Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Feb 2012

WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING

A trip to Sky TV for the first episode of Tight Lines in February and I found myself in HD – What a shock although Keith Arthur looked wrinklier than me. Tell you what the  sea fishing tackle and gear demos we did on screen came out crystal clear and I predict Tight Lines will become even more adventurous with tackle demos in future weeks.

I had a disagreement with the local South Kent fishermen over the lack of cod in the English Channel – I have only caught one small codling from the shore this year and compared with results of the past when I once record 100 cod over 10lb in a season 2011/12 has been a disaster. I tell you another thing its not down to my lack of angling skill or effort. There simply are very few cod in the English Channel currently and that’s despite the boats producing a few lunkers in recent weeks. A whopping 39lber came out of Eastbourne aboard Deep Blue skippered by Steve Bradshaw.

Hard at work for Sea Angler Magazine I have been finalising the 2011 Penn league results, a tedious job getting all those hundreds of points and surnames in numerical and alphabetical order. Anyway the task is nearly complete and next comes the Final. Whilst I qualified for the final myself this year because its at my Dover home town I am not fishing, I cant have people saying I fixed it to be at Dover when I qualified. Anyway this year it’s a two-day final and as way of a challenge its one day on Dover breakwater and one day on Samphire Hoe, weather willing.

A well know match angler has been caught with fish in his possession before a big southern event and the repercussions around the match scene are still reverberating along the beaches and on Face book. My only hope is the Angling Trust does the right thing and takes action. Lots of sea anglers will not join the AT because they feel they are not represented. This will show what the Angling Trust are made of – Will they wimp out, or if the allegations are proven ban the angler concerned! As far as many are concerned it’s a test case and my membership is in an envelope on the desk awaiting the result.

COMPETITIONS, ETC
Back home from the Irish winter beach championships with more euros than I took, I had a pool or match pick up on all three days. Although no silverware, actually some great crystal vases are to be won at the event. The three day match was won by the Irish with a clean sweep over the top three, well done to David Roe of Dublin for winning two years on the trot. Second was Joe Byrne and third Rod Stewart look alike, Ian Knight. My only disappointment with the event was that it has now become a flounder contest with all three days fishing the shallower flounder beaches – Could it be the Irish have found a way to beat the English – steer clear of venues with lots of whiting, dabs and rockling where the snatchers excel?

Here the winter finally arrived on the eve of the Kent dab Champs which I organise each year from Folkestone pier. The snow hit the entry big time and only 15 managed to get to Folkestone pier on match day despite the pier being sold out. But, whilst the dabs were absent a number of codling, which didn’t count in the event, showed – Is it not always the way. Match winner was Lloyd Page of Sheerness with 4 dabs for 2lb 14oz from peg 40 on the piers inside stretch.

Fancy a trip to Gambia for a one-hook beach match? – I didn’t at first, but the idea has grown on me. Organised by Brit, Bernard Westgarth it’s on the 11th until 9th April – Bait supplied, entry for the three days is £200, flights and accommodation can be arranged. Contact Bernard: bernardwestgarth@yahoo.co.uk. www.fishthegambia.com

TACKLE AND WINTER TIPS
Frozen lugworm is great bait during late winter – the dabs and rockling love it – But here is a tip from Kent angler, Leigh Chapman. He partly thaws his frozen blacks and then pops” them in the microwave oven. They literally “pop” when they are ready for the hook, firm and just like the live fresh thing – Amazing. Only problem I have found is a 13Amp socket on the beach to plug the Microwave into?

I have found the answer to those infuriating pyramid leads which hold bottom great, but retrieve like a sack of monkeys as they bury and bundle in the sand. A Sardinian designed lead with a pyramid at top and bottom which holds well and retrieves smooth. Great when accompanied by a Delta quiver tip outfit loaded with braid or mono.

Chew Valley Pike Trials

I bet you have your special little place where you like to sneak off too now and again, just to regain some confidence in your angling ability? Chew Valley is the place to go where fishing tackle is indeed tested and more than often dreams become reality.

Chew valley lake is a special place, both for trout anglers and now for the pike chasers alike. A combination of factors has led to Chew becoming the best Pike fishery in the UK with numerous 30 pound plus fish being caught.

