Tag Archives: sea fishing

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – October 13

Alan Yatews double figure boat cod Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   October 13

Alan Yates with a double figure boat cod

Just back from Ireland where the Sea Angler magazine and TF Gear crew attempted to make a DVD in less than ideal conditions, both from boat and shore – The East wind has a lot to answer for, although heavy mist, rain and a muggy feel to the three days meant the air pressure was all over the shop and air pressure does seem to have a great effect on fish feeding at this time of year. A mate checks his fish pond before going coarse fishing in winter, if the fish are feeding he goes, if not, he still goes but is armed with the knowledge the fishing is going to be tough.

That’s not a bad rule to have for the rest of the winters because getting your sea fishing tackle out when the wind direction, sea conditions, tide and air pressure is all wrong, can have a massive effect on the fishes feeding habits, especially for those after cod. The wind for instance is a big turn on, or turn off, in many sea regions. That east wind carries the “When the winds in the East the fish bite least” stigma and it is spot on in many regions, add some North though and the East coast of angling usually fishes well “When the wind blows north the fish bite for all they are worth”. Along the English Channel and up through the Irish Sea is a South or West wind that is best “When the wind blows west the fish bite best” and “When the wind blows south the bait falls in the fish’s mouth”.

Overall an onshore wind may be the most unpleasant to fish in, but it’s usually the most productive, especially in daylight when it colours up the water. The fish don’t like sunlight and if that can penetrate the water to the sea bed they will not venture into it. That fear is universal among the major winter species, so the rule is. Fish in daylight when it’s rough and in darkness or very deep water when it’s calm!

OK like most rules there are exceptions and one to look out for is what I call a chalky or milky sea, sometimes the sea is only just coloured and the fish will come inshore. Another phenomenon to watch out for is an impending storm. Fish can desert the shoreline the tide before an impending storm and then appear as if by magic as it dies away!  All things that help the shore angler to pick the best times to fish.

Only a couple more complications and they are the all important tide and the stock of fish available in a particular region. Why would a fish want to come close to shore to feed when the deep sea is packed with food? Well in summer there are lots of food like sandeels, mackerel etc for the cod to prey on out deep, but these migrate south as winter arrives and the bigger fish start to move inshore in search of whiting, pouting, etc. The changing fortunes of the cod angler depend upon the food available and spawning success of the species. Some winters there is an over flow of smaller fish which means they need to invade the shoreline to feed. On other years, fewer fish means they have an enough food in the deep water.

So assuming there is an overflow of fish they will then move inshore, but only in the best conditions to get an easy meal. The strongest tide tends to help fish travel to and from food, it also oxygenates the water and generally spices up marine activity, fish and prey. So the angler must first look towards the largest spring tides for the maximum chance of fish being present. Think about it, the water is deeper, and this means more cover for the fish, and more fish will be around. On a majority of venues the maximum fish activity occurs during the flooding tide towards high tide. Indeed many venues are devoid of fish at low water so it’s important to fish at that peak time and that can often be around mid darkness as well.

All this means that the absolute best times to fish are limited to a couple of tides fortnightly and explains why cod in particular are so difficult to catch. The various races of cod around the UK fluctuate in numbers dramatically and what with commercial overfishing, discards and the fact that the minimum legal size limit does not allow them to spawn its small wonder anglers struggle to catch a fish over 3lb.

So this winter – select your venue with care and a knowledge that fish are there to catch. Pick the best tides and I would say avoid the crowds.

Good luck.


There seems to be an excellent number of codling in the North East this year with fish to 3lb plentiful from the shore on the Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Northumberland coasts.

Rough ground offers the best chance of cod and codling because the nets cannot exploit it like they can clean sand, so check out the rocks and kelp!

Your best chance of a giant cod comes from the boat in the English Channel and I recommend the Eastbourne and Brighton charter boats for a possible 50lb cod, especially after Christmas.

Mark Rogers 30lb cod from Folkestone charter boat a few years back Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   October 13

Mark Rogers 30lb cod from
charter boat

Top of the cod bait list is a live whiting with the live bait rig worth trying. This involves a large hook with a small baited hook (2) attached with a whiting taking the bait and then becoming bait itself.

The other bait worth using this winter if it’s a big shore or boat cod you want is a whole ,or even two frozen cuttlefish – Remove the bone and fish on minimum 6/0 Pennell rigs. Bites will be few and far between but could be a lunker!

My tip for fishing from now on is to fish a large bait close in on a second rod – there are still some monster bass to be caught, especially in the South of the country.

