Category Archives: Sea Fishing

There’s nothing better than launching a 4/5oz lead from the shore or dropping a Jelly worm over a wreck with with nothing but the nod of the fishing rod to tell you what’s happening below . Sea fishing can be exciting at the worst of times, TF Gear consultant Alan Yates describes the best way to catch saltwater species around the UK.

Warming winter fish dishes

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.

Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

deeper54 525x269 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

The Deeper Fish Finder is a first of its kind in the world of wireless fishfinders, that work in conjunction with your Android or iOS device. Once connected Information from the floating Deeper is transmitted Via wireless Bluetooth technology negating the need for a cabled connection. Because of it’s light and compact design, it is suitable for use on a variety of vessels, platforms or fishing grounds.

With the Deeper Smart Fishfinder which is now available from Fishtec, you’ll only ever need one device to locate any possibly feeding fish. It’s completely portable, so you can fish places other fish finder’s can’t reach. From the shore, dock, kayak or boat. This unique wireless technology will help you gather intelligence anywhere you go. Once you attach the Deeper to your line, you will have instant information about fish, structure, depth and even water temperature – anywhere you cast.

deeper3 e1416396382447 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

The wireless sonar technology works in conjunction with Android and iOS tablets and Mobile Phones. No more wires! No more external batteries! No more frustrating weight!

Deeper, is a smart sonar for smartphones and tablets supporting Android 2.3+ and iOS 5.0+ operating systems. The smart sonar works in the depths from 0.5m to 40m (130 feet) and will transmit back to your device up to 50m away. The Deeper Wireless FishFinder uses a Bluetooth connection to show the information about the fish, the pond bed, water temperature and any obstacles you may bump into, all on the screen of a smartphone or a tablet.

A dual beam transmitted from the Deeper to the river or lake bed combines great detail and a wide coverage area, allowing you to gather as much data as possible about your fishing location.

What you get inside the box

Deeper Smart Fishfinder comes in a unique high quality material retail package. Smart angler kit includes: Deeper Smart Fishfinder – wall adapter – car charger – usb wire – mini pouch – attachment bolts – user manual. * Smartphone or tablet is not included.

deeper1 525x314 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

Compatibility

The world’s most versatile sonar – Deeper Smart Fishfinder works with devices you already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones and iPads, however, not all mobile devices compatible.Made for: iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2,iPad. Requires latest iOs version. Android smartphones – OS version 2.3 and later, screen size: mdpi-normal, hdpi-normal, xhdpi-normal. Android tablets -OS version 3.0 and later, screen size: mdpi-xlarge.

Deeper Smart Fishfinder application is compatible with more than 2500 different smartphone and tablet devices.

The Deeper App provides you with a detailed fishing calendar, integrated camera function, up-to-date weather reports, customized fishing log, integrated map function, and is fully integrated within social media networks Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can choose from different system of units, frequencies or languages. Sound alarms notifies about fish location, size or water depth. Import and export function allows to use multiple devices and to keep the data on the cloud services. This app is the perfect planning tool for outdoor activities. If you could not brag about great catches until today, with Deeper app you will always bring fish home.

  • Sonar function + 15 min data history log
  • Fish activity calendar
  • Camera
  • 5 days weather forecast
  • Used in Salt and Fresh water.
  • Fishing log
  • Online maps
  • Sharing via Facebook, Twitter, G+
  • Data backup on cloud

Available Accessoriesdeeper cover2 525x381 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

The Deeper FishFinder also features changeable skins (or covers) which allow you to change the colour of your Deeper to ensure you can see it at all times. At night, simply select ‘night fishing mode’ from the App on your device, and the Deeper will illuminate Deeper Coloured Covers/Skins, allowing you to see your Deeper wherever you’re fishing.

Available in four different eye catching colours for varied lights. deeper cover1 525x381 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

Also available for the Deeper FishFinders is an additional Flexi Arm, the innovatively designed Mount Clamp grips various shapes and super slim objects (from 0.5cm; 0.2″). Quick release clamp makes it easy to move the mount between different places. A universal ¼ 20in (quarter twenty) male screw is compatible with RAM Mounts and most paddle sport track.

deeper flexi 525x381 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

Your Deeper Fishfinder can be attached directly to any kind of boats, kayaks, canoes, float tubes or radio controlled floating devices with the Deeper Flexible Arm.

deeper flexi2 525x381 Deeper Fish Finder Now In Stock

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary November 2014

The first big cod of the winter for the boats in the south east was from the Varne Boat Clubs cod open. Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary November 2014

Varne boat club angler with the first big cod of the season for the Kent dinghy group.

