Fishing Tackle

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary August 2014

Alan Yates plaice on bling Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary August 2014

Plaice caught using a blinged up rig

This month can be slow for shore anglers in some regions with the sultry, balmy weather and clear water keeping the fish well away from the shore in daylight. But in darkness and in regions of coloured water, like the major estuaries, things can be a lot different and it really is a case of a change of venue or tactics to continue catching.

One species that show at this time of year are the sole and lots of venues around the country offer the chance of this unusual flatfish. For most the sole is considered nocturnal, but the facts are that on clear water venues they do mostly feed at night, especially near dawn, whilst in muddy water they are more common in daylight.

Tactics are simply enough once you have found a venue and its worth pointing out that sole do not show everywhere and sole venues are precise in many regions – Just a matter of miles from a shoreline that produces sole will be a venue that does not. So first look for a venue that produces sole regularly, the species seems to like shell grit and muddy sea beds and catching them once on the right venue is not that difficult. Fishing light with small size 2 or 4 hooks is essential, whilst baits include lugworm and ragworm. One top tactic is to fish short because the species are not shy of the shallows or the low tide gutter on many venues. Lots of anglers use two rods for this reason with one cast short and one cast further our which covers the options.

Talking about fishing light, there is a growing trend in sea angling to fish “Continental style” with lighter rods, thinner lines and small hooks. Much of it is to do with a reduction in the average size of fish and dwindling stocks as we fight to keep our sport interesting. However, it is also the case that anglers have realised that the fish do shy away from heavy gear and that lightening down can bring more bites and action. Check out YouTube where anglers have lowered Go Pro cameras alongside the pier wall and you can see clearly fish do shy away from heavy sea fishing gear etc. The biggest plus thought of going light is that small fish are allowed to fight, especially using micro braid lines and sea fishing is no longer hit and haul or playing cranes.

UK sea anglers have used over heavy tackle for years and that is much to do with manufacturers offering a limited range based around ancient designs and techniques. Swivels and hooks for instance, a few years back most would not look out of place on a crane, or for use with the largest fish species, but modern improvements in materials like carbon steel, design and construction have increased their strength and allowed a reduction of size down from the giant weed collecting swivels or hooks that could tow a bus! It’s similar with rods, reels and line, the distance casting revolution of recent years did much to improve rod and reel design, quality, strength and performance promoting lighter tackle which is more responsive to fishing enjoyment and sport. Check out the TF Gear range for the new TF Gear Force 8 Continental model or the Delta Slik Tip and the quiver tip favourite the Delta All rounder. All great for another option – fishing light!

The toughness and knot strength of monofilaments, copolymers and fluorocarbons is also particularly improved, so much so, that you can now go to a lighter breaking strain line with less risk of failure, whilst using the modern lower diameter micro braid lines is proving a practical advantage when fishing fine.

In general sea angling around the UK has had no need to go to the lengths of finesse that coarse anglers do. Sea fish are not always returned and so do not learn about line and hooks like their freshwater relatives, mullet and a few other clear water species being the only exceptions. Meanwhile the sea is often a hostile whirlpool of deep and chocolate brown water that hides tackle anyway.

The first problem fishing light tackle in the sea is dealing with the wind, tide and the rugged seabed, that’s the reason why tackle has always been tough and strong in the first place. You need to get a bait out to a decent distance, punch it through a headwind, so that its stays put in very strong tide. After that you sometimes need to retrieve it through a maze of kelp and rocks. Then there is the safety factor of casting that involves swinging the lead in power casting styles like the pendulum, the big distances they produce comes at a price with tackle beefed up for safety’s sake. But, the need to use an 80lb shock leaders may be more to do with an angler’s casting ego than practical thought about presentation. In terms of casting safety any move to fishing light can only involve the use of the fixed spool reel and an overhead casting style. This combination is far safer than the multiplier and pendulum cast.

A big plus for sea anglers that change to the fixed spool is that the modern reels are designed for long range casting, some with a carp fishing pedigree, are far superior to the models of the past. Long profiled /coned spools, stronger gears, ball bearings all make modern reels more efficient for sea angling and casting.

