Well this has been a tough month. We’ve had several waves of stormy conditions passing over the area putting a stop to boat fishing most weekends, and only those lucky enough to be able to go out midweek were able to fish at all. Then, just to put a final nail in it the local area is designated Tier 4 so anyone living outside Portsmouth can’t travel to their boats even if the weather improves. Oh well, I suppose there’s always next year!

We do have some fishing news from those that managed to get out however. After a slow start to the winter season we saw more cod coming out, some over 20lb. Neil Glazier now leads the Southsea Marina Angling Club Cod Pool with this nice fish of 22lb.

There are a lot of whiting inshore. Strangely, they seem to be either very large and few in number of very small and in large, ravenous shoals. The larger fish such as the 4lb specimen shown by Nick Reeves are very welcome. The smaller whiting strip large baits or give themselves up within minutes on smaller baits, making fishing very difficult.

I found that putting a dead whiting on a large hook and sending it down again kept their brethren away and gave other fish a chance to find the bait. Using this method you can expect to hook up with rays, congers or even cod if you are lucky. Mark Jackson shows the largest of three good undulate rays caught that day, topped by his crew mate Richie Shippen with an undulate a pound heavier at 15lb.

The SMAC Open Cod Competition was postponed from early November because of lockdown restrictions, then when restrictions were eased we had to postpone due to adverse weather conditions. With the new, tighter restrictions in force we have no revised date to publicise. We will have to wait and see what s possible.

Let’s hope that with renewed efforts to combat the virus and the roll-out of vaccinations we’ll be able to get back to some form of normality in 2021, and we can all go out fishing again as we used to.