With codling showing all around the UK at present it looks as if we are in for a reasonable winter, although the question is will the fish survive the nets for next year when they will be considerably bigger, in fact big enough to greatly improve the quality of the UK shore fishing? That is yet to be seen, although even the most cynical will expect a few to survive to make the 6lb mark and they can really pull the string.

Back to the present and my return from a week in Portugal was greeted with the first frost of the winter, I drove back from Gatwick airport amongst the gritters and the reality of winter has arrived. For me it’s time to loose the summer garments and break out the winter sea fishing tackle including hoodies, thermals and swap the brolly for the full Hurricane shelter. Time also for those 8oz leads to go back in the tackle box for a spot of low punchy casting into the teeth of the gale – they do tow the bait well and make a great difference on the stormy beaches.

I have also given the bait pump an overhaul with new washers which always give it some extra suction and a soak in fairy Liquid makes them even better. I am a bit concerned I will not be able to hack it with my bad shoulder, but the simple fact is lugworms will be difficult to come by in the tackle shop and pumping your on is the only option. I have laid down a supply of frozen blacks in the freezer and they do work well, especially after Christmas when the dabs arrive and the constant storms means the fish are accustomed to finding dead smelly marine life unearthed by the slightest swell. In the meantime nothing beats a fresh out, juicy, black or yellowtail for those codling other than perhaps a peeler crab, although supplies of peelers too start to dwindle this month. Also watch out for those shellfish being washed up after an onshore wind – Cockles, butterfish, razor fish and the larger clams all make a hook bait, but do work best when they are being washed up. Here in Kent Dungeness can be littered with shells after a good blow and being just inside the Point at the right time you can fill a bucket. I particularly like those large red queen cockles which are great for codling, bass and dabs as well.

Another bait which comes into its own around Christmas is fresh sprat and herring, the whiting love it in strips or chunks, whilst here it’s renowned for the biggest dabs which are nicknamed “sprat dabs” because of their liking for sprat.

Reports suggest most regions of the country are reporting codling and it’s noticeable that

the bigger fish are in the estuary regions where there are lots of shrimps. The rough ground codling also seem to grow faster, whilst from the clean sandy beaches the millions of hungry whiting mean the codling are lean. Those whiting are a pest particularly after Christmas when the pin size fish invade the shoreline, but don’t dismiss fishing a live bait rig at this time because the bigger fish and a late bass are fond of those small whiting.

Looking into the New Year it’s a time when only the match anglers have fun in many regions. Once those bigger specimens of all species have left to spawn its tiddlers only, especially from the clean beaches. My advice is to head for the deeper water of the piers, rocks or the boats for the bigger fish.

Here are a few New Year shore competitions to look out for:

1st of January Holt SAC New Year Open at Kelling. Details from Mike 07858758669 / Peter 07769908480 /  holtseaanglers@gmail.com

3rd of January the Pembroke & District Angling Club. Air Ambulance Open at Amroth.

Fishing is 10:30pm until 2.30pm. £200 first prize for the heaviest bag flounders only. Reg Amroth Arms. Details: John 01437 563552

4th of January the Wyvern Open shore at Slapton Sands, South Devon.  Fishing is 1pm until 6pm. Tickets and details from Mike Spiller 01404 43397.

10th and 11th of January the Asso Two Day Open is being fished at Seabrook and Hythe in Kent. Fishing 12pm until 5pm. Pre book only. Limited to 120 Entries. Details: 07866 714497

11th January East Anglian League and open at Sizewell. Fishing 10 am until 3pm. Contact: Rob Tuck 07855 848967

25th of January the Amble Open. Fishing 9.30am until 2.30pm. Register on the day at the Radcliffe Club, Amble from 7am. Tickets local tackle shops. Entry fee £12 all classes. Contact Jimmy French on 01665 711007 or Tony Cook on 01665 602034.

25th January the Fords Sports and Social S.A.C 40th Open Beach Fishing Festival.

At Weston Shore, Southampton. Rolling Mill to Beach Lane Netley. Fishing 11am until 4pm. Entry Fee is £11, juniors £4. no pegging beach prior to signing in. Steve Eales 02380650519.

Finally, I am just back from a few days fishing in the Algarve, Portugal, my first holiday of 2014 and it was great to fish in the sunshine with the new Continental TF Gear beachcasters. Real light line fishing for some speedy gilthead bream. I was surprised by the

result and the trip lead to a feature in the New Year edition of Sea Angler magazine so look out for it.

The group of Portuguese plus mate Clive Richards I fished with on the Algarve. Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary November 2014

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

The Water Wolf Camera – Now in Stock at Fishtec!

waterwolf21 The Water Wolf Camera   Now in Stock at Fishtec!

