Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary


I took a week out from sea fishing to visit the south of France for a carp fishing holiday. I found an ideal carp retreat last year inMartinsLakesnear Montpon. A six berth gite, swimming pool and a well stocked specimen lake means the wife is also happy and although my carping is not too serious I enjoy it. Unfortunately this year the weather let us down a bit with a monsoon on our arrival putting the carp down for the week with my best of 24lb beaten by step son, Andrews’s 35lb mirror.

Back home I was greeted with the tail end of Katrina and whilst the south ofEnglandescaped the worst of the hurricane the stir did wonders for the local shore fishing. After a month or more of very poor results it was nice to see bass, dogfish and codling number on the up, even a few soles appeared in the local competition reports and these are the most reliable when it comes to the real weight of the fish around! I am now itching to get fishing once work is caught up on, although this coming month I go toIrelandwith Sea Angler magazine for the annual Sea Safari and preparation for that is also taking up much of my time.

One thing the recent gale did do was remind me of the winter fishing to come – Rough conditions ruin many a novices attempt at sea angling at this time of year if only because it forces them to fish a less productive, but calmer shoreline. If you can handle an onshore wind and are willing to face some discomfort I promise you better results, but many don’t even get out of the car!


Several large competitions in my region coming up include the TF Gear sponsored 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.400 pre-book only pegs. 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

Another popular southern competition that is also likely to sell out of places well before the date is the British Sea Angling Championships. Fished from Deal and Walmer beaches it’s on Sunday 16th October. Fishing 11am until4pm and the top prizes include £1000 for the heaviest bag and £1000 for the biggest fish. Details etc. Pat 01304 361248

The SAMF Masters championships on the 11/12th of November are a competition I started in 1989 when I was secretary of the organisation. This year it’s an Open although you have to join SAMF to fish. It’s being fished inSuffolk fromOrfordIsland and the Dirty Wall. Entry fees are: £40 non qualifiers, £20 qualifiers. Competitors have to become members of SAMF. Optional pools of £20 on the day. 100% payout on day prizes and overall prizes. Contact Andy Steele on 01772 611597 or John Amery on 01995 61211.

My last event is the three day Dover Pier Festival on the 29/30/31st of October fished on Dover Breakwater. I have a special interest in this one because I organise it. Its pre book only. 01303 250017 or 01304 204722.


I did a demo of a rig with bait clips on Sky’s Tight Lines programme a few weeks back and it has caused lots of interest from anglers. It concerned tension springs.  A lot more anglers are now realising just how handy this small accessory really is for keeping the bait clips under tension when casting. Not only do they help off the ground casters, but they keep the baits clipped down when the wind is buffeting hooks off clips without springs. Try them out and a tip, cut one in half and you can use it on two hook snoods.

Worth repeating is that Breakaway Imps are the perfect add on bait clips for those that want to use their own moulded lead. Lots of anglers now use the popular Breakaway impact lead with its built in bait clip but the Imp is the complete answer because it makes any lead and “Impact” lead!

The price of carbon worldwide is rising fast and the word is that it’s going to put 15% or rod prices in the not too distant future – So don’t leave buying that new fishing rod too long. Fishtec is the UK’s largest mail order fishing tackle retailer. Check out my TF Gear 14ft Delta Nan-Tec beachcaster on Tel. 0871 911 7001

Finally: The best advice I can give sea fisherman at the start of autumn is to make a point of picking the best tides to fish. All over the UK it’s the spring tides that produce the most fish – As a newspaper reporter for local papers I know that the fortnightly spring tides produce the best catches from boat and shore. So get your hands on a tide table for your region and mark down those spring tides and fish them!

See you on the beach.

Alan Yates