Caught by Essex angler Dave Jordison, this tope weighed 40lb
Caught by Essex angler Dave Jordison, this tope weighed 40lb
Here are some of the entries for the DoinTheDo photo competition received so far. There is still time to send in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close 30th June 2018. First Prize a day on DoingTheDo charter boat with Dave and Caroline; runner-up prizes of bags of DoinTheDo swag!
Those who are prepared to experiment often find the new killer method (although there are plenty of experiments that don’t work!) The latest “discovery” is to use wafter baits for bream. These are buoyant artificial baits developed for carp fishing, which balance the weight of the hook and bait making it wave enticingly. They usually come in colours designed to attract in murky water, and a scent as well. Combined with a squid or cuttlefish strip for bream they can be deadly. Last weekend, all the bream I caught were on 8mm pink tuna flavoured wafters, none took the plain baits. You need to use fine hooks – short shank Aberdeens are ideal, and thread the wafter up the shank. Nick a strip of squid or cuttle (I was using cuttle as you can see from the black stains) to the hook and hang on to the rod ready for that classic beam bite that drags your arm off!
From Steve Holt:
I was going to go out on Saturday, but the forecast changed so went out today instead and what a superb day it was, almost tropical.
I decided to head for a mark I liked the look of on the Utopia but I first stopped off at Deans Tail to try for some Mackerel and was lucky enough to find 4 on my first drop, so I didn’t hang around for long before heading out to the Utopia where I dropped anchor into about 86ft of water, it was about a couple of hours after low water and the tide was already pushing through resulting in needing 1lb of lead.
The lead has barely hit the bottom when the clutch on one of my lever drags screamed away and I was in to my first Tope of the season, not a big one but still around the 20lb mark, then two minutes later the other lever drag screamed off and this felt like a decent fish and at times it was taking more line than I could wind in aided by the strong tide, after 15 minutes I eventually had it alongside the boat and realised I would have to net it tail first and let it drift in to the net and upon lifting it in to the boat I could feel it was quite heavy, so I got it into the weigh sling as quickly as possible and it tipped the scales at just over 35lb, so well chuffed.
I had a couple more smaller Tope of around 15lbs. But that was pretty much it with the tide now screaming past the boat to the point that the anchor was dragging, the Utopia curse had struck again as with my last boat I could never get a Bruce anchor to hold on the Utopia until a local skipper suggested I try a traditional Fishermans Anchor which solved the problem, so tomorrow I will be out to buy a 10kg anchor.
I tries a few places on the way back for Mackerel, but nothing doing, probably because the tide was too strong, but next weekend the small tides are perfect for my new mark, let’s hope the weather plays ball.
Leigh Coward caught this 46lb tope from Peter Churchill’s “Moonshine”
To commemorate the launch of Dave and Caroline’s charter venture, DoinTheDo, we are running a competition though June 2018 to find the best photograph featuring fish!
First prize: a full day fishing on DoinTheDo, donated by Dave and Caroline
Runners-up prizes: DoinTheDo Swag bags containing DoinTheDo goodies, donated by Dave and Caroline.
How to enter: send your photographs to email@example.com either as a Catch Report or separately as a competition entry. We will also have scouts out looking for likely winners in the local Solent Facebook groups!
What we are looking for: imaginative photographs showing the beauty of fish or the joy of fishing. Try different angles, close-ups, action shots, fish in the water – anything that shows fish and fishing at its best.
Entries close at midnight on 30th June. Winners will be notified the following week.
From Josh this weekend, it went 34lb!
Without doubt, early May is a watershed for fish species in the Eastern Solent. Those pesky little whiting have gone, although the pesky dogfish (aka Solent Salmon) will be here forever. Plaice are fattening up after spawning, and the summer species of bream, smoothhound and tope arrive to give great sport.
If you don’t want to go too far, wrasse can give a good account of themselves on rocky marks or by the many concrete structures around the area. Small hardback crabs and soft lures find the better fish.
Bream are becoming more plentiful as the month progresses. They rarely appear in great numbers but when you find and can hold on to a shoal they give an amazing fight for their size. There is no mistaking a bream bite on light tackle! Kev Johnson and John Jones had an exceptional catch of 40 bream, all were returned and the two best were kept in the fish-well initially for a photo-opportunity – see picture.
Garfish arrive shortly before the mackerel, and often follow baits right to the surface. They can surprise you with a last-minute grab of small bream baits. They make a bit of a tangle out of your carefully constructed bream rigs though.
We have seen some very good smoothhounds caught. The 19lb 10oz specimen boated by Adam Houghton currently leads the Catch and Release Cup for Southsea Marina Angling Club.
In the last week, tope have put in an appearance resulting in some cracking days out for those crews fishing the tope marks. Other good fish reported this month were Bill Arnold, smoothhound 18lb; Neil Glazier, smoothhound 16lb and Steve Kelly, undulate ray 14lb 4oz, all catch and release.
Further offshore, pollack and cod are being caught over the Channel wrecks and catches are well worth the trip to get out there.
We were very pleased to host the RNLI at the SMAC May meeting, where volunteer speaker Brian Masters gave an excellent talk on small boat safety for anglers. Even though many of use were experienced, we all learned something new. Brian Hill ran a Lifejacket Clinic at the event, and found some important safety defects in some of the lifejackets he inspected. This reminded us all to check our lifejackets carefully. We raised £94 for the RNLI from donated prizes and a collection at the meeting.
SMAC is keen to involve more juniors and ladies in the sport. To this end Adam Houghton has been organising some Ladies Trips, which seemed to enjoyed by all (eventually) – see the photos!
The juniors seem to be rather good at out-fishing their dads sometimes, so maybe we have some club champions of the future among the junior membership.
Sea Angling News Online is available here
Here are some great photos sent in by skipper Peter Churchill of “Moonshine”. Featured above is Chris martin from Essex, with a 51lb tope. Below are Lee Taylor from Leigh on Sea, Essex; James Hogsden, Essex; Rob Ng, Essex; Tom Monk, Essex
And an Undulate Ray too…
The first couple of months of the new season have been very difficult for Ian and I on Orca. Our first five trips yielded just a few Bream, Plaice and Rays along with a shed full of Dogfish! Despite going to most of our favourite spots, and trying a few new ones, it just wasn’t happening.
However, despite the lack of fish we have had some fantastic days out, enjoyed being on the boat again, topped up the tan and had a dolphin surface right next to the boat yesterday. Too quick for a photo but a lovely sight with the sun in the background.
Talking of yesterday. We at last had a good day out and some fish in the boat. We started at Bracklesham Bay with just a small Bass (which shed the hook at the net) and then moved to Boulder Bank along with quite a group of other boats. I was immediately into Bream and had five in quick succession on small squid strip before the tide slowed, as did the bites (should have moved earlier!)
We stuck with it and changed to bigger baits. This resulted in my best Bream at 3lb 9oz (photo attached) on squid head and ragworm followed by a very hard fighting Smoothound of 8lb. The Bream was full of roe and was carefully returned to do what comes naturally. Not a spectacular day but one that shows we can still catch fish – which we were beginning to doubt!
Now, you may have noticed that I refer to me catching fish – and not Ian. Why is it that one side of a boat can have a good run whilst the other side can’t even buy a fish? We always fish the same sides of Orca and we regularly have periods with one side doing much better than the other. I am now expecting Ian to have a great time during the summer and me struggling – such is fishing!!!