WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING
A busy weekend for competitions at Samphire Hoe, Dover recently when the Home Nations team Championships took place. Samphire Hoe is a very snaggy venue despite which it has become one of the favourite venue for international competitions because it’s a long fair promenade stretch that produces fish in mid summer in the calmest, clearest water conditions. The reason for this is that the sea bed out from the sea wall is a mass of rocks and kelp, many also say all the redundant dumper lorries and trucks used to construct the Channel Tunnel, the Hoe is a venue made from the tunnels spoil after all!
I tagged along on the Friday of the Home Nations with the camera and saw a few pollack, dogfish, pout and wrasse come in with the England youngsters doing particularly well fishing alongside the wall. In the event both the England Junior and Youth teams won their competitions, whilst the England seniors tied for last place and Scotland took the senior honours.
Interesting fact about the event was that like all Internationals nowadays they are bait supplied. This takes away the enormous advantage that many top match match anglers who spend several days a week digging and collecting bait have. I was very against the idea when I fished internationally because I placed great faith and effort in bait collecting, although it was a case of if you don’t like it don’t fish internationally and so I had to bow to the rule. Nowadays having retired from the international arena I am not so anti bait supplied. I suppose over the years I have become brainwashed into thinking it’s a fairer system, although in the back of my mind making an effort is always goes to by more important to me.
Bait supplied makes the fishing fairer, to an extent, when the bait supplied is good quality and the bait the fish are looking for, but being fobbed off with bad bait is the worst feeling in the World when you are fishing for your country – I remember when the World champs was fished at Dover being given common lugworm when my team mates and all other competitors all had yellowtails – It ruined my championships and was one of the reasons I packed in international fishing.
After the Home Nations had finished, I fished the European Federation event – It was also bait supplied, although a much lower key international event. More like a Saga International with all the old timers in attendance. Two days of fishing after the Home Nations had virtually cleaned out the venue proved hard and I struggled to catch because the venues fish are mostly localised and even fishing catch and release catching the fish totally ruined the fishing for the following days. Winner of the European was Reg Clough from Salisbury who amongst his haul included a specimen three bearded rockling. I took some pics of Reg’s rockling and in the excitement of it all he returned the fish without measuring it! Fortunately it had been pictured near a measure and he was awarded 45cm – I though it was nearer 50cm, lesson learned for Reg.
COMPETIONS AND EVENTS
Coming up is the start of the major competition season, yes after a dismal summer, autumn is not that far away although hopefully there will be some sunshine in between. Lots of events to fish in the months to come with the Festivals particularly favourite for their friendliness and camaraderie. Some to look out for include:
The Filey Brigg Angling Society Sea Fishing Festival starts on Saturday 1st of September. For details contact Miss Carolyn Cammish, 01723 518457. Web: www.fileybrigganglingsociety.co.uk
Also on the 2nd of September the Weymouth Festival takes place. Contact 07967 018225.
The Torbay Sea Angling Festival takes place from September 7th until the 16th and that has boat and shore events. For details contact: Paul Vaggers 01803 551005 Mobile: 07967 647955 Email: email@example.com
The Scarborough Festival starts on the 15th September with the Bob Yarker Trophy which is a rover, there are competitions all week and the event is sponsored by Sea Angler magazine. Details on 07557 683570 or 01751 475795
Finally, its not a festival, but the week long SAMF Daiwa Irish Pairs is fished a at Dingle in Ireland from the 29th September. Places usually sell out early. www; irishpairs.co.uk Nick Haward 01502724222
It’s that time of year when sea anglers are starting to think about the autumn season to come. Its time for some sea fishing tackle maintenance, or an update of tackle ready for the cod and big bass season, or in the case of the competition angler, the larger autumn opens and festivals. Is your gear up to scratch, have you got the latest fishing tackle innovations and are you prepared?
A major job apart from some general maintenance of rods and sea fishing reels is to renew the sea fishing line and shock leaders on all reels. Modern monofilament is tougher than in the past and will last on the reel for months, BUT the odd nick or damage could cost you a fish and so the new season is the time to renew line completely. On the beach nowadays I prefer to go for diameter nowadays rather than line breaking strain because its knock strength and durability that is so important from the beach. OK low diameter line casts further and resists the tide less, but if it pops on the first barnacle that counts for nothing. So I tend to stick with Nantec 0.40mm (18lb) for general fishing with a 0.37mm to 0.80mm Aftershock tapered shock leader.
Terminal rig wise have you spotted that the TF Gear rig range includes rigs that use rubber stop snood fixings? These not only allow the user to adjust the snood position at will, but also if they get snagged the snood rubber can slip and spring the hook free, sometimes.
My most recent fishing session for Sea Angler Magazine saw me join Paul Fenech and Jason Davey in search of bass from a spectacular Sussex surf venue and was lucky enough to bag a 5lber. Read all about it in the next issue of Sea Angler Magazine.