The last month has been brilliant for fishing if you only wanted to go out once (midweek) and catch loads of small congers. For the other 99.9% of anglers it has been pretty miserable with every weekend blown off and only a few fishable days midweek for those able to take advantage of them. Those than did steal a day for a boat trip were rewarded with conger after conger roaming around the cod grounds on the lookout for carefully presented expensive cod baits. As most were T-barred off at the side of the boat, we have a representative photo from Peter Churchill which could be one of hundreds!

Other regulars were dogfish, pout and various rays. Some nice bass were caught including Team Foster, son Tom shows a 5lb 6oz while his father Robert caught a stonking bass of 13lb 9oz!

Tom Foster 5.6 bass

There have been some whiting caught but very few cod. The one star catch of the month was a cod of 33lb 5oz caught by Lee Birchwood in the Nab area on squid bait.

The Southsea Marina Angling Club Cod Open Competition has been delayed by the weather every weekend since October and we are hoping to improve on last year’s date which was also delayed until 14th January. We thought we would get ahead of the game this year by planning it earlier. So much for that idea. To cheer us up let’s have another look at Dick Prosser’s winning cod of 18lb 12oz from January 2018.

Dick Prosser winning cod

Looking back over the year we have had some good fishing. Plaice arrived early in February, Heber Crawford shows the quality of fish caught.

Heber Crawford 50 plaice

In March we discovered we were sitting over large shoals of herring, and by targeting them with small sabikies you could catch plenty for bait or supper. Quality pollack and bass were caught on the mid Channel wrecks as shown by Kev Johnson.

Kev Johnson

By April plaice were plentiful and we had some good spells of weather. May saw the arrival of bream as displayed by Kev Johnson and John Jones. Wafters – buoyant baits use by carp anglers – made a difference when threaded on hooks baited with squid strip.

Kev Johnson 2.6 and 2.6

By June tope had arrived and so had some great weather. Most of the summer photos show calm blue seas and sizzling temperatures. Leigh Coward shows all of this with his tope of 46lb.

Leigh Coward 46lb Tope

There was a good run of smoothhound right through the summer, Adam Houghton shows one just shy of 20lb.

Adam Houghton 19-10 Smoothhound

The best tope we recorded was Ian Drapers fish of 64lb.

ian draper 64lb

Bass were catch and release only during the summer so there were fewer boats targeting them but there were plenty of the calibre of this 5lber caught by our local butcher Mo Twells.

Mo Twells Bass 5lb

The calm weather meant boats were regularly able to push further offshore to find prime pollack. The sun shone on the marina as if it was the Mediterranean and mullet were caught to a very good size. The sun was still shining in August, Kev Johnson managed to actually catch a sunfish and we were regularly treated to dolphin displays.

Kev Johnson Sunfish 18-20lb

There were also a few turbot and brill caught which were very welcome. Chris Sartow shows an example. There were are few early cod in September.

Chris Sartow Turbot

Squid fishing suddenly became very popular across the South Coast with plenty caught from boat and shore. In late October the weather hit us and here we are, waiting and hoping for a settled weekend so we can chase the last of the cod. If we have another summer like that in 2019 I don’t think we will be complaining.