Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Category: Article (page 1 of 3)

Time to check lifejackets

Ideally, send them away to be serviced. OK, not all of us do that so here is the next best thing.

  1. Visually inspect all over for damage, and repair if possible.
  2. Unwrap the bladder (inner yellow bit) and check for damage.
  3. Check the firing mechanism – it will have a replace-by date and a green/red indicator. Replace if red or out of date.
  4. Check the gas canister if you can see it. Replace if there is any corrosion on the surface.
  5. Blow the lifejacket up using the mouthpiece. Preferably, use a pump to prevent getting damp air from your breath inside the bladder. Blow it up until firm
  6. Leave 24 hours, and check if it is still firm. If it has lost noticeable firmness, send it away for repair or replace.
  7. Repack according to the instructions.

Here is an extra tip. Try it on in the inflated state, and make sure you know how to do things like pull over the spray hood, pull out the EPIRB to activate and switch on the light. You might (or might not!) know where these things are in the packed state. It will all seem very different when it is inflated and you have time to find things when you are in a warm dry room. Better to get familiar now than in the cold water. I am glad I tried out the spray hood on my Spinlock – I don’t think I would have realised how it works without benefit of a mirror and a bit of practice!

“Mekhanik Yartsev” in trouble

29th December: This Russian cargo ship is in trouble midway between Cowes and Lee-on-Solent, so if the cod fail to show you can at least go and have a look. All 13 crew are safe but can’t be very comfortable.

Local VHF Radio Channels

The Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA) have made some changes to the use of VHF marine channels in the Solent area, effective from September 2017. Here is a summary of what has changed.


There are Marine Safety Broadcasts on the following channels:

62 & 63 – Solent Area
64 – Newhaven, Needles and Beerhead
23 – Portland and Boniface Down
65 – National Coastwatch Institute (NCI)
67 – Solent Coastguard routine small boat traffic


Useful reference of local channels:

16 – Emergency calls to HM coast Guard
12 – Southampton VTS
11 – QHM Portsmouth
68 – Yarmouth Harbour (Also Beaulieu)
69 – Cowes Harbour Radio
66 – Lymington Harbour
80 – Marinas

If you need a VHF Operators licence you can take the VHF Short Range Certificate Incl DSC – Radio Course at Boatability in Portsmouth.

Bass 2018: Catch & Release only, all year

From the EU Council agreement on 2018 fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea published on 13th December:

“Concerning sea bass the Council acknowledged the bad state of stocks in the Celtic Sea, Channel, Irish Sea and southern North Sea and their importance for many countries. It consequently decided to make additional efforts by only allowing limited fisheries with certain gears in those areas, while providing for a two months closure to protect spawning aggregations. Recreational fishing is further restricted, with only catch-and release fishing allowed during the entire year. A lower daily bag limit for recreational fisheries is also fixed in the Bay of Biscay.”

Read the full report here.


Hypothermia Myths And The Truth About Cold Water

A very informative article by retired Coastguard Mario Vittone is available here

Watch the “Cold Water Boot Camp” video too…

Great news from Dave and Caroline!

You may have wondered why Dave and Caroline, one time my most prolific Catch Reporters, had been absent from this site. Poor Caroline had been fighting cancer but after many brave months she she has now been given the all clear, which we are all delighted to hear. They have some other news too – they will be starting a new charter business from their purpose-built Swiftcat 11.4 metre catamaran – see photo above. Due to be launched in the Spring on 2018, it will be  to be fitted with Evinrude Etec G2 300hp engines which will provide a cruising speed of 26 – 28 knots and a WOT of 42 knots. It will be coded for 12+2 but the plan is to limit anglers to 8. There is a temporary web site

We will bring more news as the project progresses. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing more of Dave and Caroline on this site, with their amazing catches. Here is a reminder:

Cod fishing Hampshire


SMAC Open Cod Competition moved to 17th December

Like it says! The weather was too bad on 3rd and 10th so it has been moved to 17th as back-up. All are welcome to enter, this is not restricted to SMAC members. Great prize table too.

Very strong wind warning 19-21 October

You may have seen the warning on the weather reports. Southsea Marina have sent a message to all berth holders asking them to ensure boats afloat have extra fenders, mooring lines are checked and doubled, and all canopies secured. If you are not in Southsea Marina I recommend you do the same, it looks like a very nasty situation building up in the Atlantic with a hurricane heading our way.

Bluefin Tuna

OK, I know these are going to be a very rare visitor to our waters, if at all, but the issue is still relevant. Atlantic bluefin tuna is recognised as an endangered species by the WWF and the IUCN Red List. The EU supported by the UK Government have issued regulations to protect them in UK waters:

Vessels must not target bluefin tuna and if caught accidentally they must be returned to the sea, alive and unharmed to the greatest extent possible.

Sea anglers must not target bluefin tuna, any caught as a by-catch when targeting other species must be released immediately and not landed or brought onto the boat.

Yet we still see responsible angling magazines and less responsible newspapers publishing pictures of anglers catching and boating bluefin tuna. This is likely to encourage more rules and regulations to apply to all anglers not just those who are obviously breaking the rules.

More information here:

MMO Blog

and here:




Marine Conservation Zone – Utopia

It looks like the proposed restrictions will be limited to the prohibition of towed gear with half a mile of the Utopia MCZ.

It is at the By-law proposal stage.

More here:

Update 8th September 2017:

Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority is now formally consulting on the proposed Utopia Marine Conservation Zone Schedule of the Marine Protected area Byelaw.

The proposed Marine Protected Areas Byelaw 2017 Schedule 4 ensures fishing activities meet Natural England’s conservation advice for the Utopia Marine Conservation Zone and prohibits the use of mobile gear. The full byelaw and schedule, together with the Impact Assessment and guidance material can be found here:

Any person wishing to comment or object about the confirmation of the above byelaw and the provisions within Schedule 4 (the existing Schedules are not subject to change or consultation) must make representations in writing before 9th October 2017 both to:

Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team,
Marine Management Organisation,
Lancaster House,
Hampshire Court,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
NE4 7YH.


AND send a copy of this representation to:

Chief Fisheries and Conservation Officer,
Sussex IFCA,
12a Riverside Business Centre,
BN43 6RE.


Any queries please contact

Alice Tebb
Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officer

Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority 12a Riverside Business Centre, Brighton Rd, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6RE

Tel: 01273 454407 |  Fax: 01273 464668



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