats whisker ghost-tip line, while friend Alan Powell took one and released three on a green cats whisker and a midge tip line.Huw Davies and Chris Jones found the near bank in front of the lodge and the far side of the island productive, with Huw taking one and releasing four on a hopper with a floating line and a damsel and intermediate line. On his first visit, Christian Jones (from Aberdare) took one and released three on a pink blob and a floating line.

Competitions and events

Boxing Day comp: £20 (NB pre entry required – enter at the lodge)

8am- 4pm, arrive any time before 11am.Entry includes bacon roll, tea/coffee/cake.   Release up to ten fish and take one out of the ten. The four anglers with the heaviest fish will each win a Cwm Hedd day ticket (one prize per entry).

Coaching event – Wales Teams fundraiser

The event is for anglers of all abilities from complete beginners through to experienced anglers. Book a session with one of Wales international anglers: adults £15 per hour, juniors £10 per hour, with all proceeds going towards funding various Welsh angling teams who really need our support. There will also be fly tying in the lodge and instruction for beginners on how to set up a rod, tie a fly on etc (no charge for activities in the lodge).

Cwm Hedd vouchers

Cwm Hedd day ticket vouchers are available for purchase from the lodge

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Lots of pics on facebook https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

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Ever considered having a harpoon tattooed across your chest? No? As an avid angler, perhaps you should consider it.

Traditional tattoos are imbued with deep meanings and as an enthusiastic hefter of a fishing rod and reel – the inking of a harpoon on your skin indicates you’re a member of the fishing fleet!

Read on to discover the significance of seafarers’ tats – nautical ink for salty sea dogs!

1. Hold fast

Hold Fast 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Thor
A very literal tattoo for some!

Never mind knuckles of “Love” and “Hate” – for sailors on the main, there was little time for bare knuckle boxing; far more important was to keep a firm hold of the rigging. Back in the golden age of sail there were no safety lines, no deck lights and no life jackets. One slip while working aloft  and you either thudded into the deck, leaving a nasty mess for your shipmates to clean up, or you plopped into the brine and sank to the “Odd Place” – Davey Jones’ locker.

No wonder sailors had the words “Hold” and “Fast” tattooed to their knuckles – it was an ever present reminder to cling on tight!

2. Compass rose

Compass 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Lady Dragonfly CC
Never get lost again.

Such were the rigours of life at sea that many an able seaman perished by cannon ball, man-overboard, tropical miasma, gruesome discipline, falling spars, swinging blocks…the list of ways to die was long. No wonder sailors are such a superstitious bunch.

Chief among the concerns of seafaring men was getting back home. The inking of a compass rose on your skin was for luck in finding the way to your loved ones. And the nautical star? That represents the pole star – with one of those tattooed on your body, you need never be lost.

3. Swallow

Swallows 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Tony Atler
One swallow = 5000 miles of sea travel.

One way to tell a seafarer who’d proved worth his salt was to see how many nautical miles he’d covered. But in the days before logbooks and RYA qualifications, sailors made a tally of distances logged directly on their skin.

Swallows, famed for their long distance migrations, were proof positive of distance travelled. Each bird flying across a man’s skin represented 5000 miles of passage making. A flock of birds made you a true salt.

4. Ship

Ship1 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Sarah-Rose
Made it through Cape Horn? Better get a ship tat stat.

Anglers are a competitive bunch. Let’s face it, if you’d caught a monster carp like Two Tone (RIP) chances are you might think about inking your achievement on a shoulder or arm – a permanent reminder of a day never to forget.

The same goes for the seafarers of yesteryear. There are certain experiences that make a man a man, and in the days of sailing ships, the toughest challenge of all was facing the “grey beards”, the terrifying, tumultuous waves of Cape Horn. And if you made it through that narrow, shallow bottleneck where the monstrous swells of the Southern Ocean squeeze between the Tip of South America and Antarctica – you’d want to celebrate your survival. A tattoo of a full rigged ship will do it!

5. Turtle

Turtle 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Tony Atler
A cute tattoo with horrid connotations.

“Hazing” was the name given to the ritualised humiliation of sailors who had not crossed the Equator. It was a once in a lifetime experience to be remembered with a shudder. You could be stripped, beaten, painted, dunked overboard – and all under the very noses of the officers who were supposed to maintain discipline aboard a man o’ war.

Your crime? You’d crossed the equator and entered Neptune’s realm. Once the torments were over – you were declared a “shell back”, and were permitted to have inked on your body the symbol of a true seaman – a turtle.

6. Anchor

Anchor 6 Seafaring tattoos & their meanings

Image source: Ettore Bechis
An anchor to keep you grounded.

Life on the open ocean was harsh and always dangerous, and sailors were away from home for months and often years at a time. It was a life of hardship, mishap and boredom – interspersed with moments of high drama, and terrible danger. Sailors were a breed apart, but like most men separated from friends and family – they dreamed of home.

