Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Oct/Nov 10

A Sea Angler magazine trip to fish against the Sefton Sea Angling Club in the River Mersey saw the river back in form with lots of codling from the promenade stretch at Otterspool. Some were up to 40cm, but the smaller fish are the good news because they herald a recharge of this productive cod sanctuary for next year. Read how the match went and how I got on using one of the new TF Gear Delta Beachcasters in the next issue of Sea Angler magazine. Before I leave Liverpool, what a change since the scousers obtained City status – everywhere I went it was carpet mown lawns, spotlessly clean streets and buildings, no litter and the tweeist litter bins I have ever seen, I thought I was in the west end of London.

Busy, busy this month with an issue of the magazine to finish, plus lots of  consultant work, but I hope to get out fishing more with reports of bigger cod increasing from the boats fishing off Kent. One thing I did manage time for this week was a winter tackle box revamp – out when the feathered lures and floats, and in went the 7oz fixed wire grip leads, 30lb snood line, and I managed time to reload the reels with 15lb Nano Mist mono – never liked red line before but they tell me it is the first colour of the spectrum to vanish underwater.

The World championships result from South Africa came as something of a shock, with all the home teams beaten by Ireland. Now in recent years Ireland has been the butt of many jokes in international sea angling circles with their antiquated team selection, but this year they came up trumps, sending a team of sea anglers whose laid back fishing skills paid off big time. Whilst the big guns of England and Wales, packed full of star names and ex world champions charged around catching single fish quickly, Ireland fished at a slower pace taking longer between casts and came out on top by catching two and three fish a chuck instead of one. A lesson for all anglers, that angling can never be taken for granted. Take a 10.3 second 100 metres sprinter – never beaten by anyone with a lesser time, but in fishing the aged can beat the young, the ladies the men and for those youthful England lads who struggled to comprehend the Irish victory, my consolations. BUT; because angling is what it is, when you are sixty plus years old you will be able to beat anyone, even Usane Bolt!  Congratulations to the Irish and individual World champion John O’Brien, and also to my son Richard who  – on his first cap – managed to finish top of the English team in ninth place overall.

Hard luck of the championships was Wallsend ace lady sea angler, Pauline Ferry, who landed a big fish only for the line to break as it was beached and, typical of those over zealous CIPS stewards and officials, her fish was disqualified doing her out of a medal. As a Spurs fan I know the feeling!

I got a fleeting glimpse of another new beach casting multiplier reels this week, it was a new model from Akios aimed at the tournament field which includes the option of a beach fishing conversion via a power handle. A one block aluminium frame frame allowed the reel to sit as low as possible on the rod seat for maximum thumb grip and casting control, the reel includes the same magnetic nobbly brake controls as on the TF Gear models.

Have you noticed how cold the evenings are getting? Yes winter is looming, I mean real winter, with rain like stair rods and a wind chill that freezes nuts. In a few weeks the lesser winter anglers start to drift away from the beach and only the hardy remain to face the elements, as well as cope with an ever decreasing supply of lugworms. I get the hump when I hear sea anglers moaning about the price of bait or small lugworms – tell you what, YOU get out at dawn with a pump or fork and dig bait and you will soon realise just how difficult it is to dig enough to make a living. Expect a price hike in the coming weeks and be grateful if you get your hands on a few score!
For those of you that continue to fish, the rewards are often the best cod fishing of the year so wrap up warm in a quality waterproof, the new TF Gear Delta Marine two piece with the option of a smock top is now available. Its fleece lined and produced in a Teflon coated material which expels water like a ducks back!

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Oct 10

Despite having to organise the Dover three day pier festival, I managed to find time to fish myself and was rewarded with fourth place overall plus prizes for the most fish, heaviest fish on the final day, and the best over 50s. Festival winner was Folkestone angler, Martyn Reid, who is on fire at present, especially at the draw bag. He won two days by a clear margin with a three day total of 20.890kg. The weather played a big part in the event and as any winter anglers will know, an in-your-face gale certainly sorts the men from the boys. It also sorts out the wet weather gear and I must say my neoprene chest waders and the latest Delta Marine smock from TF Gear kept me warm and dry on the final day of the event when winter arrived in earnest. In such conditions being able to sit on your tackle box without getting the wet bum is a real plus to your concentration and being warm and dry allows you to concentrate on the fishing. It was touch and go whether we stayed on the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover Harbour with the wind gusting SE force 9, but the event made the time which took the pressure off myself as organiser and the only hiccup at the prize presentation was a clash of venue with the local pensioners club!

The very next day I had a repeat of the weather whilst making a DVD for TF Gear’s new sea tackle range. Instead of the planned session after Dungeness cod which was in the midst of a force 9 storm, we had to divert to the relative gale at Deal. The weedy sea made conditions difficult and I only managed whiting and a single dab – it was even too rough for the dogfish, and that’s a first in Kent. However, we did manage to get lots of tackle advice and tips on the DVD. The next day the swell from the storm cancelled the boat trip and that has to be rescheduled before the DVD goes public.

Fishing News and Competition Reports

Coming soon is the final of the Clubman league organised by Sea Angler magazine – this involves a five man team from Mersey-based Sefton Sea Angling Club versus a team from Sea Angler, including me. The fishing is from Otterspool promenade in the Mersey. More on the venue, etc., next week.

I missed my trip to fish the West African Beach Championships in Gambia this year – the event had gone stale and lots of competitors stopped going because – to be blunt – the organisers lost interest with tight pegging and poor selection of venues leading to fewer fish. So next year, a group of us are organising our own event in February 10. If you are interested send me an email  ( and I will keep you in the loop as to when and where. Currently my angling representative is visiting the Sheriton Hotel near Banjul to sound out the accommodation, etc.