The product we have all been waiting for! The Water Wolf Underwater Camera is now in stock here at Fishtec! But, make sure you’re quick to get these by Christmas, as many of these have already been snapped up over the weekend!

Believe it or not, the Water Wolf actually started off as a hobby, a small project among a group of dedicated anglers who wanted to know more about the happenings beneath the surface and how fish react to their lures and baits, as well as what they could see above the surface. All members of the water wolf ‘gang’ share a common love for fishing, engineering, cameras and gadgets.

After trying to get results with the existing cameras on the market, they all came to the same conclusion that the only way they’d succeed in getting the recordings they wanted was to actually build their own camera. They wanted a totally waterproof, easy to operate camera capable of capturing high quality, underwater stills and video, all of this with long battery life and a discrete presence in the water. The Water Wolf was born.

See how the Water Wolf works here.

The Water Wolf Camera is specially designed underwater fishing camera. 100% waterproof so you can film underwater in depths down to 100m. Shockproof to withstand the hardest casts, you can use this camera with confidence in any conditions.

Four hours recording when fully charged, the Water Wolf records incredible quality images and is perfect in any fishing environment. Easy to use, totally stable when moving through the water and supplied with three different add on weights to give different sink rates and filming angles. Supplied with add-on float to film in any bait fishing situation and its own EVA carry strap to mount the camera in numerous ways.

What’s in the box?

waterwolf1 The Water Wolf Camera   Now in Stock at Fishtec!

1. Water Wolf UW1.0 Underwater Camera
2. Stainless Steel Boom
3. EVA Float
4. Neoprene Pouch
5. Brass Weights (3 pcs)
6. USB Charging Cable

The Water Wolf HD camera is mounted to your line with a stainless steel boom (2), and it’s sink rate and angle can be adjusted using the three interchangeable brass weights (5) supplied. The camera operation couldn’t be more simple – On or Off – Zero technical jargon to get confused with and the internal battery which can be re-charged via the USB charging Cable (6) will last for around four hours, plenty long enough to fill a 16gb Micro SD Card (recommended) with high quality 720p 30fps fishing action!

Use the camera for casting, trolling, lure fishing or static bait fishing with or without the attachable EVA Float (3).

waterwolftechs The Water Wolf Camera   Now in Stock at Fishtec!

Much of our current stock here at Fishtec has already been snapped up by anglers looking to get the best underwater footage, with many Sea anglers and Carp Fishermen looking to add the Water Wolf Camera to their coarse fishing tackle.

And with much of the footage we’ve seen online, who wouldn’t want one! It really is this easy to use:

Arriving at Fishtec –  Just in time for Christmas! – These Water Wolf Underwater Cameras are forecast to sell extremely well, and priced at just £119.99, we’ve seen many Water Wolfs posted to their new owners already.

Also available for the Water Wolf HD Camera is the Accessories Pack, which can be purchased at the same time as ordering the camera on the Fishtec Website, featuring some useful mounts to suit almost any recording situation you’ve come across, enabling you to attach your new Water Wolf Camera to a boat hull, railings, windows, tripods, plus in the new year a special Carp Fishing Accessories pack will be available too. Ideal for all types of fishing.

What’s in the Water Wolf Accessories Pack?waterwolfaccessories The Water Wolf Camera   Now in Stock at Fishtec!

1. Locking plug
2. Camera holder
3. Tripod adapter
4. Ball joint
5. Railing/pole mount
6. Suction cup mount
7. Ball joint adhesive mount

As with any new product, we’ve had a lot of questions from interested customers, the most being the customer worried that they may loose the camera in a snag. But, with any fishing, you should always use a lighter hook length than mainline, allowing you to break your hook off, releasing the camera.

Having your fishing reels loaded with heavier line, preferably braid, will also help if you need to pull the camera free from weed and protect you from break offs when casting. Double check all of your knots and connections BEFORE you start fishing.

The Water Wolf Camera weighs just 66g on its own before adding the brass weights so be sure to use a fishing rod that can handle the casting weight of your lure PLUS the camera to get the best cast possible and to avoid rod breakages.

Taking these steps will drastically reduce the chance of you loosing your camera and if you are still worried, refrain from casting it near know snags and other dangerous situations. With everything in life there is a little risk involved but we reckon the very best videos will come from the anglers with sense of adventure! If you are concerned about losing the Water Wolf then maybe this gadget isn’t for you.

Water Wolf Underwater Camera FAQ

Q: How do I open the camera?
A: Wiggle the plug back and forth, you can then put your nail in the gap and open it. This takes a couple of times to master, but then it is easy.
You can also tie a knot in a piece of string, put it through the small hole in the plug and gently pull, until it opens.

