Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

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What happens if you don’t take your boat out fishing

This is what happens if continued bad weather keeps boats tied up on the pontoon instead of getting a good salty soaking out fishing. Seen in Southsea Marina recently, mushrooms sprouting from the cockpit! We need to get out there, people…

Forever By The Sea Tributes

If you have lost a loved one or friend who loved the sea, there is a very fitting way of setting up a website to collect and share memories and photographs. The RNLI have a free-to-use tribute portal called “Forever By The Sea”. All you need to do is visit this RNLI page and ask via their page for a tribute to be set up. There is no obligation to collect funds but people will probably want to donate something anyway. It is all in a very good cause and there is something lasting to share, visit and revisit.

Forever By The Sea Tribute Fund

Philip and Roland December 2018

The sudden improvement in weather and my availability allowed us to go out for the first time since the end of September. So a week before Xmas went out on the neap tide and decided to go deep to see if anything was happening out south of the Nab.

Well dogs, some biggish pouting and small whiting, with only one about 1.5lbs that was worth keeping.

With nothing much happening we went back inshore, where at least we got some real action, which was with a few Congers, on open ground. We had four, not exceptionally large although the biggest went 25lbs and gave a good scrap on the up-tider for Roland.

With the fait hint of success we went out a day or so after Xmas, although the larger tides meant we went out between Selsey and the Nab. The tide and a lot of weed (lots of it drifting around) caused us to move after only 45 mins with nothing more than the odd Dog, Pout and one Whiting.

So we went back towards the Nab to a hole to the East of the Nab. Better tide here and we were able to get down amongst the Whiting and Pouting. A couple of Dogs then a big bite nearly taking the rod over the side. A nice 5½lb Bass. Then a big fish, felt like a Conger, got off half way up. On bringing in the tackle there was a Whiting hooked on a flyer, with a big cut across its back, so the Conger had obviously taken a liking to my catch !

Whiting bitten by conger
Conger Attack!

A couple of straps came on board and then another good bite resulted in a double – a 2lb Bass on the flyer and a 7½lb Cod on the lower pennel rig. So all in all a good day for me – Roland came out as well and had some Whiting, Pouting and the odd Dog. Took advantage of the ability to be smug as we all know it will probably be different next time. Took home a Bass, Cod and 2 Whiting (2lb apiece) and the Bass and Cod fillets will allow us to forget the Turkey.

Phil and Roland, December 2018

SMAC Open Cod Competition Results!

Finally…we had the competition on 30th December after week upon week of postponements due to the weather (seven times because the day before Christmas Eve was never going to make us popular). We even had a few settled days beforehand to get into the swing of things after two months of being stuck ashore. Although overcast, visibility was good, it wasn’t too cold and a slight westerly breeze gave us plenty of options.

A total of 102 anglers signed in, with 45 boats mostly heading out from Southsea Marina, the Eastney ramp or ECA. After hearing a bit of chat on VHF it appeared that more fish were being caught inside the Nab rather than further out. Weigh-in was 4.30pm so most of us were back in our berths by dusk, waiting to see if this years’ results would be better than last. Although the winning cod wasn’t as big as last year we were pleased that five cod weighed in (only two in the 2017 competition) and we had the main prizes awarded to cod with a number of good whiting as runners-up.

The winner was Tim Andrews, our SMAC Commodore with a cod of 9lb 2oz. Tim would usually hand out the prizes but as he was a recipient this time, yours truly didn’t duck fast enough and had the honour of handing out the prizes and congratulating the winners.

There were also prizes for Ladies, won by Hayley Ellis and a Junior prize won by Michael Houghton.

Hayley Ellis fishing from Miss Molly
Michael Houghton Junior Prize Winner

Other winners were as follows:

2nd: Ken Barton cod 8lb 14oz
3rd: Tom Baker cod 4lb 9oz
4th: Bradley Tomkinson cod 4lb 7oz
5th: Dean Kilford cod 3lb 10oz
6th Pete Bowden whiting 3.76lb
7th: Darren Price whiting 3.24lb
8th: Kim Bowden whiting 2.38lb
9th: Germit Ladaher whiting 2.16lb
10th: Bernie Kwil whiting 2.06lb
11th: Steve Manning whiting 1.94lb
12th: Dick Stubbs whiting 1.92lb
13th: Tim Ward whiting 1.78lb

We are very grateful for the support and prizes from the following: Portsmouth Marine Training; Allan’s Marine; Solent Truck Parts; Barden UK; Premier Marinas, The Marina Bar and Cafe; Pete Kilshaw (Sportsmans Knight); Adam Houghton (Anglers Edge); Baits ‘R Us; Lock Stock and Tackle.

