May is a good month for boat anglers in the Langstone area and Eastern Solent approaches, and this year is proving no exception. With kinder weather we have had some bright sunny days and calmer seas (and a few choppy ones too). But the fish have been there below us and at this time of year just as the inshore plaice move out the summer species are arriving in force.
Bream have not featured in large numbers but there have been some quality catches. Luke Scott leads the race for the Southsea Marina Angling Club Bream Cup and shows off a brace of good fish including one of 3lb 8oz. Mark Argyle of Eastney Cruising Association shows a very nice fish of 4lb 3oz which was the largest of a catch of 15 that day with four over 3lbs.
There have been some cracking days chasing the tope and the many photos here show the quality of fish boated. The largest reported in the last few weeks was a female weighing 52lb caught by Jason Hogg.
Peter Churchill won SMAC Fish of the Month with a huge blonde ray of 33lb. It carried a tag #959 which we discovered later had been applied by a local charter skipper previously. It is good to see these fish survive and thrive in the area. Bill Arnold shows that catching smaller rays is just as much fun!
Josh Carter, Ashley Brown and Ed McCarthy found a hotspot for large bull huss and rounded off the day with some big ballan wrasse too.
Mullet have arrived in the marinas and harbours and some are an impressive size. Heber Crawford proves you don’t even have to untie your boat to be able to catch some good specimens from it.
I had expected more smoothhound to be showing by now but Luke Hughes shows that the ones that have arrived include some very good fish, his weighed 19lb 5oz. It is worth varying the baits for smoothhound because for some reason, different baits work better on some days and in some areas compared with others. I recently heard of anglers switching from squid to rag to crab and back, with dramatic changes in catches.
It is always great to share the excitement when junior anglers catch fish. 12 year-old Jude Clarke was fishing for bream with a light spinning rod when something much larger nearly tore it from his grip. He hung on so his grandfather Grant Childs could net it. It was a bass of 9lb 2oz!
Southsea Marina Disabled Anglers Club have some very active members despite their seniority, and regularly fish out of their base at Southsea Marina courtesy of Lady Elsa. Experience certainly counts in fishing – George Dominy is still catching bream and thornback at 85 years old. John Wearn shows a nice bream from the same trip.
The first few mackerel are showing, hopefully the numbers will increase soon and by next month we will have a supply of fresh bait and fish for the summer BBQs.