Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Oct 11

TF Gear Alan Yates Diary                                              November 2011-11-02


My latest competition was the Dover Sea Angling Associations three day pier festival and as main organiser it’s always a struggle to balance the fishing with the organising. However this year thanks to a few mates pitching in, I even managed to finish in the top three – At last some Penn points!

The event which involves fishing the stone breakwater in the middle of Dover Harbour and that involves a boat to get to it was yet again weather affected with competitors only reaching the Southern breakwater wall on the Sunday. On the other two days they were forced to fish the Prince of  Wales pier inside the harbour where they competed with the local seals for the resident fish. “Finchy” the biggest of the animals was named after a competitor who was said to have a family resemblance to the seal, or so his Brighton mates reckon. Anyway, day one saw herrings and mackerel as the target, the Delta triple tip came in handy* and even more pleasing for me was that my son, Richard held up the family name by winning the day with 38 herrings, plus the one mackerel for 5.090kg. He used a fish based ground bait, continental light wire booms 0.200 snood line and size 10 hooks baited with a single maddie.

On day two the wind dropped enough to allow the boat to the breakwater wall although a couple of rogue waves did their best to wreck the day of several of the anglers with Whitstable’s, Alan Underdown losing his bait and fish buckets to the sea, he will never live that down. The best catch that day went to Ray Jeffrey of Sheerness with a bag of dogfish and whiting from knuckle peg 6 for 5.110kg.

On day three a southerly wind threatened to swamp the wall because of the large spring tide, so it was back to the Prince of Wales pier and the end peg (3) there dominated the catches with Sam Sampson of Brighton landing 56 small pouting caught alongside the wall for 4.50kg.

All this added up to another festival win for Folkestone’s Martyn Reid who had finished second on day two and been amongst the herrings on day one and despite only one fish on day three he hung on to take the main trophy and £500 prize with 8.680 kg. Runner up overall was Richard Yates with 8.080kg and third was myself with 7.890kg.

Other major prize winners included Mick Chapman of Herne Bay who landed the biggest fish of the festival, a 1.890kg smoothhound worth £200. The best flatfish was a shock turbot of 1.030kg for Lowestoft angler, Kerville Chilvers also worth £200. Most fish went to Sam Sampson of Brightonwith 67 and the most species to Deal angler, Saul Page with 7. Other aggregate weight winners included: Saul Page (4th); Sam Sampson (5th); Nathan Elliott, Dover (6th) Ray Jeffrey (7th); Mick Chapman (8th); Ben Arnold, Brighton (9th) and Joe Croxon of Dover (10th). The drawn team of four winners were: Mick Tapsell, Martyn Reid, Mick Wall, Great Yarmouth and Ray Jeffrey with 18.980Kg. Drawn pairs winners were Martyn Reid and Alan Yates with 16.570kg.

Bearing in mind its November the Dover competition showed how mild the weather has been in the south with lots of mackerel showing. The high water temperature, clear water and the unseasonal wind have all but halted the cod season at this end of the Channel, the festival produced just one tiny codling. Fingers crossed for a gale and stair rod rain soon!

Well I had to didn’t I – I went on to Facebook BUT in case any of you are wondering why I only talk about cricket it’s because I spend most of my day on my computer including lots of E Mails and Facebook is too much like work – So it’s a once a week visit to talk about cricket. Incidentally I have very few friends or family that like, or understand cricket that’s why!!!!


With the competition season underway it’s a busy time for events and the Sea Angler magazine ranking points (Penn League) are going berserk. Men to watch include Lymington’s Andy Dawkins who seems to be fishing for everything everywhere – some said he has a £50 grand annual sponsorship? Anyway he is scoring big around the country. My money is also on Dave Roe of Dublin as well as Martyn Reid of Folkestone. Then there are Joe Arch of Cardiff, Neville Charlesworth of Withernsea, Robert Tuck of Clacton and Saul Page of Deal.

Coming up soon is the Sheerness Steel open at Sheppey, Kent. It’s a TF Gear sponsored event and I will be there to take part. It’s usually a very hard match if the weather is calm. But if the wind blows and the whiting turn up it will be a proper competition and not a flounder raffle.

TF Gear Kent Classic. Sheerness Steel SAC. Isle of Sheppey. 13th November. Fishing 11am until 4pm.400 pre-book only pegs. Booking in from 7am at Sheerness East working Men’s Club. Tel. Trevor 01795-877127 or


*I mentioned the new Delta Continental quiver tip rod earlier and it will soon be available as well as a new 16 footer for the low multiplier plus the new SMAG reel which I must say I am impressed with – If you need a look give me a shout if you see me fishing.