Crucial to the use of lighter tackle is the line diameter and lines as low as 6lb and up to 15lb are used with the lighter rods and fixed spool reels making this possible. The major problem when lightening down tackle is that terminal rigs must also be balanced to the rod action and line strength. It is pointless using a lighter rod with heavy line as it is using ultra thin lines with standard 8oz beach casting rod. However, a move to far lighter rigs involves thinner lines and a major problem with. multi hook rigs in very light line are prone to tangle easily. On the Continent really long snoods are commonly used and there the anglers say that the longer the snoods the less they tangle, although they must NOT be able to overlap.

The big advantages of increasing rod lengths to 15ft and above is that a longer rod allows the use of a longer rig length and this allows hook snoods to be placed farther apart so that they can be fished over a wide area as well as up in the water and do not overlap or tangle.

Longer lighter snoods also allow the hook bait to react naturally in tide and this is an important consideration when fishing either up or in clear water. The addition of floating or pop up beads also enhances bait presentation and allows baits to be raised to the levels the fish are.

Lots of shore anglers fishing light in summer use small hooks, which are essential to the more delicate bait presentation for some of the smaller species. However, there is every chance that you may hook a large smoothhound or a bass and so it’s a good idea to opt for the strongest patterns.

For many this and next month are last chance saloon for catching mackerel as the large shoals move south and it’s a case of making the most of the conditions whilst the fish are around, especially if you want to keep a few for the freezer for the winter whiting. On that note don’t forget the garfish – they are a very underrated tipping bait for lots of the autumn and winter species – bag them in the freezer as well.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

 

 

Dave Lane Lands the 55lb Burghfield Common!

Well here it is – The Amazing capture of the 55lb Common Carp by our TF Gear consultant Dave Lane!

Many of you would have already seen the capture on Facebook and our various social networks, but such a fish is worth seeing more than once, don’t you think?

Dave mentioned to us that this magnificent fish was caught using the new TF Gear N-Tec Carp rod. On this particular range of carp rods we’ve been working closely with Dave to produce a responsive and accurate – A true casting tool. The N-Tec rods are high-modulous carbon and feature high quality components all round. Paired with the N-tec, Dave use the TF Gear PitBull Big Pit Free spool reel - An outstanding ‘big carp’ tackle combination.

 Here’s a few pictures of the 55lb Burghfiled Common.

IMG 6586 Dave Lane Lands the 55lb Burghfield Common!

IMG 6598 Dave Lane Lands the 55lb Burghfield Common!

IMG 6599 Dave Lane Lands the 55lb Burghfield Common!

Create your own Fishing Reel!

dcr4 Create your own Fishing Reel! Ever wanted to create your own fishing reel? Well here’s your chance with the DCR from Daiwa!

Daiwa have taken the plunge and offered it’s customers the opportunity to take control and create their own, personalised fishing reel!

The concept is simple. Take the body of the classic Daiwa Basia reel (RRP £599) and choose your preferred components, colour or style along the way. Daiwa have set up a user friendly 12 step configuration process, allowing you to choose from a selection of genuine, Japanese made parts to customise your version of this classic carp fishing reel.

How do I get one?

Simply head over to the Daiwa Website, and select whether you want to build your own fishing reel, or carp rod! Once you’ve completed the 12 steps, you can choose your favourite Daiwa Stockist who are appointed DCR dealers, and place your order through them. No fuss, no hassle.

Here’s one we’ve quickly put together…

DCRreels Create your own Fishing Reel!

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 29/06/14

Untitled 1 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 29/06/14

Kieron Jenkins’ Cwm Hedd Article

Check out Kieron Jenkins’ article on Cwm Hedd in the July edition of Total Fly fisher http://www.totalflyfisher.com/current-issue

TAPP Open day at Cwm Hedd– free fly fishing coaching

Torfaen Angling Participation Project are running an open day at Cwm Hedd on Saturday August 2nd, where free fly fishing coaching for anglers of all abilities will be available on an informal basis – All fly fishing tackle will be supplied and available for all participants to use. All ages and abilities are welcome. To register your interest please contact Bob Mayers on bmayers@grouse.plus.com so that he can ensure that a sufficient number of coaches are available. Bob’s also entered the British Legion comp at Cwm Hedd in November, so that’s another place gone!