The fishing is allocated by a limited numbers draw system which could see you rubbing shoulders with some piking legends such as Neville Fickling, Dave Kelbrick, Martin Bowler and the like. With 50 anglers fishing it every day of the trials it can be a bit of a lottery and getting on the earlier days of the week also helps. I was lucky enough to have a cancellation day for middle of the first week , but this only produced a double and some jack pike whilst that very same day two 40’s and 7 30’s came out! I think this was down to us moving spots too many times; the big ones were coming out purely to static dead baits left to soak for a good few hours.

My fellow Fishtec  staff member Garrett had put his name down for the draw and had been lucky enough to get a boat for Sunday, the last day of the first week. As a total pike virgin he needed an experienced guide and of course I leapt at the chance to have another crack at the chew pike. We set off at 6.30 am to get to the lodge for 8.00am, the idea being to wolf down a full English which is all part of the chew tradition. Garrett truly obliged and was the first to clear his plate, in fact it was picked clean of every scrap in a short space of time much to the amazement and amusement of our fellow diners.

The essential start to the day

We soon had our boat number and we headed out into a calm still and cold lake, which made a pleasant change from the recent wet and windy weather. I took us to a spot in open water on a drop off which had produced some great catches for me in pervious trials; it was here we sat it out for a good couple of hours and after fine tuning our position one of my floats finally bobbed under. I explained to Garrett the need to take in the slack line and then set the hooks with a firm sweep of the rod, but upon demonstrating this technique my trusted Greys prodigy boat rod fractured into four pieces with a loud bang! It was a bit of a hair raising fight bringing the fish to the side of the net on just a butt section with the danger of the jagged carbon cutting through my line at any moment, and to top it off I could see just one hook point of the two treble hook in the scissors of the pike. Thankfully my TF Gear redmist main line took the strain Garrett was a dab hand with the net and we got the fish in the boat. She was as fat as a hog and turned the scales at 22lb 4 oz.

Check the broken rod

22lb 4oz Ceri Pike

We sat it out for another few hours, with nothing but news of my pal Leighton Ryan and his boat partner landing a 25 and a 30!

TFG fan Leighton with his 25 pound lump

As it was getting on in the day I decided to take us to a shallow bay where Garrett would have a almost guaranteed catch of a jack to avoid the dreaded blank. Sure enough he soon got a run and landed his first ever pike.

Garrett’s First Jack

Not long after he had a dropped run and then connected with a confident pick up which bent the rod double, sadly it was not to be and the hooks pulled after a short fight. I had the feeling it was a real zoo animal maybe one of the 30’s! It was a hard call to make whether to stick it out in the same area, but I chanced It and took us back to our earlier spot for the last hour which is often the best time for a big one. Sure enough as the temperature and light fell Garretts float went under, and this time he stuck well and kept the pressure on. The fish wallowed on the top and was revealed as a decent fish, after a short tussle I did the honours with net and we weighed her in at 21lb 8 oz. Our time was up but I was well made up with a 20 each and helping Garrett capture a specimen pike of a size that has taken many experienced pikers years to achieve.

Garretts 20 pounder

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Jan 2012

WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING

I have been out in Kent after the gales over the night tides without catching a cod – its whiting city from the Kent shore with the thousands of small hungry mouths eating other species out of house and home. So my advice if its cod you want is to go and fish somewhere else other than Kent – The Bristol Channel being worth the drive!!!!!

Meanwhile in Kent it’s a bite a second with the whiting and last week my son Richard fishing in a Deal 1919 Angling Club beach match weighed in 38 dogfish – no mean feat in three hours. Most hate dogfish, but in a match they can be hectic, the clubs in my region give you 500 grams C & R per dogfish which is a great idea although some say we should cull them.

I did well in a couple of pier events at Folkestone with lots of big fat sprat dabs, whilst the only open I fished was the British Legion open on Hythe Ranges over the holiday and I packed up early fed up with the undersized whiting.

Currently the weather is hanging on and the freezing conditions have not yet got a grip but they will and then its going to be even harder although we have the rays to look forward because they arrive earlier every year with some big thornbacks around from March onwards.

COMPETITIONS, ETC

I have not been to Gambia for a couple of years – The championship organised in November had become stale with close pegging and duff venues deterring me from going again. BUT now I see Bernard Westgarth who has a house and angling guiding business in the Gambia is putting on an event in April so I am interested in returning for that although the one hook idea I am not keen. Going on a fishing holiday I want a maximum chance of catching and one hook is not that – Better would be two rods with one hook or one rod with two hooks. Anyway the details are.

