I thought writing the February catch report was a struggle, but March has been even more of a challenge! Wind and weather have been very much against boat anglers venturing out, except for the fortunate few who have more flexible arrangements and can take advantage of a weather window midweek. Those that did make it out headed for the Channel wrecks where some good pollack were caught. Tim Andrews and Kev Johnson provided photographic evidence.
Inshore, whiting have all but gone away now and many boats have struggled to catch anything worthwhile (that is, other than pout and dogfish). Plaice should be putting in an appearance and a few have been caught on the usual marks by The Blocks and in Hayling Bay. It is likely that the storms have disturbed the shellfish beds that attract plaice, so we may have to search out new marks that hold them. If we have a few days of settled weather maybe we can go and find out.
This is the time of year for boat maintenance while the fishing is quiet, and a number of the charter boats have been ashore for their annual overhaul and antifoul. This is also the time of year for the local clubs to celebrate successes over the past year and award prizes.
Here are some highlights from the Southsea Marina Angling Club awards night. Club Champion Cup was won by Mark Banks, Runner Up Kris Scott, who also won Best Specimen with a bass of 11lb 3oz. Mark also won the Bream Cup with a 3lb 5oz fish caught while wreck fishing. Cod Cup was won by Steve Kelly 17lb 1oz and son Jake took the Junior Cup with and Undulate Ray of 14lb. Tim Andrews bagged both the Plaice Cup and Pollack Cup. For the ladies, Martina Haughton took both the Ladies Cup with an Undulate Ray of 14lb 6oz and the Ladies Species cup with 10. On the subject of Species, the Crawford family nailed it with Heber smoking out a staggering 54 species to win the Species Cup and son Archie with 28 for the Junior Species Cup.
Southsea Marina Disabled Angling Club prizes were dominated by George Dominy who won the Champion, Combination (boat and lake) and Specimen Cups (the latter with a smoothhound of 16lb), and Jon Leythorne who won the Champion Runner-Up, Three Oaks and Hambrook Cups. John Wearn won the Best Cod award with 11lb 15oz.
The Eastney Cruising Association overall Champion this year was again Colin Kidd, who also won Specimen, Cod and the Pairs Cup with M. Davis. Other cups went to S. Emery – Flounder; T. Baker – Plaice; M. Argyle – Bream; D. Pine – Bass; W. Comben – Ray; K. Bowden – Whiting; D. Sissons – Wrasse; T. Ward – Variety and M. Davis – Tiers Cup. The Ladies Cup was won by K. Wheatcroft and Junior Cup went to J. Kelly.