I fished the latest Kent Open series at Seabrook and was delighted to make the frame against some of Kent’s top competition rods. Winner was my mate, Ceiran Bull, who is a fishmonger from Hythe and has recently been amongst the Kent bass. He racked up a bunch of dogfish and whiting while fishing a Loop style terminal rig for 6.670kg, taking home a large wedge of cash. In second place was Deal angler Saul Page, fishing his last match before he leaves (along with my son Richard and the rest of the England squad) to fish the World Shore Championships in South Africa. Saul landed 19 fish, a mix of dogfish and whiting for 6.20kg. The event saw competitors plagued with small whiting, mostly 26cm; would you know it, the minimum size limit is 27cm! It’s a bit of a mystery why the Kent whiting have stayed so small this autumn, they have been undersized for months and it does look as if it’s just sheer weight of numbers and lack of food.
Away from the beach casting, I took a day out and went trout fishing. I was intending to fish Kent’s Bewl Water reservoir, but was shocked to find it only half full so switched to Power Mill Reservoir at Sedlescome in Sussex. What a cracking fishery, well run and in some pleasant woodland scenery. A boat costs just £12. I fished with Folkestone’s Paul Foot and we decided to fish the bank. Although we didn’t set the trout fishing world alight, we did manage to catch some quality rainbow trout from the dam wall using damsel flies. I can vouch for their eating quality, a change from all those cod and far better from clean water reservoirs than from muddy ponds! Fishery details and so forth are available from the bailiff/manager – telephone 01424 870498
FISHING NEWS AND COMPETITION REPORTS
The pegs are running out for the popular Sheerness Steel SAC, Kent Classic Open being fished in the Isle of Sheppey on the 21st November. The event is always a sell out so if you want to fish, hurry and contact Trevor on 01795 877127, or Ray on 07930 390761. More details on: sheerness-sac.co.uk
Nearly 500 sea anglers fished the Gateway Holiday Park Flounder Cup in the Lougher Estuary, South Wales, and a record number of 1kg plus flounders were landed. Even better, over £5,000 was raised for the RNLI Local Inshore Lifeboat, and that’s just about one of the best charities to run an angling match in aid of because you never know when you may need them. Match winner was William Dykes who landed the best flounder of 1.134kg, which was worth £1710. Jonathan Harris was second with a 980g flounder (winning him £1040) and Dominic Lewis was third with a 974g flounder, winning his £650. Junior winner was William Thomas with a flounder of 818g, and he won a £200 tackle voucher.
Another charity event suggested that charity really does begin at home with the 75 competitors fishing at Highcliffe, Dorset, raising £1020 for the England Junior International team. It’s a sad fact that the sea angling teams have to fund much of their own costs; they do receive a small grant towards travel costs but that’s usually about it. In my day, the sea anglers didn’t even receive that and it was a fact that most of us who fished for England used our annual holiday, and that cost more than one a marriage!
Matt Brook of the Isle of Wight won the catch and release total of 353cm.
The cold Northerly winds this week sent a chill along the beaches – time to dig out the thermals. What kind of weatherproof clothing do you wear during the winter? I am a big fan of the bib and brace trousers and waterproof jacket combo and am well pleased with the new Delta Marine Clothing from TF Gear which is Teflon coated, 100% waterproof and fleece lined, with jacket and bib and brace both at £59.99. Sallopettes can be worn alone when the sun is out and they give you some warmth around the lumber area. I am not a fan of one piece suits although for the really cold weather and the boats, the floatation suit can be essential. It’s difficult to get the combinations of clothing right with the UK climate, cold one minute and sunny the next.
Another popular combination is Geordie Pyjama’s – that’s chesties if you live south of Watford Gap. Neoprene chest waders (like the Hardwear Pro Neoprene Chest Waders) combined with a smock type top (TF Gear’s Delta Marine range has a smock at £59.99), are great for rock hopping and wading, but watch those wader soles; studded or none slip are essential for treading wet rocks or the kelp edges. Perhaps the most important winter garb for the angler is a hat and the peaked baseball type cap takes some beating for keeping rain and spray off glasses – and it’s cheaper than laser surgery. On colder days, the good old woolly hat is the business. But best of all for keeping warm, and keeping your sea fishing tackle and bait dry, is some form of angling brolly or sea fishing day shelter.