Q: How do I close the camera?
A: Push the plug in with a turning motion. Turning the plug makes sure the o-rings are absolutely tight. This is very important when fishing deep. 

Q: Does the camera float or sink?
A: The camera floats. If the 6 gram weight is inserted, it still floats. If the 9 or 12 gram weight is inserted, it sinks.

Q: Will the housing scratch? 
A: The housing and lens is made from polycarbonate, the same material used for riot shields, so it is very though. It can be scratched, but this will not affect the function or waterproofness, only the outlook.

Q: How do I clean the camera?
A: Rinse it in lukewarm water, and dry it off with a soft cloth.

Q: How do I store/transport the camera?
A: When you are done recording, put the camera in the neoprene pouch, and secure the Velcro to close it.

Q: Why does the camera wobble at high speeds?
A: The UW 1.0 comes with three weights (6g, 9g and 12g) the 12g weight makes the camera stable in the water to about 5 knots, at higher speeds it starts to wobble.
How can I avoid that the camera tangles on the cast? Tie the line to the eye in the stick, do not use snaps or swivels. 

Q: How far should the lure be from the camera? 
A: The clearer the water is, the further away the lure can be. 40-80 cm is a good starting point.

Q: How can I tell if the water is clear enough for filming? 
A: If you can see 1 meter down into the water you should be able to record. The deeper your camera goes the clearer water you will need, in order to get enough light.

Q: How deep can I record video?
A: If the water is very clear, there is lots of light, and the sun is high in the sky you can record video at 50-100 meters. 

Q: Why is my video green?
A: Light has different wavelengths, because of this color disappears the deeper you record. Red color disappears around 5 meters, orange around 8 meters, yellow around 15 meters. This is why the recording ends up green.

Q: How can I tell if the camera is charged?
A: Connect the charger cable to the camera, and a power source. When the blue diode turns off, the camera is fully charged.

Q: Can I cast the camera?
A: Yes, the camera is shockproof, but casts longer than 40 meters may damage the camera.

Q: How far can I cast the camera?
A: 40 meters, casts longer than that may damage the camera

Q: What happens if the line snaps?
A: That depends on the setup. If the camera is setup to sink, it is most likely lost. If it floats it might surface.

Q: Can I order spare parts?
A: Please contact your local Water Wolf dealer.

Q: What micro SD card should I buy?
A: 16 or 32 GB. micro SD or SDHC card. 16 GB. will give you around 4 hours recording time, 32 GB. up to almost 5 hours, depending on water temperature.

Q: How deep does the camera go?
A: The camera is waterproof to 100 meters, if the camera is closed correctly.

Q: Can I use the camera as a web camera?
A: No.

Q: Can I film while charging the camera?
A:  No.

Q: Can I use the camera for ice fishing?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the camera record sound?
A: Yes, but through a small hole over the on/off button, so when the camera is closed you barely get any sound.

When you’re home from your first fishing trip with your Water Wolf Camera, the fun really starts! To make things easier for you, the team at Water Wolf have produced a short video showing how to download and edit your video – It’s extremely easy, and we’re looking forward to see your fishing footage! Don’t forget to upload a video to our Facebook Page, or Tag ‘Fishtec Fly’ in your video!

For more information visit www.WaterWolfHD.com!

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014

Alan dabs at Seabrook Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014


Alan Yates with a bag of dabs and a goer bass which won him a match from Seabrook’s Princes Parade with 8lb 4oz.

Midway through October and still the weather is mild and relatively settled. Yes we are enjoying an Indian summer and for the shore anglers it’s been a long spell of mixed fishing with the crossover of summer and winter species somewhat prolonged this autumn. Could be that this is now becoming the norm with the mixed fishing lasting later into the winter every year due to global warming. Whatever, it’s welcome for sure. Only this week I landed a mixed catch of dabs, bass, whiting, codling, smoothhound and dogfish from my local pier and beaches. Fishing the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover harbour the anglers next door landed two smoothhounds, mine was just a goer, but the specimens landed by Kyros Andrea from Tottenham both topped the 6lb mark, both took a large squid bait. Kyros is a retired trucker who regularly travels to Dover to fish and these were his best ever smoothhounds.

Kyros Andrea Totenham 6lb hound Prine of Wales Dover Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary October/November 2014
A surprise bass amongst the dabs at Seabrook whilst using braid line on the new Continental beach caster caused me some excitement and those codling seem to be showing all around the UK, even in the sunshine and so it’s going to be a shock for many anglers when the weather does eventually change to winter. Looking at the continuous south westerly storms that are buffeting us, that all too familiar winter weather blocking pattern will soon introduce more easterly and northerly winds and lower temperatures. Anglers in the North Sea will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of onshore winds and more cod and here in the south when its calm nothing beats a calm sea and a frosty beach to spice up the night time whiting fishing..

