Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Pimping Leads

Anglers often use lures or pirks at the end of a string of mackerel feathers to add attraction, and those lures often pick up larger mackerel or bass, sometimes even cod and pollack near the bottom. The trouble is, those lures can cost £5 each in the 100gm+ weights needed and if you are fishing close to the bottom or over wrecks and rough ground you can easily hang up, which is expensive. A very low cost way of adding attraction is to paint your leads. Paint tends to scratch and chip easily in use so I use vinyl powder paint which coats the lead in a layer of vinyl – just heat the lead in a gas flame, dip in the powder, then heat again to melt the paint. You can then pimp up the lead with permanent Sharpie pens or coloured varnish. Apparently herring are attracted to red and white, mackerel and bass probably to anything fish-like. Here’s the result of very little effort for the price of leads (about 60p for 4oz) instead of lures. I’m going to add an Assist hook then give them a trial.

Inshore fishing boats in Iceland

We have just returned from holidaying in Iceland, and predictably I spent a lot of time in the many small working harbours looking at the day boats. Probably over half of them were one of the Somi range, which must say something. www.somiboats.is You can see some in the foreground of the harbour above. These are rugged boats from 7 metres to 9 metres in length. Most of the ones I saw were rigged for commercial jigging for cod: 200lb mono traces, three 8/0 hooks and “gummi-macs” or rubber eels lures. They are operated with automated electric haulers.

Iceland 3

Some of the larger boats were rigged with similar haulers but much longer traces, there were probably for mackerel. There looked like 50+ lures per line, and 12 or more haulers. Fish are automatically unhooked with rollers and fall down a chute into the enclosed packing deck.
iceland 4

The water was clear and exceptionally busy with marine life. Plenty of shore anglers were having great success catching plaice in this small marina – there were about 10 anglers and a fish was coming in every few minutes.

Iceland 1

Fishing is the main industry here, and fish is the main item on every menu. Many restaurants serve nothing else – this one has three main dishes, fish soup, fish stew and … fish.

iceland 5

Food is like everything, expensive at about twice UK prices but portions are very generous so that softens the pain. Well presented too. I particularly liked the lightly salted (brined?) cod dish.

iceland 6

Langstone Report Sea Angling News July

There is nearly always something not quite right when you go boat fishing. Tides are too small or too big, wrong bait, cloudy water, weed…but this month we couldn’t complain about the weather. I can’t remember so many fishable days crammed into the month. Sitting comfortably on a blue sea, topping up the tan and banter with mates makes poor fishing bearable. And there have been some quiet days recently, where we have been scratching for a few mackerel, pout and dogfish. Other days have been very good including some spectacular tope fishing. Top fish in this report is Ian Draper’s 64lb tope which he matched up with another good specimen of 50lb. To prove that experience can beat youthful energy, John Churchill at 80 years old tamed this tope (pictured) which was in excess of 50lb. To reduce stress on fish to be returned, weight is often estimated which is why we don’t have exact weights in all the photos.

John Churchill tope 50lb

Fewer boats are targeting bass as there is a landing ban for 2018, but there are still good stocks in the area and regularly turn up on general bottom-fishing trips. Our local butcher Mo Twells shows off the typical stamp of fish with a healthy 5 pounder. I am pretty sure that is the same hat he wears behind the counter too.

Mo Twells Bass 5lb

We usually have to motor much further afield for turbot of any size: Heber Crawford is showing off a very pretty fish caught from one of the Langstone boats over the offshore banks. However, Kriss Scott caught a magnificent inshore fish (for the area) of 8lb. This was awarded SMAC “Fish of the Month” because you just don’t see turbot of that size here, even though the Specimen Book thinks otherwise. This fish pipped Luke Scott’s huge (relatively) three-bearded rockling of 1lb 8oz which was an official Specimen and impressive in the rockling circles but not impressive enough to win the votes for Fish of the Month from our discerning members.

Heber Crawford Turbot

Even nearer to shore, Peter Churchill tempted this mullet of 3lb 12oz. We regularly see some very large mullet in the marinas but they can be very picky so this was a good catch.

Peter Curchill mullet 3lb 12oz

Some of my wealthier angling friends pay a lot of money to fish famous river and estuary beats for sea trout. Heber Crawford proved this is not always necessary. While fishing for mullet with a LRF rod and a tiny fly spoon, he noticed a dark shadow and a swirl behind the lure. Casting again he was rewarded with this stunning sea trout. After the photo-call it was promptly returned. Young Archie Crawford returned with Dad a day or two later and first cast hooked another sea trout! Before anyone thinks this is a regular thing in the area, these are the only two sea trout reported from this tidal creek that I can recall.

Heber Crawford Sea Trout

The many calm days have allowed us to observe more under-water traffic than usual. We have seen large numbers of jellyfish, and also some large and very dense shoals of fry – see the photo of the fish-finder screen. This indicates a smaller number of predatory fish around, and it also makes it more difficult for anglers to tempt mackerel with feathers when they have such an abundance of the real thing to eat. This might also explain why the mackerel we have caught are invariably stuffed so full they are like little round torpedoes.

Shoals of Fry

Let’s hope this great weather continues.

