My run of second places in shore angling competitions continues – again the bridesmaid at the Dover Sea Angling Association open Christmas match fished from Dover breakwater. However, my excuse is I was pegged in the middle of the breakwater wall at peg number 95 and the winner came from the hot peg 8 in the knuckle at the eastern end. I landed 40 sizeable fish including seven dogfish, whilst the winner landed twenty (catch and release dogfish were worth 500grams). The cod did not materialise and just two of 1kg were landed. Where have they all gone you might ask? Well in my opinion the commercials wiped them out last year despite the quota ban!
My second Christmas event of the weekend was a club event and I finished second after three hours of wading through undersized whiting. I was using the new Force 8 13ft 6inch beachcaster fishing at long range and I am well pleased with the distances I am reaching with it.
I have never known it as bad for tiny whiting as this winter with fish between 24cm and 26cm plentiful, I hear that there is a whiting quota ban in place this year, although it seems whiting stocks are healthy, at least the Kindergarten is. Another question is where are all the pouting, for many years the most consistent species for match fishing has been pouting, but now they are as rare as rocking horse manure and cod?
Fishing News and Competition Reports
I didn’t make the largest seasonal competition in my region at Deal at the weekend, although I didn’t miss much according to the results. However, Folkestone match angler, Martyn Reid, won the Deal 1919 Angling Club Turkey event and that was on the back of a 15lb cod a few days before from Dungeness Point. Martyn has enjoyed a super year match fishing around Kent and this latest points score should put him near the top of the Penn Sea League operated by Sea Angler magazine – well done, Martyn!
Talking about National competitions, the Clubman event that runs through Sea Angler Magazine is also reaching its conclusion with a tight finish expected between the top runners. They include Workington SAC, Ramsey SAC, Holt SAC, Colwyn Bay and the Fountain SAC whilst the individual title is between Mike Laycock of Workington, Barry Sharpe of Ramsey and John Wells of Hythe. If you want to get your club involved in the league it restarts in April 2011. It is organised via E mail and I am the man to send results to firstname.lastname@example.org for rules and details.
I am currently reviewing the final batch of beachcasters for the TF Gear range and must say I am impressed. The rods come in three basis categories. The Force 8 range are three out and out power casting /fishing models and they include a 15ft three piece multiplier, a 13ft 6iz two piece multiplier with reducer and a 15ft three piece fixed spool model. Next the Delta range are what I would describe as more fishing rods with improved bite indication and more feel in action, they include a 14ft and 13ft multiplier models and a 14ft fixed spool models. The final rod is aimed at the first timer with the Banshee suitable for fixed spool or multiplier reels.
Around the scene
Make the most of the next few weeks fishing because if the current run of low temperatures and snow continue many shallow shore regions could experience a real loss of form. Snow in particular can ruin the shore fishing with cold melt water and frozen sand over low tide at night sending the fish to deep water. It’s OK if you have a pier and the New Year is a really god time for piers so head there if your shore fishing goes off. It’s also a good idea to scale down tackle because lots of the mature fish move away to spawn and the fish left are generally the tiddlers. Size 2 and 4 hooks and the small lugworm and maddies bait gets bites at this time of year with the small sand white ragworm particularly deadly for getting a bite. One plus of this time of year is that with the fishing less hectic and more about patience anglers tend to talk to each other more. Take a wander up the beach to see how the next guy is doing, it’s a tactic that’s great for flatfish, I call it the flounder walk!