The entire event would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment from SMAC Chairman Steve Kelly who made sure 102 anglers had a great day. Thanks again Steve.

PS Thanks to Steve Andrews for taking the photos!

First double cod for Mark Chamberlain!

This is slightly outside our normal area of news coverage but this is a cod story so why not. Mark Chamberlain caught this lively 19lb cod from his own boat while fishing of Watchet in Somerset, using a bait of mackerel and squid. Photo and story sent in by Neil Foster.

Langstone Report Sea Angling News

The last month has been brilliant for fishing if you only wanted to go out once (midweek) and catch loads of small congers. For the other 99.9% of anglers it has been pretty miserable with every weekend blown off and only a few fishable days midweek for those able to take advantage of them. Those than did steal a day for a boat trip were rewarded with conger after conger roaming around the cod grounds on the lookout for carefully presented expensive cod baits. As most were T-barred off at the side of the boat, we have a representative photo from Peter Churchill which could be one of hundreds!

Other regulars were dogfish, pout and various rays. Some nice bass were caught including Team Foster, son Tom shows a 5lb 6oz while his father Robert caught a stonking bass of 13lb 9oz!

Tom Foster 5.6 bass

There have been some whiting caught but very few cod. The one star catch of the month was a cod of 33lb 5oz caught by Lee Birchwood in the Nab area on squid bait.

The Southsea Marina Angling Club Cod Open Competition has been delayed by the weather every weekend since October and we are hoping to improve on last year’s date which was also delayed until 14th January. We thought we would get ahead of the game this year by planning it earlier. So much for that idea. To cheer us up let’s have another look at Dick Prosser’s winning cod of 18lb 12oz from January 2018.

Dick Prosser winning cod

Looking back over the year we have had some good fishing. Plaice arrived early in February, Heber Crawford shows the quality of fish caught.

Heber Crawford 50 plaice

In March we discovered we were sitting over large shoals of herring, and by targeting them with small sabikies you could catch plenty for bait or supper. Quality pollack and bass were caught on the mid Channel wrecks as shown by Kev Johnson.

Kev Johnson

By April plaice were plentiful and we had some good spells of weather. May saw the arrival of bream as displayed by Kev Johnson and John Jones. Wafters – buoyant baits use by carp anglers – made a difference when threaded on hooks baited with squid strip.

Kev Johnson 2.6 and 2.6

By June tope had arrived and so had some great weather. Most of the summer photos show calm blue seas and sizzling temperatures. Leigh Coward shows all of this with his tope of 46lb.

Leigh Coward 46lb Tope

There was a good run of smoothhound right through the summer, Adam Houghton shows one just shy of 20lb.

Adam Houghton 19-10 Smoothhound

The best tope we recorded was Ian Drapers fish of 64lb.

ian draper 64lb

Bass were catch and release only during the summer so there were fewer boats targeting them but there were plenty of the calibre of this 5lber caught by our local butcher Mo Twells.

Mo Twells Bass 5lb

The calm weather meant boats were regularly able to push further offshore to find prime pollack. The sun shone on the marina as if it was the Mediterranean and mullet were caught to a very good size. The sun was still shining in August, Kev Johnson managed to actually catch a sunfish and we were regularly treated to dolphin displays.

Kev Johnson Sunfish 18-20lb

There were also a few turbot and brill caught which were very welcome. Chris Sartow shows an example. There were are few early cod in September.

Chris Sartow Turbot

Squid fishing suddenly became very popular across the South Coast with plenty caught from boat and shore. In late October the weather hit us and here we are, waiting and hoping for a settled weekend so we can chase the last of the cod. If we have another summer like that in 2019 I don’t think we will be complaining.

Bass Limits 2019

Today the EU Council announced an agreement on the  2019 catch limits for commercial fish stocks. The agreement was based on their commitment to the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): environmental, economic and social sustainability.

For bass anglers, the main change is that we have a limit of 1 bass per angler per day from 1st April to 31st October. Any fish caught above the limit during that period must be returned unharmed and any bass caught outside the limit must also be returned. No bass may be retained under the MLS.

We had hoped that bass would be further protected by a proposed increase in the restriction on the fixed netter’s daily catch limited. However our own Fisheries  Minister, George Eustice, and Defra completely rejected this. For the third year running, the UK has agreed to unenforceable ‘unavoidable bycatch’ restrictions for fixed netting.  We think that the UK Government has taken a disgraceful position on this.

Here is the link to more detail

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

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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

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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 Wearn 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.

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