The final solution for anglers looking to catch a BIG cod this winter is a trip to Norway where you can virtually walk on water over the cod. Contact: Ian Peacock Tel 01914 472363 www.dintur.co.uk E mail: peacock@dintur.co.uk

Norweigan cod Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   October 13

Norweigan cod


The British Sea Angling Championships being fished from Deal, Walmer and Sandown beaches in Kent on the 20th October. Entry forms have been sent out to previous competitors and are available in local tackle shops. The details of the event this year are as follows: The competitions includes  the men’s, ladies, juniors and four man team championships and is open to all sea anglers. The fishing is from 11am until 4pm with the entry limited to the first 400 anglers (So get your entry in early as there may not be places if you leave it until the day 20th October) £6000 plus are on offer in cash and prizes including £1000 for the winner and £500 for the captor of the biggest round and biggest flat fish. The event is pegged from Kingsdown to Sandwich Bay and offers national Penn Points to the winners. The draw and late entry takes place at the Deal 1919 Angling Club headquarters 13, the Marina Deal on Saturday the 19th October from 7pm. The event includes bag labels that must be signed in with every fish caught by the adjacent competitor. Entries and details Deal 1919 AC Headquarters Tel 01304 363968 or 361248.


Banshee Tri-tip boat rod tames Irish Blue Sharks

Kevin Murphy of the Bellavista Hotel in Cobh and Jim Clohessy report on some excellent shark fishing at the moment…

It is not just the Dutch and German customers that are keen to tackle our blue sharks. Last weekend we had a party of Dublin based anglers that arrived to have some general fishing and also a day on the sharks, all done from our self-drive fleet. They were lucky with the conditions and although they did not travel to our normal area they still managed a respectable tally of decent sharks.

There is no doubt that we have had a superb year of shark fishing. Customers from all over Europe as well as all around the country have sampled the excellent Blue shark fishing off Cork this year, using some of the best sea fishing gear from UK suppliers.  The question remains though how long will the blues hang around for. We think we will be fishing for them well into November.

DSCN0522 480x360 Banshee Tri tip boat rod tames Irish Blue Sharks

Stunning Blue Shark

Normally the problem with fishing so late was the hassle of catching enough mackerel for rubby dubby. This is no problem for Bellavista customers – Kevin has a ready supply of frozen rubby dubby available. The frozen dubby takes the pain out of shark fishing and the results from using “Murphy’s Mush” are superb. Many customers are experiencing double figure numbers on their shark safari.

You can take advantage of the weather windows and get some shark fishing before the winter closes in – Contact: Kevin Murphy 086-6029168, www.bellavistahotel.ie

DSCN0536 480x360 Banshee Tri tip boat rod tames Irish Blue Sharks

An October Shark For Des

Report from http://fishinginireland.info/news/sea-reports

TF Gear BlueStrike Fishing Rod Review

tfgbluestrike TF Gear BlueStrike Fishing Rod Review

Review by Total Sea Fishing Magazine of the TF Gear BlueStrike 8ft 15g to 40g Lure Rod 

The fast-taper, responsive blank on this 8ft light spinning rod is designed for working plugs and soft-plastic lures with its soft tip and progressive action.

The blue blank on the TF Gear Bluestrike is finished off with single-leg SiC guides to reduce weight and the chance of flat spots, with the rings being suitable for both braid and mono.

There is an Aluminium reel seat ahead of the innovative extended butt. With the butt retracted, these sea fishing rods can be cast single-handed. With the Butt extended, both hands can be used to punch out further.

Total Sea Fishing Magazines Comment :- A light spinning rod, handy for those tight situations with its retractable butt.

See what our resident Sea Fishing expert thinks…

Bass Fishing in Early September

Daz on the Bass Bass Fishing in Early September

Daz returning a bass of a couple of pounds

Tuesday 3rd.Sept 2013.

This turned out to be a very frustrating session indeed. I briefly made contact with one fish right off the the bat but we soon parted company. With numerous follows after this not one would commit to take the fly. The usual change of tactics, methods and flies which would more often than not produce a few fish under such circumstances proved fruitless. I have had many follows and rejections over the years (Yes, off fish!) on both fly and plugs but never from so many fish in one single session. I really don’t know what went on that day and why the fish were coming short, or what else I could have done to induce a take, it’s something which I have never experienced before. The conditions were good and many thoughts run through my mind as to why they were acting like they were, such as; “Have they already fed and stuffed themselves on the millions of bait fish which were present”. The truth is I don’t know, what I do know is; It was not the typical behavior of the bass I know.