However, now is a time to get serious with your beach fishing and going out prepared for the weather is an important factor. The waterproof thermal suit, a beach shelter or brolly, chest waders, warms socks, a hat and a flask are all essential to survival when the weather gets mean. Also important are the means to continue fishing when the wind blows and the sea swells. I pack a few heavier grip leads in the tackle box, those 7oz Breakaway green tops in fixed wire take some beating, although if it gets extreme then it’s a Gemini yellow head 7oz and nothing sticks like they do. Lots of anglers forget that the importance of a heavy lead apart from it anchoring to the sea bed is that it punches through the wind and tows baits far more efficiently than lighter leads. Which go off course in the wind. Bait clips also help you gain extra yards by tucking the bait snugly behind the lead for a more streamlined rig and bait. Now is the time to get your sea fishing tackle right. Make up a few rigs for extreme weather – the Pulley Pennell is a great choice for wind and sea both on rough and smooth ground and it’s the easiest clipped rig to make yourself. Lots of anglers also boost up their rig hook snood line to 25lb to combat conditions and that chance of a bigger cod.

One of the biggest winter mistakes made by many sea anglers, especially beginners is using too big a bait. OK big bait, big fish – that’s true, but a large bait is of no use if you cannot cast it far enough to reach the cod. So compromise between bait size, bait clips and lead size to maximise distance with your biggest bait and don’t fall into the giant bait fished in the gutter trap!!!!

The other common mistake of the novice is to recast a washed out bait. Replace your hook bait fresh every cast, fresh worms etc means a fresh scent so the bait scent trail the previous cast set up is continued. Casting timing is also important, keep an eye on how long your bait lasts against crab and small fish attacks and set you timing between casts around that.

The major problem once the cold weather arrives is obtaining bait. Lugworm prices go up every year as the worms become hard to come by. The problem is that the army of part time summer diggers cannot dig or pump enough worms to make it worth their while and generally it’s only the real professionals that dig all winter. Thus fewer worms and a bigger demand make bait scarce and easy for diggers and dealers to hike the price. One solution is to collect your own, although many will quickly find out that’s easier said than done. Winter lugworm digging in stair rod rain, frost and decreasing daylight is not easy. (Try it and you may not complain about the price or how small the worms are again!)
There are a few solutions and one is to freeze your lugworms. Black lugworms freeze best and when using them, tying them on with bait cotton makes keeps them more intact and on the hook because they do go soft. Frozen baits can be used to extend a limited supply of fresh although lots of anglers swear by frozen on their own. One tip – Treat frozen bait like you would your food, would you eat sausages that have been in the freezer for four years!

Sort your frozen bait in terms of how long it’s been frozen. Frozen lugworm from the spring tides can be used a week or month later when the tides are neap. That’s the way to manage frozen bait and not keep it for years!

Frozen squid is easy enough to buy earlier in the year in bulk, it’s cheaper. Break down into smaller amounts and store in the freezer and on some venues it’s all the bait you need, although for the current crop of codling fresh yellowtails or blacks take some beating.
You can obtain a supply by looking after your dealer – How many anglers buy their gear on the internet and then only visit the dealer when they are desperate for worms, small wonder he has none he will be looking after his regulars. So keep it in your mind to keep in with the local fishing tackle shop and with luck you will get a supply.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Drought in Northern Australia, wet and wild conditions in California, climatic disruption in South America, extreme cold in Northern Europe.

Just some of the consequences of the upwelling of exceptionally warm water in the equatorial Pacific, a phenomena known as “El Nino, ” or the “Christ Child”. The last such event was five years ago and now it looks like there might be another this autumn and winter, the result: misery for many millions of people across the world.

But how does the flood of warm water affect the marine environment and the people whose sea fishing tackle is their livelihood? Read on to find out.

Jelly fish swarms

Jellyfish swarm Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: The Dancing Rest
Velella Velella everywhere!

This summer saw a biblical plague hit the Pacific coast of North America. From Southern California to British Columbia, a mega-swarm of billions of bright blue jellyfish filled the sea and littered the beaches with their rotting carcasses. The Velella Velella, or “by the wind sailor”, is a small creature with a stiff sail-like protuberance that stands clear of the water, enabling the jellyfish to go wherever the wind takes it.

Ocean warming caused by a possible El Nino event, is thought to have caused a spike in jellyfish numbers. Normally, the North Westerly prevailing wind off the coast of North America keeps the jellyfish far out to sea, but this year, strong Southwesterlies have made the Velella Velella run aground. Fortunately, though alarming to look at, the swarm is harmless to humans.

