Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Category: Article (page 1 of 2)

SMAC Open Cod Competition 3rd December

Like it says! If the weather is too bad on 3rd we have 10th and 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



New Coastguard VHF Channels

Last-minute news update: HMS Queen Elizabeth to arrive 16th August

Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to enter her new home in Portsmouth on Wednesday 16 August 2017.

The 65,000-tonne carrier, the biggest warship ever to be built in Britain, has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland’s Rosyth dockyard in June.

She is now set to make her historic arrival into Portsmouth on Wednesday at approximately 0710 where she will be the latest in a long line of famous Royal Navy ships to call the port home.

Weather conditions meant the exact date of the historic moment could not be confirmed until today.

If you are planning to greet her arrival, High Water is approximately 06.30am

Anyone want a rescue pigeon? – And what happened in the end…

Last Tuesday my wife and I were fishing for mackerel around Nomans-land fort. We caught a few but then decided to move up towards the Warner buoy. We were travelling at about 15 knots when I noticed something in the water just ahead of us. It turned out to be a racing pigeon lying in the water with its wings stretched out desperately trying to keep its head above water in order to breath. Our wash did not help matters but we fished it out using the landing net. Unfortunately the bird has a broken wing but has recovered well after his ordeal. I contacted the owner who does not want it back as he says they are supposed to fly back not swim,and this same bird has failed before costing him £40 to get it back,so if it did recover and go back it would be curtains for it. Someone told me he had seen seagulls attacking racing pigeons driving them into the sea so this maybe what had happened to this one. So anyone out there want a pet retired racing pigeon???

11th August update:

I realised you all would want to hear the end of the story about my pigeon catch in the Solent!

Everyone I spoke to looked at the broken Wong and declared that it was a lost clause so should be   Killed until I spoke to an old friend Paul Martin and his wife Sally who run the Haven Falconry. Their reaction on seeing the bird was, what a lovely bird. They have set the broken wing and the bird is now settling down in his new home. Thank you to the person who did contact me offering the bird a home.Now  just hope the fish are biting on our next trip.

Howard ALLEN , Manx Maid out of Bembridge.

Do you want to feature in Sea Angling News?

If you read the free Sea Angling News paper in print form or on-line you will have noticed that the Langstone area catch reports have gone. We have agreed with SAN that Southsea Marina Angling Club will coordinate local area catch reports so that the Langstone reports can be reinstated for a trial period. If you want to feature in SAN all you need to do is send your catch reports, photos, news or chat to me at and I will include it in the next SAN report subject to available space, whether you caught from your own boat or a local charter. If it is a more detailed report I will include it on Boat-Angling in the usual way. You can subscribe to SAN here or you can pick up a free copy from tackle shops that subscribe or advertise. I look forward to reading about your catches!

Great White in the eastern Solent?

Great White off Hayling?

Graeme Pullen thinks so! Read here

Utopia MCZ – the story so far

On 6th June the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority ran a drop-in event for anglers at the ECA where they explained their proposals for the Utopia Marine Conservation Zone and asked for our opinions. I met Barry Goodhew, one of the Sussex IFCA officers who also happens to be the angling liason officer and a keen sea angler himself. Barry was very helpful in explaining the proposals and the more general activities of the Sussex IFCA as they apply to sea anglers.

In summary, the MCZ was designated in January 2016 but no rules have been put in place yet. The area is considered worthy of protection because of the delicate nature of life on that part of the seabed, and the belief that this area is used by tope and other elasmobranchs (i.e. shark, dogfish and ray families) as a breeding ground. The proposals are to protect the sebed from damage from commercial fishing, and protect elasmobranchs particularly while breeding. Here are the proposals:

  • Ban towed gear (trawling) all year
  • Ban netting all year
  • Potters must return any elasmobranchs caught in pots
  • Anglers to catch and release all elasmobranchs
  • Ban on tope fishing (and possibly other elasmobranchs) during the breeding season

You can review and comment on the proposals through the web site consultations page

There is also an interesting chart showing the make-up of the seabed in the area, which is useful to know for any angling activity. You can download it here.  You may wonder what some of the terms mean. To save you searching, circalittoral rock (read it carefully, it’s not what you first think) is the rock below the depth of low water level and above the level at which seaweed stops growing – or where only 1% of light reaches the seabed. High energy circalittoral is that rock with loads of things living on it, and medium energy circalittoral rock doesn’t seem as busy. Roughly. I can see why they use long words, it saves explaining.

Utopia MCZ

Keep an eye on the SIFCA web site or here, for further developments.

For reference:

Shark Trust Fact Sheets:

Sussex ICFA web site is

Southern ICFA web site is

The Eastern Solent area we cover on this web site is patrolled by Sussex IFCA east of Chichester harbour entrance and the Southern IFCA west of it.

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