Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary May


I have just completed a busy few weeks away from home having returned from fishing the Magrini Championships in Sardinia after Gambia. The event is one of the most important on the Italian match calendar and attracts some of Italy’s best matchmen. It’s a hard event to do well in, so hard that ex world Champion, Joe Arch from Cardiff is the only angler from the UK to win it since it started in 1989. The fishing from the beaches around the Arbatax region on the East Coast of Sardinia is mainly for small breams with the greater weaver and a few other bigger species the bonus catch, the much talked about Blue fish though never materialised! Competitors are based at the Club Saranceno Hotel Complex at Arbatax.

During the matches it pays to fish for the tiddlers because each fish carries a 50 point bonus. This rule was introduced this year and in my opinion the Hippocampus Club of Sardinia who organise the event, have shot themselves slightly in the foot with this new points system. As in the rest of the world, elite matchmen wanting to cancel the effect of a “lucky” big fish have arranged points systems to suit themselves. BUT they need bums on seats at matches to keep them running and taking out the luck element of fishing drives away the majority of anglers rather than attracting them. At the Magrini even the biggest fish prize was removed and this leaves the average angler with little chance of success. One Belgium competitor wore a great T shirt that summed up the event. I depicted a chap with a giant fish draped over his shoulders talking to another with a string of tiny tiddlers “You only caught one then” the latter said!

Chris Clark, who I roomed with had similar result to mine, I was handicapped by a first day 6th place in zone, I did rally on the second day and won my zone, but my 7points total was only enough for 16th place. More successful where J P Molloy and Sean Ivory from Ireland who both finished in the prizes, whilst Joe Arch from Wales who generally fishes well at this event was the top visitor and that’s out of Spanish, Corsicans, Belgiums, Scots, English, Irish, Tunisians and more. Scotsman, Andrew Higgins also made the prizes, whilst his wife Cathy was third in the specimen hunt event fished several days before the Magrini.

If you get the chance the event is worth fishing for the scenery, the hotel and the Craic alone – Sardinia is a beautiful country although beware the German bikers at the Club Sarenceno where a boiled egg for breakfast is harder to claim than a Magrini section win!

It’s the start of the summer matches now and I must admit to not fishing many of the calm clear water, daylight, events. I prefer to slope off to a lake somewhere when the sun comes out and the venues become infested with mackerel featherers, or fish the night events. Dawn and dusk are the hot times, although it does depend upon where you live and fish with the recent work by lots of the water companies on water quality around our coasts ruining the fishing. Lots of the old sewer outlets had a mullet population, whilst the sludgy drain and sewer water off the shores of some of the bigger towns and cities held a good head of fish in even bright sunshine. Nowadays the clearer, cleaner water means fewer fish in the shallows, although there are still plenty of the large river estuaries that offer brown water with the Bristol Channel a favourite in the South and the Mersey and Humber further north. Club matches in the evening are popular and lots of clubs extend their events into darkness fishing until 11pm. The key to success in this type of match is to concentrate some efforts on that last hour or so of darkness when the fish usually turn up.

The Sea Angler Magazine Clubman series has just restarted – It involves individuals and teams of five and any club in the UK can enter. The event is organised by E Mail only and if you or your club want to participate simply contact me for a set of the rules etc on E Mail:


I stumbled on a great tactic whilst fishing the Magrini Championships in Italy and that was to use a carp type bait runner fixed spool reel. I reckon the idea will work well in the UK too in summer, especially for float fishing and light sea fishing tackle for bream, garfish, pollack, mullet etc. All it involves is actually using the bait runner as a shock absorber when fishing with very light line (3 to 5lb bs) A pulling fish cannot break the light line because it is given line by the bait runner and you then have time to set your clutch as you lift and retrieve.

Back home its peeler crab time with some bigger fish inshore at present searching for peeling crabs. This bait can be deadly, but it carries a big disadvantage, especially for anglers who don’t collect their own peeler crabs and have to rely on the dealer. This is that most of the dealers receive their peeler crab supplies from anglers who simply sell off their surplus crabs. BUT they cream off all the best crabs that are just about to split shells and pop out and so dealers nearly always have only hard crabs that are in the early state of peeling. If you find a dealer that supplies crabs in the best state for use as bait or one that lets you chose which crabs, size and peeling state you want, hang on to him!

See the range of the latest tackle in the TF Gear 2012 catalogue available from your local fishing tackle shops or contact us at: TF Gear Sea Fishing Unit 5 & 6, Ffrwdgrech Industrial Estate, Brecon, Powys. LD3 8LA

Tel, 0871 911 7045

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