I have got to tell you the story of my first cod of the 2010 winter. Fishing Folkestone pier, Kent, in a Folkestone Sea Angling Association evening competition, I was lucky enough to draw hot peg four near the end of the pier. I landed a small codling midway through the event, plus dogfish and whiting. In the last ten minutes, I decided to have a last quick retrieve and cast before the final whistle. The result was a proper cod bite. My prototype TFG Delta Beachcaster bowed over in the tide, and I yelled for local angler, Ray Coyne – fishing next to me – to “Get the net!” His reply with a grin was, “It’s probably only a couple of dogfish,” but I was sure it was a cod and as Ray came to have a look it surfaced below the wall. “Its only about 3lb” said Ray, “Shall I hand line it?” The fish came up the wall safely despite my only having a size 1 Aberdeen hook, but it was a super Aberdeen, that small extra wire thickness counts in winter. It weighed 7lb 2oz and my total winning weight in the match was 21lb 8oz. My first cod of the 2010 winter, let’s hope there will be many more.
FISHING NEWS AND COMPETITION REPORTS
I fished the British Championships at Deal over the weekend, and although I ended up as an also ran, the match had a worthy winner in Folkestone based matchman, Martyn Reid (45) – who, for my money, should be in the England squad. They say that lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice, well, it does if you have a lightning rod! Martyn won the Championships for the second year running. I spoke to Martyn in midweek, and he reckoned that a draw in the low 1 to 30 bracket was required. At the draw on Saturday night he drew peg 19 on the same stretch of beach at Sandwich Bay where he won the event last year (peg 23). Most of the regulars thought it a no contest and predicted a second Reid win, and he obliged with a catch of 23 whiting plus a dogfish for 4.750kg, pocketing the £1,000 cheque plus a fistful of pools. Martyn’s long distance beach casting and speed fishing techniques destroyed the opposition in the low numbered peg. In second place was Shepway match angler, Greg Dixon, usually better known for his cod catches. Fishing the Deal end of the Walmer section, Greg snatched out 21 whiting for 4.380kg. Third was Alan Blythin, who travelled from North Wales to the event; he weighed in 3.860kb. The biggest fish was a 1.930kg codling for Dover’s National Penn Champion, Nathan Elliott, who finished fifth overall. The lady and junior champion was Rebecca Hurcombe of Deal with 2.670kg.
Staying with national competitions, the Police held their 19th National Sea Angling Championships at Portrush in Northern Ireland. Individual winner was Kent angler Barry Uden who also led his Kent A team to second spot in the team event. Barry landed 11 coalfish and a whiting on day one for first place, and followed it with third on day two for top spot overall with 4 point. He caught most of his fish using Kent piddock clams fished on mono paternoster rigs, which goes to prove it’s not always local bait that does the business.
SEA ANGLING SCENE UPDATE
“No take” zones are part of the proposals included in the Marine Bill expected to be implemented in 2012, but the first no take zone has been established in the North Sea off Flamborough Head in Yorkshire. It’s only the third NTZ in British waters. This means that nothing can be removed, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, sea weed, etc from the sea and inter-tidal habitat. The NTZ extends from the Bridlington edges of Danes Dyke to the Sewerby Steps for a distance of 700 metres seawards. Sounds like a ban on angling to me, I told you we should have voted for a sea angling licence – Three miles out to sea would be better and now the great debate for anglers is are they allowed to fish catch and release? Answers on a postcard please.
New fishing tackle to look out for includes the latest TFG Force 8 Multipliers, there is a review in issue 460 of Sea Angler magazine and I showed the Mag model off recently on Sky Sports Tight lines programme. I have been using the reels for several months now and they have been likened to another well known make. But whilst being similar have a few improved features including a thicker spindle to prevent the spool locking. On some multiplier reel models the spindle bending is the cause of the spool locking! The knobbly adjustment for the magnetic brakes is neat, very adjustable and easy to access during the cast – altogether the 65CTM model is the ultimate long distance casting multiplier reel and on offer for £99.99 it won’t break the bank!