You can read Sea Angling News Online here

Winner of the DoinTheDo Photo Competition

Congratulations to Heber Crawford who won the June 2018 Photo Competition sponsored by Dave Stenson, skipper of DoinTheDo Charters. The competition was for photographs that were not only attractive and good technically, they also highlighted the pleasure of angling and the beauty of fish. Heber manages to capture all of these with a photo of his son and a wrasse. The fish is right in the foreground, the centre of attention and displays the detail and texture of the fish very well. The young lad’s pride and pleasure is evident, but because of the way the photo is framed, the fish remains the subject although the observer’s eye is also drawn to the angler. A great photo! Heber wins a voucher for a day out with Dave and Caroline on DoinTheDo and an armful of DoinTheDo swag.

Runners up were Lee Frampton for his photo of a bass coming to the net, and Josh Carter for his photo of a tope making it look a powerful specimen. They receive a bag of DoinTheDo swag each.

If you want to find out more about DoinTheDo have a look at the web site, it is very detailed and gives some great local tips too.

Archie Crawford Bream

CG66 replaced by RYA SafeTrx

Dear CG66 database member,

We are pleased to tell you that we have some exciting news about our voluntary safety identification scheme (currently CG66). In partnership with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), HM Coastguard will be introducing the world-leading RYA SafeTrx as our new official safety identification scheme.

RYA SafeTrx builds on the advantages of the CG66 scheme to assist HM Coastguard with Search and Rescue in UK territorial waters and it provides enhanced functionality if used together with the optional mobile app. RYA SafeTrx is free, and you do not need to be a member of the RYA to register. You can get more information about RYA SafeTrx here.

If you choose to register, there are two ways to do this:

You can enter your details via the RYA SafeTrx App, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store or Google Play.
If you do not wish to use the mobile app, there is an option to register your details online at https://safetrx.rya.org.uk/login.html.

With RYA SafeTrx becoming our new official safety identification scheme, we will stop taking new registrations to CG66 on 11 July.

Existing data:

The information currently held on our CG66 database will be retained and used by our Search and Rescue (SAR) teams alongside the SafeTrx data for the next two years. If your information is no longer valid the best course of action is to register on SafeTrx as this will supersede information held on CG66.

CG66 data will continue to be held securely and not shared with any third parties or used for any other purpose other than for the MCA to carry out its SAR function.

The Coastguard will be able to access the RYA SafeTrx database and check boat records in exactly the same way as we do now with CG66. There is no requirement for existing users to remove or update their data in CG66. However if you do wish to remove your information from our existing CG66 database, please contact us at CG66.Enquiries@mcga.gov.uk

Please do take the time to have a look at RYA SafeTrx and sign up to the app. It will only take a couple of minutes and could be invaluable to you in an emergency at sea.

To find out more about how the MCA look after personal data, your rights and how to contacts our data protection officer please go to www.gov.uk/mca

Thank you

HM Coastguard

Another massive tope aboard Moonshine

Ian Draper caught this massive 64lb tope from Peter Churchill’s Moonshine. This has been an awesome season for tope and Peter seems to find the best spots for his clients! To book, contact Peter on 02392 787295
Ian draper playing 64lb tope

Plan A Worked

I’ve been out a few times in June, and finally broke my duck for Tope yesterday. Plan A was to catch mackerel for bait and go to a couple of marks in Utopia in deep water in fairly big tide. Plan B was go to Sandown Bay in shallow water for easier fishing for bream if no mackerel.

Plan A actually worked! Me and my brother caught 4 tope between 8-14lb and lost half a dozen by striking too early, but great fights on fairly light tackle, especially when the tide was running hard.  Thought they would be double the weight from their size and fight, but the scales don’t lie…  The crushed hook barbs certainly helped for quick release. Plenty of doggies and a spotted ray in between the tope bites too.

I really must get the gear and learn the Alderney Ring method of anchor retrieval! It would have been impossible for me to haul anchor from the bow on my own halfway through the flood (would have been even worse on the ebb!) and I only just about managed it with my brother using the engine to carefully follow the anchor, and even then it pretty much wiped me out…

ps: unbelievably, I managed to survive all day until 10:30 pm without the football score being leaked to me

Perfect finish to the day watching the highlight 😊

Steve Fordred, Spoonbill

It’s not always about the fishing

Yesterday promised to be a good fishing day. Unfortunately I chose to go where the wind, stronger than forecast, was making conditions more uncomfortable than I cared for. After much moving about and many miles travelled, I only had dogfish, pout and a wrasse to report. It happens. However, the big benefit of fishing here on the Solent is that there is nearly always something interesting to see. This trip included a drive-past of HSL102 at speed, the restored WW2 aircrew rescue launch. Then as dusk approached, a Spitfire flow over and provide a display (albeit at a distance) of loops, rolls and low passes as it showed off to the residents of No Mans Land Fort. The sound of the engine was unmistakable – have a listen below.

First trip on Osprey!

Our first trip on Osprey and success for co-owner Matt Morgan!

We headed out into Bracklesham Bay (not too far from the harbour entrance on the first trip!) and fished the ebb tide initially near the wrecks but moved further east until getting toward the broken ground near The Hounds, all in about 10-12m of water. This mark fished nicely with catches of Wrasse, small Pouting and Pollack and also the ubiquitous Doggy. Looking forward to hitting more marks, and catching more fish – the holy grails for us both are a double figure bass for Matt and a Turbot for me! Maybe one day…

Will Denby

Another good tope aboard Moonshine

Caught by Essex angler Dave Jordison, this tope weighed 40lb

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