Also the next issue of Sea Angler magazine includes a free copy of the new TF Gear DVD made in South Wales – it includes reviews of the additions to the TF Gear sea angling fishing tackle range – check out the size of those cod, also whilst making the DVD I landed a surprise bass which caused me to swear on camera, not a bad word, but I am easily excited by fish!!

Alan Yates Sea fishing Diary Sep/Oct 11


Angling can be a fickle business – I fished at local club match on Folkestone pier recently and despite not drawing the hot end pegs I ended the winner with dogfish, whiting and pouting. Incidentally the whiting were 30cm, In July that’s unheard of and after being 25cm all winter they seem to have grown at last. Anyway my good fortune was followed the next night by a complete disaster and miscalculation on my part when I opted to fish at Folkestone Warren in a beach rover and blanked after four hours trying. All this points to August arriving and along the English Channel and lower North Sea Coast this can be a hard time for sea angling. The problem is lots of the species have travelled north well up into the North Sea. We in the lower UK have been bypassed. However, it’s not all doom and gloom because as the nights draw back the impending autumn will see those same species scurrying south and that’s when we get our chance. Especially through the Straits of Dover which funnels all those returning fish in to 21 miles of water, but make the most of the fishing because the purple patch in the English Channel only lasts for a few months.

This week the first few codling have been landed from the Kent shore with fish just over the legal minimum size limit of 35cm, let’s hope plenty are to come. Around the UK codling reports are also good and I predict it’s going to be a good winter for codling, but before November rather than after, so don’t leave it too late to get your beach casting gear out of mothballs!


With the school holidays coming up lots of the regions juniors will be in action and one of the most successful in the South East are the two junior Festivals staged by the Deal 1919 Angling Club. The dates are: Sunday 24th July and August 14th with the fishing on Deal pier from 11am until 3pm (entries taken from 10am on the pier). The fishing is from the pier stem is open to all juniors up to the age of 16 years of age and parents/guardians can accompany and assist with casting and baiting, etc. The only stipulation is that the contestant must reel in his/her own fish. The festival is catch, measure and release. Entry is £1, which includes free membership to the Deal Angling Club (1919) minnows; free fishing on the pier that day, free refreshments and a big, big prize list which includes expert fishing tackle ranging from reels, rods, tackle boxes, plus lots, lots more. Further details from Pat Heath Tel. 01304 361248.

Here are a few other open competitions around the UK that also cater for juniors being fished during August:

August 14: Blackdown Sea Angling Club Open. Bossington to Porlock.
Fishing 2pm until 7pm. 100% Payout. Sign in  from 12 noon at Bossington Beach  Entry £10 Juniors/OAP’s £5. Alan 01823664085 or 07912018910.

August 25 – 29: Guernsey Open Bass Festival. £10,000 value prize fund
Shore and Boat sections plus bonus prizes for best bass caught from a dingy, kayak, visitor, female and juniors. Registration at Boatworks+ St Peter Port from 5pm on 25th August.  Info at or email

August 27/28: Lough Foyle Sac Shore Angling Festival. Day One Roe Estuary Fishing 1pm until 6pm Day two Longfield Wall. Fishing 10am until 2pm.  Entry Fees: £30, Juniors: £15 plus optional pools. Pre book only. Ronan Mc Monagle 07872943023 or Philip Brown 07709627496


Coasters or a fixed reel seat? No contest in my opinion, those that cling to coasters as a means to fix their reels to their rods are living in the past. The latest sea rods come with an adjustable reel seat and that include the TF Gear range of Force 8 and Delta beachcasters. The big advantage of these reel seats is that they hold the reel securely. No chance of it coming adrift as it can with coasters. I have had that happen with a reel in one hand and a rod in the other, causing the loss of a fish! That was why I switched to a screw seat in the first place. Coasters are OK in fields, but for proper sea angling you need a proper reel seat!

Thanks to many of you who have e mailed me regarding the TF Gear DVD. I had some excellent responses and hope it has helped improve your results. We are making another film later into the autumn and with luck I shall have some cod fishing to show you. Incidentally if you missed the DVD you can get a copy from your nearest TF Gear dealer or contact TF Gear Tel 0871 911 7045

The Fox Conqueror was one of the rods I designed for Fox International with Chris Clark – It’s a match sea quiver tip widely used by match anglers in fact Penn Champion Steve Smith of Whitehaven used one to win the recent National Penn final. With Fox cutting back on their sea gear two new improved versions of this rod will soon be available in the TF Gear range. I have stiffened up the blank slightly and it will be available in 15ft and 16ft versions.

See you on the beach.

Alan Yates