Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary


I fished Samphire Hoe in a local club competition recently. The venue is built on top of the spoil from when they built the Channel Tunnel and is situated between Folkestone and Dover in Kent. If you have fished there you will know that it is fish packed, but gruesomely snaggy. Not many venues in the UK can claim to be as bad for fishing tackle loss and the Hoe is every bit as bad as some of the many snaggy rock marks in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Several ways to combat it and as I was in a match I fished small hooks and light snoods so that I could rip gear back through the snags – It works a treat for pout, wrasse dogfish. However for the bigger fish and there are some good bass, a Pulley Pennell is the only rig and then it needs to be fished 30lb line all though. I caught nothing big, but did win the event with 2.844kg. Best time to visit the Hoe is in the evening from low tide up and it is also worth taking a float to combat the snags and a set of feathers for the mackerel.

I was out fishing in a lightening storm last week and several of my mates suggested I was in more danger because of my liking for long beachcasters – Yer? Well I admit to keeping a low profile and not touching my 15ft of carbon beachcaster… whilst huddling under my Force 8 carbon fibre glass stayed brolly when the storm was at its worse.

I took time off from the beach and pier this week for a spot of coarse fishing – yes I cast a bobber from time to time. In fact I am a big fan of the pole and fish the odd carp match. Oh that sea fishing was as simple. Just turn up shovel in a ton of pellet and get a carp a chuck. Great fishing therapy if you are experiencing a run of poor results at sea. Head for a commercial lake and bag up on carp, great for the fishing confidence although be warned too much of a good thing and you may lose your appetite for a challenge!


Its high summer and shark mania has started to hit the National media headlines. Annually there are reports of giant man eating sharks close to the UK coast and the more sensation seeking of the UK’s newspapers have a field day. But it is a fact that there are lots of big sharks around the UK including one that is a close relative of the fearsome great white. Working for the angling media I regularly receive fish catch pictures and they ones sent to me by Canterbury sea angler, Andrew Griffiths are awesome. Andrew made the trip to Milford Haven in South Wales to fish aboard White Water the specialist shark fishing boat operated by charter skipper, Andrew Allsop. The best of Andrew’s catch were porbeagle sharks of 120lb and 100lb plus a blue shark of 123lb.

Andrew and friends landed a total of 14 sharks during the day fishing 30 miles out of Milford Haven using a mix of mackerel and pollack baits fished on the drift in a chum trail. There are lots of sharks caught around the UK in summer including porbeagle and mako which are both classified as man eaters – watch those teeth.

The Sea Angler magazine Clubman competition is proving popular – Being the main organiser I can tell you that lots more clubs have joined in since it started in May 2011. It works via e mail, you send me your club results and they are entered in the competition. It’s for individuals and teams of four and even though I do say it myself its putting club match fishing on the map. There is still time to join in because the league runs until February 2012. Check out the Clubman page in Sea Angler magazine for rules and details.


I have just been asked by TF Gear to put together a list of tackle to be added to the range. Got some ideas for custom made items and its nice for a change to see more and more custom made and bespoke gear for sea anglers. The coarse boys have had the best tackle for years and now it’s the turn of sea angling to get some attention from the designers. So if you have any bright ideas to improve existing gear drop me a line on my e mail:

Now am I being over critical or am I alone in thinking that the new Breakaway lead is pants? Plastic plays a great part in modern life, none more so in sea angling tackle, but the change of the design of Breakaways impact lead seems to have been done for plastics sake. The nose of the old lead involved the wires gripped into the lead via beads and indents in the lead and allowed for great adjustment for the different sea beds we fish over. But the new lead uses a plastic nose cone and the grip on the wires is firm and less adjustable – Some say the lead is also not so aerodynamic when towing big baits. I am at present touring the UK tackle shops looking for old style impact leads.

See you on the beach.

Alan Yates