Like most others the bank holiday gave a good chance to get out for some fishing as the weather calmed. A few stops for mackerel, and some Scad, and we went out to some banks off Selsea to drift.
Each drift brought bass. Nothing large – biggest 4 pounds but before long we had caught 8, kept the requisite 1 each and were putting them back. We ran out of bait but were catching the Bass on Mackerel and Scad. So we carried on drifting with the feathers over to try to get some more bait and Roland had three bass on the feathers. Well he was using some fancy ones (see pic).
No more bait though, so off we went to catch some more bait and anchor up at slack tide in a hole south of the nab. A range of fish came on board including a 10lb Bull Huss and a couple of Thornies to 8lb and finished the day with a few Smoothhounds on hardback crab at our third location, just between East Nab and Selsea. What was annoying was the smaller bream here, constantly attacking the fish and squid baits. We eventually got a couple on board on very light tackle and small hooks but none worth keeping. On the upside – no doggers.
On the bank holiday Monday we went off in the boat for lunch with friends. On the way back we stopped off for some Mackerel. My Godson Tom, aged 7 was on his first fishing trip. I had a 4ft rod and small multiplier for him and attached a string of feathers. Looking around we found a mass of feeding gulls and in the middle we found the mackerel easily. It’s great to see the enthusiasm of youngsters catching fish. So a few drifts and a bucket full of mackerel for the BBQ and then suddenly, Tom caught a Bass, on the same feathers Roland had used a few days before. Something about them! Only about 1½ pounds but he was so excited. That went back and off we went to eat the spoils. Nothing to beat fresh mackerel from the sea, BBQ’d an hour or two later.
Had a couple of hours free on Saturday so nipped out in the afternoon with some hardbacks crabs. Just went out to the east of Bullocks. Caught a couple of Mackerel as bait. Roland was quickly into smoothies, to 10lb. 3 and a lost one, great sport on light uptide tackle. I, on the other hand couldn’t get them but did manage a 6lb small eyed ray and a couple of dogs. But for 2 hours it was a bit of fun and fitted in between doing some chores and taking the FPO out.
Four smoothhound at Utopia on Sat 2nd Sept: 14lb, 14lb, 8lb, 6lb. [nothing else, no doggies..] Managed to get to the Overfalls earlier in the day when it was flat calm – my furthest trip out to date…
No bass for me over the banks, but exciting stuff anyway in that mixed water! Two other boats and a charter there too, who may have had better luck and skill – but didn’t see anyone else catch.
After a wet and windy few weeks we all enjoyed an amazing sequence of calm sunny days over the August bank Holiday. I was out soon after 6am on Sunday, and quickly stocked up with mackerel for bait on the the way out. Mackerel and bass always seem to feed best at dawn and dusk within a couple of miles from shore. First stop was New Grounds – small bass, a selection of rays and countless dogfish. I noticed one of the Thornbacks was host to a number of pontobdella muricata leeches (I looked it up!)
Next stop at Sandown Bay produced small conger and a lot of lost tackle as I must have positioned myself over a net. Another mark produced little so I headed back to a bank on the way back in, to drift for bass. The first (and last) drift produced a 5lb beauty – above.
“Thinking we was off to a bad start sitting in loads of traffic things rapidly changed when we got on the water and hit the mackerel straight away. Dropped anchor and put 3 fresh baits down.
Within 5 minutes the first one went off – it took literally over half the spool before deciding to stop. And that went 32lb to Charlie a first for him !! During that my rod starting ****ing line out back towards the shore resulting in a 30lb tope. Beaming we were by this point, the boat being trashed by tope. We managed to weigh photo and return safely . Then just to make matters even more joyful, the 3rd rod goes screaming off resulting in a 42lb tope, a pb for me – absolutely buzzing. Then a small hound and a nice ballan wrasse for Charlie. Also we saw a pack of either dolphins or porpoises…which was good to see! Another 30odd lbr that got away up the side although a hand was on the hooklength!” – Josh and Charlie
Thought I’d give you an update as weather had kept me away from the boat for two months, well away from fishing anyway.
The sight of a flat calm forecast, the first when I was free to go fishing for a couple of months so Roland and I set out in the morning, not too early as it was a Sunday after the Saturday night.
First stop mackerel, no gulls working to help so went to Dean Tail – few Scad there, then off to the nab, nothing there so not a good start. Went out to a hole south of the nab. One thorny about 8lb and a few doggers later and we decided to move at slack tide to a nearby wreck.
We had by now picked up a couple of mackerel but the first surprise was a 12lb Bull Huss on a whole small Scad, then a few more dogs and some pouting along with some large mackerel. A re-anchor as the tide turned and a very large mackerel came on board from a bottom hook, approaching 2lb, but nothing exciting – oh and more dogs. A move to East Nab as the tide grew but nothing there (well dogs of course) so went towards Selsey, between East Nab and the Medmerry.
Action started quicker here – a flapper gave a resounding bite and line screamed off the real – ahh tope of course, well no actually, a Smoothhound about 14lb. Then another 7lb Thorny followed and a further 3 smoothhounds, this time on more conventional hardback crab.
We’d kept the feathers over and occasionally a small shoal would come through and we’d freshen up the bait stocks. We weren’t exactly wiping them out but came back with some 30 fish for table and future baits.
Nothing exciting but a range of fish, the last couple of hours topping off the day and making it reasonable with good sport on light tackle up-tiding with crab for the smoothies.
After a month of breezy weekends we finally had a day where the weather and a weekend coincided. Sunday 13th August dawned clear and calm, and after over-nighting on board I was in a great position for an early start. At 06:30 I was heading south from Langstone Harbour, and first stop was a bank a couple of miles out which usually has a good stock of mackerel hanging about. This morning the sea was alive with splashing baitfish, mackerel and seabirds. Within a few minutes I had plenty of mackerel and some scad for good measure. I find smaller fish skin feathers size 6 tied to 20lb mono to be consistently effective, especially if used with a 25 gm or heavier lure as a weight to give a flash and a flutter.
I spent the morning at New Grounds, and although I caught a couple of very nice ray, I was plagued by dogfish and small tope. Tope are annoying because you either accept the many bite-offs or scale up to wire or very heavy mono and cut down your chances of catching anything more finicky. I decided to move instead, and headed to Sandown Bay.
I ended up slightly off the mark I was aiming for, but nevertheless still had plenty of action with strap conger, small bream, more ray and scad. No tope or dogfish thank goodness.
Home via the bank again, in the hope that bass may show but I was too early, the bass tend to feed on the banks either at dawn or dusk. Never mind, I have plenty of winter bait in the freezer now the mackerel are plentiful.
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
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.
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: