Posts Tagged ‘sea fishing’
A great days fishing recently from Dover’s Southern breakwater, not that I caught lots of fish, but for the sheer fun of trying something different, which came off. Currently the breakwater is alive with dogfish so avoiding them is a priority for freelance anglers and other than fishing a giant crab bait for smoothhounds most anglers have been targeting the bass. Why, because the fish swim around the breakwater wall well up off the sea bed and away from the dogfish, well that’s the theory, although I must admit to catching dogfish well up the wall on occasions. So a head hooked ragworm, or two, dangled into the tide via a set of booms up the wall is the way to fish.
On this occasion I thought, why not fish a float and so I rigged up a slider on my TF Gear Delta All-rounder and trotted a float down tide along the wall. On the business end was the standard 1.5oz bullet lead, it was a big bright float and a two hook wishbone on the end with size two carp hooks which are very strong, bait was head hooked ragworm, nice and wrigley. Into the tide the float drifted away – the harbour entrance was where I wanted the float to end up and although it took twenty minutes to get there, a whole spool full of line, my reward as soon as the float rounded the wall and went out of sight was two school bass. The long haul back was exciting because although they were both around the 36 to 40cm mark, they got the tip bending against the tide. Bass big enough to keep but the conscience says they had to go back unless they are Barbecue size (45cm). I managed to reach the pier entrance four times and on three occasions hooked a double of bass, one the fourth no bite and when I retrieved I found the hook length tangled around the float! Other shorter drifts caught wrasse, pollack, mackerel and a lone scad before the tide turned and I could not reach the killing zone. The beauty of the sliding float is that apart from the fact you can work the bait continually over new water you can lift, drop and tantalise and keep it moving naturally in the tide and this the fish just cannot refuse. One word of advice and that is to keep the snood line light – I used 8lb which fools the fish, you do though need a soft tipped rod like the Delta to avoid snapping the light snood line and a net in case you hook a biggy.
Angling litter has been an age old problem and more than one venue has been closed because of it, but the majority of anglers who are members of an angling club have got the message. Most clubs have serious rules governing litter as do the major National organisations, others have not and I would be as bold as to say that in the main its freelance and occasional anglers that are responsible for a majority of the rubbish left on beaches and piers. In my region it’s the mackerel bashers that pee on the pier, cut bait on seats, pinch lifebelt ropes and leave barbecues and rubbish everywhere in summer, whilst in winter the beaches get cluttered with flotsam which exaggerates the problem, although cod angler’s bait paper, beer cans and discarded line are prominent and a disgrace to the sport.
In Northumberland, Amble pier has recently been highlighted as having a litter problem and the local club and anglers are worried that it will effect the future of the pier and that applies to several other piers around the country. Please take your litter home with you or discard it sensibly. All it takes is a couple of plastic bags in the kit for the rubbish to go into after you have finished fishing. Staying with that subject please remember when discarding rigs, hooks and line that will eventually get to a rubbish tip and could be a potential hazard for birds. Cut line into short lengths, take bait off hooks and think about where you are disposing of the rubbish, mine goes in the garden rubbish incinerator.
August has been a bit slow in my region of Kent although things are just starting to improve with the first codling and the whiting returning. Some big bass, sole and still the odd big smoothhounds are showing and as the light evenings fade and the temperatures drop sport in general should improve, so don’t miss those early weeks of autumn – lots of anglers think the cod season starts in October well they are wrong in many regions codling are showing now, don’t miss them. It’s also the time to catch a rare species with the red mullet and the trigger fish among the species likely to show up as the summer species leave and the winter species arrive – its crossover time!
Some say junior anglers are on the decline because of computers etc, but I reckon the main problem is that junior coaching now requires so much paperwork and vetting, plus the litigation laws and general political correctness that lots of clubs and anglers will no longer get involved. Take me, I qualified as a coach in 1979 and taught angling at the local school every year for more than ten years. I have a certificate on my wall to prove it, but nowadays I cannot coach because my qualification doesn’t count anymore.
In my region there are a few clubs that look after the juniors and Deal 1919 AC are one – Check out the pic of their recent junior festival with club president, Pat Heath asking how big the one that got away was.
A competition date for the diary is the TF gear sponsored Kent Classic Open. At Sheerness on the 17th of November. The fishing is from 9.30am until 2.30pm. The match is pegged and pre book only contact is Trevor Back 01795 483676. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming soon is the Dover Sea Angling Association three day Pier Festival fished on Dover Breakwater on October 12/13/14th (Reserve venues: Sat: POW Pier fishing 12noon until 5pm. SUN: Admiralty pier fishing 8.30am until 1.30pm; MON: Admiralty pier fishing 9am until 2pm) Its one of the few open events that I organise nowadays because the Penn League keeps me busy. And the Southern Breakwater at Dover is a popular venue because of the fantastic fishing it can offer from both the outside and inside wall. It’s only reachable by boat and the boat only runs in winds under force seven so that’s why there is a reserve venue each day. This year the date has been moved to early October in an attempt to find some calm weather. A big prize list of catch and tackle is on offer from sponsors and a total pay out of the entry fees.
Entry fee £20 per day, optional pools £5 per day. All three days are for Penn points. Enquiries Dover SAA 01304 204722 or Alan Yates 01303 250017 E Mail: email@example.com.
An evening competition on Samphire Hoe at Dover reminded me that it was high summer. Not only the scorching weather, blue sky and the gin clear sea, but the slow fishing, until it got dark. Despite the poor spring and early summer weather when the fishing was amazing it was inevitable that the month long heat wave would got things back onto normal and low and behold Kent is in the summer doldrums. Lots of species have swum past us into the North Sea, whilst others are well away from the shoreline in the dark deeper water.
It’s much the same around the rest of the UK and Ireland – Could you believe the clear water during the open golf at Muirlfield, little other than mackerel swims in daylight in that! The key to fishing now is to find some colour, heavy rock, weed or fish at night. Great if you live near one of the large estuaries like the Severn, Thames, Humber, Solway, etc, or on the more rugged coasts, but on the open shores only the piers and rocky headlands offer the fish enough depth, cover or darkness to allow them to venture close in. OK there are species exceptions like the mackerel, garfish etc, although they too have been thin on the ground in some regions – No it’s late into the night if you want a few bites.
The good news of course is that the nights are drawing in and the falling daylight hours are what kick starts autumn and its great fishing. AND autumn is just around the corner with, hopefully, some improved fishing is on the way. My tip is to look out for some giant bass in the coming weeks. Fishing close in with a fresh mackerel head, flapper or fillet from the pier end, or at night from the beach with a live pout or whiting. My bet is that Dover will reclaim the bass record soon with the end of the Admiralty pier at Dover the venue to head for. On that subject the pier walkway has recently been renewed and narrowed and Dover SAC have banned certain items of sea fishing tackle like trollies, broillies and rod rests from the wall.
Lots of talk about the potentialfishing bans in areas around the UK. Hythe Bay is one in my region and the local fishermen are up in arms and organising meetings with MPs etc. Of course the anglers are joining in and the Hythe Bay situation has reached panic stations for many. Some may scoff and say it’s only going to involve the commercials and it probably will, but there are so many opinions involved with everyone wanting their say who knows where it’s going to end? As an angler of 60 years I have seen the fishing deteriorate dramatically and to me it’s obvious that the commercial fishing, EU and foreign trawlers etc are to blame. It’s not the number of fish it’s just the quality. Instead of cod, plaice, sole etc, its wall to wall dogfish, plus ray and smooth hound and its obvious what is happening. The species that can reproduce in a year or so can survive the commercial onslaught, the species that take several year to mature and are popular on a plate cannot! Fishery conservation requires a commercial fishing ban inshore, catch limits bigger size limits for anglers including an upper size limit for bass and compulsory catch and release.
One species on the up is the Tope since its protection from commercial fishermen. Michael Bell of Seaton has just landed a Tope over the British Record fish (It was returned) of 66lb 10oz. He was fishing from the northern beaches of the isle of man with a mackerel fillet.
It had to happen! We are following the Continentals down the two rod competition route. With the fishing getting poorer, because of those commercials, angling clubs are attempting to improve competition catches by allowing competitors two fishing rods. Why not, carp anglers use four? Well of course the problem is you need more bait and that puts pressure on supplies etc. The latest club to try the system is Swanage SAC, although they have only allowed a total of three hooks between the two rods which sound like a good compromise. The event takes place on the 5th October at Swanage, fishing and release without size limits. Contact Graham Woods the main organiser on Tel 07967 491 995 or E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying with the competition theme, entries are dropping off all around the country to the larger “open” events and it’s only the local club competitions that are really thriving. In an attempt to improve things clubs are changing the rules – two rods is one idea but I think bait supplied is the next big change and the ten worm challenge idea is one that I think will catch on..
The dates are out for next years four day Gambian West African beach Championships. I fish it every year and have enjoyed some excellent fishing in recent times. My chance to catch a big fish from the beach. The event is being fished from the 27th March to 30th March 2014 inclusively. Organiser, Bernard Westgarth has a ceiling of 40 entries and you can pre book with him on E-Mail: email@example.com
For accommodation check out the Gambia experience web site.
I’m just back from organising the Sea Angler Penn Sea League Final at Milford shingle Bank (Cut Bridge). Thanks to my mate Chris Clark for his help locally with stewarding, pegging and the pub at the end. You will be able to catch up on the result on Sky TV Tight lines as well as Sea Angler magazine. Catches included some nice black bream as well as wrasse, mackerel and garfish, a venue well worth a try NOW!
Almost anything that swims the UK shoreline has been targeted with a lure, recently, Lure Fishing for Bass, Pollock, Wrasse has almost become a full time occupation for some anglers and as anglers ourselves we love to read what others are using, where they’re catching and of course, how big it was…
We’re lucky enough to know others who are just as passionate about fishing as we are and those who specifically fish lures, so we’ve compiled a list of the best Lure Fishing Blogs we read – The ideal place to get your fishing fix when you can’t make it to the shore yourself!
Neil Burnell, keen lure angler and designer from the South West.
Despite fishing from a young age, Neil has only recently (2010) become addicted to lure fishing and what it has to bring. Counting for some of his most enjoyable days fishing, whether the Wrasse, Bass or Pollock are pulling back.
Also mad keen about his photography especially fishing shots, there are some amazing pictures of lures and fishing tackle to be found within his blog…
TV presenter, Photographer and Fishing Fetish!
If you watch the Discovery Channel then you might well have heard of self confessed fishing addict Henry Gilbey.
He has presented, Fishing with Henry, Fishing on the Edge, Wild Fishing and Wild Fishing 2 for the channel and blogs about his world wide travels in search of fish and adventure, you’ll definatly have a case of the green eyed monster after reading!
A dedicated Lure Angler with a passion for Photography!
Dean’s one of these people who picked up the art of lure fishing surprisingly late in life, at 18, Dean decided to part with his carp fishing rods and pick up a spinning rod to fish the beautiful Cornish coast line.
A self confessed fishing addict who’s happy to catch anything that swims, but his preferred fishing revolves around Wrasse with soft plastics.
A Bass and Wrasse angler who loves to fish plastic jigs!
Dave enjoys throwing lures around the Irish coast for Bass and a variety of other species including the beautiful Ballan Wrasse.
His blog is home to a mixture of Bass fishing tails right through to luring wild brown trout with a spinner on ultra light fishing tackle. Fishing comfortably among friends is his way of fishing, what other way would you want to spend your sessions?
A mad keen angler based in the gorgeous South West.
Danny has fished literally all of his life, his faintest memory is of his 3 year old self picking up a lure rod and becoming hooked from the off!
Not really bothered whether it’s a Pike, Chub, Wrasse or Bass, lure fishing is Danny’s life! An out and out lure basher and owner of Evil Wrasse Cult, lure fishing apparel!
A personal account of lure fishing techniques and experience.
Based in Cornwall, Luke Fox is lure fisherman through and through. Writing this blog to provide an up to date account of all his lure fishing experiences and techniques employed to catch as many species as possible.
Preferring to tackle Wrasse and Bass as his main hobby, Luke enjoys the challenge of targeting these fish specifically with lures, but as most anglers, anything that takes the lures are most welcomed!
If there’s a blog that you think we’ve missed – please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back home I am now looking forward to fishing for a few smoothhounds and bass, although getting my hands on some peeler crabs for bait is always a major problem. The short peeler moult from Kent shores was even more disrupted and curtailed by the recent bad/good weather, which incidentally is still with us and the crabs are in short supply. Best of all the baits are edible peelers and they too are as rare as rocking horse manure. I tried the Far Eastern soft crabs sold frozen in the local fishing tackle shop, but they seem next to useless. Talking about new baits the latest to hit the headlines is the Peanut worm – read about it in next month’s Sea Angler magazine or check it out on YouTube, could be it’s the new Bluey!
If you watched me on Sky TVs Tight Lines recently you will see I was on about line diameter. I micrometer all my fishing line nowadays, because I found that so much of my carp line was much larger than it said on the tin. That prompted me to test sea line as well because a bigger diameter means stronger line but most anglers want stronger line with a smaller diameter. In fact 0.35mm is around 15lb and fanciful claims of strength way above that are bullsxxht! Well the upshot is that some line makes have a smaller quoted diameter and a larger quoted strength so beware. TF Gear’s Nantec came out spot on and like the other genuine lines does not make any fanciful claims. One line manufacturer actually had the same diameter lines on spools of different breaking strains, whilst others were as much as 0.05mm out!
The 2013 Sea Angler Clubman competition is well underway. Clubs all around the British Isles enter the results of their monthly evening competitions and the event includes tackle prizes from Penn for the best teams and individuals. The competition has proved very successful in recent years and because it is at grass roots, all club anglers can get involved. Points are awarded from 1st to 5th in each match with a minimum of ten competitors to qualify. Clubs can also enter three teams of four. If you are a club angler, give it a look. E Mail me on email@example.com Tight lines, Alan Yates.
The problem of an increasing number of seals taking fish around the coast of the UK was highlighted for me by the dramatic fishing demise of Dover Harbour. With commercial fishing of any kind banned inside the harbour for decades the harbour was always a natural sanctuary for a number of common sea species including bass, pollack, flounder, plaice and even pouting in summer and cod, dabs and whiting in winter. But all that has changed in recent years with the arrival of several large seals inside the harbour only dogfish can be caught consistently, which tells me that seals are not that keen on the doggies. Just up the coast from Dover harbour the River Stour estuary has a similar problem, but even worse the Canterbury coarse angling club report that seals are plundering bream, chub and pike stocks well up the river past Sandwich. They have secured photographic evidence, which they have passed to the Environment Agency for action. Seal cull? – No way. So politically incorrect it looks like we are stuck with them!
Another trip abroad to Italy this month was to fish the Magrini Championships in Sardinia. A third on the first day raised my hopes, but a blanks, along with six other GB anglers I might add, ended my chances. It seems the slow start to spring and summer even effected the Mediterranean angling with the Sardinian anglers complaining of a lack of fish. I must to admit to a liking for fishing ultra light for sea fish because most of the semi tropical species like those found in the Med pull for their size although in the case of Sardinia five hours for two undersized (15cm) weavers has tested my patience. Magrini winner was Irish angler J P Molloy who put in a consistent performance to become only the second Home Nation angler to win the event (joey Arch was the other). Only problem was winning five trophies and an armful of prizes ranging from Sea fishing rods to reels, meant a huge excess baggage charge on his return home. Never mind JP well worth the extra cost because few Home nations anglers can claim such a great win on their CVs.
Tight lines, Alan Yates
I have been experimenting with lures and after reading Mike Ladles latest offering in Sea Angler magazine have decided to adopt his tactics, “Little and large” which seems logical. It involves add ons, a mini lure behind the main lure, or in a dropper in front. He also talks of using a small rubber ball to aid casting distance – I have used a clear bubble float with some effect, but a clear rubber ball is heavier and he says casts like a bullet. I will report later on how I got one. In the meantime Mike’s piece is in issue 492 of the magazine. You must use a soft, forgiving fishing rod to get the best out of this method, my preferred rod for this type of fishing is the TF Gear Bluestrike lure rod, use the weights which match your lure system.
Major on the shore sea fishing scene for me this month is the start of another Sea Angler Clubman season. Clubs all around the British Isles enter the results of their monthly evening competitions and the event includes tackle prizes from Penn for the best teams and individuals. The competition has proved very successful in recent years and because it is at grass roots, all club anglers can get involved. Points are awarded from 1st to 5th in each match with a minimum of ten competitors to qualify. If you are a club angler, give it a look. E Mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to top Isle of Wight sea angler, Russ Catling. He landed a new island record undulate ray of 18lb 1oz recently on a chunk of cuttlefish whilst fishing under the Islands eroding cliffs late at night. But Russ didn’t kill the fish to claim the record, he released it alive. What about a new catch and release British record category…
An unsuccessful trip with the Dover Sea Angling Association Team to fish the World Club Championships at Grandola in Portugal set me back on my heels a tad. Its not often I fish a match and do so badly – in fact despite a section win for two team members all five of the team suffered at least one bad day and over the four day match we only managed to finish 14th. Now considering there were 18 teams that’s pretty horrendous and I offer no excuses except to say that maybe we concentrated on casting distance too much and used too heavy hook snood line. Winners were Spain who fished for garfish in the edge and that proved the most consistent method, although more spectacular was the results of long casting in terms of individual anglers and catches of mullet, mackerel and trigger fish.
The good thing is that the team learned a lot and expressed the thought that they should have done what Wales did, they finished fifth, and practised for the week previous to the Championships. Best performance of the event in my opinion was from Belgium who took the bronze medal behind Portugal’s silver. Belgium fish fairly light and small at home, but they did adapt to the finesse required fishing the Portuguese Atlantic beaches. Eye opening is just how fine in terms of line you can go when using a fixed spool and continental style beachcaster, I coarse fish a lot and am used to carping with light lines, but I used 0.20mm mainline and 0.18mm snood line and others went finer than that. For me it was a glimpse into the future of UK beachcasting and already at home we can see the beginning of the fishing light revolution in LRF and fishing Continental beach style. OK the main drive towards fishing with light line, small hooks and soft fishing rods in the UK is the decline of the fish stocks, BUT it allows anglers to enjoy the sport and the small species the commercials have left us! In Portugal catching mackerel on light gear is a skill and it should be the same here with the species given more regard. Forget the feathering hoards and mackerel madness, one mackerel at a time at long range on pop ups and size 6 hooks on 0.14mm line is a terrific way to match fish and I can’t wait for someone, or an innovative club to run a mackerel, bait only with no jigging match, from a UK beach in summer.
Talking about line diameter- the only way to be sure about a line is by measuring its diameter – My measurements reveal that lots of the so called stronger lines are simply thicker!!
Now I am off to Sardinia for the Magrina Championships, which is a major Italian event. The same light line tactics apply and I am trained up so to speak and expect to do better. But match fishing is a continuous learning curve even for an old hand like me and its full of shocking surprises, especially for those that think they know it all!
At last some smoothhound and bass showing in my region, the crabs are peeling and perhaps now we can get back to thoughts of summer – The lure rod is in the car for those opportunistic night tides when the sea is calm, single mackerel on a spinner or plug are fun, but a schoolie bass is better! I have a few rock marks I can creep around when the conditions are still and clear and the light is low enough just to see. Its grab the TF Gear bum bag and hit that short “deadly” window at dawn or dusk that is most likely to produce a take!
Why not try your luck in one of our Facebook competitions? You could just net yourself something decent!
We’ve decided to offer our Facebook fans a great opportunity to WIN over £1000 worth of fishing tackle! All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is:
Sign into Facebook > Go to one of the following Facebook pages > Like the Page > Share our competition!
To enter click here: Fishtec Coarse Fishing Facebook Page
For the Coarse and Carp anglers, we’re offering 3 sets of 3 TF Gear Project X carp rods, a new product we have recently launched and introduced to our range.
What’s so good about the Project X carp rods?
Each model combines raw power with subtle playing actions. Not only will you enjoy extra casting distance, you will benefit from the highest quality carbon construction, unrivalled balance and incredible sensitivity.
Delivering all the qualities and specification demanded from a top of the range carp rod, the Project X offers you the opportunity to experience superior accuracy, unmatched fish control and the versatility of a truly special rod.
To enter click here: Fishtec Fly Fishing Facebook Page
There’s been much speculation to how good the new Airflo Super-Dri Fly Line are, so we’ve offered 10 super-dri lines to ten of our lucky Facebook followers! If you like Fishtec Fly on Facebook, share the competition image to be entered into the draw!
About the Super-Dri Fly Line
The SuperDri technology has been developed for the serious floating line angler, featuring a friction reducing coating which lets the line glide through the rod rod rings and adds yards to your cast. The SuperDri’s coating gives you unparalleled floatation with the ability to repel water, dirt and surface scum better than any material in the history of fly lines.
To enter click here: Fishtec Sea Fishing Facebook Page
With plenty of fishing coming back into the shorelines and some monster Cod out in the deeps, what’s better than being able to catch these fish on a brand new multiplier reel? We’re offering 3 TF Gear Force 8 reels to three lucky Facebook fans!
About the Force 8 Reel
The TF Gear Force8 reels are designed and manufactured utilising the very latest CNC engineering and highest grade materials to create what we believe are without question the finest sea fishing reels available today. Tested and developed by top sea angler, Alan Yates, we can say these reels have been tested in some of the harshest conditions, and will confidently reel in almost anything you can stick a hook in!
I’m just back from a fortnight in Gambia fishing the West African Beach Championships organised by Bernard Westgarth and his wife Barbara. I finished fourth with a last day draw finishing my hopes of winning, although my son, Richard took the Championship’s first place with three zone wins and a third which would have been virtually impossible to beat anyway. Second place went to Nick Westgarth, another youngster with a consistent performance included an end peg on the final day, which he used to perfection. Third was Sheerness pensioner and great friend, Roger Weeks who landed a 9lb butterfish on the last day to also win that days biggest fish prize.
During the trip I landed a number of big fish with a 13lb cassava and a 15lb sand shark amongst my best, not in the matches though, whilst Richard topped the 20lb mark in the match with a 23lb captain fish and then added a near thirty sand shark from a freelance mark close to the border of Senegal. Some say the fishing is not as good in Gambia as it once was, which may be true to an extent, but going on what I saw there are plenty of speedy giants to catch, especial at this time of year (April).
What was particularly pleasing for me was to see Richard catch his best two fish using a 15ft Force Eight beachcaster. He was a fan of the old Fox Matrix I designed way back, but I persuaded him to try the TF Gear version and it was a hit straight away, especially in terms of the distances he achieved with it. Like everywhere around the world long range is the get out of jail card when the going is tough, especially in match fishing conditions with those vital extra yards the bonus that so often win. One of the great things about a hot country like Gambia is that casting distances are dramatically increased by the hot air and the warmer oil in your reels – The skies the limit and there is nothing more pleasing to a shore angler than to see the lead and bait vanish over the distant surf line.
For details of Gambian fishing contact Bernard Westgarth at: www.fishthegambia.com E Mail: Bernard@fishthegambia.com
After from the Gambia the foreign currency is now directed at Portugal where I have the World Club champs at Granola in a matter of days. I am fishing for the Dover Sea Angling team and hopes are high despite two pensioners being in our team. After that there is the small matter of the Magrini Championships in Sardinia – Italians know how to put on an angling event and its hard to really get into the fishing because the organisation, HQ, food, banter and wine is so enjoyable. The three hour weigh in after midnight is a feature most fear if they blank because it’s read out load!
In both events I will use the TFGear Delta All Rounder with fixed spools and light mono line. Species are small with small hooks required and a delicate hook length (5lb), which has to be protected by a softer actioned rod. I also use a very light continental quiver tip because most of the fishing is at medium range. Yes the advert is true the Delta is my favourite sea rod, but I would add that I don’t use just one fishing rod all the time. The Delta is for match and snatching, the Force 8 for long range and doggie hauling and that apart there is spinning, LRF, mullet and boat fishing which all require a different action, length and rating.
Between the two Continental matches I have a DVD to make at my home venues in Kent for Sea Angler Magazine and TF Gear. It’s an instructional video – all you need to know about sea angling from the shore. Something of a challenge in an hour, but I am sure we can manage with the help of Sea Angler, feature writer Paul Fenech.
Here at home it looks like the winter has finally ending with some blossom on the cherries and the first peeler crabs likely to appear as I write. Spring codling, thornback rays and plaice are amongst the species turning up on the Kent shores, although most anglers will now be looking towards the smoothhounds arriving. Their presence on a host of summer venues really do make the summer the best time to fish for big fish nowadays. Forget about winter cod that are almost impossible to catch from the shore and head for a smoothhound venue in June. They are now all around the British Isles. Here are a few to try. The Lincs. Coast is a smoothhound boom area with Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells amongst the many hot spots. Into Suffolk and Orford Ness is the venue to head for there, whilst on the Kent coast there is Sheppey, Reculver, Sandown and the Dover piers. In Hants the Solent is smoothhound central with Selsey, Pagham, Bracklesham red hot. Into Dorset there is Chesil beach, whilst the Bristol Channel on both the England and Welsh side boasts a host of venue from Minehead to Barry. Over the Irish Sea check out Rosslare Point and Courtown in Wexford. Next on the Welsh side is Anglesey, whilst the species are now commonly found in Lancs (Gynn Wall). and Cumbria and they are staring to show north of the Solway too. Good luck and remember not to leave your rod unattended and to loosen the drag!
You can catch me on Facebook from time to time – I am afraid I am a bit of a wind up merchant and like to see if I can get a “bite” with my posts. Indeed if you need to contact me for a question or something important its best to e mail me direct on: email@example.com rather than use Facebook because I only check it when the mood takes me, whilst I work all the time on the computer.
Any angler knows that fishing can cause wear and tear on the body.
Periods of relative inactivity interspersed with flurries of intense effort can result in injury, as can the repetitive motions of casting and retrieving. Physical fitness can really help you up your game and keep you healthy too.
So kick off your fishing boots, clear some space in your bivvy, and try some of the stretches below while you’re waiting for a bite.
It’s all about posture
How we stand when we fish has a major effect on the muscular balance of our bodies.
When standing, most anglers tend to rest more of their weight on one leg, with their pelvis rotated forward. Holding a fishing rod is a shoulder-rounding stance and gazing down at the water places a strain on neck muscles.
In short, fishing puts your body out of balance.
To counteract the stresses that fishing puts on our bodies, we need to stretch in such away that unlocks tensions in muscles and joints – particularly our backs. One exercise that’s very useful for anglers is the ‘superman.’
Not only does it release tension in your lower back, it strengthens core muscles too. Lie on your front with your arms stretched out in front.
Keeping your head in a neutral position, lift your arms and legs clear of the floor. Hold and slowly release.
Added release for shoulders and neck can be incorporated into this exercise by bringing your arms back so that you resemble an aeroplane. Not sure? It’s easy – babies do it all the time.
Pain in the neck
Fishing puts a strain on your neck, so make sure that you stretch before and after fishing.
The lateral neck bend is a simple exercise. Look up – look down, look right – look left. Bend your head towards one shoulder, straighten, then bend toward the other. Keep your shoulders relaxed and in a neutral position throughout.
You can do the exercises at any time so make sure you take them fishing with you. Take your time to perform the movements slowly and smoothly.
Lower back problems affect vast numbers of people. The human body wasn’t designed to sit down for hours every day.
Enforced immobility is a major problem in Western society – but to ensure you remain fit enough to fish – there are steps you can take.
Simply take a step forward, lower your back knee and at the same time push the front of your hip forward. Only bend as far as you find comfortable and always stop if you feel pain.
With this exercise, it is important not to bend your front leg beyond a right angle. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds before slowly straightening. Then swap legs and do it again.
A simple exercise for improving core strength is the plank.
Pay great attention to getting the pose right and you’ll reap the reward of this very effective exercise. Keep your knees locked and your legs straight.
Your hips should be level at all times. As you tire it’s tempting to let your back sag. Don’t.
It’s far better to let your knees drop to the floor and do a modified stance. Your head should be in a neutral position and your upper arms at right angles to the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can – it’s great for your core, back upper body and legs.
Forearms and elbows.
Winding the handle of your reel and casting are highly repetitive motions that can lead you to develop tennis elbow. This is a very painful condition that can take all the fun out of fishing. Keep your muscles and tendons supple by performing this easy stretch.
With your arm out in front of you, gently bend your hand back. Hold and release. Now take the same hand and bend it in the opposite direction. Repeat several times on each side.
Never stretch further than is comfortable. It’s much better to repeat the exercise two or three times a day than try to make big gains right away.
Practise little and often and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much more reeling your elbows and wrists can take.