THE GAMBIA BEACH CHAMPIONSHIPS

Pegged Match Series to take place on selected beaches in The Gambia, West Africa 15th to 19th APRIL 2012. Match days are Sunday 15th , Monday 16th , Tuesday17 th and Wednesday, 18th April 2012. Presentation & Prize Giving: Thursday, 19 April.

Limited entry of 30 anglers on a first come, first served basis.
All venues will be pegged and zoned (depending upon numbers).
Matches will be based on a point system with each species being awarded a set number of points.
All fish exceeding 3kg being awarded 10 additional points.
All matches are to be one hook.
Only bait provided by the organisers will be permitted and will be distributed on each match day.
Flights and accommodation can be arranged if required.
Transport to/from match venues is included within match fees.
All interested parties must be registered and fully paid by 31 January 2012. For those interested details of costs and a full set of competition rules can be provided by contacting Bernard Westgarth on 01325 720113 (evenings).

e: bernardwestgarth@yahoo.co.uk | www.fishthegambia.com

TACKLE AND WINTER TIPS

A number of anglers have commented on my rod rest light – It’s a Speleo headlamp, which I have bolted to the top of the rod rest so that it shines up the rod rings. It’s a really effective way of highlighting the rod tip. I have enhanced the whole set up by adding a set of luminous insert rod rings to my original TF Gear Force 8 beach caster.

Its spring clean time – don’t you just get the urge to sort out the tackle box, I do. A purge on the rig winder/wallet will see all my winders go in the dishwasher for their annual shower. It’s a great way to clean off the lug crud, weed etc (thanks to Heather Lindfield for the original idea) But don’t forget to let them all dry off before you put them back in the wallet. Leads are always in need of some maintenance – Don’t know about you, but I think Breakaway wire has gone down hill – wires on their grips never used to snap so easily? Anyway I take the time to redo the wires of my leads and the bonus of this is that you can choose the wire type and length you want.

I have also sent several multipliers back to the service centre for an overhaul, repair etc. I shall be switching to the multi tip and fixed spools in coming weeks, rockling matches are looming, so the next few months is the time for so reel TLC. Make sure you pack them securely and send by registered post or courier with a list of the problems – AND don’t forget to include your return address – you would be surprised how many anglers send reels in for repair etc and don’t include their address!

Alan Yates – The New Year Scratch

THE NEW YEAR SCRATCH

This month the cod season is well and truly underway and it’s the time when the bigger fish venture close to shore, especially after a big sea. Its time to make the most of the few spring tides left with a live bait rig the way to go for the biggest cod on many venues. However within four weeks and the arrival of February the bigger fish will thin out drastically in many regions and it’s then that the fishing and the weather sorts the men from the boys.

If you want to continue sea fishing into February the biggest problem is that you will encounter some really extreme fishing weather, whilst at the same time the fishing will deteriorate. Both boat and shore anglers need to heed mum’s advice and wrap up warm and that means long socks, thermals suits and that all important hat. Of course venturing out when the weather is severe is difficult because it always looks much worse than it is! But, usually once you have made the decision to go and fish the weather doesn’t seem so bad and providing you have good waterproofs and a shelter even the worst Mother Nature can throw down can be bearable!

The decreasing temperatures have a dramatic effect on the next few months fishing, watch out for cold shallower water and frozen sand at low water which deters fish from venturing close. Fresh water, rain or snow melt coming out of drains,  rivers, stream etc is also the enemy of the shore angler because it will push the fish out away from the shore line. I have a golden rule about beach fishing at this time of year and that is not to fish anywhere where my cast lands on ground that has been uncovered or exposed to low temperatures at low water. Even better I ONLY fish from the deepest water beaches, rock marks and the piers.

Mention February and lots of shore anglers pull faces at the thought of an invasion of slugs (rockling). Make no mistake the New Year heralds the departure of all the adult fish of most species to spawn around the greater part of the UK and that’s why it’s considered tiddler time. All amount of bravado and using a 4/0 Pennell rig loaded with whole Calamari squid will fail miserably because there simple are no big fish inshore in a majority of regions. At best in a few places is the chance of a 5lb codling, although I have to say that the rays now start to appear earlier every year and they can turn up as early as February and so its wide to keep an eye on catch reports.

