Boat Angling

The web site for eastern Solent boat fishing

Restart a Heart Week 2021

Premier Marinas invited Liz Baugh, founder of Red Square Medical to run a refresher course on CPR and defibrillators for all berth holders as part of the national Restart a Heart week. This campaign is to provide enough basic information to as many people as possible, so more by-standers in a cardiac arrest situation have the confidence to “have a go” and hopefully keep someone alive until Emergency Services arrive and take over.

I have attended a number of CPR courses and every time I learn something new, partly because there is always more to learn, and partly because medical recommendations are changing. Liz Baugh, formerly a RN Medic now runs a successful marine medical training consultancy, and she is a wonderful trainer herself. She kept us engaged, amused and informed.  This event was run virtually, and one of the challenges of this format is to find ways for people to practice rather than just watch. Liz asked us all to bring a pillow, an old pillowcase and a marker pen. We had to draw a head and torso on the pillowcase and that made a life-size dummy to practice on. A prize was awarded for the best drawing –  James and Ali were the winners with this cheeky lady, who doesn’t seem to be suffering too badly from the experience.

This illustrates a serious point actually – proportionally more men receive attempted resuscitation than women, due mainly to the reluctance to get personal with a woman’s chest area even in such a dire situation. Liz told us that there is legal protection for anyone trying to save a life or administer first aid. If anyone is afraid of American-style litigation, don’t listen to the scare stories and have a  go whoever they are.

Another useful explanation was the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest. One may lead to the other but not necessarily, and there are other causes of cardiac arrest.

Think of your heart as an electric bilge pump, working hard to pump seawater out of a flooding boat. A heart attack is like a lump of seaweed getting jammed in the pump, or a pipe collapsing. The pump may still work but the seaweed is significantly reducing the efficiency of the pump and it needs urgent attention. A cardiac arrest is like an electrical failure that stops the pump. No water is being pumped and very quickly the boat will sink. A heart that stops is no longer supplying oxygenated blood to the brain, and without a blood supply the brain will soon die.  CPR is like turning the pump over manually to keep the water flowing – or blood, in the case of your heart “pump”. This won’t solve the problem long term but will buy time and keep the brain alive until help arrives.

One of the best short videos of CPR is the Vinnie Jones film from the British Heart Foundation: you can watch it here.

A defibrillator can re-start a stopped heart by administering an electric shock and “bump-starting” the electric motor that is the heart. Liz also demonstrated the use of a defibrillator with a film from Red Square Medical resources.

You can access this instructional video for free by registering here

This was a great initiative from Premier Marinas supported by Red Square Medical

The back of the flyer illustrated in our header image is a quick guide to the CPR process.

Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Inter-Club Competition 2021

This is our annual head-to-head competition between SMAC, Eastney Cruising Association (ECA), Langstone Harbour Fishermen’s Association and Southsea Sea Angling Club. It’s a simple winner-takes-all for the largest specimen weight by percentage. The winning club hosts the competition the following year, and as last year’s winner was ECA, it was duly hosted by ECA.

Dave Ford caught good specimens of Bull Huss and Small-eyed ray, but unfortunately he caught them the day before the competition.

Bill Arnold got our hopes up with a bass of 8lb 10oz.

Tony Dickson was chasing him with a nice bull huss.

Then Mark Argyle boated a bass of 9lb 15oz and sealed the competition for the ECA (again).


Well done Mark, congratulations on winning with such an impressive fish. Looks like the ECA will be hosts again next year!

SMAC Early October Fishing Report

The first week of October has been windy so when the forecast was for a calm weekend a lot of local boat anglers grabbed the opportunity and headed out. The mornings were initially very misty but within a few hours the visibility improved. The strong winds of the previous week had left murky water and a bit of a swell but otherwise all we had to contend with were strong tides, plenty of weed and an easterly wind. Nothing is ever quite right is it?

Birds can still be seen working over shoals of baitfish being attacked from below, but the attackers are now shoals of small bass as most of the mackerel have now dispersed.

Bass fishing on the banks has been superb with good catches of quality fish. Kev Johnson and his bass are our Featured Photo above. An unusually high number of bull huss have been caught on local marks. Although bull huss are not unknown, they are more commonly caught on deeper marks. Dave Ford caught two of 12lbs and a very nice small-eyed ray of 11lbs.

In previous years, larger bream have moved offshore leaving hordes of tiny bream behind to shred our baits. This year we have been catching good quality bream right into October – fish strip fished near or on the bottom seems to work well. Here’s a nice bream caught by Jim Atkins.

