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Category: Catch Reports 2018 (page 1 of 3)

Langstone Report Sea Angling News July

There is nearly always something not quite right when you go boat fishing. Tides are too small or too big, wrong bait, cloudy water, weed…but this month we couldn’t complain about the weather. I can’t remember so many fishable days crammed into the month. Sitting comfortably on a blue sea, topping up the tan and banter with mates makes poor fishing bearable. And there have been some quiet days recently, where we have been scratching for a few mackerel, pout and dogfish. Other days have been very good including some spectacular tope fishing. Top fish in this report is Ian Draper’s 64lb tope which he matched up with another good specimen of 50lb. To prove that experience can beat youthful energy, John Churchill at 80 years old tamed this tope (pictured) which was in excess of 50lb. To reduce stress on fish to be returned, weight is often estimated which is why we don’t have exact weights in all the photos.

John Churchill tope 50lb

Fewer boats are targeting bass as there is a landing ban for 2018, but there are still good stocks in the area and regularly turn up on general bottom-fishing trips. Our local butcher Mo Twells shows off the typical stamp of fish with a healthy 5 pounder. I am pretty sure that is the same hat he wears behind the counter too.

Mo Twells Bass 5lb

We usually have to motor much further afield for turbot of any size: Heber Crawford is showing off a very pretty fish caught from one of the Langstone boats over the offshore banks. However, Kriss Scott caught a magnificent inshore fish (for the area) of 8lb. This was awarded SMAC “Fish of the Month” because you just don’t see turbot of that size here, even though the Specimen Book thinks otherwise. This fish pipped Luke Scott’s huge (relatively) three-bearded rockling of 1lb 8oz which was an official Specimen and impressive in the rockling circles but not impressive enough to win the votes for Fish of the Month from our discerning members.

Heber Crawford Turbot

Even nearer to shore, Peter Churchill tempted this mullet of 3lb 12oz. We regularly see some very large mullet in the marinas but they can be very picky so this was a good catch.

Peter Curchill mullet 3lb 12oz

Some of my wealthier angling friends pay a lot of money to fish famous river and estuary beats for sea trout. Heber Crawford proved this is not always necessary. While fishing for mullet with a LRF rod and a tiny fly spoon, he noticed a dark shadow and a swirl behind the lure. Casting again he was rewarded with this stunning sea trout. After the photo-call it was promptly returned. Young Archie Crawford returned with Dad a day or two later and first cast hooked another sea trout! Before anyone thinks this is a regular thing in the area, these are the only two sea trout reported from this tidal creek that I can recall.

Heber Crawford Sea Trout

The many calm days have allowed us to observe more under-water traffic than usual. We have seen large numbers of jellyfish, and also some large and very dense shoals of fry – see the photo of the fish-finder screen. This indicates a smaller number of predatory fish around, and it also makes it more difficult for anglers to tempt mackerel with feathers when they have such an abundance of the real thing to eat. This might also explain why the mackerel we have caught are invariably stuffed so full they are like little round torpedoes.

Shoals of Fry

Let’s hope this great weather continues.

You can read Sea Angling News Online here

Another massive tope aboard Moonshine

Ian Draper caught this massive 64lb tope from Peter Churchill’s Moonshine. This has been an awesome season for tope and Peter seems to find the best spots for his clients! To book, contact Peter on 02392 787295
Ian draper playing 64lb tope

Plan A Worked

I’ve been out a few times in June, and finally broke my duck for Tope yesterday. Plan A was to catch mackerel for bait and go to a couple of marks in Utopia in deep water in fairly big tide. Plan B was go to Sandown Bay in shallow water for easier fishing for bream if no mackerel.

Plan A actually worked! Me and my brother caught 4 tope between 8-14lb and lost half a dozen by striking too early, but great fights on fairly light tackle, especially when the tide was running hard.  Thought they would be double the weight from their size and fight, but the scales don’t lie…  The crushed hook barbs certainly helped for quick release. Plenty of doggies and a spotted ray in between the tope bites too.

I really must get the gear and learn the Alderney Ring method of anchor retrieval! It would have been impossible for me to haul anchor from the bow on my own halfway through the flood (would have been even worse on the ebb!) and I only just about managed it with my brother using the engine to carefully follow the anchor, and even then it pretty much wiped me out…

ps: unbelievably, I managed to survive all day until 10:30 pm without the football score being leaked to me

Perfect finish to the day watching the highlight 😊

Steve Fordred, Spoonbill

First trip on Osprey!

Our first trip on Osprey and success for co-owner Matt Morgan!

