January is what I call a transition month – the end of the winter season and perhaps the hint of the species arriving in the early spring. Our normal winter season sees whiting in large numbers following the sprat shoals; cod, although in far fewer number than in previous years and conger roaming open ground. As the winter season draws to a close there are still one or two cod around; numerous whiting; nice pollack are caught on the channel wrecks and spurdog make an appearance. Some large bream are found on the wrecks in autumn and winter, although few people target them preferring the chance of a big fighting pollack. Bass are catch and release only until 1st March 2022 and although there are still plenty of bass around, most anglers aren’t targeting them. Plaice usually start appearing in February and this year catches off Brighton in late January attracted the attention of long-range anglers based in Hampshire. Have a look at the photo gallery below to see some of the catches reported in January.

Included are John Jones, with his SMAC Fish Of The Month Award conger of 70lb and Brian van Daal with the cod of 15lb that won the SMAC Cod Pool and Cod Cup.