Boat Angling

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Category: Catch Reports 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Sunny Saturday 8th July

With a great forecast for a change I decided to head down east to try drifting for plaice. I went via Pullar to pick up a few mackerel so I would have some for bait, as I had heard of a few turbot being landed there. Unfortunately I only found two mackerel despite plenty appearing on the fish-finder. On to Swashway where I drifted with a plaice rig on one side and mackerel feathers on the other. This time the mackerel were more obliging and I soon had a bucketful. Although I did pick up one plaice, the ground was claiming too much tackle and anyway I was feeling like a lazy afternoon at anchor. I headed back through Looe Gate this time, to anchor in the Medmery channel. This was once a mark I had to myself but word must have got out, there were 12 boats already there! Nevertheless I found a spot away from the crowd and anchored up.

Action was steady for the next few hours – small conger, dogfish, bream and scad. There was almost no tide and a bit of a breeze which made the boat swing annoyingly. As the mackerel seemed to have arrived in numbers I decided to head towards a bank off the main shipping channel which has been producing fish. This time it was full house almost every drop and I soon had 60 mackerel in the cooler, plenty to freeze for winter bait. I then drifted a bit more for bass using a Fiish minnow on the bottom, but only caught two guarnard. Back to the marina for fuel up, clean down and a date with the food supplies officer who arrived down with some goodies. We headed back out into the harbour for a supper at sundown, watching the terns and the bass hammer shoals of small fish between them. The water was alive with bass which is good for future stocks.


Mixed Bag from New Grounds

From Ian and Gordon on Orca :

We set out from Sparkes Marina last Friday after a long, frustrating spell in June of not matching free time with good sea conditions. It was a beautiful day with a reasonable tide so we were keen to get going.

First stop was Dean Tail for Mackerel, but three drifts produced a measly three fish. So, we headed for New Grounds to pick up whatever was about. Ian fished whole squid  and I fished a smaller bait – squid head and strip. We didn’t have long to wait long for some action, starting with a good Undulate Ray of 13lb 2oz followed by a Bass of 3.5lb for Ian (which went back with one day to go before the one fish limit comes in !!). There followed three hours of good fishing (on the flood tide) which yielded eight species of fish – Undulate, Thornback, Spotted Ray, Bass, Smooth Hound, Black Bream, Mackerel and, inevitably, Dogfish. Nothing huge but great fun fishing. It was an equal score between the big bait and small bait. We ended up trying to guess the species from the bite and fight – we were right 80% of the time. After the tide slackened, the bites dropped off, so it was back to Dean Tail to try again for the Mackerel (still the best eating fish for both of us). This time we hit some good shoals and bagged up in no time – nice to get a few “full houses”.

New Grounds is a bit featureless but it produces good catches on a regular basis. Maybe it’s a bit of fish transit highway.

By the way, we were using barbless circle hooks all day. We hooked all but one dogfish neatly in the lip, didn’t lose a fish and with easy unhooking it made fish handling a doddle. So, with the introduction of MCZ’s and catch & release this type of hook and using unhooking mats should help us all to play our part in fish conservation.

We headed back with enough Mackerel and Bream for a good supper and fish pate. The boat needed a good wash down when we arrived at the Marina  – amazing how bits of squid get everywhere – so we deserved our pint at The Ship on the way home.

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Tope off Selsey

Josh contacted me asking for help finding tope near Selsey. I was able to advise, and fortunately that advice proved good because this was the result: tope to 31lb; smoothhound, bass and conger. A great day by all accounts. Here is the photo-roll:






Solent angler, massive turbot!

Slightly “out of area”, but only just. Keith is a regular contributor to Catch Reports and his turbot deserves recognition. I just wish beasts like this could be caught nearer home! Here is Keith’s report:

Richard and myself, both members of the Southsea Marina Fishing Club and Crookham SAC, had a day fishing on Supanova 2, skippered by Lyle Stantford out of Weymouth along with 4 other members of Crookham SAC.

We left Weymouth promptly at 7.30, having paid a visit to the tackle shop to top up on frozen mackerel for bait.  We steamed out past Portland Bill to a number of wrecks SW of the Bill.  Weather was fair, with a southwesterly breeze that picked up during the day, putting up a bit of a chop at times, and we had one brief shower during the morning.