It’s always nice to see dolphins – thank you Dan Lumsden for sharing this photo, taken near Medmery Bank


SMAC Monthly Meeting October 2021

Report by Steve Andrews:

The following information was discussed at the October meeting.

Fish of the Month goes to Kev Johnson for his Bass 8lb 6oz. Kev wins a medal plus £10. Well done Kev. (Reminder – please make sure you enter your fish in the book within 7 days of capture to qualify!)

We have 2 competitions coming up:

The first is the Interclub Trophy and takes place this Sunday the 10th of October. Fishing from 8am until 6pm. Weigh in is by 6:30pm latest at the ECA. Presentation will also be at the ECA. Entry is £2.50, winner takes all. Winning fish is the best specimen by weight. Rules and specimen sheet will be handed out at sign in which can be done at the Marina office.

The other competition is the SMAC Cod Open. This year are we hope to fish this comp on Sunday November 14th. Entry will be £10 per angler. Fish from 8am until 4pm, weigh in will be in the Marina by 5:30pm latest followed by presentation in the Marina Bar at approximately 6pm. This year we have an even more impressive prize table. First prize will be £500 cash plus free entry into next year’s Sea Angling Classic. There are loads of other prizes consisting of cash, tackle and services. More information will be sent out after our November meeting. In the event of not being able to fish due to weather we will roll over to following Sunday until it is fished.

New Web Page:

Please follow the link above. Neville Merritt has kindly set this page up on his fantastic boat-angling website. If you have any photos or stories you’d like to share there is a link on his website to do so.

Email Link to send in Catch Reports and Photos

SMAC Cod Open Competition 2021

Dates and details have been announced for the ever-popular annual Cod Open Competition which will be held on 14th November 2021. Reserve dates are 21st and 28th if the weather is too bad on the day.

First prize is a whopping £500 PLUS entry to the Sea Angling Classic 2022 competition worth £250. There is a cash second prize and a large prize table for runners up.

Prizes will be awarded for heaviest cod, and if there aren’t enough cod caught, we weigh in heaviest whiting.

Sign in at Southsea Marina office.

Enry fee £10 per angler.

Fishing from 08:00 to 16:00

Last weigh-in 17:30

Presentation of prizes in the Marina Bar 18:00

Any questions please contact Steve Kelly at Southsea Marina (details in the poster below).

National Coastwatch (NCI) Radio Check Calls

The National Coastwatch Institute (NCI) is a voluntary organisation which operates a visual and listening watchkeeping service all along the coast. In addition to their Coastguard liaison service they also help out by offering an alternative radio check on Channel 65 between the hours of 10am and 4pm. The Solent VHF frequencies can be exceptionally busy and if you want a radio check you can be overspoken or the Coastguard can simply be too busy.  As an alternative, switch to Channel 65 and call NCI for a radio check in the same way as you would the Coastguard:

NCI, NCI, NCI this is Rebel Runner, Rebel Runner, Rebel Runner. Radio Check please, Over.”

For local VHF Channels please refer to the relevant NCI page here

Key local VHF Channels are:

11 – Queens Harbour Master (Portsmouth)

68 – Langstone Harbour Master

80 – Southsea Marina

A lot of anglers use Channel 10 for chat. Although this is an inter-ship channel it is theoretically reserved for tugs and pilots, although I don’t ever remember hearing them on this channel.

SMAC Open Species Competition

After several frustrating postponements our inaugural Open Species Competition was held on 5th September. It was superbly organised by Chris Ellis, a veteran of many international species competitions, his wife Hayley and Steve Kelly. The competition was also sponsored by Sea Angling Classic, whose founder Ross Honey was very helpful with advice and support on the day.

Winner of the competition was Bill Arnold with 11 species, Chris Ellis was second with 9 and there was a tie for third places between Alan Isaacs and Darren Price both with 8 species. We hope to run this competition again in 2022 with a two-day event so watch out for further details.

There is a full write-up of the competition in the current issue of Saltwater Boat Angling (pictured).

Chris Ellis in his boat Miss Molly heads out of Langstone Harbour entrace at the start of the competition:

Bass and Mackerel Go Crazy

Over the last few weeks we have seen an unprecedented influx of mackerel into the Solent and Eastern Approaches, with gulls working above feeding shoals up to a mile in length. This combined with the good weather has meant a lot of anglers have been able to stock up with winter bait with ease. The mackerel were of a consistently large size so were great for eating too. Bass could be found feeding below the shoals, and bass were also very active feeding over the banks further offshore. Some anglers were also treated to an escort of porpoises within a couple of miles of shore. They are commonly seen further offshore but they had almost certainly followed the mackerel shoals closer inshore which is less usual, but not unknown.

Have a browse through the photo gallery below.

John Evans
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