This week at Cwm Hedd
The hot days inevitably make for difficult fishing, and like many fly fisheries this has led to a recent reduction in numbers of anglers attending. Every cloud has a silver lining though: low attendance results in stock levels being very good indeed, as well as the rainbows getting plenty of rest.

For those anglers undeterred by the heat, around half are blanking, especially in the daytime, whilst the other half are striking windows of opportunity where the fish turn on, reporting that the fish are still fighting hard and not showing any signs of stress.

The fish are closely monitored and inspections of the fish taken show them to still be in excellent condition, so the usual summer shut down is on hold for the time being, although there may be an adjustment to opening times in the next few weeks.

There are many ups and downs to running a fishery, but one of the biggest pleasures at Cwm Hedd is the camaraderie that exists between anglers, who are always pleased to share tips and discuss tactics. It takes a number of visits to get to know a fishery and Cwm Hedd is no exception, with regular anglers more than happy to advise new customers.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings are generally recommended at the moment, although regular Keith Cox prefers to battle with the day time heat. It just shows that you never can tell for sure when is the best time to come as Keith is the top angler of the week, taking one on each of his two day time visits and returning five. Keith favours an intermediate line and took most on a black and green tadpole, but also had success with an orange blob. Another regular Paul Elsworthy took one and released four early on Saturday on a montana, a black and green daddy and a bloodworm, recommending a very slow retrieve.

Talented young anglers Jacob Mills and Ben Jackson are also regulars, each taking one on damsels and floating lines on Saturday evening, with Jacob returning another on a shipman’s buzzer. Clive Murray took one and released two on a black and green fritz; Ken Bowring took 2 on a small white lure and a sinking line, whilst Sally Ann Iles preferred the Airflo Di-3 sweep and a mini-cat. Just to emphasise that variety is the key, John Belcher opted for an orange shrimp and a floating line, while Michael Collins and Lee Davies each took one on buzzers, Michael on a black buzzer and Lee on a red buzzer with yellow cheeks. Roy Western enjoyed his Sunday evening at Cwm Hedd taking one and returning two on a bloodworm and a floating line from the platform at the tip of the main island.

Tagged fish

The tag fish has still not been caught, so the prize money of £200 is being equally split to fund prizes for the British Legion raffle and the Cwm Hedd Christmas raffle. The additional £251 collected from entries will be donated to Velindre Cancer Centre. Many thanks to all who have participated in the tag fish competition. When anyone catches the tag fish they will now win a refund on their day ticket.

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm (ring before 5.45 if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6). Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge: 01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours. Evening ticket £13.50 available from 5.45pm

Bassaleg Newport NP10 8RW; 5 minutes from J 28 M4

www.cwmhedd.co.uk  https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 22/06/14

10416991 250065331852666 813865144776162512 n Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 22/06/14

Cwm Hedd fly fishing report week ending 22nd June – I caught my first rainbow!

As much as we are all generally enjoying the lazy hazy days of summer, day anglers have struggled to catch in the intense sun and heat. Most instead took advantage of the late evening opening on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Cwm Hedd, fishing til sunset and beyond.

Result!

I am delighted to report that on a glorious mid summer’s eve, as the sun dipped towards the horizon, a good dose of beginner’s luck saw me getting a passable cast out and hooking my first rainbow. The site of this surprising and unexpected feat (at 9.10pm) was a platform behind the main island, where a number of rainbows had been rising. I’d like to think I targeted the fish, as I had been attempting to do this with others (probably frightening several away in the process). The truth is that I was so excited by the whole event that my mind has gone completely blank, although I yelled loudly enough when I hooked it to bring John Belcher, Derek Mills and his grandson Jacob running to help with instructions as to how to bring it in without mucking it all up and losing it (many thanks). Derek was ready with the net and John filmed the event unfolding. Later it transpired that the lense cap was still on, so no photographic evidence of my fish-catching debut sorry! With the fish in the net and mission accomplished I asked John to release the fish for me as I was so grateful for its selfless act, the Airflo fly fishing tackle I recently purchased from Fishtec also performed brilliantly.

