Boat Angling

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Category: Catch Reports 2019

First spotty of 2019

The last few weekends have been spent in accessible places in Rebel Runner, installing the wiring for my new capstan and other things. Now that’s pretty much done I decided to go fishing again. I had heard rumours of the occasional plaice being caught so this weekend I headed out to find some for myself. I have found that frozen black lug tipped with a strip of squid is the best bait for early plaice but the shops were out of stock. Luckily, right at the bottom of my freezer was a very old and sorry-looking packet. The plaice don’t mind what it looks like as long as it is smelly, so I was in business!

First stop was The Blocks, which looked very busy. I anchored just north of the crowd and set out some lines with plenty of bling. Within half an hour I had my first plaice of the year. The next couple of hours were bite-less but the weather was lovely so I didn’t mind too much. As the tide increased the anchor decided to trip so a move was an easy choice to make. I headed over to Hayling Bay and with half an hour another two plaice were on board. They were all small so I filled a bucket of water and put them in it while unhooking, to reduce stress and aid recovery. I made an interesting discovery, they all sicked up lugworm in the bucket so it is pretty obvious why lugworm scores.

I soon ran out of bait so I practised a SAR mission on an abandoned life-ring I had seen float by half an hour earlier. It is surprising how difficult a bright orange life-ring is to spot on a clear fairly calm day. Eventually I spotted it and won myself a new life-ring and about 15 metres of floating rope.

Philip and Roland December 2018

The sudden improvement in weather and my availability allowed us to go out for the first time since the end of September. So a week before Xmas went out on the neap tide and decided to go deep to see if anything was happening out south of the Nab.

Well dogs, some biggish pouting and small whiting, with only one about 1.5lbs that was worth keeping.

With nothing much happening we went back inshore, where at least we got some real action, which was with a few Congers, on open ground. We had four, not exceptionally large although the biggest went 25lbs and gave a good scrap on the up-tider for Roland.

With the fait hint of success we went out a day or so after Xmas, although the larger tides meant we went out between Selsey and the Nab. The tide and a lot of weed (lots of it drifting around) caused us to move after only 45 mins with nothing more than the odd Dog, Pout and one Whiting.

So we went back towards the Nab to a hole to the East of the Nab. Better tide here and we were able to get down amongst the Whiting and Pouting. A couple of Dogs then a big bite nearly taking the rod over the side. A nice 5½lb Bass. Then a big fish, felt like a Conger, got off half way up. On bringing in the tackle there was a Whiting hooked on a flyer, with a big cut across its back, so the Conger had obviously taken a liking to my catch !

Whiting bitten by conger
Conger Attack!

A couple of straps came on board and then another good bite resulted in a double – a 2lb Bass on the flyer and a 7½lb Cod on the lower pennel rig. So all in all a good day for me – Roland came out as well and had some Whiting, Pouting and the odd Dog. Took advantage of the ability to be smug as we all know it will probably be different next time. Took home a Bass, Cod and 2 Whiting (2lb apiece) and the Bass and Cod fillets will allow us to forget the Turkey.

Phil and Roland, December 2018

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