Sea lion famine

Sea Lion Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikimedia
Hungry pups are overwhelming rescue centres.

Thousands of dead and dying sea lions washed up on the shores of Southern California this summer. The problem is so bad that this spring, well over 1000 pups overwhelmed rescue centres in the area, and victims had to be taken to sanctuaries further north.

The the sea lions are victims of starvation – and El Nino may be to blame. The dissipation of shoals of anchovies and sardines caused by the sudden warming of the water off the coast of California, spells famine for sea lions and other marine mammals.

Red tides

Red Tide Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikimedia
Unusual looking, highly toxic to marine life.

A sudden bloom of harmful algae is a natural phenomenon. Coastal upwellings of cold, nutrient rich water fuel a rapid growth of algal cells that can turn the water to a reddish brown sludge. Such blooms can be highly toxic, poisoning marine life, killing corals and devastating fishing communities. In 2001, researchers discovered a 400 km stretch of reef off Indonesia, where all the coral was dead. The cause – El Nino.

In 1997, a severe drought in Indonesia, caused by El Nino, sparked uncontrollable wildfires throughout the region. It’s thought ash from the fires drifted East, falling in the sea off the Mentawai Islands. The iron rich particles fed an algal bloom that reached truly epic proportions. The decomposing plant matter leached all the oxygen from the water, killing everything in it for hundreds of kilometers.

Fishery collapse

Dying fisheries Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Shoals of anchovies and sardines will disappear.

Where the deep ocean collides with Peru’s sharp continental shelf, an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water provides food for spectacular shoals of anchovies and sardines. In turn, local fishermen depend on the resource for their income. The Peruvian anchovy fishery is worth billions of dollars each year, and the ground fish meal produced by factories along the coast supplies one third of the world’s demand for the product.

But when El Nino strikes, the cold water is replaced by warm currents, and the shoals of fish upon which so many families depend, disappear, literally overnight. Leave aside the ethics of turning edible, nutritious food into pellets to feed farmed salmon, this is a disaster for sea fishing families.

Coral bleaching disaster

Coral Bleaching Hell Nino: Red tides, jelly fish swarms & sea lion famine

Image source: Wikipedia
Normal coral behind bleached coral.

The coral triangle is often described as an “underwater Amazon”. It’s an area of incredible biodiversity spanning nearly six million square kilometers under the seas of Southeast Asia. El Nino is bad news for coral because warmer than average sea temperatures interfere with the coral’s ability to photosynthesize. As the thermometer rises, the coral fades to white and dies, a process called coral bleaching.

Already under pressure from global warming, the 1997/98 El Nino caused widespread coral bleaching in the region. And as environmental pressures stack up, it gets harder and harder for the delicate fauna and flora of the reefs to bounce back. Since the 1980s, experts say up to half the coral in the coral triangle has been lost and if there is an El Nino this year, some scientists predict a die off from which the reefs may never recover.

Prehistoric Shark Captured – Reel or Fake?

prehistoric Prehistoric Shark Captured   Reel or Fake?

Previously thought to be extinct for over 20 million years, the giant creature weighing over 15 Ton has been captured by local fisherman off the coast of Pakistan, reports the Islamabad Herald this morning.

At first the creature was thought to be a great white shark but quickly declared by experts to be an unknown species of shark. Nothing of it’s sheer size and weight has ever been recorded. To date, great white sharks reach an impressive 7 tons at full growth a size that is no match for this giant prehistoric shark which can reach an imposing length of 20 meters long and possibly over 30 tons in weight, you’d need a serious fishing reel to drag one of these ashore!

This specimen shark was revealed to be just 2-3 years old and already twice the size of a fully grown great white shark, which takes 5 years to reach it’s full growth. What makes the discovery even more incredible to experts is that the creature lives at great depths feeding on giant squid ad other fish not commonly found near the surface, giving the experts a better insight into other fishes behavior.

“Are rising sea temperatures forcing these beasts to come up closer to the shores or was this animal simply hurt and suffering from a disorienting handicap, these questions are left unanswered” claims local marine biologist Rajar Muhammar.
prehistoric shark tooth Prehistoric Shark Captured   Reel or Fake?
This amazing find shows that the prehistoric shark had a total of 276 teeth, spanning 5 rods with it’s biggest measuring 15cm in length.
The question is though – ‘Is this real or fake?’ – Visit our Facebook page to air your thoughts!

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – End of September 2014

Alan with a bass and sole. Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   End of September 2014

Here at home it’s nice to be getting back in the swing of fishing after my bout of Rheumatoid Arthritis that laid me low for several; months. I can’t say I am totally mobile yet, but having walked two miles to a rock venue whilst making the new TF Gear/Sea Angler DVD I think I am over the worst.

