Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

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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

“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.

How to be rescued by SAR helicopter…

The second talk at the recent Premier evening at Port Solent was from Jonathan Turner from MAST Consultancy, an ex-Navy helicopter  pilot. He explained to us the procedures for the recovery of a casualty from a small vessel. This was good to know – here’s a summary of how a “High-line” recovery works from the start, so you know what to do before the crewman arrives on deck to help you.

  1. The local AW189 helicopters at Lee-on-Solent are LOUD. This means you won’t be able to talk when it is overhead, so get yourself organised before it comes in to hover.
  2. Take down sails and fasten anything than could get blown about. Get decks and cockpit as clear as possible.
  3. Wear rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots if possible, to minimise risk of electrical shock (see below).
  4. Helicopters like to hover at 40 feet for safety, but masts etc. often stick up more that 50 feet so there is a procedure called a High-line where the time spent at a greater height over the casualty is minimised.
  5. You will be instructed by the pilot (not the crew) over VHF, so follow instructions closely.
  6. It is easier for a helicopter to fly along slowly than hover so small vessels are usually given a course to steer and the helicopter will follow on the port quarter (the pilot looks out of the right front windows). On very small boats it is difficult to follow an exact course so you may be asked to remain stationary.
  7. The helicopter will hover over you and drop a bag on a rope. DON’T touch this until it has first touched the sea or vessel, because it will be very highly charged with static electricity and you can get a severe shock before it is earthed.
  8. The helicopter will then move to the side and you can pull the rope towards you, coiling the end into a bucket to avoid tangles.
  9. NEVER attach rope or cable to the vessel.
  10. Pull the rope as the winchman lets the cable down, usually they will drop a crew member down first. Use the rope to guide the cable and person/harness/load towards you. At this point the helicopter will move over the vessel.
  11. As soon as the cable and load has touched down the helicopter will move off to the side again. Pay the rope out which will still be attached to the cable.
  12. The helicopter crewman on your vessel will then take over, assess the situation and arrange for the casualty to be evacuated.


Jonathan Turner of MAST Consultancy at the Premier Marina talk October 2018

Restart a Heart day – Port Solent Marina

*** UPDATE – we have just heard that nationally, a total of 650,000 people were trained in CPR on the “Restart a Heart day. ***

Premier berth-holders were invited to an educational workshop this week at Port Solent. This was well attended, and after coffee and cake we were treated to an excellent demonstration of CPR and a defibrillator by Liz Baugh of Red Square Medical.  Liz is ex-Navy, highly experienced and very knowledgeable about the challenges of delivering First Aid at sea. Although I have had First Aid training I still learned a lot as recommendations have changed.  We are now encouraged to do hands-only CPR (see the Vinnie Jones demonstration video below) because it is more important to keep blood flowing around the body – think of it as a manual bilge pump while someone is coming to you with an electric one. The body can keep going on the existing oxygen in the blood for 4-5 minutes so with any luck you can get the heart going again before having to puff any more air in , which is the bit many people don’t fancy. (Having done it, I can tell you it isn’t that bad in the circumstances.)

The next demonstration was the use of a defibrillator – something most people are vaguely aware of but wouldn’t know how to use one even if they had one in their hands. They have a vital role in resuscitation, and there are many defibrillators around the country accessible in an emergency so it is very useful to know how they work. Download the AED UK app on your phone or use Heartsafe on a browser to see where they are.

A defibrillator is a completely automated way of doing a “re-boot” of a heart: Ctrl+Alt+Delete if you like. This stops the heart doing crazy things so it is more likely to respond to CPR. The machine needs to be connected to the patient, then it will analyse what needs to be done. The machine actually talks you through everything so you can’t do the wrong thing with it. Here’s a rather less amusing but very useful video showing how to use it.

If you can’t attend a demonstration of Hands-Only CPR and a defibrillator I strongly recommend you at least watch these videos and replay them in your mind. It could help you save a life one day – maybe the life of a loved one.

See a following post for a report of the Air-Sea Rescue presentation by ex-Navy pilot Jonathan Turner of MAST Consultancy on the same night.

SMAC 2nd Open Boat Cod Competition

Finally…30th December!

1st Prize £500

(Heaviest single cod)

Heaviest single whiting if no cod caught

2nd Prize Cash TBC

3rd Prize Cash TBC

Sign in at Southsea Marina Office. Entry fee £10

Fishing from 0800hrs – 1600hrs Weigh-In by 1730hrs

Presentation in the Marina Bar at 1800hrs

Prize Table:

Donated by :

Allans Marine – Penn Squadron 20lb Rod and Reel (RRP £100.00)

Solent Truck Parts – £100 Voucher

Barden Battery Power Solutions – £100 Voucher

Lock, Stock & Tackle – £50.00 Voucher

Southsea Premier Marina – £50.00 Bait Voucher

Anglers Edge – Boat Fishing Trip

Andys Baits – £50.00 Bait Voucher

Marina Bar – Sunday Dinner for Two Voucher

Extra Prizes to be added depending on entries

Bonus Prizes

Ladies Prize – £50.00 (Heaviest Cod)

Junior Under 16 Prize – £50.00 (Heaviest Cod)

Ladies and Junior – If no cod, heaviest whiting

Any questions please contact Steve Kelly at or call 07790 584698

“Angles on Sea Angling” – 1963

How it used to be! Thanks to Steve Andrews for loaning a copy of this booklet, published by Associated Newspapers. You can have a read here:

Angles on Sea Angling

Bass Ban relaxed 1st October to 31st December

The rule-makes have accepted that maybe leisure anglers aren’t responsible for decimating bass stocks and have changed the outright ban on taking bass, to a one fish per day (over 42cm length) limit from 1st October to 31st December 2018. For the full text you can access it here but they don’t make these things very readable! There is a technicality, of course.  This needs to be published in the EU Journal for it to actually become law – as soon as that happens I’ll update this post. Edited: this has now become law! Go catch your bass…

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. 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

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

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