The summer fishing seems to have extended well into autumn this year, with the mackerel staying with the spratt shoals right up to the end of October before fading away. The amount of baitfish seen on the fishfinders is spectacular, attracting mackerel and bass. This is probably why the dolphins are being seen inshore here and bluefin tuna not so far offshore too. Every day that I have been out over that last two months I have seen large flocks of gulls working within a mile or two of shore, and if you like catching school bass on light gear you can catch a fish almost every cast, some of them actually into the “keeper” size of over 42cm.

Bream have stayed on the Blocks and rocky marks into early November, and looking back at my log I don’t see I caught many this late in previous years, although I probably wasn’t targeting them. I have always been interested in fishing methods used in other countries and this one caught my eye recently: fishing for yellow snapper (very like our black bream in habit) groundbaiting with oatmeal – or what we call porridge oats. I gave the method a try and it certainly produced some nice bream. Best bait was fish strip or prawn, not the usual squid strip. It wasn’t a scientific test because there was no other boats nearby using a different method to compare, but if you want to see the technique in use here’s the original video:

 I was expecting more whiting by now and some are showing but not in the numbers we can expect as we move into winter. There are some good sized fish around – Lee Marshfield shows one that will produce some nice fillets.


Further out some nice bull huss have been caught – shown here a 12lb Bull Huss to Andrew Law fishing from Moonshine, and one of similar size for John Jones.

There have been plenty of good bass caught and Ben Lumsden showed his dad how to do it:

Finally – cod. Yes, some have been caught but there’s a reason why they are called Solent Unicorns – because they aren’t very common. One boat reported catching four but that is unusual. One or zero is far more likely. Tim Andrews did a very good job of making this one look sizable, but the game was up when we saw the weight in the Cod Cup listings – 5lb 6oz but still good enough to be in second place behind a 5lb 7oz fish caught by Tony Callard earlier.

The Cod Competition has been postponed from 14th November to 21st November, so that gives the cod and whiting a bit more time to organise themselves into turning up.