Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Nov/Dec2 11

It’s grim out there with the snow melt water and extreme temperatures starting to influence the inshore shallows, and a few more weeks of the artic conditions and even the deep water shore marks will be effected. My advice is to head for the deeper water, especially the piers and that’s what I did this week. I won the Folkestone pier Christmas match with 33 dabs and whiting for 6.710kg including a 560 gram specimen, not a monster by boat standards, but from the shore it took the top hook bait and gave me a “cod” bite! A big fish bait seems to be the way to attract the bigger whiting at present and to avoid the pins that are starting to take over the beaches. I also included a few bigger dabs, and these small flatfish are always welcome because they taste so good and even a just sizeable specimen of 20cm has plenty of fillet on it; try them I promise you will not have tasted a better sea fish.

I also fished a club beach match before the Christmas holiday and my bait froze in the hook, just about the best bait presentation I have ever had with the bait frozen to the bait clip. Fortunately I took a cool bag along to prevent my bait freezing, lugworm die if they are frozen and are next to useless as bait so beware.

Want some good news in amongst the doom and gloom of the snow, ice, weather cancelled boat trips and travel chaos? Well, the 21st December is the shortest day so from then on the nights are starting to draw out – Roll on Spring!

Fishing News and Competition Reports
I have a week off for the Christmas holiday, and my next match is the Cod Championships at Hythe ranges on the 28th December Fishing is from 1.30pm until 6.30pm. Details etc from Mick’s Tackle at Hythe. Tel. 01303 266334.

After that the 2011 competition season gets under way and in my region the first match is at Hythe on the 2nd January with an open sponsored by Anyfish Anywhere. Fishing 8am until 12 noon, Book in Prince of Wales pub, Palmarsh. Details from Martyn Reid Tel. 07765278579.

Pick of the matches countrywide in January include:

The Mersey Anglers open at Otterspool promenade, Liverpool on the 8th. A great easy access venue with plenty of small codling around at the moment. Fishing is from 9am until 2pm. Book in car park from 7.30am. 20cm measure to weight conversion, £15 all in. Details form John Waugh 01516397974.

The Country Stores Mumbles pier Open on the 9th – I wish I lived nearer, I just love the piers. Fishing is from 6.30pm until 10.30pm and the event is pegged. Contact Brian Davies of the Country Stores for details. 01792 875050 m 07970404522.

One match I have booked in for is the Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival. On the 27th/28th and 29th. Fished from the North Wexford shoreline its an Open catch measure and release event organised by EFSA Ireland. HQ is Seàn Òg’s Complex, Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford with a great house package available for teams of four etc. Contact is Warren Doyle, 98, Seacrest, Bray, Co. Wicklow. E-Mail: Phone: +353(0)1-2828769 Mobile: +353(0)86-8069961 (Evenings Please).

Tackle Reviews

Girls – looking for a great Christmas present for the sea angler in your life – would we all just love a pair of TF Gear Force 8 multipliers, the 65CTM reel is my choice for the beachcaster and the 75CTM for the boat. I have been using the 65CTM for several months now and I am pleased with its performance and durability – It casts best with a single fibre brake block and the magnet adjustment wide open although I shut the magnets down completely for the first cast with dry line. I have hauled a couple of treble dogfish plus some trebles of heavyweight whiting and that’s a task some of my other makes of multipliers have pinioned out on!

A cheaper present could be a set of Tronix rig winders in a box – cheap as chips and great for the match angler. Incidentally a tip for you fussy match anglers who like your rig winders to be pristine. It comes from North West lady international, Heather Lindfield – She recommends the dishwasher as the place to wash rigs and rig winders, watch the hooks though.

Best wishes to all for the Christmas and New Year.

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Alan Yates

About Alan Yates

Born in the channel port of Dover, Alan Yates spent his boyhood bass fishing from boat and shore. After a highly successful match fishing career, during which he competed for England 15 times, twice winning gold, Alan went on to become a full time angling journalist. While writing for, among other titles, Angling Times and Improve your Sea Angling, Alan also wrote his seminal work, Sea Fishing. Founder of the Sea Angler’s Match Federation, Alan fought for catch and release in match fishing and sea fishing more generally.