We headed out into Bracklesham Bay (not too far from the harbour entrance on the first trip!) and fished the ebb tide initially near the wrecks but moved further east until getting toward the broken ground near The Hounds, all in about 10-12m of water. This mark fished nicely with catches of Wrasse, small Pouting and Pollack and also the ubiquitous Doggy. Looking forward to hitting more marks, and catching more fish – the holy grails for us both are a double figure bass for Matt and a Turbot for me! Maybe one day…

Will Denby

Another good tope aboard Moonshine

Caught by Essex angler Dave Jordison, this tope weighed 40lb

Wafters find the bream

Those who are prepared to experiment often find the new killer method (although there are plenty of experiments that don’t work!) The latest “discovery” is to use wafter baits for bream. These are buoyant artificial baits developed for carp fishing, which balance the weight of the hook and bait making it wave enticingly. They usually come in colours designed to attract in murky water, and a scent as well. Combined with a squid or cuttlefish strip  for bream they can be deadly. Last weekend, all the bream I caught were on 8mm pink tuna flavoured wafters, none took the plain baits. You need to use fine hooks – short shank Aberdeens are ideal, and thread the wafter up the shank. Nick a strip of squid or cuttle (I was using cuttle as you can see from the black stains) to the hook and hang on to the rod ready for that classic beam bite that drags your arm off!

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More Tope From Utopia

From Steve Holt:

I was going to go out on Saturday, but the forecast changed so went out today instead and what a superb day it was, almost tropical.

I decided to head for a mark I liked the look of on the Utopia but I first stopped off at Deans Tail to try for some Mackerel and was lucky enough to find 4 on my first drop, so I didn’t hang around for long before heading out to the Utopia where I dropped anchor into about 86ft of water, it was about a couple of hours after low water and the tide was already pushing through resulting in needing 1lb of lead.

The lead has barely hit the bottom when the clutch on one of my lever drags screamed away and I was in to my first Tope of the season, not a big one but still around the 20lb mark, then two minutes later the other lever drag screamed off and this felt like a decent fish and at times it was taking more line than I could wind in aided by the strong tide, after 15 minutes I eventually had it alongside the boat and realised I would have to net it tail first and let it drift in to the net  and upon lifting it in to the boat I could feel it was quite heavy, so I got it into the weigh sling as quickly as possible and it tipped the scales at just over 35lb, so well chuffed.

I had a couple more smaller Tope of around 15lbs. But that was pretty much it with the tide now screaming past the boat to the point that the anchor was dragging, the Utopia curse had struck again as with my last boat I could never get a Bruce anchor to hold on the Utopia until a local skipper suggested I try a traditional Fishermans Anchor which solved the problem, so tomorrow I will be out to buy a 10kg anchor.

I tries a few places on the way back for Mackerel, but nothing doing, probably because the tide was too strong, but next weekend the small tides are perfect for my new mark, let’s hope the weather plays ball.

A Big Tope!

Leigh Coward caught this 46lb tope from Peter Churchill’s “Moonshine”

Very nice tope…

From Josh this weekend, it went 34lb!

Langstone Report Sea Angling News May

Without doubt, early May is a watershed for fish species in the Eastern Solent. Those pesky little whiting have gone, although the pesky dogfish (aka Solent Salmon) will be here forever. Plaice are fattening up after spawning, and the summer species of bream, smoothhound and tope arrive to give great sport.

If you don’t want to go too far, wrasse can give a good account of themselves on rocky marks or by the many concrete structures around the area. Small hardback crabs and soft lures find the better fish.

Heber Crawford Wrasse 5lb

Bream are becoming more plentiful as the month progresses. They rarely appear in great numbers but when you find and can hold on to a shoal they give an amazing fight for their size. There is no mistaking a bream bite on light tackle! Kev Johnson and John Jones had an exceptional catch of 40 bream, all were returned and the two best were kept in the fish-well initially for a photo-opportunity – see picture.

Kev Johnson and John Jones Bream 2-6 each

Garfish arrive shortly before the mackerel, and often follow baits right to the surface. They can surprise you with a last-minute grab of small bream baits. They make a bit of a tangle out of your carefully constructed bream rigs though.

We have seen some very good smoothhounds caught. The 19lb 10oz specimen boated by Adam Houghton currently leads the Catch and Release Cup for Southsea Marina Angling Club.

Adam Houghton 19-10 Smoothhound

In the last week, tope have put in an appearance resulting in some cracking days out for those crews fishing the tope marks. Other good fish reported this month were Bill Arnold, smoothhound 18lb; Neil Glazier, smoothhound 16lb and Steve Kelly, undulate ray 14lb 4oz, all catch and release.

Bill Arnold 18-0 Smoothhound

Further offshore, pollack and cod are being caught over the Channel wrecks and catches are well worth the trip to get out there.

Heber Crawford Pollack2

We were very pleased to host the RNLI at the SMAC May meeting, where volunteer speaker Brian Masters gave an excellent talk on small boat safety for anglers. Even though many of use were experienced, we all learned something new. Brian Hill ran a Lifejacket Clinic at the event, and found some important safety defects in some of the lifejackets he inspected. This reminded us all to check our lifejackets carefully. We raised £94 for the RNLI from donated prizes and a collection at the meeting.

Brian Masters RNLI Talk


Bill Hill RNLI Lifejacket Clinic

SMAC is keen to involve more juniors and ladies in the sport. To this end Adam Houghton has been organising some Ladies Trips, which seemed to enjoyed by all (eventually) – see the photos!

Ladies Day - Sarah Martina Sophia Alina Kate Hayley

The juniors seem to be rather good at out-fishing their dads sometimes, so maybe we have some club champions of the future among the junior membership.

Archie Hogg Smoothhound 14-0


Archie Crawford Wrasse


Sea Angling News Online is available here

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