I for one carry on fishing through the early part of the year, lots of anglers don’t and put their gear away until spring. Much depends where you live and fish and what floats your boat! It’s a far different approach that is needed to carry on fishing when its tiddlers only. Instead of large hooks and giant baits it’s more delicate tackle and catch measure and return match fishing that is required. It’s a time for the more delicate and fish attractive baits like white ragworm or maddies, a more refined approach to tackle with lighter hook snoods, wire booms, size 4 match hooks and the softer actioned quiver tip rod. Lots of match anglers have discovered the fun of switching to a sea quiver tip rod and fixed spool reel to exaggerate bites and braid is fast becoming the line to use for short range tiddler snatching.

Although its small fish time in many regions the bigger codling are still possible and they often muscle in on feeding dabs and other tiddlers so it’s wise if you go for small hooks to use a strong pattern.

Dab fishing may not appear very exciting but for many anglers it’s the challenge of catching fish under difficult conditions that is the thrill rather than the size of the fish. When the frost is nibbling the ears a few dabs can be a great reward for some scratchy plus they make great eating.

Some tips to help you catch more dabs include adding a few sequins to your hook snoods when fishing in clear water. A small tip of fish, shellfish or squid can also be a deadly lugworm cocktail of dabs but keep the tip bait small finger nail size. For flounders little beats a bunch of wriggly maddies tipped with a small strip of mackerel plus a buoyant bead (it works for dabs too) to give the bait a little lift and movement in the current. Dabs and those slug like rockling love sticky decaying lugworm with four day old black lugworm a prime bait for February match fishing. So don’t throw your lugworm bait away after a trip, keep it until next week and you will find it deadly for the tiddlers especially dabs

Finally, one of the most crucial tactical decisions when fishing in the New Year concerns casting distance – The whack it as far as you can early winter tactic which works for the codling and whiting found in the deepest water no longer catches in February, it fact its nearly always out to far, way past the feeding fish. More effective is an accurate cast to the gutter between low and high tide line, or the back or front of a sand bank or gulley. Other hot spots include the ends of wooden groynes or rock ledges which the fish hugging the shoreline have to go around. Consistent casting to the same spot also pays dividends.

The biggest bonus of this time of year in match fishing terms is that catch and release events mean fewer fish killed. Place them in a bucket of water before you measure register and return – Of course you can retain the bigger fish to eat, but many go back and can be caught again in the future.

DETAILS OF THE TF GEAR DELTA QUIVER TIP BEACHCASTER

Delta Allrounder is a 16ft multi tip rod designed for competition fishing and continental style fishing. Casting 2-5oz leads, It also comes complete with 3 interchangable quiver tips  ranging from 200g upto 600g making it perfect for scratching around for flatties and smaller species. It come with a sliding reel seat and  is suitable for both fixed & multiplier reels.

 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Dec 11

WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING

I hope you all liked the new TF Gear DVD on shore and boat fishing in South Wales. Boy did we have some weather to contend with, it rained and blew all week. But we caught fish thanks to the help of Clive Vedmore of Barry Angling Centre who sorted the bait, Roy Tapper our guide and Steve Jones on his charter boat, Indiana out of Cardiff who put is on the fish.

If you don’t have a copy of the DVD it is available from TF Gear dealers. For a list etc contact. TF Gear unit 5&6 Industrial Estate, Brecon, Powys. LD3 8LA Tel. 08719117045 Web: www.tfgear.co.uk

I bit off more than I could chew whilst fishing the Clubman Final at Kelling against the Holt SAC – Making a film for Tight Lines I was miked up all day and at the beck and call of the producer and camera man – It played havoc with my cast timing and time by the rod and I finished a dismal eighth out of ten, that’s my excuse anyway. The Sea Angler team who fished against the Clubman champions included: myself, Chris Clark, Joc Goudie, John Wells and the SA editor, Mel Russ. The Holt SAC team was Tony Thomas, Paul Fenech, Dean Conway, Peter Loke and Peter Morse. They pipped the Sea Angler squad by a couple of biggest round fish which was a significant margin because they had the only round fish caught worth 10 and 9 points respectfully. Otherwise it was a tight match – Star of the show was Tony Thomas of Sheringham who pegged next to me, ignored the dabs at short range and landed three codling at range for some mega points. A bit of local knowledge and some white ragworm did the trick, whilst the Sea Angler team had failed to spot the importance of the round fish in the complicated points system. A great days friendly club fishing, mind you one of the Holt Team did go a bit overboard with the victory celebrations and the best consolation was to see him posing as he reeled in for the TV cameras only to have three bare hooks! The film on Sky tight lines shows sea match fishing catch and release style and is bound to raise more interest in the Club fishing and the Clubman championships which is growing in popularity – If you want details or want to enter your club team e mail me on ; alankyates@aol.com

