Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Category: Article (page 2 of 5)

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

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

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

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

Thank you

HM Coastguard

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.

See entries for the DoingTheDo Photo Competition!

Here are some of the entries for the DoinTheDo photo competition received so far. There is still time to send in your entries to Entries close 30th June 2018. First Prize a day on DoingTheDo charter boat with Dave and Caroline; runner-up prizes of bags of DoinTheDo swag!


Fighting a porbeagle

Win a day on DoinTheDo with our Fish Picture Competition!

To commemorate the launch of Dave and Caroline’s charter venture, DoinTheDo, we are running a competition though June 2018 to find the best photograph featuring fish!

First prize: a full day fishing on DoinTheDo, donated by Dave and Caroline

Runners-up prizes: DoinTheDo Swag bags containing DoinTheDo goodies, donated by Dave and Caroline.

How to enter: send your photographs to either as a Catch Report or separately as a competition entry. We will also have scouts out looking for likely winners in the local Solent Facebook groups!

What we are looking for: imaginative photographs showing the beauty of fish or the joy of fishing. Try different angles, close-ups, action shots, fish in the water – anything that shows fish and fishing at its best.

Entries close at midnight on 30th June. Winners will be notified the following week.

Good Luck!



RNLI Safety Talk at Southsea Marina Angling Club

The May SMAC meeting featured a boat safety talk by Brian Masters representing the RNLI. The audience included SMAC members, ECA and other guest who packed into the Marina Bar to hear Brian and take advantage of the Life-jacket Clinic run by RNLI Volunteer Richard Hills. Although the audience was composed of experienced boat anglers, Brian who was an excellent speaker, took this into account and we all learned something new. He also showed us some very interesting and helpful videos of RNLI rescues, and what actually happens when you fall in the water with and without a life-jacket.

Lifejacket Clinic

The RNLI are promoting life-saving actions to take if you fall in the water, and my own takeaway was that once you overcame the initial Cold Water Shock effect, you only have a limited time to save yourself because after your body temperature drops 2C, you pass beyond the phase of “useful consciousness” and are then totally reliant on rescue. Brian shared some great tips and I am sure everyone went away much better informed on sea safety issues.

Free safety aids from RNLI

The RNLI were very generous with their safety freebies, and in return SMAC and guests raised £94 for RNLI funds. We are very grateful to Brian and Richard for turning out as volunteers, and to the RNLI for being there if we need them.

Steve Kelly donating prize money from SMAC

Funny story about the fishermen’s protest

Big shout out to all the people that turned out to support the fishermen’s protest at the UK Government’s capitulation to EU control of UK waters during the transition period. If they thought using commercial fishermen and anglers (and associated industries) as a pawn in the game without losing votes, I think they will have a surprise later. Anyway, on to the story. A good number of boats turned out to motor up and down along Southsea Common. It was a very still and murky day, so to add to the drama some crew decided to let of some flares and orange smoke.


Unfortunately, the smoke just sat there instead of blowing away. Orange smoke has a sticky residue. One particular charter boat, not the fastest, let off a smoke from the stern and became enveloped in its own cloud of orange, from which is could not go fast enough to escape. Net result, the poor skipper spent two hours cleaning orange stain off his newly painted topsides. Not very fair, really.


Photos courtesy of Steve Wenham

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