Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary

TF Gear Alan Yates Diary                                              November 2011-11-02


My latest competition was the Dover Sea Angling Associations three day pier festival and as main organiser it’s always a struggle to balance the fishing with the organising. However this year thanks to a few mates pitching in, I even managed to finish in the top three – At last some Penn points!

The event which involves fishing the stone breakwater in the middle of Dover Harbour and that involves a boat to get to it was yet again weather affected with competitors only reaching the Southern breakwater wall on the Sunday. On the other two days they were forced to fish the Prince of  Wales pier inside the harbour where they competed with the local seals for the resident fish. “Finchy” the biggest of the animals was named after a competitor who was said to have a family resemblance to the seal, or so his Brighton mates reckon. Anyway, day one saw herrings and mackerel as the target, the Delta triple tip came in handy* and even more pleasing for me was that my son, Richard held up the family name by winning the day with 38 herrings, plus the one mackerel for 5.090kg. He used a fish based ground bait, continental light wire booms 0.200 snood line and size 10 hooks baited with a single maddie.

On day two the wind dropped enough to allow the boat to the breakwater wall although a couple of rogue waves did their best to wreck the day of several of the anglers with Whitstable’s, Alan Underdown losing his bait and fish buckets to the sea, he will never live that down. The best catch that day went to Ray Jeffrey of Sheerness with a bag of dogfish and whiting from knuckle peg 6 for 5.110kg.

On day three a southerly wind threatened to swamp the wall because of the large spring tide, so it was back to the Prince of Wales pier and the end peg (3) there dominated the catches with Sam Sampson of Brighton landing 56 small pouting caught alongside the wall for 4.50kg.

All this added up to another festival win for Folkestone’s Martyn Reid who had finished second on day two and been amongst the herrings on day one and despite only one fish on day three he hung on to take the main trophy and £500 prize with 8.680 kg. Runner up overall was Richard Yates with 8.080kg and third was myself with 7.890kg.

Other major prize winners included Mick Chapman of Herne Bay who landed the biggest fish of the festival, a 1.890kg smoothhound worth £200. The best flatfish was a shock turbot of 1.030kg for Lowestoft angler, Kerville Chilvers also worth £200. Most fish went to Sam Sampson of Brightonwith 67 and the most species to Deal angler, Saul Page with 7. Other aggregate weight winners included: Saul Page (4th); Sam Sampson (5th); Nathan Elliott, Dover (6th) Ray Jeffrey (7th); Mick Chapman (8th); Ben Arnold, Brighton (9th) and Joe Croxon of Dover (10th). The drawn team of four winners were: Mick Tapsell, Martyn Reid, Mick Wall, Great Yarmouth and Ray Jeffrey with 18.980Kg. Drawn pairs winners were Martyn Reid and Alan Yates with 16.570kg.

Bearing in mind its November the Dover competition showed how mild the weather has been in the south with lots of mackerel showing. The high water temperature, clear water and the unseasonal wind have all but halted the cod season at this end of the Channel, the festival produced just one tiny codling. Fingers crossed for a gale and stair rod rain soon!

Well I had to didn’t I – I went on to Facebook BUT in case any of you are wondering why I only talk about cricket it’s because I spend most of my day on my computer including lots of E Mails and Facebook is too much like work – So it’s a once a week visit to talk about cricket. Incidentally I have very few friends or family that like, or understand cricket that’s why!!!!


With the competition season underway it’s a busy time for events and the Sea Angler magazine ranking points (Penn League) are going berserk. Men to watch include Lymington’s Andy Dawkins who seems to be fishing for everything everywhere – some said he has a £50 grand annual sponsorship? Anyway he is scoring big around the country. My money is also on Dave Roe of Dublin as well as Martyn Reid of Folkestone. Then there are Joe Arch of Cardiff, Neville Charlesworth of Withernsea, Robert Tuck of Clacton and Saul Page of Deal.

Coming up soon is the Sheerness Steel open at Sheppey, Kent. It’s a TF Gear sponsored event and I will be there to take part. It’s usually a very hard match if the weather is calm. But if the wind blows and the whiting turn up it will be a proper competition and not a flounder raffle.

TF Gear Kent Classic. Sheerness Steel SAC. Isle of Sheppey. 13th November. Fishing 11am until 4pm.400 pre-book only pegs. Booking in from 7am at Sheerness East working Men’s Club. Tel. Trevor 01795-877127 or


*I mentioned the new Delta Continental quiver tip rod earlier and it will soon be available as well as a new 16 footer for the low multiplier plus the new SMAG reel which I must say I am impressed with – If you need a look give me a shout if you see me fishing.

Also the next issue of Sea Angler magazine includes a free copy of the new TF Gear DVD made in South Wales it includes reviews of the additions to the TF Gear sea angling fishing tackle range – check out the size of those cod, also whilst making the DVD I landed a surprise bass which caused me to swear on camera, not a bad word, but I am easily excited by fish!!