COMPETITIONS, ETC
The round of Christmas matches is upon us – A fun way to win a turkey dinner if you get lucky. It’s great to see match anglers spend a fortune on bait and entry fees and go home with a turkey when they could have brought six with the money it cost them. This sums up what I have known for years and that that just going fishing is more important to most than winning a prize, although a consolation prize is better than being a none mentioned also run. A lesson for clubs is that the Christmas match is always the best attended of the year because of the prize structure. Anyone thought of a similar prize structure for the normal club matches?

Some New Year matches worth a visit  include;

The Skua SAC Winter Open at Talacre on January 7th and 8th. Saturday fishing is from  1.30pm until 5.30pm and Sunday from 2.15pm until 6.15pm. Register at the Smugglers Inn. The event is three hooks but no crab. Contact Pete Corker on 07711622015 or Gordon Thornes on 01244 813003

On January 18th Mainwarings Angling Centre celebrate their 8Oth Anniversary with an open competition on Swansea Breakwater. (No juniors) Fishing is from8.30am until12.30pm. Its catch measure and return with a top prize of £1000. Meet at Fabian Way Park and ride for dock entry pass and peg etc. 200 entry limit. For tickets or more details contact Mainwarings Angling Centre Tel. 01792 202245

Nearer home I am organising the Kent Dab Championships on Folkestone pier on February 5th. Fishing is from10am until 4pm. Entry £10 plus pool but its pre book because pegs are limited. Alan Yates 01303 250017.

The largest Kentmatch in February is on the 12th and that’s the popular Fountain SAC Open event pegged along the beaches of Seabrook and Hythe. Fishing is from 11am until 4pm and the event carries a top prize of 1st £1000. The entry is £15 plus pool.  Brian Barnes 01303 260875

TACKLE AND WINTER TIPS

With proper winter looming its time to make the most of the mildest weather – Once the shingle and sands starts to freeze then shore fishing will be just the tiddlers. Lots of the mature fish move offshore to spawn at this time of year and it’s a time for tiddlers around much of the Country. Scratchy fishing indeed unless you are in one of the regions blessed with plenty of codling. It’s that time of year.

Coming up soon is the New Year and for me it’s a time for real scratchy fishing – I like fishing delicate for flatties etc and out comes the quiver tip rod. Can’t wait to get my hands on the new 16 footer – only tested the prototype so far. Arm that with three wire whisker booms, size four hooks and some stale lug and maddies and away you go. Even the tiddlers can give you a good bite and fishing with braid on a fixed spool reel magnifies bites even more and allows the smaller fish to pull back as well.

Weed in the water can be a real pain in the winter clogging and jamming the rod tip ring. One way to eliminate its influence is to switch to a tapered shock leader so that the leader joint knot is smaller. Check out the TF Gear Aftershock tapered leaders. They are 13 metres long and with five on a spool they are available in hi Viz orange or clear.

The Carp Society Show

Inside this year’s show there were many leading brands, fishing tackle and bait companies to choose from and plenty of DVDs and books from the big names in the fishing industry.

A few of the names up there were the likes of Martin Bowler, Jerry Hammond, Terry Hearn, and Danny Fairbrass to name just a few. This year was different for me as I was going with the intention of getting a few interviews with the big names.

Martin Bowler

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. Best days fishing is my next day’s fish, as long as I’m fishing I’m happy. Where? I don’t mind, I love everything from going Salmon fishing, to sea fishing for sharks, to carp fishing.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. It’s hard not to say the two British Records I’ve had because they are British Records. I think the 5Ib 4oz perch from catching the Impossible which I had on a pole using a flat float and I taught myself that method and employed a match fishing method to catch a huge fish under the pressure of a camera.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Hair rig, its allowed people to go to sleep, use alarms and made the sport a lot easier.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Noise, other than angling noise and you’d be amazed when the cameras start rolling a Helicopter fly’s over your head and god knows what else.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Making a film at the moment called ‘Chasing Shadows’ which will due out next November, other than that just enjoying myself

Gaz Fareham

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. That’s a tough question, a couple really. The Hampshire syndicate I’m fishing, a couple of weeks ago it was an amazing day, I had two beautiful thirty pounders but I would have to say catching Heather the Leather and then going straight to Glastonbury after.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. Again id have to say Heather, I spend three years on the Car Park and to be honest I never thought I’d actually catch it.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. I don’t know really I’m not one for innovations but I would say the boilie.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A .Turning up to a lake and knowing you can’t get anywhere near the fish because there are people in the swims doing five days a week.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Carry on at the Hampshire syndicate and fish a few lakes in the woods, fishing with my mates and just enjoying it.

