Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Dec 10

I have been making a few terminal rigs for my forthcoming Irish match trip to fish the Winter Beach Festival at Wexford. Wire booms are always my favourite at this time of year. I like to fit a tiny swivel to the end of the boom by opening up the wire eye of the boom and fitting a swivel. A small length of silicone tubing keeps it in place. This allows me to use the lighter, thinner flouro carbon hook lengths and small hooks for flatties etc. I wrap the wire boom rigs around a rig winder, but you need a larger size (10cm diameter).

I enjoyed a hastily thrown together competition between Folkestone SAA and a group of anglers from Hampshire. They included my old mate Clive Richards with whom I helped to form SAMF back in 1980 and his local tackle shop dealer Chris Fox of Grayshott Tackle. It was a dab fest with the Folkestone ten man squad landing 25kg of dabs from Folkestone pier, Hampshire managed 17.270kg with Clive Richards their top man on 3.30kg. Folkestone’s best was Mick Tapsell on 5.710kg.

Competitors fishing the Hants versus Folkestone competition on Folkestone pier. Folk captain John Wells with the team cup.

I fished a series of events over the holiday and included a couple of top three finishes including a third in an open at Hythe Ranges. The winner, my mate Mick Tapsell from Folkestone, hooked 17 dabs for 2.030kg and with dabs all that are about inshore from the Kent shore at present he has made a killing winning three open matches on the trot. His secret, slightly stale black lugworm tipped with a little known dab bait – piddock clam.
Over the Christmas holiday I got my hands on a famous tackle companies new catalogue – Are they having a laugh – Beach casters over £400 reels nearly as much don’t they know there is a recession on?

Fishing News and Competition Reports
The sea angling match season flounders as we start the New Year, rockling as well. I have a few events to fish in Kent including the popular Fountain Open at Seabrook and Hythe on the 6th February. Like most of the other large events coming up it’s a Penn League and with another year just starting in the Sea Angler magazine Penn Sponsored National Championships we are all back to square one with zero points.

Other February events around the country include the Blackdown Sea Angling Club Open on the 19th February at Minehead to Blue Anchor. It’s not a venue renowned for lots of fish and so gives everyone a chance of success. The ideal competition for the beginner, or those who want to try competitions. The fishing is from 5.30pm until 9.30pm with the sign in at The Anchor Hotel, Blue Anchor. From 1.30pm. 1st Prize is £200, details form Alan Tel. 01823664085 or 07912018910.

For the experienced or keener match angler who want lots of fish then the Skua SAC 2 day Winter Open competition at Talacre on the 26th and 27th February is the perfect choice. Fishing is from 9am until 1pm Saturday and 9.30am until 1.30pm on the Sunday. The draw is from 6am. Pegs are limited, pre- book only and peeler crab is banned. Contact Pete Corker Tel 07711622015. Gordon Thornes Tel. 01244813003 for more details.

Around the Scene
It’s fishing chaps, but not as I remember it – the latest issue of the British Record Sea Fish list is proof if you needed it that UK sea angling is going to rack and ruin – we are clutching at straws with a list of rare species like amberjacks, Blue runners and miniscule mini species. The chances of breaking a record of a UK resident species are remote – will we ever see a plaice over 5lb again?

Nah, instead of giving us a list of silly records the Angling Trust ought to be out campaigning for a sea fishing rod licence and some funds to fight the commercial lobby who continue to empty the sea daily!

The British Record Fish Committee met at the Fishmongers Hall, London on 14th December 2010 and the following record claims were ratified by the committee:

Greater Amberjack of 1lb 7oz 1 drm (Seriola dumerili) caught from the boat by Mr Neil McDonnell Off West Coast of Lundyon the 29th September 2010

Marbled Electric Ray(Torpedo marmorata) 10lbs 14oz 11drms caught from the boat by Mr Gary Crane off the east coast of Sark (CI) on 15-Oct

Connemara sucker(Lepadogaster candollei) 10 grammes caught by master Jonathan Trevett from the Stone pier at Weymouth on the 12July 2009

Blue runner (Caranx hippos) 2lbs 8oz 12drms caught from the North Cornwall coast by Mr Nick Rogers on the 13th September 2007

One plus that did come from the BRFC meeting was that they are looking into forming a record list for catch and release having at last realised that its what anglers want. May I suggest that the record list switches to length and then that would completely solve the problem of weighing fish on a boat.

All the best for the New Year

Alan Yates

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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.

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