Wednesday 4th.Sept 2013.

I headed for the same mark in the hope that the Bass were in a better mood, but unfortunately I had no luck. Except for one small fish which I watched engulf my fly and reject it before I even thought about lifting the rod! I was not too disappointed by the missed chance although it could have saved another blank!

Saturday 7th.Sept 2013.

Hoping that a change of venue would bring a change of luck, plans were made over the phone on the Friday with my good mate and fishing buddy, Mark Hearn. The plan was to attack a low water mark a little further west, with low water at 2:00am arrangements were made to meet at 11:30pm in the car park. Kitted up and our fishing rods loaded with the new Super-Dri fly lines from Airflo, our choice of flies were clouser type patterns. We made the short walk to the water. I love this mark, not only for the ease of fishing it offers but also for the quality of fish it can give up. It’s got a bit of everything you look for when Bass fishing, mud, sand, rock, weed and a variety of food items that the fish can gorge themselves on, a real Bass haven. With a average depth of around 3ft, our  floating lines are all that is needed.

Conditions were perfect and with good water clarity I was feeling confident. Things started off very slow and it wasn’t until low water that the first fish slammed the fly, a spirited little fellow of around 2 1/2lbs which felt twice the size when I first got stuck in to him, the new 6wt Airflo switch I was using took on a nice little bend. The rod was a real joy to use, bit more on this when it’s had a fair testing. The night did not turn out as I had hoped and unfortunately for Mark he drew a blank. Myself; I managed a few fish to a couple of pounds or more but the better specimens failed to show up!


Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – September

My first evening club beach competition of September resulted in a mackerel, a sole, a scad and a pout with the shoreline at Sandgate in Kent, warm, still and clear.  I am not knocking it, but late summer does not seem to want to leave us and the autumn season may yet be delayed by that late spring. In the past I have caught codling from the Kent shore in August, although most years it’s the second week in September when they turn up on my patch – Noticeable the whiting are not showing yet, although, that could be a godsend because small whiting have become such a nuisance in winter they have driven lots of shore anglers to the boats or the carp puddles. Of course the one thing about this time of year when the sea is flat and the weather balmy, is that fishing a live pout or whiting on the surface close in to the beach can be deadly for bass, big bass. This week an angler from Dover, Robert Gismondi landed a 16lb plus bass at Dover – the fish took a surface lure from Dover beach and it was officially weighed at Dover’s admiralty pier where some huge bass are landed at this time of year. Time to get the live baits out. The only trouble with that is catching them, but if you can mount them on a small strong hook (the Tronix dog pattern is ideal) on a slider and slide them down the main line so that they float on the surface in the margins. It is essential not to use an over large or heavy hook because these will drag the live bait down and drown in. A small compact, but strong hook does the job. Keep lighting and beach crunching to a minimum and you could be in for some excitement especially after midnight.

bass2 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   September

16lb Bass from Dover

The other tactic I enjoy this month is the float – with the garfish and mackerel moving south they often turn up around the south of the country late in autumn and can be fun to catch on a float outfit fishing fish baits near the surface. No need to fish any deeper than 8ft and fish the float as a slider so that you can keep the bait on the move. The tactic works well from beach or pier and its a fun way to fill the winter bait freezer and garfish is every bit as good as mackerel as a winter tip bait for worm.

Now is a popular time for match anglers and traditionally the major shore competitions are held from September onwards – Even despite a downward trend in entries to competitions the majors seem to keep going.

Here are a few that may interest would be match angler:

The TF gear sponsored Kent Classic Open at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey takes place on the 17th of November. The venue is not that renowned for its fishing and if the weather is calm and clear it is a bit of a flounder raffle and that gets the entry up because everyone has a chance. You can also fish with the wife or kids which is attractive for families. If it’s rough and the water coloured then those whiting turn up and it’s a bit more clear cut with one of the many matchmen winning. The fishing is from 9.30am until 2.30pm.The match is pegged and pre book only contact is Trevor Back 01795 483676. Email – trevback@sky.com

One I am arranging 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) 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. Enquirers Dover SAA 01304 204722 or Alan Yates 01303 250017 E Mail: alankyates@aol.com.

