Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary

I am still on a roll fishing competitions with a string of club and open results.

In recent weeks and its mainly due to the fact that I am good at catching lots of small fish fast. Most match anglers fish like robots and this works well at times of year when there are a few fish about, but when there are lots of dabs and whiting, etc each casts timing becomes more crucial. The problem is that most beach casters nowadays have a fairly soft tip section and this soaks up the tide by bending, add the stretch of mono line and they but cancels out bite indication from the smallest fish. So the angler is not aware of what bites and attention the bait has had. Most anglers’ fish robotic ten minute, fifteen minute casts as a solution. The problem is that this wastes lots of time and a way to speed things up is to add five minutes to the cast if you blank and take five minutes off if you catch a full string (3). The complete solution is to use a rod that shows bites, even the smallest rockling or dab nibbles. Not easy if you are looking for a rod that will also blast three hooks to the horizon. I first solved the problem with a 15ft three-piece slim line rod with low rider rings. Being extra slim line the rod sits still in the wind and the slightly more rigid end of tip shows bites well. (It’s a fact that stiff tips are best for small bite registration because they rattle rather than bow which soaks up the movement) An alternative solution is a quiver tip but these do not cast heavy leads very well. Currently I am involved in designing a new TF Gear version of the low rider ringed beach caster and hope it will be available soon.

The difference when you can see every bites is amazing in terms of fish landed with 50 fish in a four hour match well possible and this is when fishing at long range. Lots of fish can also be caught at very close range with normal beach casters simple because there is less tide and bites can be seen more easily – A tip there, if you can catch the fish closer in do so because you will catch more!

The boats are the place to head in the New Year for a lunker cod. The biggest I have seen so far is a 40lb 14oz specimen bucket mouth for Dymchurch dinghy angler, Davis Simes. He landed his monster at the Dungeness end of Hythe Bay and it wasn’t a fluke either because his club mates landed fish of 34lb and 33lb in the same session. My tip for those of you after a monster cod is to get aboard a charter boat in the coming weeks. My list of ports likely to produce the largest fish includes: Eastbourne, Brighton, Ramsgate and Whitby with cuttlefish fished on an 8/0 plus Pennel the suggested bait and rig. Good luck – give me a mail with the picture when you catch it:


Most anglers talk about line in terms of breaking strain, but this can lead you up the garden if you are not careful because lots of the same BS lines available are different diameters and to the sea angler, especially those using multipliers, the diameter of the line is crucial. I have to laugh when I hear anglers say “ So and so line is really the best because its so strong” Little do they realise is so strong because its much thicker! Do you even measure your line diameter, I do? The fact is that some line makes are much thicker than others of the same strain and if you buy by breaking strain you may be being conned.  At sea 0.35mm line is usually around 15lb line, but in the carp world 0.38mm is often 15lb and that’s because carp anglers want a tough, durable line. The cross over between lines for coarse, game and sea and the influence of co polymer variations mean that buying by breaking strain as well as believing quoted diameters is a minefield – So get yourself a micrometer!

What lines do I use? Nantec Red Mist mainline 0.35mm and Daiwa Sensor 0.35mm.


The next major match for me is the Gambian Beach Championships on the 11th to 14th April 2013.  The event and the days fishing around it are my chance of a catching a bigger fish with captain fish and cassava the two species that are most likely to show. Last chance entries to: Bernard Westgarth on Tel 01325 720113 or E Mail:


Looking further forward the World clubs Champs is on the 4th May in Portugal for a week and I hope to be included in the Dover Sea Angling Association team if they are selected and then later in the month I will fly to Sardinia for the Magrini Championships on the 24th May. I have been trying a new tactic when fishing light line hook snoods in the Mediterranean etc and that’s to fish with a bait runner – Bites can pull line off the spool and not break the lightest hook snoods (5lb) And the lighter hook snoods the more bites you get in the clear continental seas.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates.

PIC: David Simes 40lb 14oz Dymchurch cod. Amazing!!!

Dave Simes 40 14 cod fishtec