Joe Morgan

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. It’s got to be the big common I had recently from Spitfire pool to be honest with you, it’s such a special fish it’s only been caught twice! And not a mark on it so yes a real result.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. In France a couple of years ago at Mazon, I fished four nights and had four forty’s, five fifty’s and one sixty, incredible really it was one of those sessions.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Modern baits and dead sharp hooks.

Q. What are your plans for the coming season?

A. Probably have another go in spring on the Snake pit to try and even up the score.

Ian Moore of CC MOORE

Q. Best days fishing and where?

A. 1995 at Somerly in Ringwood on a Sunday at the last weekend of the season. I had my first twenty in the shape of a 26Ib 6oz mirror then braced that with another mirror of 24Ib 14oz.

Q. Most memorable catch and where and why?

A. My first carp was a 7Ib 6oz mirror which I caught at the age of fifteen at Longleat lakes on the float with lunchmeat. I started late because I was playing a lot of tennis at the time and competing.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest innovation in fishing since you started?

A. Bait in general, the quality is better and the range is greater. On its own I would have to say the spomb.

Q. What are your pet hates on the bank?

A. Etiquette, and litter, in my opinion when you go fishing you should leave no trace.

Q. What are you plans for the coming season?

A. Fishing, grabbing whatever time I can and take my son fishing for roach and perch. Also I’m going to Zwolle in Holland and Montlueon in France for the first time to continue to build our non-uk trade.

Team Korda

A1. Night fishing on a midlands syndicate, I had 2 thirty’s and 2 forty’s.

A2. The Mrs. But don’t tell her.

A3. Boilies and bait in general have come on leaps and bounds.

A4. I think everyone hates bad etiquette?

A5. Wellington in spring, filming in France in the Summer and then my own fishing in autumn.

 

A1. Catching Single Scale at 40Ib 8oz after 3 years.

A2. Gaz my first thirty at 33Ib 8oz. I love how we give regular fish names.

A3. Korda Krusha – for an easy way to mash baits! Saves plenty of time.

A4. Bad Etiquette. It doesn’t take a lot to be curtious

A5. Fishing for a linear on a water in Essex.

 

Ian Bailey

A1. Midlands clay pit I had seven fish to 35Ib, what a place.

A2. Cambridgeshire linear 40Ib 2oz. Remember it like it was yesterday.

A3. Chod rigs – Probably the biggest innovation in the last 10 years.

A4. I despise Jealousy and bad etiquette.

A5. Carrying on in Bedford.

 

 

I have to thank the boys above for giving me their time and making the effort to answer my questions. It was great speaking to you all and I hope to see you next year!

Well I must say that it has been a fantastic day and yes I even spent some money, and if you didn’t make it down this year or haven’t been then I recommend that you make an effort next year, you won’t be disappointed.

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Nov 11

 

WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING

The slow progress to winter weather has affected the shore fishing in my region of Kent and the expected cod have not materialised, YET, from the beaches. Instead the small whiting, dogfish and now an influx of postage sized dabs are eating all the other species out of house and home. It’s grim if you are a shore specimen hunter and my advice is to desert Kent for the many other regions that are fishing much better. The recent TF Gear DVD fishing in South Wales is an example – Plenty of codling throughout the South Wales, Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel region and some bigger ones from the boat. Other reports from around the country suggest the cod fishing is superb in some regions. The North East is enjoying an influx of codling and they are growing fast,East Anglia has some and the North West is improving rapidly.

With all this in mind much of my recent fishing at home has been in competitions and I have had a mixed bag of results recently, but the bright spots included a win from a dud peg on Folkestone pier although it proved to not be a dud and I suppose that teaches us all never to give up because in fishing you just never know. A catch of garfish and mackerel in mid November was something of a surprise – how a float outfit stayed in my tackle box I don’t know?

I had a pretty poor day at the TF Gear Kent Classic on the Isle of Sheppey, plagued with small whiting, I managed two goers out of 60 fish. However, the company was good because I was paired with a local junior. Although to be honest a paired peg was not what I had in mind and fishing in the disabled section was rather a handicap!