My third choice is the giant Daiwa Open being fished on December 1st between Bridlington North beach and Paull lighthouse. Fishing times are 10am until 4pm. With booking in from 07.30am at Northfield country club. Entry fee is £10 with Juniors £5. This competition carries a prize fund of £3000 and is popular because of its large prize table. This gives all a chance of winning rather than just the matchmen. Contact Paul Jefferson for detail Tel. 01482 326814

Catching a big or rare species is not such an unusual occurrence nowadays and I suppose apart from the excuse that global warming may be responsible for more rare species being around, it’s a fact that anglers are better equipped, more knowledgeable and are more willing to chase the unusual. Take Luke Aston a charter skipper who fishes out of Carrigholt in the Shannon estuary aboard his charter boat, Clare Dragoon. An ex commercial skipper, he has made catching the very rare six gilled sharks almost commonplace and his latest catch by German angler, Detlef Geiling who is  a regularly on Luke’s boat shows why. The fish measured 3.4metres and was estimated at 770lb, and that makes the recent fuss about makos and porbeagles look a bit pathetic. Luke boated four big six gills last season and his biggest is over 1000lbs! This is the first one this year taken on his first trip over a mark that has produced fish over the last five years. Fishing tackle used is 80lb class, although Luke uses a rubbing leader of 300lb mono and 200lb wire. Fish in the past have destroyed light fishing gear. Bait is a combination of Mackerel and Coalfish. One problem is that the fish are so big that they cannot be landed aboard the boat for photographs and are released after being snapped in the water alongside the boat. You can contact Luke at Carrigaholt Sea Angling. Tel. 00353 87 6367544   www.fishandstay.com

DSCF3698 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary   September

770lb Six Gill Shark

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary | September

There is a degree of excitement about the darker evenings and the autumnal nip in the air – summer has been great, although the shore fishing was hampered by sunshine and clear water and not all regions were blessed with a smoothhound run and I for one deserted to freshwater on more than one occasion. But now the winter looms and its time most serious sea anglers get the gear out. Initial reports suggest the whiting are back in large numbers, now depending upon the region, that could be good or bad news. Year class fish under 27cm are a pain in some regions because the food source they seek is limited and they stunt to razor thin bodies that swarm around baits stopping anything from else from taking it. In contrast estuary regions which are rich in shrimp boasts plump, fat whiting that pack on the weight with fish upwards of 12oz. Whiting are a deep water fish that feed on fish once they are mature and few stay inshore when they reach the 1lb mark, like the cod it’s the immature that live inshore before their food demands send them out into the deep sea. All this means that whiting, size from the shore, like the cod, have always been controlled by the numbers. In years when there are lots of whiting an overflow of bigger fish reaches the shoreline, on others the big fish are scarce. This year looks like an overflow year with plenty of bigger fish to be caught, although my advice is to fish those dirty estuaries rich in shrimp for the better quality fish. As for cod, well most anglers will be blinkered towards them and initial reports show small fish starting to show with a stray 15lber from the Brighton shore recently causing excitement although I think it was a fluke. However, as I write a south westerly gale is building and blowing and that may just be all the codling need along the English Channel and Atlantic facing coasts, whilst in the North Sea things should also improve once an onshore North easterly arrives.

019 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary | September

My latest trip was an early morning try on Samphire Hoe near Dover, before the current gale – A great venue if you don’t mind losing a bit of gear, although I have to say experience limits the losses for me. But so many anglers in the Kent region won’t fish at Samphire Hoe or other equally snagging venues, because they lose sea fishing tackle. Well thast OK, but the fact is that the horrendous weed and boulders of the Hoe are home to a host of fish and they are relatively safe from the nets. This is a fact all around the country, clean sand has often been trawled to death and it’s the more mixed or rough ground that cannot be netted where the fish populations are at their best. OK this does mean that rock loving species like wrasse, pout, pollack etc are more prevalent, whilst plaice and sole are fewer. But give the rocks a look, fishing amongst snags is not that difficult if you give your tackle and tactics some thought. Fewer hooks get hooked up less and reeling in fast, lifts tackle up and over the snags!

My latest trip to the Hoe saw me stick with the sliding float and I fished a single hook baited with a sandeel 12ft deep. This meant I was well above the snags and by letting the float drift in the tide with a lift of the rod I could impart some natural looking movement in the frozen sandeel. It worked because I caught bass and pollack before switching to a rod with two hooks on the sea bed to catch wrasse and pout. Nothing big, but a successful and mixed day and perhaps one of the last before winter sets in proper, although with the changing seasons it does seem that autumn reaches out to Christmas nowadays in the south so the opportunity to fish the float hangs on if the sea remains calm and clear. Last year I landed garfish from a Kent pier in late November!