Thanks also to Sal, who a week or so ago had given me a red bloodworm with an assurance that it would catch me a fish, as indeed it has on its second outing, on a floating line Derek, Jacob, and John had already taken fish so we were a very happy band returning to the lodge. Mike James who had to leave just before the excitement had also taken a fish on an App’s bloodworm, a fly that had brought him 3 fish earlier in the week and others in previous weeks.

Ken Bowring was the top angler of the week, taking 2 and returning 3 on a fast intermediate fly line with a white lure. On his first visit to Cwm Hedd, Terry O’Connor took 2 and released 1 on a diawl bach and a floating line. John Belcher’s evening visits have each brought him fish, on a light brown buzzer, blue shrimp and a stonefly, floating line.

Tip top fish

The fish are still in excellent condition and fighting well; there is an abundance of blue and olive damsels emerging, with floating lines, damsels, buzzers and diawl bachs recommended in the evening; sinking lines and plenty of perseverance recommended in the day.

The Med comes to Cwm Hedd ( ice cream is now available in the lodge)

Weed is under control on the lake, following the introduction of the eco-friendly blue dye (‘Dyofix C Special’) which has turned the lake water a Mediterranean blue and is hard at work suppressing further growth. The platforms in front of the lodge running left around the bay and the main island around to the far bank have been cleared and are all fishable and we can now pull unwanted previous growth out in the shallower areas at a more leisurely place due to the dye. There is a crested grebe nesting off the small island so we’ve had to leave the weed there for the time being so as not to disturb the nest.

Tag fish
Taggy the tag fish is still there, so the £200 tag fish prize is still up for grabs. £1 entry. If no one catches the tag fish by the end of June half the prize money will be put towards raffle prizes for the British Legion comp in November and half towards the Christmas raffle prizes (sounds a bit weird to mention Christmas in June!)

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm ( but ring if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6).

Evening ticket £13.50 Fri/Sat/Sun available from 5.45pm

Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge: 01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours. I might be out on the lake, so ring my mobile if no reply in the lodge.

Sea pollution solution

The amount of plastic litter strewn across UK beaches has increased by 140% since 1994.

That’s the stark figure released by the Marine Conservation Society.

Polluted Environment

Pollution underwater Sea pollution solution

Image source: Project Aware
A polluted environment leads to poisoned fish.

The frightening reality is that much of that plastic will never disappear; instead those unsightly pieces of brightly coloured junk break down into smaller and smaller crumbs until they’re small enough to be ingested by fish and filter feeders.   

If plastic in the food chain isn’t enough cause for concern, even more worrying is the plastic that does break down. Scientists reporting in National Geographic have discovered that in warm tropical seas, plastic decomposes, leaching highly toxic chemicals into the water – poisoning fish and perhaps even causing cancer in humans who eat polluted seafood.

So where is the problem at its worst? And crucially, what can we as sea fishermen and women do about it?

Ocean Gyres

Great pacific garbage Sea pollution solution

Image source: Cookie Sound
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

They’re gigantic eddies found in the world’s oceans, slowly rotating currents that drive rubbish towards the centre where it stays forever. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was the first predicted by American scientists in 1988, and in the years since, other similar rubbish dumps have been discovered in the South Pacific, North and South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

In the most badly affected areas, there are six times as many minute pieces of plastic as there are plankton – and the area we’re talking about? It’s thought the Great Pacific Patch covers somewhere between 700,000 and 15,000,000 square kilometres – the wide disparity between the upper and lower limits being accounted for by differences in the definition of what constitutes an elevated concentration of plastic particles.