I have been out on the local beaches at Folkestone swinging the Continental beach caster around. It’s the best rod I have ever used and I am not saying that because it was my idea. I’m saying that because it has come along at a time when fishing lighter is more successful and fun from the shore and the boat. In terms of Continental rods the TF Gear Force 8 Continental rods will surprise a lot of anglers who have not given it a second thought. Indeed I was fishing the Thames at the weekend and a couple of nearby anglers actually approached besotted with the rod and its action. I am fishing the rods with 15/20lb braid line on fixed spool reels and the combination has brought me more bites in recent weeks and its certainly kept me busy – never had so many bites and I am seeing everything. Two things I have discovered when using braid. DONT be too keen to strike because if a fish breathes on the bait the tip moves and you can strike prematurely if you hang on every tip movement. The other thing is that just like in coarse fishing, the abruptness of braid can snap off light lines snoods, so not only DONT strike but don’t go too light. The strike is just a lift of the rod tip.

The next reality of sea anglers is the arrival of real winter – This autumn has been glorious so far with high air and water temperatures keeping the summer species around and allowing T shirt fishing. Things will change suddenly and you will need those thermals and a shelter very soon. It’s a great time of year on the beach with the holiday makers long gone with their yapping dogs and screaming kids. Just the howl of the wind and the hum of the creeping surf remain, bring on those frosty nights when the whiting are climbing the rod tip with all the bait needed a strip of frozen mackerel or squid.

Of course its cod that most sea anglers think about most of the time and a few lunkers will be landed around the UK. You could get lucky because it is a bit of a lottery to catch a giant. One thing some of the really big fish are loners inshore to die or simply lost, many are diseased specimens which have sores or internal problems with a giant head and a skinny body. All they same a giant cod, is a giant cod and we will all be jealous of the angler who catches it, but that does bring me to the important part. be careful what you eat, examine you cod and any other fish for that matter, carefully before you fry it up! Of course there will be some beautiful conditions monsters caught, especially from the boats – Beet gut, dustbin sized mouth and in pristine condition!!

One of the problems anglers face as the winter weather arrives is a shortage of worm baits. The annual hike in the price of lugworm is undoubtedly due to the professional bait digger’s greed, BUT if you want the worms you will have to pay up or dig/pump your own and that is not an easy proposition when the wind is force six and the horizontal stair rods of rain are blitzing your eyes. Frozen fingers, a runny nose and frost bitten toes could be the consequences of digging your own!

Some winter tips regarding bait – Buy your squid in seven pound boxes from the supermarket, slightly thaw it so you can split them up and then refreeze in threes or fours, that will save you a fortune because it’s what the tackle dealers do?

Black lugworm over from a trip, or when they are plentiful, are well worth freezing, wrap then in plastic and then paper and use bait cotton to secure them when you fish, they are especially effective for winter dabs and whiting. Some anglers even load their hooks with worms and then freeze. Take the baited hooks to the beach in a food flask.

Keep your fresh bait out of the wind, rain and snow – Sea or freshwater can ruin lugworms and ragworm in minutes, whilst frozen worms can end up as a useless mush to keep them in a cool bag inside your shelter.

I had a debate recently over the worth of re-sharpening hooks and it’s my opinion that it’s best to tie on a new one. Carp anglers are into the sharpening process big time, but I say that sharpening does more damage than good unless you really know what you are doing and with the right tools because it reduces the angle of the hook point and you cannot put back the steel you take off – so tie on a new one!

Finally, I have said it before but will say it again. Take extra care of yourself in the weeks to come, warm clothing a shelter, a flask, a warm lamp and plenty of sleep before you venture out all night or in a blizzard. All add to the comfort of winter angling, especially after dark and a comfortable angler is more alert and will be more successful than a shivering wreck – those early hours before dawn can be extremely cold when the body is tired.

Tight Lines

Alan Yates

Alan Yates Filming the TF Gear/Sea Angler DVD

 

DSC2972 Alan Yates Filming the TF Gear/Sea Angler DVD

Alan Yates with a Pollack from the TF Gear DVD

I‘m just back from making a DVD for TF Gear and Sea Angler magazine with Chris Ogborne, Paul Fenech, Tim Hughes and on the camera Lloyd Rogers. We spent three days in the Camel estuary in Cornwall both boat and shore fishing. Sad to say that the shore fishing was not that good, although having selected the tides for the boat, it’s a case of not having your fish and eating them. Anyway the boat more than made up for the lack of shore bites with 13 species taken on a range of lures and bait from Optimus Prime, skippered by Rodney Keatley out of Rock.

