Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Save Our Sea Bass Campaign Group

Information on the Save our Sea Bass campaigning group.

What is the value of Sea Bass?

Our natural wild Sea Bass is priceless and irreplaceable. But it has been over-exploited by commercial fishing for short-term profits. We need to radically overhaul the Sea Bass Fishery to maximise the environmental, social and economic benefits to Society as a whole.

We are running out of time to prevent a complete collapse of the Sea Bass stock. Immediate action is essential if we want to save the Sea Bass stock for future generations, as well as a long term management plan to ensure the current over-fishing is never repeated.

Who are Save Our Sea Bass?

We are a team of unpaid volunteers who are using the internet and social media to raise awareness of the drastic state of the Sea Bass stock and to help other concerned individuals to get their voices heard by the decision-makers in the UK and across Europe. A number of us are members of the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS) and this website is funded by BASS.

What is Save Our Sea Bass working on now?

In response to the June 2016 ICES assessment, recommending a zero Sea Bass catch in 2017, Save Our Sea Bass has launched a new campaign to restrict the Sea Bass Fishery to sustainable fishing methods only (i.e. Hook & Line – no long-lining and no netting), carried out at sustainable levels.

Who else is speaking out for Sea Bass?

Save Our Sea Bass is working with a number of other bodies seeking a sustainable bass fishery.

BASS has been researching and promoting bass stock conservation since 1973.

The Angling Trust and the European Anglers Association are lobbying Fisheries politicians and Fishery managers in the UK and in Brussels.

The New Economics Foundation is demonstrating the economic case for fishing bass sustainably.

The Blue Marine Foundation is encouraging stakeholders and Fishery managers to work together to find a solution.

The Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers, Labrax squad, and Irish Bass are angling organisations fighting for sustainable bass fishing

Further information

SOSB is at the heart of the debate on the state and future of Sea Bass and is a first port of call for those interested in understanding the Sea Bass problem.

We provide briefings, updates, interviews, articles, photos and videos to assist journalists, media and other parties researching the Sea Bass issue.

Please get in touch with us at:

For further information see: Previous Press Releases

Langstone Report Sea Angling News December

What happens when you plan to take your boat out at the weekend? It gets windy. What happens when you plan a boat fishing competition? It is even more likely to get windy. Fortunately the winds abated enough for the annual inter-club competition between Southsea Marina, Eastney, Southsea angling clubs and Langstone Harbour Fishermen’s Association to take place. 47 anglers took part with the top prize going to the largest specimen fish. Last year cup-holders SMAC lost to ECA and this year we were delighted to win it back. Our commodore Tim Andrews weighed in (and released) a cuckoo wrasse of 1lb 10oz which was the best specimen of the day.

Tim Andrews winning Cuckoo Wrasse

The photo here shows Pete Kilshaw of hosts ECA presenting the prize to Tim. We’ll be fighting it out again next year.

Tim Andrews InterClub

SMAC Fish of the Month was won by Kev Johnson with a slightly larger cuckoo wrasse, 1lb 12oz although this wasn’t in the competition. They must know where those big wrasse hang out.

Kev Johnson Wrasse

As usual, those with flexible (or no) work arrangements have been able to fish midweek and have had some good catches – ray, bass, pollack, huss as shown in the photo gallery. For the rest of us, the weather on the last few weekends has been consistently bad and the Open Cod Competition rolls forward yet another week. Hopefully we will have a report on this next month. It is probably just as well, because the hot summer and mild autumn has meant sea temperatures have not fallen as quickly as usual. Mackerel and garfish are still lingering, and cod and whiting have not shown in any numbers just yet. Maybe another week or two will make a difference.

Barry Murrer Blonde ray

Meanwhile, if you can’t get out far you can still catch some cracking fish close in – very close in for mullet. Heber Crawford shows this 4lb 10oz beauty.Heber Crawford Mullet 4-10

Another inshore fish making an appearance on the score board is the flounder – a 2lb specimen for Steve Kelly. We used to catch flounders by the dozen but in recent years they have almost become a rarity.