Hard To Spot

underwater Sea pollution solution

Image source: Wikimedia
Pollution can be hard to spot.

It’s thought around a million sea birds die each year from ingesting pieces of plastic mistaken for food, with a hundred thousand marine mammals succumbing to the same fate. But these huge oceanic garbage dumps are all but invisible to the naked eye. In fact you could sail right across one and not notice it’s there. That’s because they’re mostly made up of those billions of small pieces of plastic mentioned in the introduction to this piece.

Plastic dumped in the sea off the Pacific coast of the USA takes six years to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a similar item dropped in the brine off Eastern Asia takes about a year. But once there, there it stays – the trash heaps of the sea are growing bigger by the day.

Do Your Bit

Beach clean up Sea pollution solution

Image source: S1 Prestwick
Get involved in a beach clean up.

As a sea angler, leaving no litter and disposing of sea fishing tackle carefully is the least you can do to protect the health of the marine environment. There are also local beach cleanups and national campaigns for the marine environment – groups like Surfers Against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society have details of what you can do to help.

But if it all seems like too little too late, and if the thought of the poisoning of fish and marine life on a global scale makes you despair for the future, take heart. There might just be a solution.

Ocean Cleanup

Ever since the plastic pollution problem first became big news at the beginning of this century, efforts to come up with a cleanup solution have focused on boats hauling fine mesh nets. But carbon emissions, coupled with huge costs and destruction of bycatch made a resolution of the problem seem all but impossible, until, that is, a 17-year-old Dutch student Boyan Slat came up with a whole new approach – passive cleanup.

Huge inflatable booms would funnel debris into a processing unit powered by solar panels. The young inventor estimated half the Pacific Garbage Patch could be cleared within 10 years – and even better, the collected plastic could be sold for recycling.

Critics poured scorn on his idea, but with youthful determination, Slat managed to secure crowdfunding, and with the money assembled a 100 strong team of scientists and volunteers to undertake an in depth feasibility study – the results have just been announced.

The concept works.

If you’d like to find out more about how the oceans could clean themselves, check out the Boyan Slats talk on the feasibility study. The Ocean Cleanup – we can make it happen.

27 Pro fly fishing tips

Want to improve your fly fishing skills? Check out these 27 tips from the professionals.

From technique tidbits to fly fishing tackle recommendations, get the lowdown on fly fishing from the best in the business.

Equipment

Equipment 27 Pro fly fishing tips

Image source: Wikipedia
What do you really need?

1. “Use a fly rod that suits you and the methods you fish. There’s nothing worse than using fishing gear that’s not up to standard.”
Terry Bromwell

2. “One thing I learnt when dry fly fishing is to use polyleaders, you’ll get perfect presentation every cast.”
Alex Simmons

3. “Buy a good set of Polaroid glasses, it makes a big difference to your fishing as your able to see more fish.”
Lewis Rumble

4. “Keep a large magnet next to your tying area. It always amazes me how many hooks I find that I wasn’t aware I dropped.”
D. L. Goddard

5. “Color. It’s the key. Find the right combination and you can fill the boat.”
Mike Sepelak

6. “It is often the dull flies that attract the fish.”
Fiona Armstrong

7. “Use big, ugly flies to catch trout on a fly rod.”
John Gierach

Technique

Technique 27 Pro fly fishing tips

Image source: Ace Stewardship
Refine your technique

8. “Keep your fly rod ahead of your leader whilst fishing the french leader method, for better control.”
Craig Mcdonald

9. “Try and go as light as you can with your tippet, fish can become leader shy on heavily fished waters.”
Kieron Jenkins

10. “Make sure you fish as much water as possible, get those casts in underneath trees and keep down low not to spook the fish, this really helps.”
Lisa Isles

11. “When nymphing watch the fly line, don’t just wait for the pull, as you’ll see your takes before you feel them.”
Sean Jones

12. “Fish all the water in front of you on entry to the river, instead of just wearing your chest waders to wade to the hotspot.”
Craig Mcdonald