We used a mix of light sea fishing tackle including virtual LRF and a decent pollack on the Blue Strike spinning outfit and 15lb braid tested the clutch finger during a drift close to Puffin Island. I persevered with live lance and joey mackerel, whilst the others used a mix of lures and bait with some surprising results – look out for the DVD on the front cover of a future issue of SA because it has loads of boat and shore tips and is free!

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – September 2014

2lb codling Kent shore Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   September 2014

2lb codling Kent shore

I had a surprise this week when a photo session with Sea Angler photographer, Lloyd Rogers resulted in me catching my biggest ever wrasse from the Kent shore. You will have to wait until the feature appears before you get to see the pics.

Catching wrasse from the Kent shore is nothing new, I first recorded Ballans in the 1980s, although they were generally small fish in the ounces and an occasional high summer catch. But after Samphire Hoe was constructed they started to appear in numbers and it was predicted that they would increase in size. Samphire Hoe, near Dover is a 2km long sea wall that was constructed out of the spoil that came out of the Channel Tunnel and it is extremely rocky and weedy, ideal habitat for wrasse which have colonised it big time.
I suppose the reason for the increase in the wrasse population generally has got to be global warming and it’s in the sea that anglers have noted a drastic influx of species and changes in the migration patterns of some of our most common fishes. The wrasse though is not a commercial catch, indeed the fact it tastes like cardboard will mean it will survive the nets and because anglers generally put them back. Both facts may have contributed to their increase, plus they are exploiting the habitat left after the demise of the other species.

Big Ballan wrasse have become what I call the poor man’s big fish with populations around the UK expanding and it’s a fact that large wrasse feature in many sea angling magazine pages when in the past they were considered less meritorious. Pound for pound of course they are a powerful sea fish, whilst their colours and handsome looks add to their popularity as a catch. They are also not easy to drag from their rocky haunts and can be caught on bait or lures. Nowadays they are there to be caught when other prime species are not and like the dogfish, wrasse have become an accepted part of the sea angling scene.

Between the wrasse I have managed to catch a few codling, although they have been mainly small with a mix of fish between 20 and 40cm from the Kent shore. Listening to the Facebook grapevine it looks like most of the English Channel and lower North Sea have the same populations of 1lb to 2lb codling. Trouble is so many anglers exaggerate the size and around my neck of the woods fish of 5lb are being reported, its odd that not one of the Kent competition results and there are hundreds, has produced a codling of more than 2lb 8oz. However, having said that its been nice to sit on the beach and see the rod tip buckle over because even a 2lb codling can give you a great pull down or slack line bite.
Best bait has been black lugworm for me with a two hook Loop rig the ideal terminal set up for long range when the weather is rough and distance crucial. At other times I have stuck to a two hook flapper with size one Kamasan B940s. In the coming weeks a change in the weather will produce more codling with an onshore sea the best conditions, south west in Kent and along the Channel coast is best whilst up the North Sea a North East is usually considered ideal. Also look to fish after the gales have subsided, don’t leave it a couple of day, go when the wind drops.

Between the codling have been a few big bass and it’s the time of year when bass and cod are caught together or in consecutive casts on some southern venues. I love nothing than a really calm night to fish a small live whiting in the margins of a steep shingle beach. Some big bass are there to be caught from now up until Christmas and like others the bass season has been extended again thanks to global warming.

Alan with a cod and bass Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   September 2014

How it once was – A bass and a cod for a young Alan Yates……

I am currently using my two Force 8 continental beach rods. They are 15ft and rated 5oz, although I am using 12lb line and 4oz leads with one rod on micro braid and one on mono. The comparison between the two lines is tremendous with the braid especially effective over rough ground – I used it to catch those wrasse and its lack of stretch and immediate pick up means tremendous bites, but fish can be bullied away from the rocks quicker than with mono., One word of warning with braid main line all through, you will find that it will snap light mono hook lengths so don’t go too light, not below 15lb for rough ground anyway.

The Continental sea fishing rods have been an eye opener for me and using 4oz on the strongest tide with micro braid has generally lightened up my sea angling without a big loss in casting distance or increase in tackle movement because of the tide. Four ounces holds in most tides with the finer line, only heavy weed offers a problem.

I’m off this week to make a new DVD for TF Gear and Sea Angler magazine with Chris Ogborne. We are going to Cornwall and fishing aboard Optimus Prime skippered by Rodney Kennedy. The main subject of the DVD is fishing light and hopefully that will include a shore trip so I can show you the new Force 8 Continentals in action. Look out for the DVD in the coming months it will be free with Sea Angler magazine and to all TF Gear customers etc.

Alan Yates Sturgeon from Chequertree Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   September 2014

I did a bit of coarse fishing recently and landed this cracking sturgeon on a pole from Chequertree fishery at Bethersden in Kent.