Steve Kelly Flounder 2lb

Various theories for their demise have been circulating: it could be caused by the increasing numbers of predatory bass in the nursery zones, pollution (Langstone Harbour oyster fishery is closed due to this), seals, French trawlers, illegal netting for pot bait and of course the EU.

Squid fishing has been booming, so much so that angling shops have had to hurriedly re-stock their squid lures. Good sized squid can be caught by boat (Bill Arnold and John Evans demonstrate here), from the beach, pier and harbour walls.

Bill Arnold squid


John Evans squid

Team Crawford are regularly bringing in good catches. By the way, if you like deep fried calamari or salt and pepper squid you really need to try fresh-caught local squid. Can’t be beaten!

Team Crawford Squid

Shoals of anchovy have been appearing recently. These can be caught with tiny feather rigs and make good baits, or you can prepare and eat them much like sprats. Apparently in some seasons the cod and bass are stuffed with them so it is always worth trying with tiny feathers if you see a shoal on the fish-finder. Chances are, larger fish will be waiting under them too.

Peter Churchill Anchovy

We always celebrate young anglers’ achievement and this month we welcome Mikey Primmett who is very proud of his bass and wrasse.

Mikey Primmett Bass

Mikey Primmett Wrasse

Meanwhile our Southsea Marina Disabled Angling Club show what they can still teach us, John Wean shows off his blonde ray and a bass.

John Wearn Bass

John Wearn Blonde

To read the full Sea Angling News online please click here

“I am the only one left”

Here are just a few poignant extracts from the War Diary of of our distant relative Harry C Tallboy, which describes events leading up to and including the Gallipoli landings.

Thurs 25. Left Air Shed at 7.30 in Ford car with Freddy Wray for Yelverton. Breakfast at Staines. Went thro’ Aldershot, Basingstoke, Salisbury – lunch….

Sat. March 13th . Pleasant morn. Spent scrubbing. Went to Naval Hospital Grava Place (Malta). Got all our surgical stores aboard. Relieved guard till 6.30 Went ashore with Eccles till 11pm. Various cafes. Had fine dinner….

Thurs. 29th April. Landed at Dardanelles early morning. At Gaba Jepe. Marched with guns and ammunition up hills to just behind firing line. Bullets, shells shrapnel and incendiary. Hell upon earth. Digging all day and ducking from bullets. On sentry at night for one hour. Awful suspense. Had our guns mounted in trenches on hills. Incessant rifle firing night and day….

Friday 30th. Weather glorious. Major Risk wounded, shelled with shrapnel by the Turks. Orders received to take no notice of white flag. Hear that Australians lost immense numbers on landing last Sunday. Commander Lambert wounded.  Poor old Billy Wilsden killed. Watson, Wallace, Cole, Ridley, Marchant, Cooper, Lew, Stacy, Dillon all wounded….

May 1st Saturday. My birthday. 28. In the trenches with maxim. Under fierce shrapnel fire. 214 shells falling in 10 minutes. Continuous shelling for about 4 hours. Took 3 hours to crawl about 300 yards. Absolutely hell, a regular birthday present. Received letter in trenches for AGCE. Leut. Comm. Boothby killed….

Thursday 13th Still in trenches. Had some food at last and got some sleep. Armstrong shot though head. Christened aeroplane “Tantalising Tommy”….

Sat. 15th. At base. Shrapnel over in morning. Fryers (No. 4 Squad) killed, a few yards from me. Received letter from Emma….

Friday 28th. Left camp for trenches. Gun fixed at head of gulley with sandbags and wire entanglements in front. With Eccles, Wray and Austin on gun…

Sat. May 29th In trenches. Very hot – quiet. Good sport shooting frogs in pond, no Turks being available. Wrote Emma and GP. Poor old Eccles shot through the neck….

Friday June 4th Moved gun position. Great attack. Indescribable. Austin killed (died in my arms). Everitt and Wray wounded by shrapnel next to me. Leut. Weightman killed. I am the only one left. Gun put out of action. Brought gun back miles to camp. Done to the wide. Carried Austin and Everitt to base through trenches….