No wonder that floating far from hearth and home, and separated from kith and kin, seafarers yearned for the stability of dry land, and familiar faces. They needed something to keep them grounded – an anchor tattoo with the names of their loved ones inscribed beneath. Mum!

Warming winter fish dishes

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There’s nothing more comforting on a winters day than cooking and eating your catch.

While fishing is a great hobby and pastime, it is also a great way to enjoy fresh seafood without the supermarket price tag. While delicious served barbecued with a cold salad dish in the summer, fish is also a fantastic winter warming ingredient.

With this in mind, here are our top 3 winter fish recipes. Simply grab your sea fishing gear, land a catch and get cooking.

Dover sole with caper butter sauce

Dover Sole1 Warming winter fish dishes

Image source: Ewan Munro
Fine dine at home with sole and caper infused butter.

Ingredients
2 whole Dover sole, skinned
Olive oil, for greasing
Salt and pepper to taste

Caper butter sauce
Juice 2 lemons
50g (2oz) butter
4tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
2tbsp parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped

Method: The fish

1.       Heat the grill to medium-high. Season the fish to your liking and then gently massive each fish with olive oil to grease.
2.       Place the each fish on to a well-oiled baking tray.
3.       Grill for 10-15 minutes without turning until the fish are cooked and beginning to flake

Method: The caper butter

1.       To make the caper butter, place all the ingredients except the capers and the parsley into a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste.
2.       Remove from the food processor into a bowl and add the capers and parsley. Mix well.
3.       Spoon the mixture onto a piece of cling film and form into a roll. Twist both ends of the cling film.
4.       Place in the fridge until ready to use

Method: To finish

1.    Remove the butter from the fridge, remove the cling film and slice the butter roll in to 0.5cm slices
2.    To serve, place the fish onto a serving plate and top with several slices of the caper butter. Place under a hot grill to melt the butter

Family-friendly fish pie

Fish Pie Warming winter fish dishes

Image source: Atelier Joly
A tasty fish pie is sure to be a hit with your kids.

Ingredients
500g white fish (e.g. coley, pollock)
125g raw peeled king prawns
600ml milk
6 to 8 large potatoes
pinch salt
50g butter
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
100g grated cheese
1 carrot
2 sticks celery
2 small red chillies
1 lemon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Fan 180 C / Gas mark 5. Place the fish in an oven-proof dish and cover with the milk. Bake in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
2. Peel and chop the potatoes, and boil with a pinch of salt until soft.
3. When the fish is done drain the milk into a jug and put aside. Flake the fish with a fork and leave in the dish.
4. Once potatoes are done, drain, then add 30g of the butter and a splash of the reserved milk and mash.
5. In another saucepan melt the remaining 20g of butter on a medium heat and slowly add the flour stirring constantly until you get a smooth paste.
6. Add the remaining milk, stirring constantly, until you get a sauce-like consistency.
7. Add the parsley and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, constantly stirring.
8. Add the sauce to the flaked fish and prawns and mix well. Also grate the carrot and celery and chop the chillies and add.
9. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon.
10. Top with the mashed potato and spread evenly. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the potato topping.
11. Place back in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and slightly golden brown.
12. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Super scrummy sea mackerel sandwich

Mackerel Sandwich Warming winter fish dishes

Image source: cyclonebill
Opt for mackerel on rye bread for a Scandinavian twist.

Ingredients
4 large mackerel fillets, boned
Flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
40-50g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 small loaf of good-quality bread
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
100g light Philadelphia cream cheese
1 tablespoon creamed horseradish
1 red onion
1 lemon
1 punnet of cress

Method: the fish
1.       Prepare three separate bowls, one containing the flour seasoned with salt and pepper, another with the egg and the final with the breadcrumbs
2.       Lightly coat the mackerel fillets in the flour, shaking off any excess, then pass through the egg and then the breadcrumbs.
3.       Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the mackerel fillets for a couple of minutes on each side until crisp and golden; remove and drain on some kitchen paper.

Method: the sauce
1.       Finely grate the zest of one of your lemons, then cut it in half.
2.       Put the cream cheese into a large bowl with the creamed horseradish and add the lemon zest.
3.       Finely chop the red onion and mix in with the cream cheese and horseradish mixture
4.       Season with salt and pepper to taste

Method: to finish
1.       Spread the horseradish and cream cheese sauce on to the bread
2.       Gently place two of fried the mackerel fillet per sandwich
3.       Sprinkle with cress and serve

Whether a light afternoon snack in the form of a sandwich, or a delicious winter filler pie for the whole family, these recipes ensure that your love of fishing goes beyond just the catch. Using the fish you catch is a great way to save valuable cash as well as producing a greatly satisfying meal sourced from the sea, straight to the table.

What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Don't be shellfish...facebook What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmastwitter What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmasgoogle What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmaspinterest What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmasstumbleupon What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner it’s likely that friends and relatives will be scratching their heads about what to buy you this year.

So in order to avoid the unwanted reindeer sweater or the cheap toiletries that you’ll never use, why not drop a few hints about what you’d really like for Christmas this year.