After steaming for around an hour and half, we reached the first wreck, and down went the lines, most baited with mackerel, although some had squid, all expecting Ling.  Early in that first drift, I hooked into a fish that didn’t feel like a Ling, but was strong enough to take line. Once I had colour, Lyle grabbed the landing net and a superbly marked Turbot hit the deck.  It was officially weighed-in at Weymouth Angling Centre on return to Weymouth at 9.760Kg (21 lbs 8 oz), by far my best Turbot, and a fish of a lifetime. (Pictures and Copy of Weigh-in Certificate attached)   We continued to drift this wreck for an hour or so, but with the exception of a few Pout, nothing of note was landed, although some members were broken off by larger fish, or drop fish whilst reeling in, so Lyle headed to another wreck.  Drifting this produced more Pout, plus the first Ling.  As the tide turned, Lyle anchored uptide of the wreck, and this produced more Pout, the odd Conger, a few Ling, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Whiting and a specimen Spurdog for Peter, estimated by Lyle to weigh 17lbs.  Finally, Lyle headed to another wreck to drift with lures for Pollack, and a few were landed.  Whilst drifting this wreck, we spotted at least one whale close by.


70lb Conger!

Report from Miles Burden:

Our Red Deer club trip was basically a “drifting for Pollock and the like” day. Courtesy of Zack Cairns’s awesome skippering, everyone on board Valerie 6 had a healthy cool box of fish to take home so we put the anchor down for the last hour to try for some ling in particular.

We had four eels up to 28lbs over an hour. Just a few minutes before my 70 lb eel I had brought up a dog fish and thought that was how the day was going to finish as we were nearly out of time.

I put one last mackerel flapper over, with a nice yellow muppet above to encourage the ling, and almost immediately, BANG..I connected with this beast ! 240 ft down, and the best part of half an hour later and it was landed. Never experienced a fight or weight like it ! Nigel Mcgloughlin, a club member and also the new membership secretary for the Conger Club was on board so he and Zack got it into a sling weigher and verified the weight, before pictures and returning the fish.

The Red Deer club is always looking for people to join our friendly, funny and enthusiastic group. We go inshore, offshore, and everything in between…..and we get great days with Zack and Glen on the Valerie Cats. Anyone wanting to join us please contact :


April Report – Ian and Gordon on Orca

With Orca now back in the water at Sparkes Marina, Ian and I have now completed three Friday trips out in the eastern Solent – with mixed results.

Our first trip was a bit of a loosener on 7th April – for the boat and us (boat handling a bit rusty!), out into Hayling Bay for Plaice. This resulted in two fish hooked and one small Plaice in the boat. We tried natural and artificial rag with one fish hooked on each while drifting. Not a great return – but a start.

Our second trip on 13th April over to Selsey was a disaster in that we had no bites or fish despite drifting a large area for Plaice. This was a bit of an ordeal with stronger winds than forecast and a tide/wind combination drifting us side on to the swell – rock and roll. Many folks seem to be struggling to find Plaice at the moment and complaining about water clarity. Maybe that’s true – who knows?

Our latest trip out on the 21st was much better. This time we were after Bream and headed over to the Isle of Wight to find some rough ground and ledges. We fished light gear and small squid strips (one on the bottom and one just off). We were kept busy with Dogfish and Pouting but also landed 4 nice Bream. The biggest was a female of 3lb 2oz for Ian – which went back. We took one male as a tasty supper that night. Had we not lost another 3 Bream it would have been a better day. The tide was very benign so fishing the Isle of Wight was easier than it can be in a faster tide. That probably explains why all our fish were taken on the bottom droppers.

Great to be back out on the water. Roll on those warm summer days – and more fish!

By the way, Ian bought some artificial worms (Isome) through your site and hooked a Plaice on one – so they seem to work.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Southsea Angling Show next week.


Saved by a plaice

Saved from blanking! I spent a lot of time trying to repeat my past success with herring, but they were nowhere to be found on Saturday. I dropped in by The Blocks and had one bite, and one nice fat plaice that fed both of us for tea tonight. Although the Solent area is crowded, it has the benefit of providing an endless show of interesting ships passing. This one was the Rolldock Sky, on her way into Southampton with some very big things on board – whatever they are.