13. “When the fishing is hard never speed up and fish big flies, slow down and fine down your tippet material and scale down on the size of the fly.”
Lewis Rumble

14. “Caster shorter when fishing from a boat! More control and accuracy means more fish.”
Chris Jones

15. “Don’t forget to hang your flies, vary the length of time as sometimes the fish want it hung for longer.”
Sean Jones

16. “If you want to learn, take time and persevere. You get out what you put in.”
Lee Evans

17. “Whether bank or boat fishing try and stop the line either by hand or reel to aid turn over on the final cast, better presentation so you are fishing properly straight away.”
Chris Jones

18. “When lifting your cast from the water, always hang your flies and then raise your cast slowly from the water. This final hang will give any trout following your flies a final opportunity to take. This can produce those important extra fish on tough days.”
Tim Wellman

19. “Focus on presentation, it’s more important than fly pattern.”
Lee Evans

20. “Be stealthy in the approach on the bank and when wading. Employing correct wading techniques will catch you more fish.”
Lee Evans

21. “Presentation over pattern every time. Whilst we all carry lots of different patterns, even the closest imitation cannot be successful if it doesn’t fish correctly. Get it to move (or not) in the right way in the correct place and your chances of being successful will multiply enormously.”
Dave Wiltshire

22. “When fishing nymphs/buzzers from a drifting boat cast slightly across the ripple. This will keep the fly’s higher in the water but also as the boat drifts towards the line at the end of the cast an arc / curve will form gently raising your cast up in the water. This gentle lift can be sufficient to induce takes.”
Tim Wellman

23. “During winter, don’t expect to find many fish in fast water. Focus on slow pools, eddies, and off-current areas where trout pick midges and mayflies from the edges of the main current.”
Chad Mason

24. “Don’t try to trout fish for carp.”
Drew Price

25. “It’s important to remember that effective wind casting is seldom about raw power, and always about form and mechanics.”
Kirk Deeter

26. “A useful tip to identify what is hatching or has indeed been hatching is to look in the foam which is usually caught up by the bank at the edge of the river. Flies get trapped in the foam and are easily seen and identified.”
Steve Rhodes

27. “Lengthen that leader – one of the most common problems I meet is people fishing too short a leader. Even on small rivers, I will fish a 12 foot leader as a minimum with the dry fly. On larger rivers, that may be extended to up to 15 feet and above. The longer leader keeps the fly line away from the fish, even when including plenty of slack to ensure the fly fishes properly. Building the leader properly and then learning to cast it are essential. Try to overcome the thought that you are casting the fly line and then getting the leader to straighten. Visualise the leader as part of the fly line you are trying to cast. It will make a huge difference to your fishing.”
Dave Wiltshire

TF Gear Blazer Polarised Sunglasses

The Blazer sunglasses from our range of Polarised sunglasses are without a doubt our preferred frames for all-round conditions, the smoke lens is beneficial in brighter conditions, letting a low amount of light through to your eye, cutting out more glare whilst the amber lenses are perfect for dull days or fishing beneath canopy, allowing more light to your eyes.

Polarised sunglasses are an essential piece of carp fishing clothing, as Dave Lane mentions in the video, “Never go fishing without a set of Polarised Glasses”.

The TF Gear Blazer Sunglasses feature superb optical quality at unbelievable prices.

 

TF Gear Juggernaut Under Barrow Bag

Now here’s a product many of you have been waiting for, the Juggernaut Under barrow Bag – A great space saving item!

Designed to add even more carrying capacity to your Juggernaut barrow, the Under Barrow bag from our fishing barrow range provides huge storage under the main section of your barrow and maximises storage space plus adds perfect balance when traveling over uneven terrain.

