Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary – September

My first evening club beach competition of September resulted in a mackerel, a sole, a scad and a pout with the shoreline at Sandgate in Kent, warm, still and clear.  I am not knocking it, but late summer does not seem to want to leave us and the autumn season may yet be delayed by that late spring. In the past I have caught codling from the Kent shore in August, although most years it’s the second week in September when they turn up on my patch – Noticeable the whiting are not showing yet, although, that could be a godsend because small whiting have become such a nuisance in winter they have driven lots of shore anglers to the boats or the carp puddles. Of course the one thing about this time of year when the sea is flat and the weather balmy, is that fishing a live pout or whiting on the surface close in to the beach can be deadly for bass, big bass. This week an angler from Dover, Robert Gismondi landed a 16lb plus bass at Dover – the fish took a surface lure from Dover beach and it was officially weighed at Dover’s admiralty pier where some huge bass are landed at this time of year. Time to get the live baits out. The only trouble with that is catching them, but if you can mount them on a small strong hook (the Tronix dog pattern is ideal) on a slider and slide them down the main line so that they float on the surface in the margins. It is essential not to use an over large or heavy hook because these will drag the live bait down and drown in. A small compact, but strong hook does the job. Keep lighting and beach crunching to a minimum and you could be in for some excitement especially after midnight.

16lb Bass from Dover

16lb Bass from Dover

The other tactic I enjoy this month is the float – with the garfish and mackerel moving south they often turn up around the south of the country late in autumn and can be fun to catch on a float outfit fishing fish baits near the surface. No need to fish any deeper than 8ft and fish the float as a slider so that you can keep the bait on the move. The tactic works well from beach or pier and its a fun way to fill the winter bait freezer and garfish is every bit as good as mackerel as a winter tip bait for worm.

Now is a popular time for match anglers and traditionally the major shore competitions are held from September onwards – Even despite a downward trend in entries to competitions the majors seem to keep going.

Here are a few that may interest would be match angler:

The TF gear sponsored Kent Classic Open at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey takes place on the 17th of November. The venue is not that renowned for its fishing and if the weather is calm and clear it is a bit of a flounder raffle and that gets the entry up because everyone has a chance. You can also fish with the wife or kids which is attractive for families. If it’s rough and the water coloured then those whiting turn up and it’s a bit more clear cut with one of the many matchmen winning. The fishing is from 9.30am until 2.30pm.The match is pegged and pre book only contact is Trevor Back 01795 483676. Email – trevback@sky.com

One I am arranging soon is the Dover Sea Angling Association three day Pier Festival fished on Dover Breakwater on October 12/13/14th (Reserve venues: Sat: POW Pier fishing 12noon until 5pm. SUN: Admiralty pier fishing 8.30am until 1.30pm; MON: Admiralty pier fishing 9am until 2pm) The Southern Breakwater at Dover is a popular venue because of the fantastic fishing it can offer from both the outside and inside wall. It’s only reachable by boat and the boat only runs in winds under force seven so that’s why there is a reserve venue each day. This year the date has been moved to early October in an attempt to find some calm weather. A big prize list of catch and tackle is on offer from sponsors and a total pay out of the entry fees. Entry fee £20 per day, optional pools £5 per day. All three days are for Penn points. Enquirers Dover SAA 01304 204722 or Alan Yates 01303 250017 E Mail: alankyates@aol.com.

My third choice is the giant Daiwa Open being fished on December 1st between Bridlington North beach and Paull lighthouse. Fishing times are 10am until 4pm. With booking in from 07.30am at Northfield country club. Entry fee is £10 with Juniors £5. This competition carries a prize fund of £3000 and is popular because of its large prize table. This gives all a chance of winning rather than just the matchmen. Contact Paul Jefferson for detail Tel. 01482 326814

Catching a big or rare species is not such an unusual occurrence nowadays and I suppose apart from the excuse that global warming may be responsible for more rare species being around, it’s a fact that anglers are better equipped, more knowledgeable and are more willing to chase the unusual. Take Luke Aston a charter skipper who fishes out of Carrigholt in the Shannon estuary aboard his charter boat, Clare Dragoon. An ex commercial skipper, he has made catching the very rare six gilled sharks almost commonplace and his latest catch by German angler, Detlef Geiling who is  a regularly on Luke’s boat shows why. The fish measured 3.4metres and was estimated at 770lb, and that makes the recent fuss about makos and porbeagles look a bit pathetic. Luke boated four big six gills last season and his biggest is over 1000lbs! This is the first one this year taken on his first trip over a mark that has produced fish over the last five years. Sea fishing tackle used is 80lb class, although Luke uses a rubbing leader of 300lb mono and 200lb wire. Fish in the past have destroyed light fishing gear. Bait is a combination of Mackerel and Coalfish. One problem is that the fish are so big that they cannot be landed aboard the boat for photographs and are released after being snapped in the water alongside the boat. You can contact Luke at Carrigaholt Sea Angling. Tel. 00353 87 6367544   www.fishandstay.com

