Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary


A couple of coarse fishing sessions cheered me up somewhat after several sea fishing trips ended in blanks. It is not easy in the salt at present with the calm, clear water and the changeable air pressure especially to blame for the poor daylight fishing along the shore. Even a feathering session proved fruitless until the last light started to fade and a shoal of joeys passed by in a few minutes. I didn’t catch enough for the freezer, but will be out again on another calm night. A tip if you are catching mackerel for the bait freezer – Don’t cram them together or leave them in the sun. Get them filleted and frozen A.S.A.P. because heat can quickly soften the flesh. If you get a chance freeze down a few garfish because their flesh is tougher than mackerel and just as good as an autumn worm tipping bait for whiting, dabs, etc.

Fish is a great bait for the whiting soon to arrive, but as many cod anglers will know it is not so good for codling who tend to ignore fish baits. Squid is then the best tip bait for lugworm because it catches codling and whiting, the best of both worlds!

The good news on the fishing is that autumn is just a few weeks away, I cannot wait.


Doverbased charter boat, Reecer fishing a mark over theGoodwin SandsinKentproduced 20 blonde rays during a hectic charter trip for the members of the South East Kent Police Sports Club. The best fish of 20lb was landed by retired Police Superintendent, John Grace from Folkestone. Blonde ray are a comparatively recent addition to the English Channel fish population and have been increasing in numbers and size in recent years. It is said because of global warming, but in my opinion its because they are not heavily fished for by the commercial fleets and are expanding because of the room and food left by the demise of the other prime species. It’s the same inshore, take away the plaice, cod, etc and the dogfish, thorn backs, smooth hound and whiting take over! Blonde rays can grow 40lb plus and prove a large fish to land with four bigger fish lost during the days fishing aboard Reecer, bait was fresh mackerel. After photographs all were returned alive. There is great potential for a British record of the species throughout the English Channel this month.

Amongst the “away” competitions coming up is the SAMF Daiwa Irish Pairs which are fished on the Dingle Peninsula, county Kerryin Ireland. It’s a week of competitions from the 1st to the 6th October and that includes pegged match fishing and roving specimen hunts. Places go quickly so don’t leave it too late to apply. Contact: Nick Haward, The Priory, Priory Road , Blythburgh, Suffolk IP19 9LR
Email:  Tel. 01502 478004 m 07702037223

Top of my personal match list is the Dover Sea Angling Association’s Three day pier festival on 29th/30th and 30th October 2011. The reason for that is I am the main organiser. Over the years the festival, fished from Dover breakwater has suffered from a failing entry and I took it on a couple of years back to try to arrest the decline. Biggest enemy of the event is the weather which often prevents the boats from getting to the Southern Breakwater which is a concrete island in the middle of Dover harbour. To blame is the health and safety over kill of the national weather forecast which is always a couple of points more than reality and over a wind force seven the boats won’t transport the anglers. In that case the Prince of Wales pier inside the harbour is used although it leaves a lot to be desire in terms of catches. This year it is planed to use the nearby Admiralty pier, weather permitting of course. For details entry forms etc E mail me at:

I am on Sky Sport’s angling program, Tight lines as the studio guest on 26th August. It is around 7pm on Sky Sports 2 or 3 and is repeated later that night – if you have an angling question for me send it to:


Sea angling has been crying out for a proper tackle box for years, but because of expensive tooling (that’s always the excuse from manufacturers) we still have to make do with a plastic toilet cistern. I particularly like the idea of a box with built in wheels. It’s got lots of practical uses, especially for piers, promenades and long expanses of low tide sand. I use a small freshwater trolley with my box mounted on that, but spotted in the latest Sea Angler magazine (Issue 469 page 56) is a box with built in wheels etc. It’s a DIY model by reader John Flower that he reckons costs around £100. It involves adding a wheel kit to a steel padded tackle box. He even added a stainless steel rod tube and all the box needs to make in perfect is a draw in the lower half. Come on manufactures, John Flower has given you the prototype let’s have one!

See you on the beach.

Alan Yates