  • Easily attached and secured to barrow frame
  • Adds huge carrying capacity
  • Heavy-duty construction

The Under Barrow bag is fully endorsed by Dave Lane! 

juggernautunderbarrow TF Gear Juggernaut Under Barrow Bag

 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary June 2014

The arrival of the mackerel around much of the UK coastline this month kicks off one of sea angling’s busiest times of the year. Apart from the fact that the smoothhound, ray and bass shoals are extending and exploiting their range around the coastline, summer brings an influx of new anglers. The holiday anger after mackerel that crowd the piers and beaches during daylight to fish with with lures and feathers with which the mackerel can often be caught in numbers and fairly easily. On many venues numbers are swelled by ethnic anglers who have seized on this easy style of sea angling and like it or not they have regenerated many summer venue as well as brought business to fishing tackle shops and charters skippers in the region. Feathering for mackerel is not every sea angler’s favourite method, indeed many ardent bottom anglers frown on the tactic and that is mainly because of the behaviour it can promote on a crowded pair, apart from the dangers of being impaled on a lure hook that is! Associated with feathering is the frenzy of anglers who give little thought to the fish or other anglers – They catch as many fish as they can, many are often left to flap their life away and then discarded when they become ruined by the sunshine. Litter is left and most piers have the stench of urine whilst burnt seating, damage and mayhem have lead to many venues being closed or threatened with closure. It is the case that you just cannot leave Joe Public to police himself and anarchy is the eventual result of doing so, especially with mackerel anglers.

But let’s not dwell on the down side, mackerel fishing can be great fun and is enjoyed by thousands of sea anglers and for many is a first step into proper sea angling.

For those that just want to catch a few mackerel for the bait freezer or barbeque the answer is to stay away from the crowded and popular venues and to use a more sporting method than six feathered lures. OK, if you need a quick fix of mackerel six big fizzy lures with a heavy lead (5oz min) will usually get a result. But a single silver sprat spinner fished at dusk will produce more sport.

Then there are the other methods to fish for mackerel and by far the best is with a float and a sliver of mackerel or garfish as bait. Cast and retrieve that slowly on a lighter spinning type rod for maximum fun.

Another tactic is to use a sliding float rig and this is a short float rig made up to an American snap link which is simply clipped on the main line of the rod already cast out and then slide down the line to the surface. The method allows the angler to fish a bait on the sea bed and a bait for mackerel or garfish etc on the surface.

Summer brings another problem for sea anglers and one is keeping both your bait and catch fresh. TF Gear have solved the problem with a couple of custom made cool bags and I am especially pleased to see the new cool bag. It is made to fit snuggly on top of the standard Beta angling seat box and big enough to contain a standard size seed tray or cat litter type tray to hold the bait. It can then be clipped to the top of your seat box. Perfect for the worms going fishing and the catch coming home and especially relevant at this time of year when the mackerel are around and you can catch and keep them fresh until they arrive home for the bait freezer.

TF Gear cool bag 525x383 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary June 2014

The second new item is a sand eel bag complete with liquid freezer sachet and compartments made to fit the standard packets of sandeel. Keeping your sand eels frozen is vital to their success and you can remove them one at a time or baiting up without thawing the lot.

It’s nice to be able to report that I am back fishing with a few more trips to the pier under my belt since my rheumatic problem. The down side is that I do have limited use of my shoulder and have had to switch to a fixed spool reel and long Continental rod – The new Force 8 in the TF Gear range at 15ft is ultra light and ideal. But I am never going to threaten 150metres plus and have had to accept the reduction in distance – Like so many other anglers older, disabled or simply limited in power. Not all doom and gloom though because the lighter sea fishing tackle and mindset has fuelled some fun fishing with size 4 hooks and 8lb line a whole new ball game – I am learning how to fish again and so far the results are encouraging.

I am holding an LRF Championships (Light rock fishing) at Samphire Hoe, near Dover on the 10th August. It’s an experimental competition. You can fish with any form of LRF gear. Basically a short spinning style rod, single hook bait/lure. It’s all catch and release with fish photographed on the smart phone on the days fish measure. Fishing in 10am until 4pm, all are welcome and it’s a complete rover anywhere around the Hoe. Prizes for species pts, biggest and best average fish. Alan Yates 01303 250017

Fishtec Social Networks
Categories
Follow us on Twitter
+1 us on Google