Sat June 5th. Returned to trenches. Dug grave and buried O’Neil and Bishop. Returned to old gun position and collected goods. Found Leut. Weightman and Austin ready for burial. Discovered that my name had been sent down as killed. Returned to camp in aft. Many Turkish prisoners passing camp. Wray returned to camp….

Harry C.  Tallboy survived the war and married Emma. He served in the RAF in WW2 and died in 1971.

Langstone Report Sea Angling News November

Late September and early October is usually the time for the first run of cod, but this year the water temperature has remained higher than usual by just a few degrees which may have delayed things. Although there have been some cod caught, it wasn’t until mid-October that they started to show more frequently. On the other hand, there have been plenty of large mackerel still around to give sport on light tackle or just top up the bait supplies.

Trigger fish don’t stay around for very long but there are worth targeting while they are here. Bill Arnold shows a typical fish caught in late September – very exotic-looking for a UK fish.

Bill Arnold Trigger Fish

Another visitor is the Couches bream, which is far more common in warmer waters of the Mediterranean and Americas. Mick Barry caught this nice 3lb 14oz fish from Valkyrie 6 on squid strip.

Mick Barry Couches Bream

And to remind us that UK fish can also look exotic, Heber Crawford caught this male and female pair of cuckoo wrasse which wouldn’t look out of place in an aquarium.

Cuckoo wrasse pair

Squid fishing has been a minority sport along the South Coast for many years but recently there had been much wider interest, partly because there are plenty around, large ones at that, and partly because of the development of squid tactics and tackle pioneered by the Japanese and Australians. We used to rely on a luminus barrel lure costing about £1. Now you can spend over £16 for a rattling, glowing, vibrating, textured lure which although very attractive to squid, it is just as attractive to snags. This can make trips rather expensive. The start of the squid season has arrived in this area and they should stay around in numbers until late winter, although a stock will remain all year. Most anglers target them from shore marks but we are also catching them from boats. With the price of squid for bait plus the culinary value (much better than frozen!) we expect a lot more to be caught. Heber and Archie Crawford show examples of squid caught recently.

Heber Crawford Squid

Archie Crawford Squid

Now to cod. I wish we had more photos to show but as mentioned earlier, we have been struggling. One of the earlier cod, a modest fish 6lb 11oz caught by Steve Kelley underwent a quick autopsy and demonstrates what a wide range of food they actually eat – nature’s dustbin. From that you might think there is no excuse for having the “wrong bait”. You can see squid, cuttlefish, dab, crab, dragonets, shellfish, probably a pout and other unidentifiable objects.

Inside a cod

In the last week we were much encouraged by Tim Andrews and John Evans who turned the corner by catching not one cod but several. Things are looking up at last.

Tim Andrews cod

Specimen fish reported by Southsea Marina Angling Club this month were a bass of 11lb 10oz for Dave Ford; bass 10lb 8oz to Tim Andrews; undulate ray 14lb for Chris Ellis and Heber Crawford had several large mullet, best 5lb 12oz.

Heber Crawford Mullet

Last month we featured junior anglers but we also encourage and celebrate the success of new anglers who may not be as young. New member Mike Gibbons was taken out by Bill Arnold on Limpet for his first ever boat trip and was rewarded with these small eyed and blonde rays. He also caught brill, tub gurnard, launce and mackerel. Now wonder he’s smiling.

Mike Gibbons small-eyed ray

How to be rescued by SAR helicopter…

The second talk at the recent Premier evening at Port Solent was from Jonathan Turner from MAST Consultancy, an ex-Navy helicopter  pilot. He explained to us the procedures for the recovery of a casualty from a small vessel. This was good to know – here’s a summary of how a “High-line” recovery works from the start, so you know what to do before the crewman arrives on deck to help you.