Talking about global warming, it seems very much alive in terms of sea angling with a continuous stream of tropical and semi tropical species landed in recent years from the UK shore and boat. Some of the rare species that have turned up may have been lost or off course, whilst others are undoubtedly here because of the changing migration patterns and habitat caused by man’s over fishing. Take out one species and another will thrive in the habitat and room that is untapped and that is the key to what is happening around the world in my opinion and not just the World’s oceans hotting up. Even so, the latest rare species to turn up is so remarkable it must pose questions related to the climate.  Martin White a gardener from London landed a 2lb 8oz American striped bass from peg 60 on Dover breakwater. The fish was witnessed and weighed by Breakwater steward Tom Preston of Folkestone. Striped bass are a relative of our bass and as far as I am aware one has never been recorded in English waters, indeed there is no British record. The species spawn in freshwater and although they are sea going, they are found around the major American river estuaries and so how one got across the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean is a mystery. It is a fact though that the species has been stocked in river systems throughout the world, including in Iran and Russia so the breakwater fish could be a Russian fish heading home to its estuary in North America. Bass, the European species, are a popular sea sport fish around Europe because they take lures and grow to double figures, in America the striped bass are an even bigger target protected totally from the commercial fishermen they are the major sea sport species.


Dave Chamberlain book 498 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary | September

Deal and Walmer’s Piscatorial Past by Dave Chamberlain, photographs by Basil Kidd document the remarkable sea angling catches of the 1960 and 70s and the dramatic decline of the shore and boat fishing in the South East of England since that time. Some readers may say that the anglers themselves did the damage with their disgraceful piles of dead cod and pollack. Others that it was the commercial fleets who have also long gone. Whatever, the fact remains that in those days when PC didn’t mean anything other than Police Constable huge rod and line catches of fish were commonplace and they were simply laid out and photographed.

Dave Chamberlain was a charter skipper in those day and he and his beach launched boat, Morning Haze plied their trade from the Deal shore – Basil Kidd, now departed, was the local news photographer who would go anywhere anytime for a big fish picture. Between them they have produced a remarkable history of the changes that have occurred to sea angling nationally and this small section of the Kent shore in the very recent past. A great addition to any sea angler’s book collection.

The Book  ISBN 978-0-9548439- 4 -6 is published by Beaches Books and is available for £4.99 on Amazon or E Bay.

Inside chamberlain book 498 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary | September



My major event next month is the Dover Sea Angling Association three day Pier Festival fished on Dover Breakwater on October 12/13/14th. 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: alankyates@aol.com.

The TF gear sponsored Kent Classic Open at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey takes place on the 17th of November. The venue is not that renowned for its fishing and if the weather is calm and clear it is a bit of a flounder raffle and that gets the entry up because everyone has a chance. You can also fish with the wife or kids which is attractive for families.  If it’s rough and the water coloured then those whiting turn up and it’s a bit clearer cut with one of the many matchmen winning. The fishing is from 9.30am until 2.30pm.The match is pegged and pre book only contact is Trevor Back 01795 483676.   Email – trevback@sky.com

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary July/August

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.

Red mullet and Trigger 500x300 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary July/August

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.

presidentPatHeathentertainsthejuniorsattheprizegiving 500x344 Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary July/August


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 – trevback@sky.com

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: alankyates@aol.com.

Alan Yates on Sea Fishing

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.

Michael Bell with 66lb 10oz tope Isle of Man withMark Quirk IOM 356x400 Alan Yates on Sea Fishing

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: sadacgw@yahoo.co.uk

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:  bernard@fishthegambia.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!

Great Lure Fishing Blogs

LureFishingBlogsFishtec Great Lure Fishing Blogs

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.

Neil Burnell Great Lure Fishing BlogsDespite 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…

Henry Gilbey

TV presenter, Photographer and Fishing Fetish!

Henry Gilbey Great Lure Fishing Blogs

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!


Dean Pilgrim Fishing

A dedicated Lure Angler with a passion for Photography!

Dean Pilgrim1 Great Lure Fishing Blogs

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!
LureFishing Ireland Great Lure Fishing Blogs

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?

Lure Fishing With Danny

A mad keen angler based in the gorgeous South West.

Lure Fishing With Danny Great Lure Fishing Blogs

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!


Cornwall Lure Fishing

A personal account of lure fishing techniques and experience.

Luke Fox Great Lure Fishing BlogsBased 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 kieron@bvg-airflo.co.uk 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Line Myths

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!

Nantec micrometer Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Line Myths

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 alankyates@aol.com Tight lines, Alan Yates.