Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary

October   2011



An autumn trip to Ireland with Sea Angler Magazine for the Irish Tourist Board proved very successful and you can read and see the results in the coming issues. I can’t spill the beans, but what I will say is that if you want to catch bass on lures, Ireland is the place to do it. The water clarity is a major factor and no matter how rough the bass can see your lure, unlike many venues that I fish in the UK where a pea souper is as good for bass as it is for mackerel. The latest soft plastic lures are deadly for school bass and the tactic is so addictive, it even got World Champion match fishing fanatic Chris Clark hooked with his intentions to rove the Perbecks near his home town of Lymington with a lure rod next summer.

Whilst I fished in Ireland for a week during a storm, England basked in a heat wave, but it did mean I had to avoid some of the best Atlantic facing Irish rock and cliff venues. The dangers of rock fishing in a large sea are not always obvious so I have included a picture with the caption “Anglers beware”


Back home all thoughts switch to cod and the Indian summer weather has made a mess of the daylight fishing so darkness has been the time to hit the beach, although in Kent the calm seas have produced more bass than cod and its still not too late to fish a live whiting or pouting very close in at night for a bass, The best venues are the steep shingle beaches, but avoid beach stone crunching and flashing head lights.

I am off to Wales in a week or so to make a second TF Gear DVD – hopefully we should find some cod or codling amongst the whiting this year and with luck a boat trip out of South Wales will produce some bigger cod. Target from the shore or boat is 10lb. That’s a bit below par for my memory because I caught over 100 cod over 10lb in a single winter season from the shore in the 1960s, nowadays ONE would be good!


For me it’s the main competition season, I don’t fish open beach matches during the summer because the fishing is generally poor and for tiddlers. But come October the water colours up, usually and the whiting, codling, dogfish, dabs and a whole lot more turn up for the feast. My match fishing philosophy has always been that catching lots of fish is more important than winning and I see no joy in spending hours on a venue without a bite. Of course plenty of fish means the challenge is catching them quickly and catching the most – Much more fun!

TF Gear are supporting the Kent Classic being fished on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent on the 13th November 2011. This event is nearly always a sell out of its 400 pegs so don’t lave it too late to booking. Fishing 11am until 4pm with 400 pre-book only. Prospects rely totally on the wind direction, strength and sea state – Rough and coloured and Sheppey fishes well with a draw around Barton Point usually good, but flat and clear and you will need those maddies for the odd flounder.

Booking in from 7am at Sheerness East working Men’s Club. Trevor 01795 877127 or

Ray 07930390761 or Entry forms can also be downloaded from the website


Chest waders are a real boon to the winter shore angler because they keep you totally dry and for the beach cod angler allow you to sit on your tackle box in the rain without a wet bum! The latest breathable waders are light weight and lots of sea anglers are switching to them, especially for bass lure fishing but on the beach I still prefer the older neoprene design. They may be heavier, but they retain warmth and best of all stand the wear and tear of rocks and shingle. Kneel down in a light weight pair too often and you go through the knees – I know because I did!

With the whiting hitting the beaches in numbers after dark lots of anglers caught up in the excitement will find their forefinger like a pin cushion after a whiting session. That’s OK whiting only have tiny teeth but a couple of nights of finger puncture and the bait juice will get into the holes, nicks and scratches and you will be in trouble, believe me its painful especially ragworm or crab juices. What’s more wrestling a hook out of a whiting is sure to kill it. A far more efficient idea is to use a disgorger and release the fish without touching it into a bucket of water for careful return later. A simple Gemini disgorger is the complete answer. Run its loop down the hook snood to the bend of the hook and then use the weight of the fish to pop the hook free “Simple”

See you on the beach.

Alan Yates