770lb Six Gill Shark

770lb Six Gill Shark

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary | September

There is a degree of excitement about the darker evenings and the autumnal nip in the air – summer has been great, although the shore fishing was hampered by sunshine and clear water and not all regions were blessed with a smoothhound run and I for one deserted to freshwater on more than one occasion. But now the winter looms and its time most serious sea anglers get the gear out. Initial reports suggest the whiting are back in large numbers, now depending upon the region, that could be good or bad news. Year class fish under 27cm are a pain in some regions because the food source they seek is limited and they stunt to razor thin bodies that swarm around baits stopping anything from else from taking it. In contrast estuary regions which are rich in shrimp boasts plump, fat whiting that pack on the weight with fish upwards of 12oz. Whiting are a deep water fish that feed on fish once they are mature and few stay inshore when they reach the 1lb mark, like the cod it’s the immature that live inshore before their food demands send them out into the deep sea. All this means that whiting, size from the shore, like the cod, have always been controlled by the numbers. In years when there are lots of whiting an overflow of bigger fish reaches the shoreline, on others the big fish are scarce. This year looks like an overflow year with plenty of bigger fish to be caught, although my advice is to fish those dirty estuaries rich in shrimp for the better quality fish. As for cod, well most anglers will be blinkered towards them and initial reports show small fish starting to show with a stray 15lber from the Brighton shore recently causing excitement although I think it was a fluke. However, as I write a south westerly gale is building and blowing and that may just be all the codling need along the English Channel and Atlantic facing coasts, whilst in the North Sea things should also improve once an onshore North easterly arrives.

Alan Yates catching fish

My latest trip was an early morning try on Samphire Hoe near Dover, before the current gale – A great venue if you don’t mind losing a bit of gear, although I have to say experience limits the losses for me. But so many anglers in the Kent region won’t fish at Samphire Hoe or other equally snagging venues, because they lose sea fishing tackle. Well thast OK, but the fact is that the horrendous weed and boulders of the Hoe are home to a host of fish and they are relatively safe from the nets. This is a fact all around the country, clean sand has often been trawled to death and it’s the more mixed or rough ground that cannot be netted where the fish populations are at their best. OK this does mean that rock loving species like wrasse, pout, pollack etc are more prevalent, whilst plaice and sole are fewer. But give the rocks a look, fishing amongst snags is not that difficult if you give your tackle and tactics some thought. Fewer hooks get hooked up less and reeling in fast, lifts tackle up and over the snags!

My latest trip to the Hoe saw me stick with the sliding float and I fished a single hook baited with a sandeel 12ft deep. This meant I was well above the snags and by letting the float drift in the tide with a lift of the rod I could impart some natural looking movement in the frozen sandeel. It worked because I caught bass and pollack before switching to a rod with two hooks on the sea bed to catch wrasse and pout. Nothing big, but a successful and mixed day and perhaps one of the last before winter sets in proper, although with the changing seasons it does seem that autumn reaches out to Christmas nowadays in the south so the opportunity to fish the float hangs on if the sea remains calm and clear. Last year I landed garfish from a Kent pier in late November!

 

Talking about global warming, it seems very much alive in terms of sea angling with a continuous stream of tropical and semi tropical species landed in recent years from the UK shore and boat. Some of the rare species that have turned up may have been lost or off course, whilst others are undoubtedly here because of the changing migration patterns and habitat caused by man’s over fishing. Take out one species and another will thrive in the habitat and room that is untapped and that is the key to what is happening around the world in my opinion and not just the World’s oceans hotting up. Even so, the latest rare species to turn up is so remarkable it must pose questions related to the climate.  Martin White a gardener from London landed a 2lb 8oz American striped bass from peg 60 on Dover breakwater. The fish was witnessed and weighed by Breakwater steward Tom Preston of Folkestone. Striped bass are a relative of our bass and as far as I am aware one has never been recorded in English waters, indeed there is no British record. The species spawn in freshwater and although they are sea going, they are found around the major American river estuaries and so how one got across the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean is a mystery. It is a fact though that the species has been stocked in river systems throughout the world, including in Iran and Russia so the breakwater fish could be a Russian fish heading home to its estuary in North America. Bass, the European species, are a popular sea sport fish around Europe because they take lures and grow to double figures, in America the striped bass are an even bigger target protected totally from the commercial fishermen they are the major sea sport species.

BOOK REVIEW

Dave chamberlain book review

Deal and Walmer’s Piscatorial Past by Dave Chamberlain, photographs by Basil Kidd document the remarkable sea angling catches of the 1960 and 70s and the dramatic decline of the shore and boat fishing in the South East of England since that time. Some readers may say that the anglers themselves did the damage with their disgraceful piles of dead cod and pollack. Others that it was the commercial fleets who have also long gone. Whatever, the fact remains that in those days when PC didn’t mean anything other than Police Constable huge rod and line catches of fish were commonplace and they were simply laid out and photographed.

Dave Chamberlain was a charter skipper in those day and he and his beach launched boat, Morning Haze plied their trade from the Deal shore – Basil Kidd, now departed, was the local news photographer who would go anywhere anytime for a big fish picture. Between them they have produced a remarkable history of the changes that have occurred to sea angling nationally and this small section of the Kent shore in the very recent past. A great addition to any sea angler’s book collection.

The Book  ISBN 978-0-9548439- 4 -6 is published by Beaches Books and is available for £4.99 on Amazon or E Bay.

Dave chamberlain book review

 

COMPETITIONS

My major event next month is the Dover Sea Angling Association three day Pier Festival fished on Dover Breakwater on October 12/13/14th. Entry fee £20 per day, optional pools £5 per day. All three days are for Penn points. Enquiries Dover SAA 01304 204722 or Alan Yates 01303 250017 E Mail: alankyates@aol.com.

The TF gear sponsored Kent Classic Open at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey takes place on the 17th of November. The venue is not that renowned for its fishing and if the weather is calm and clear it is a bit of a flounder raffle and that gets the entry up because everyone has a chance. You can also fish with the wife or kids which is attractive for families.  If it’s rough and the water coloured then those whiting turn up and it’s a bit clearer cut with one of the many matchmen winning. The fishing is from 9.30am until 2.30pm.The match is pegged and pre book only contact is Trevor Back 01795 483676.   Email – trevback@sky.com