  1. The local AW189 helicopters at Lee-on-Solent are LOUD. This means you won’t be able to talk when it is overhead, so get yourself organised before it comes in to hover.
  2. Take down sails and fasten anything than could get blown about. Get decks and cockpit as clear as possible.
  3. Wear rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots if possible, to minimise risk of electrical shock (see below).
  4. Helicopters like to hover at 40 feet for safety, but masts etc. often stick up more that 50 feet so there is a procedure called a High-line where the time spent at a greater height over the casualty is minimised.
  5. You will be instructed by the pilot (not the crew) over VHF, so follow instructions closely.
  6. It is easier for a helicopter to fly along slowly than hover so small vessels are usually given a course to steer and the helicopter will follow on the port quarter (the pilot looks out of the right front windows). On very small boats it is difficult to follow an exact course so you may be asked to remain stationary.
  7. The helicopter will hover over you and drop a bag on a rope. DON’T touch this until it has first touched the sea or vessel, because it will be very highly charged with static electricity and you can get a severe shock before it is earthed.
  8. The helicopter will then move to the side and you can pull the rope towards you, coiling the end into a bucket to avoid tangles.
  9. NEVER attach rope or cable to the vessel.
  10. Pull the rope as the winchman lets the cable down, usually they will drop a crew member down first. Use the rope to guide the cable and person/harness/load towards you. At this point the helicopter will move over the vessel.
  11. As soon as the cable and load has touched down the helicopter will move off to the side again. Pay the rope out which will still be attached to the cable.
  12. The helicopter crewman on your vessel will then take over, assess the situation and arrange for the casualty to be evacuated.


Jonathan Turner of MAST Consultancy at the Premier Marina talk October 2018

Restart a Heart day – Port Solent Marina

*** UPDATE – we have just heard that nationally, a total of 650,000 people were trained in CPR on the “Restart a Heart day. ***

Premier berth-holders were invited to an educational workshop this week at Port Solent. This was well attended, and after coffee and cake we were treated to an excellent demonstration of CPR and a defibrillator by Liz Baugh of Red Square Medical.  Liz is ex-Navy, highly experienced and very knowledgeable about the challenges of delivering First Aid at sea. Although I have had First Aid training I still learned a lot as recommendations have changed.  We are now encouraged to do hands-only CPR (see the Vinnie Jones demonstration video below) because it is more important to keep blood flowing around the body – think of it as a manual bilge pump while someone is coming to you with an electric one. The body can keep going on the existing oxygen in the blood for 4-5 minutes so with any luck you can get the heart going again before having to puff any more air in , which is the bit many people don’t fancy. (Having done it, I can tell you it isn’t that bad in the circumstances.)

The next demonstration was the use of a defibrillator – something most people are vaguely aware of but wouldn’t know how to use one even if they had one in their hands. They have a vital role in resuscitation, and there are many defibrillators around the country accessible in an emergency so it is very useful to know how they work. Download the AED UK app on your phone or use Heartsafe on a browser to see where they are.

A defibrillator is a completely automated way of doing a “re-boot” of a heart: Ctrl+Alt+Delete if you like. This stops the heart doing crazy things so it is more likely to respond to CPR. The machine needs to be connected to the patient, then it will analyse what needs to be done. The machine actually talks you through everything so you can’t do the wrong thing with it. Here’s a rather less amusing but very useful video showing how to use it.

If you can’t attend a demonstration of Hands-Only CPR and a defibrillator I strongly recommend you at least watch these videos and replay them in your mind. It could help you save a life one day – maybe the life of a loved one.

See a following post for a report of the Air-Sea Rescue presentation by ex-Navy pilot Jonathan Turner of MAST Consultancy on the same night.

SMAC 2nd Open Boat Cod Competition

28th October 2018

(Reserve dates 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th November)

1st Prize £500

(Heaviest single cod)

Heaviest single whiting if no cod caught

2nd Prize Cash TBC

3rd Prize Cash TBC

Sign in at Southsea Marina Office. Entry fee £10

Fishing from 0800hrs – 1600hrs Weigh-In by 1730hrs

Presentation in the Marina Bar at 1800hrs

Prize Table:

Donated by :

Allans Marine – Penn Squadron 20lb Rod and Reel (RRP £100.00)

Solent Truck Parts – £100 Voucher

Barden Battery Power Solutions – £100 Voucher

Lock, Stock & Tackle – £50.00 Voucher

Southsea Premier Marina – £50.00 Bait Voucher

Anglers Edge – Boat Fishing Trip

Andys Baits – £50.00 Bait Voucher

Marina Bar – Sunday Dinner for Two Voucher

Extra Prizes to be added depending on entries

Bonus Prizes

Ladies Prize – £50.00 (Heaviest Cod)