Watch out cod, Caroline’s fishing again

Saturday’s report from Dave:

“Its been a while. As is known, Caroline has been diagnosed with cancer and has a long period of treatment ahead of her. Chemo, Herceptin, and Radiotherapy. However Friday saw the end of her Chemo treatment and when asked what she wanted to do to mark the completion of one course of treatment, forget the “Go out for a meal” her answer was “Go Fishing”.

So thats exactly what we did. We headed out to our favourite Cod mark and I was a little worried she may not be up to it fully and may find it exhausting. I need not have worried, by the 3rd drift we had 2 Cod and a Pollock on board. We took it a lot easier than we normally would and we extended the drifts. We ended with a mixed bag of Cod and Pollock with majority of the 15 fish haul being Cod.

Most of the fish were double figures. We gave it a few hours and headed back in so as to be back at the berth by mid afternoon. Caroline has a new vigour for getting the charter boat we had planned before the diagnosis of her illness.

All I keep thinking now is, “Watch out Cod”  🙂


Dave and Caroline”

Mine cr




With less than two weeks to go, further exhibitors have been added to the line-up at the Fishing Show at Southsea Marina.

Taking place on Saturday 6th May from 10am – 4pm, Portsmouth family fishmongers, Johnsons Enterprises will be demonstrating the art of filleting fish in the dedicated Q&A tent and offering visitors the chance to take home some fresh produce for supper. Local sea anglers, Wayne Comben, Pete Kilshaw and James Roberts will also be talking about LRF and shark fishing and discussing the new way to fish on a sea kayak. A series of free talks from 10.15am it will be the perfect time for visitors to ask questions and pick up the latest fishing tips.

On the day there will be a main exhibitor marquee with a fantastic local presence from Andy’s Baits, angling centre, Allan’s Marine and Solent Tackle who will be selling a selection of tackle, bait, rods and lures. Portsmouth Marine Training RYA Training Centre will be in attendance and LGS Marine will be on hand with the newest safety equipment. FRIB (Foldable RIB) will showcase an innovative designed foldout RIB for sea anglers plus new exhibitor, Wade Marine will be unveiling a rope handling device that makes mooring up a simple, stress free task.

By the main tent a line-up of fishing boats will be on display courtesy of Sea Ventures, Sussex Boat Shop, JBT Marine, RBS Marine and boat builder Garry Bull, including a 695 Marlin, a Beneteau Barracuda 7, Parker and Rodman boat models and a brand of Ocean kayaks that come fully rigged.

As well as the opportunity to buy top fishing finding navigation equipment from Landau UK and a comprehensive range of outboards from Golden Arrow, visitors can drop in from 9am to pick up some bargains at the marina boat jumble and have their life-jacket checked for free by the RNLI.

Admission to the show is free with first-come, first-served parking available and the onsite café will be serving refreshments and hot and cold food throughout the day.

A few stalls are still available at the marina boat jumble. Only £10.00 a pitch, if you’re interested in selling some kit before the new season, contact Southsea Marina Reception on 023 9282 2719.

Conor’s April report

In the first week or so of April we wanted to try for a few different species. On the 2nd we went to a fairly inshore rocky mark we found by accident in the winter to try for bream. The bream didn’t show but we had a couple of hounds including my new PB of 12lb. Before going in for the night, we had a few drifts for plaice and my dad had nice one of around 2lb but that was the only one we had even after multiple drifts over the same spot.

After speaking to a netter and having that plaice we spent the 3rd drifting the same inshore spots only giving whiting and a smut pup, a slow day fishing.
Later in the week, on the 7th, we went to an offshore bank on a fairly small tide to try for big blonde rays unsuccessfully. The bank only gave us tiny congers, dogs and pout.

Wanting some better fishing we went back to the mark where we had the smooth hounds on the 8th. However, the tide conditions were opposite to how they were the weekend before and we only managed to have a wrasse and a three bearded rockling which was a new species for me. When we finally adjusted the anchor so we were on sand for smuts the fishing went strangely quiet. As the tide began to die off we moved to a reliable mark about a mile south for a few hours and had 16 or 17 hounds between us on rag and peelers! Not very big but great fun to catch so many, even got the spinning rod out! A nice start to the summer season.


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