Tackle Reviews

Look out for the Force 8 beach umbrella from TF Gear – at last, a brolly that will hack sea fishing. It was my idea to introduce a 45inch brolly with skirt built to exacting sea angling standards. The model has reinforced fibre glass stays, both flexible and corrosion proof and the canopy is in hard wearing waterproof material that is welded to the ends of the stays rather than help by a plastic cap. The main support pole has the options of an upright fixing in the rear of the brolly for calm days or in the straight position when it’s windy. Some might say why only 45inch? Well, it’s my experience that larger brollies are much more difficult to anchor in  sea angling conditions, and that 45 inch is the maximum size for stability, especially if you don’t want to play kites! The model is light weight enough to use on the beach when you are moving back and forth with the tide.


In many regions, the summer casting events have come to an end as more casters return to the beach in search of cod. The last Kent Sportcast event held at Norton in Kent saw Steve Swan with the top cast of the day of 220.9meters with 150grams, which in the calm conditions was exceptional. With the casting ended for another year, the club reflected on another successful season. The highlight was Steve Morris hitting the first 250metres  on his favourite 100gr lead in March, then later in June, Didier Laroy and his group of casters travelled from Belgium to take part on the day when Steve Boyt reached 256m on the 150gr, creating a new Norton distance record. On the 28th August with ideal wind conditions, Jason Carter obliterated all previous records with a cast of 266.44m using the 150gr lead.

Alan Yates – Sea Fishing Diary November 2010

I fished the latest Kent Open series at Seabrook and was delighted to make the frame against some of Kent’s top competition rods. Winner was my mate, Ceiran Bull, who is a fishmonger from Hythe and has recently been amongst the Kent bass. He racked up a bunch of dogfish and whiting while fishing a Loop style terminal rig for 6.670kg, taking home a large wedge of cash. In second place was Deal angler Saul Page, fishing his last match before he leaves (along with my son Richard and the rest of the England squad) to fish the World Shore Championships in South Africa. Saul landed 19 fish, a mix of dogfish and whiting for 6.20kg. The event saw competitors plagued with small whiting, mostly 26cm; would you know it, the minimum size limit is 27cm! It’s a bit of a mystery why the Kent whiting have stayed so small this autumn, they have been undersized for months and it does look as if it’s just sheer weight of numbers and lack of food.

Ceiran Bull With winnings

Ceiran Bull With His Winnings!

Away from the beach casting, I took a day out and went trout fishing. I was intending to fish Kent’s Bewl Water reservoir, but was shocked to find it only half full so switched to Power Mill Reservoir at Sedlescome in Sussex. What a cracking fishery, well run and in some pleasant woodland scenery. A boat costs just £12. I fished with Folkestone’s Paul Foot and we decided to fish the bank. Although we didn’t set the trout fishing world alight, we did manage to catch some quality rainbow trout from the dam wall using damsel flies. I can vouch for their eating quality, a change from all those cod and far better from clean water reservoirs than from muddy ponds! Fishery details and so forth are available from the bailiff/manager – telephone 01424 870498


The pegs are running out for the popular Sheerness Steel SAC, Kent Classic  Open being fished in the Isle of Sheppey on the 21st November. The event is always a sell out so if you want to fish, hurry and contact Trevor on 01795 877127, or Ray on 07930 390761. More details on:

Nearly 500 sea anglers fished the Gateway Holiday Park Flounder Cup in the Lougher Estuary, South Wales, and a record number of 1kg plus flounders were landed. Even better, over £5,000 was raised for the RNLI Local Inshore Lifeboat, and that’s just about one of the best charities to run an angling match in aid of because you never know when you may need them. Match winner was William Dykes who landed the best flounder of 1.134kg, which was worth £1710. Jonathan Harris was second with a 980g flounder (winning him £1040) and Dominic Lewis was third with a 974g flounder, winning his £650. Junior winner was William Thomas with a flounder of 818g, and he won a £200 tackle voucher.

Another charity event suggested that charity really does begin at home with the 75 competitors fishing at Highcliffe, Dorset, raising £1020 for the England Junior International team. It’s a sad fact that the sea angling teams have to fund much of their own costs; they do receive a small grant towards travel costs but that’s usually about it. In my day, the sea anglers didn’t even receive that and it was a fact that most of us who fished for England used our annual holiday, and that cost more than one a marriage!

Matt Brook of the Isle of Wight won the catch and release total of 353cm.

England Junior Angling Team With Cheque

England’s Junior International Team (credit: Clive Morgan)



The cold Northerly winds this week sent a chill along the beaches – time to dig out the thermals. What kind of weatherproof clothing do you wear during the winter? I am a big fan of the bib and brace trousers and waterproof jacket combo and am well pleased with the new Delta Marine Clothing from TF Gear which is Teflon coated, 100% waterproof and fleece lined, with jacket and bib and brace both at £59.99. Sallopettes can be worn alone when the sun is out and they give you some warmth around the lumber area. I am not a fan of one piece suits although for the really cold weather and the boats, the floatation suit can be essential. It’s difficult to get the combinations of clothing right with the UK climate, cold one minute and sunny the next.

Another popular combination is Geordie Pyjama’s – that’s chesties if you live south of Watford Gap. Neoprene chest waders (like the Hardwear Pro Neoprene Chest Waders) combined with a smock type top (TF Gear’s Delta Marine range has a smock at £59.99), are great for rock hopping and wading, but watch those wader soles; studded or none slip are essential for treading wet rocks or the kelp edges. Perhaps the most important winter garb for the angler is a hat and the peaked baseball type cap takes some beating for keeping rain and spray off glasses – and it’s cheaper than laser surgery. On colder days, the good old woolly hat is the business. But best of all for keeping warm, and keeping your sea fishing tackle and bait dry, is some form of angling brolly or sea fishing day shelter.