Junior Under 16 Prize – £50.00 (Heaviest Cod)

Ladies and Junior – If no cod, heaviest whiting

Any questions please contact Steve Kelly at or call 07790 584698





“Angles on Sea Angling” – 1963

How it used to be! Thanks to Steve Andrews for loaning a copy of this booklet, published by Associated Newspapers. You can have a read here:

Angles on Sea Angling

Langstone Report Sea Angling News October

We are now well into September and watching the transition from summer season to autumn.   One of the milestones is the Southsea Marina Angling Club summer BBQ which was held on one of the last sunny weekends before the wind and clouds started to make more of an appearance. We had great intentions of doing a beach clean on the day, but our efforts were overshadowed by the amazing work that The Final Straw Solent have been making clearing rubbish from our local beaches and harbours – including entire boats! Watch out for the publicity for their next mass beach cleans.

Final Straw Solent beach clean results

Back to the SMAC BBQ: Esme Andrews represented the club in the beach clean so at least we did something on the day! An impromptu raffle also raised over £70 for the RNLI, which has since increased significantly from donated prizes from the monthly awards.

Beach Cleaner Esme Andrews

SMAC BBQ Prizegiving

Shark fishing has attracted more attention this year because threshers are regularly sighted south of the Island. Several charter skippers have been running exploratory trips and with the experienced gained we hope to hear of some interesting catches in due course.

The first codling have been reported, they usually appear in nets and pots before anglers catch them. This is surprising because with the water temperatures so high we were expecting a later arrival, but they seem to be sticking to the calendar. There are still mackerel and scad around but not in such large numbers as last month. The plaice are feeding well and will still be around for a couple more months before moving offshore, returning in March.

Plaice double

Another seasonal visitor is the trigger fish, which arrive in September, stay around for a month then disappear. Bill Arnold and Luke Scott both caught some nice specimens. Inshore rocky marks, squid or fish strip baits, small hooks and very strong traces – even wire – are the winning mix. Triggers have very powerful toothy jaws and can easily cut through light mono.

Luke Scott Trigger fish

Some good bass have been caught throughout the year, and we welcome the promised relaxation of the bass rules which we expect will allow us to keep one fish per day over the size limit. Dave Ford caught and released a magnificent 11lb 10oz fish.



Turbot are always a popular target although we don’t get many in the area, or of the size you will find further south. However, Chris Sartow, Tim Andrews and Kev Johnson were very happy to land a few this month.

Chris Sartow Turbot

One of the many wonderful things about fishing in this area is the variety of species available. Heber Crawford shows off some impressive weevers and a red mullet. Luke Scott shows off his first gilthead bream. Peter Churchill demonstrates the quality of ray fishing with an large blonde  and Chris Sartow shows the patterns of a nicely marked undulate.

Heber Crawford Weever

Heber Crawford Red Mullet

Peter Churchill Blonde ray


Chris Sartow Undulate

We always enjoy seeing the delight on our junior anglers’ faces when they show off their catch – as demonstrated by Archie Crawford with his bass and Ivy Brudenell with her first mackerel (hopefully first of very many).

Archie Crawford Bass

Ivy Brudenell First Mackerel

Finally, a special date for your diaries: the annual SMAC Open Cod Competition will be held on Sunday 28th October (with reserve dates if the weather is against us). Entry £10 at Southsea Marina on the day, fishing 8am to 4pm. 1st prize £500 with many other cash and other prizes. Categories for Ladies and Juniors too. For further details contact or 07790584698

To read the full Sea Angling News online please click here

Bass Ban relaxed 1st October to 31st December

The rule-makes have accepted that maybe leisure anglers aren’t responsible for decimating bass stocks and have changed the outright ban on taking bass, to a one fish per day (over 42cm length) limit from 1st October to 31st December 2018. For the full text you can access it here but they don’t make these things very readable! There is a technicality, of course.  This needs to be published in the EU Journal for it to actually become law – as soon as that happens I’ll update this post. Edited: this has now become law! Go catch your bass…

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