What I am doing is to try to get around catching those small whiting and any tips on that would be gratefully received. I have tried bigger hooks (2/0s) but even they don’t keep the 25cm whiting off!  With all the small fish around there is the temptation to go all in for the tiddlers with smaller hooks and lighter hook snoods, but the likes of size 4s and 10lb snoods really is a step too far and only practical in catch and release matches – Size 1s and 25lb hook snoods remain the sensible winter minimum.

COMPETITIONS, ETC
With Christmas and the New Year looming is time for those seasonal events. Turkeys and Christmas fares attract lots of anglers who would not normally fish competitions and all this proves that lots of prizes are far more attractive than a big cash prize and although I have said it before a return to the old prize structure system may be the way for lots of clubs who are loosing support to go.

My next away event is the Clubman final inNorfolk where the Sea Angler magazine staff etc fish against last years Clubman champions, Holt Sea Angling Club. It’s a bit of a fun event really although you can bet that everyone will take it very seriously indeed.

Coming up is my annual pilgrimage to Kilmuckridge near Wexford for the Irish Winter beach championships on January 26th/27th and 28th. A very friendly multi day match with lots of Irish Craic Further Details/Entries to:

Warren Doyle, 98, Seacrest, Bray, Co. Wicklow. Phone: +353(0)1-2828769

Mobile: +353(0)86-8069961 (Evenings Please)

E-Mail: warrendoyle@iol.ie

TACKLE AND WINTER TIPS

The new TF Gear Force 8 S MAGs with their one piece frame are proving popular – I have switched over to them after using one all season and I must say the addition of a power handle is essential for fishing.

Her are a few shore and boat fishing tips for the winter months.

Shore anglers watch out for frozen sand, cold shallow water and lots of fresh water, rain or snow melt. Nothing is worse for results at this time of year because the fish will not come inshore under such conditions. I have a rule and that is not to fish anywhere that I cannot cast past ground that is uncovered at low tide, from December through until April!

Bait shortages are the winter angler’s worst enemy and once the weather deteriorates to real winter mode and all the part time diggers pack it in you will start to feel the effect. No real answer other than to stay loyal to your dealer.

You can lay in a supply of frozen Calamari etc or even get the fork or bait pump out yourself.

The largest winter sea driven by gale force winds can ruin a good fishing trip because it’s always in the worst weather that the fish are around. Ways to keep you fishing when the wind and sea are near gale force is to include a few 8oz fixed wire grip leads in your kit. These help tow baits through the wind with a low punchy cast more effective than a high looping thrash, and ensure baits stay where the land. Also add an adjustable sliding butt cap to your rod rest because with it you can raise your rod tip and line much higher up above the waves and weed. Finally – don’t be afraid to fish the piers and deep water rock marks. Lots of beach anglers don’t even consider such venues despite them being so much more practical and productive in the “dead” of winter.

 

You Think You Know A Lake

You Think You Know a Lake

After a very disappointing result at a recent fishing competition, followed by a couple of weeks with a serious lack of fish banked, I have been well and truly irritated with my own fishing. So instead of doing a few hours here and a few hours there I decided to do a proper weekend session down a lake I thought I knew very well.

I knew the water down Argal Reservoir in Cornwall would be low after the summer but when I turned up there it was very obvious that the water was extremely low. I had never before seen it like this so took the opportunity to well and truly check out the areas I had previously been fishing.

I could actually walk out to the spots I had fished before and what an eye opener it was. There were snags everywhere with perfect clear areas to be targeted in the future months. What shocked me the most was a whole row of tree stumps that I had no idea where there up until that moment. I can’t imagine the amount of times I have fished over them!

I just had to then check out the rest of the lake so spent the next hour walking around it checking out the other pegs. Without seeing it you probably couldn’t even imagine the snags that were there. In front of one of the pegs there was even a full wall that really would restrict any fishing for even the most experienced angler.

I was eager to get my carp rods out but didn’t really have a clue where to place them; all my usual spots were an impossibility. The feeling of fishing a ‘new’ lake gave me a real buzz and before I knew it I’d located three perfect areas and bait was being put out.