That’s where we come in, so please allow us to assist with a few gift ideas that anglers everywhere will appreciate.

Upgraded fishing clothing

Fishing clothing What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: Goodluz
Put a new pair of waders on your wish-list.

Keeping warm and dry is obviously high up on the list of priorities when out for a long period of time fishing. So how are you fixed for waders, an all-weather jacket or even a Thermo Skin bib and brace, which traps your own body heat? Somebody is probably gagging to buy you a dodgy sweater, but some actually useful fishing clothing would be a way better alternative.

A trip of a lifetime

Fishing trip of a lifetime What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: Im Perfect Lazybones
A fishing escape to Thailand? Yes please!

You’ll need wealthy friends if you’re expecting to find air tickets to some dream fishing location in your tackle box on Christmas Day. Cat Island Lodge on the shores of Trout Lake in Ontario, or bass fishing in Florida are just a couple of the more exotic locations for fishing holidays. Or what about catching big carp in Thailand? Closer to home how about a weekend of sea fishing on Chesil Beach in Dorset? There’s a wide variety of fish that swim these waters depending on the weather and sea conditions, so an enjoyable challenge.

Secret fishing location

Fishing spot What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: viczast
A shared secret spot is fishing gold dust.

This one is free, but potentially priceless in the right hands. Only catch is that it could be hard for somebody to share information about their closely guarded fishing spot. But it’s a nice gesture from one angler to another and a wonderful gift that will keep on giving.

Bivvy

Bivvy What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: ollirg
Time for a bivvy upgrade?

The Great British bivvy is the angler’s castle. No matter how far away you are from civilisation, your bivvy has your back and will serve you well through day and night. Invest in quality and you’ll be well prepared for a range of weather conditions whatever the elements throw at you. Is it time for an upgrade?

Flies

Flies What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: KML
You can never have enough of these!

If a younger member of the family asks you what you’d like for Christmas this year, be sure to explain what you mean by ‘flies’ or else trouble is on the menu for Christmas dinner. But the fun of choosing which fishing flies to buy you would be an activity that would be enjoyed by the youngsters. There’s an idea.

Fishing tokens

Fishing tokens1 What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

Image source: Blan-k
Affordable and super useful!

Fishing tokens are a wonderful idea for a Christmas gift and most affordable too. Many regional rivers and trusts offer token and passport schemes which usually invest the money back into the upkeep and protection of the river and fish stocks. Simply exchange a token or two and you’re free to fish.

Le Chameau Wellington Boots

Don't be shellfish...facebook Le Chameau Wellington Bootstwitter Le Chameau Wellington Bootsgoogle Le Chameau Wellington Bootspinterest Le Chameau Wellington Bootsstumbleupon Le Chameau Wellington Boots

Le Chameau is the name on the world’s finest wellington boots. The only boots to be hand-made by a single ‘maître bottier’ (meaning master bootmaker), guaranteeing each pair of Le Chameau wellies are unique. Utilising the highest quality materials available and with a range of iconic and innovative styles, Le Chameau is dedicated to delivering years of satisfaction to the wearer, whether they’re walking, working or fly fishing.

Normandy in 1927, Le Chameau wellies were born – purely by the fact that Claude Chamot had spent the days listening to his customers – farmers, hunters and fishermen – Complaining that their boots were neither comfortable, no durable, so- decided to do something about it… Designing and creating a new type of boot that would withstand the rigours of the countryside and at sea (or lake, or river!).

Fishtec have chosen three of the most popular styles of Le Chameau wellies, the classic Vierzonord Wellington and the two new Country Vibram boots – with and without neoprene.

Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellington Boots

Country Vibram e1416477242501 Le Chameau Wellington Boots

The Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellington Boots are perfect for the wandering angler who may find themselves faced with wet grass, small streams or generally wet days. The Le Chameau Country Wellington boots feature a high boot and shaped to fit the calf for comfort. The Supportive fit supports you at the ankle and instep, and the XL shape is ideal for people with a wide calf size.

A multi-use boot : outdoor activities, countryside, fishing, walking…
Comfort temperature : up to 0°

Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots

le chamaeu verz4 e1416477205348 Le Chameau Wellington Boots

These Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots are lined with a 2mm neoprene throughout providing first-rate insulation against cold, and offer superior comfort when walking the dog. Practical features and technical materials make the Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots the number one choice for British winters. Moulded soles make a great platform for your foot and heal when walking long distances on uneven ground.

Le Chameau Country Vibram Neoprene Wellington Boots

Country Neo e1416477446280 Le Chameau Wellington Boots

The Le Chameau Country Vibram Neoprene Wellington Boots are perfect for the wandering angler who may find themselves faced with wet grass, small streams or generally wet days. The Le Chameau Country Wellington boots feature a high boot and shaped to fit the calf for comfort. The Supportive fit supports you at the ankle and instep, and the XL shape is ideal for people with a wide calf size.

A multi-use boot : outdoor activities, countryside, fishing, walking…
Comfort temperature : up to 0°