All I could do then was wait with an unusual feeling of anticipation. The evening soon came without so much as a bleep of the alarms soon to be followed by the morning. I questioned myself as to whether I should locate some different areas but decided not to. I changed my rigs and re-baited those same three areas. Before long I was thankful I had done so as my rod screamed off resulting in a lovely looking 25.04lb common. A much needed fish for my own self confidence. This was soon to be followed by an 18lb mirror, well worth getting the fishing tackle out.

If nothing else this weekend was a real eye opener. You may think you know a lake inch by inch but in truth until you can actually see it for real how much do we really know?

http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/leisure-activities/fishing/coarse-fishing/argal

Tight Lines Samantha

 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary

TF Gear Alan Yates Diary                                              November 2011-11-02

WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING

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!!!!

MATCH AND CATCH NEWS

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 trevback@sky.com

TACKLE

*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!!

 

Alan Yates – Sea Fishing Diary

TF GEAR Alan                       Yates Diary 26 20/9/11

WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING

I nipped down to South Wales to make the latest TF Gear Sea angling DVD which will be out FREE with Sea Angler Magazine and the TF Gear catalogue soon. What a great decision to head for the coloured water of the Bristol Channel because the fish showed up from both the boat and shore. I am not going to spill too many beans except to say that we caught cod, bass, congers and ray despite some pretty foul weather. We fished aboard Steve Jones charter boat Indiana out of Cardiff and from the shore at Penarth and Friars Point amongst others. Just a word of thanks for the bait and advice that was supplied by Newport tackle dealer, Clive Vedmore. (Tel. 01633 855086) Clive’s shop supplies great tide booklet of the region that includes lots of advice on fishing tackle, tactics and venues.

Back from South Wales I fished the British Championships at Deal and Walmer in Kentand the event suffered from it’s usually summer heat wave with clearing water sending the fish to the deeps as the anglers arrived. The entry of 220 came from as far as North Wales and many blanked and only a shoal of dabs that turned up on match morning provided action at the Sandwich Bay end which produced most of the prize winners. There were also scattered dogfish which proved a bonus catch and they mostly came from the patches of rough ground at Sandown and Walmer. The Championship winner fishing from peg 20 in Sandwich Bay, was in form Deal angler, Saul Page who came home from the SAMF Versus Belgium match on the Saturday night where he won the individual prize, to take the British Champs title and £1000 in cash. Saul landed 20 fish weighing 4.340kg including a bonus dogfish, four whiting and 15 dabs fishing white ragworm at long range. Runner up and very close to getting a hat trick of British Championship wins, was Martyn Reid of Folkestone who fished at Sandown over a patch of rough ground to land 5 dogfish for 3.600kg, he hooked three on his first two casts and then had to wait until the last hour for the other two. Third was Bristol angler, Kevin Daly with 2.440kg. The £1000 prize for the biggest fish went to Leigh Chapman of Canterbury with a 1.230kg bass he landed on his very last cast. Junior Champion was Davis Morris and Ladies Champion, Shelley Bassett both of Deal. I finished a creditable 12th but was well please to have predicted the top two and the biggest fish winners in the local press the week before, perhaps I should take up book making!

Good news for sea angling following the recent campaign and petition against plans by Rother District Council to ban angling from the shore in the Bexhill and Pevensey Bay region. Rother District council have decided to back the anglers after being bombarded with complaints against the plans and the realisation that angling provides an important all year around revenue for the region. Of course the real reason is that they simply cannot ban fishing from Crown Land (sea shore) because it’s a public right that dates back to the Magna Carta that only Parliament can change.

COMPETITIONS, TACKLE NEWS AND FISHING TIPS

I am organising the Dover Sea Angling Pier Festival on the 29th.30th/31st October. Its being fished from Dover’s “Concrete boat” the breakwater were some excellent catches are the result of being marooned each day of the three in the centre of Dover harbour. Lots of cash and lots of tackle prizes are up for grabs with the event sponsored by Sea Angler Magazine amongst others. Late entries will be accepted at the draw on the 28th from 7pm at Dover Sea Angling Association HQ 14, Priory Road, Dover Kent. CT17 9RG. For info on the event ring me on 01303 250017. or e mail alankyates@aol.com Whilst making the latest DVD in south Wales I got my hands on the new SMAG multiplier – It’s a one piece aluminium frame 56C multiplier. The field casters will love it with its larger magnetic control knobbly, but it also includes a larger diameter free spindle which makes the whole reel assembly stronger. This version is a proper fishing reel that will cope with dogfish and cod hauling and there will be a special power handle option available.