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West Wight
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: West Wight Reply with quote

Thanks to Sea Angling News for providing us with these reports and to Arthur Savage for writing them.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where has our summer gone? Yet more gale force winds and rain, with just a few days in between! It is going to be the Cod season before we know it. One good thing about this summer is that there is no shortage of Mackerel; they are in good supply around the West Wight area. The Solent has a problem with weed at the moment with the big tides proving almost impossible to fish. However there has been some early catches of Sole from around the West Lepe area on the smaller tides which are just about fishable. The best Sole tipped the scales at just over 3lb, so there is the potential for the record to be broken again this year.

The Shingles area is still producing lots of small Bream and Wrasse with Smoothhound also being taken on squid baits. All of these fish were returned to the water with some of the larger Smoothhound being tagged and returned. Just for the record, one of the anglers fishing just west of the Shingles boated a Tope just a few weeks back. This Tope was carrying a tag which I removed and tagged again with one of my own. I sent the tag back to the Southampton Oceanography Centre, who informed me that this Tope had been tagged the year before (2006) in the Thames Estuary by another charter boat, which goes to prove how far these fish travel.

South of the Needles Light the banks are producing Blondes and Small Eye with the occasional Undulate up to 16½ lb. Other local boats have also reported Undulates, with one boat boating three in one day, which reinforces our theory that they are on the increase in the West Wight area.

Fishing up to the East, off St Catherine's Deeps, we are still having some real sport with the Topes over the slack water, with the best fish weighing in at 50lb; the average size was around 35lb. Also fishing to the East, over the Plaice grounds, we have found it a little slow, even on the drift. However we did manage to boat one of 6lb 1oz, which went to Stainless Steve of Lymington.

Wrecking is still producing some good action with Pollack up to 14lb, Ling and a few Cod. Anchoring up to the wreck has produced some cracking Bream in excess of 4lb, the mandatory Conger, and Bull Huss up to 14¾lb over the Scower. Fingers crossed for some settled weather! Tight lines!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did say that we wouldn't talk about the weather again but what a great spell of settled weather we are getting at the moment; all smiles and happy faces have returned to the charter boats and everyone is talking fishing again. I did say in the last issue of Sea Angling News that the Mackerel were in plentiful supply but they are now beginning to thin out around the West Wight, that's not to say that you wont come across a shoal on the surface or isolated pockets of bait fish off Sun Corner but we are getting to the point where you can no longer rely on them for bait. We have just seen the first Cod of the year turn up along the shore line with fish being boated at Christchurch Ledge, Ventnor and the West Lepe area. This bodes well for this years' Cod and Whiting season with reports of Whiting being caught just west of the Needles Light on "Challenger 2".

Sole and Bass are the target species in the Solent this month with most of the local private boats and some charter boats trying to beat the new British Sole record. The Solent is also producing lots of Bream, mostly on the small side, however very good sport on super light gear. Smoothhound are also on the scene in good numbers from the Shingles Bank and west to Christchurch Ledge. The area is producing many Bream and the occasional Trigger fish, plus Pollack, Smooth Hound and Bass.

Freshwater Bay has also turned in some reasonable fish with Blonde Rays up to 26lb, plus Thornback and Spotted Rays also in the area. Over the bumps to the south of the rough, Pollack on dead baits have put in an appearance. These fish have been topping the 12lb mark which really tugs your string on light gear. However, they will only be around for a few more weeks. Mike Cottingham, skipper of "Challenger", also reported catches of Pollack into double figures in the same location, plus a Bass of 13lb, which was a real cracker.

Offshore wrecking is still worth the miles with some fine Black Bream being taken on Mackerel and Squid. We also had the first Red Bream of the year on the last set of neaps, which makes it the second year in succession so let's hope they are here to stay. Also on the wrecks were Bull Huss, Ling, Conger, Scad, Wrasse and of course Pouting; very good sport at anchor on light gear. Finally, just a reminder about the 2007 British Cod Festival organised by the West Wight Charter Skippers Association; this two day event will take place in November on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th. For details please contact Mr. Dave Stephenson, event organiser, on 01983-821225.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This month has seen an early run of Cod through the West Wight area, with good numbers of fish also being landed in the Solent. The average size so far this year is between 12lb & 14lb with one of 22½ lb being boated just outside of the Needles Light. We also had a good showing of Channel Whiting, which turned up at the same time as the Cod. This is a little unusual as they normally show a few weeks later. However, we are not complaining. Congers are also on the scene over the open ground, which always adds a little excitement. These fish can average from 30lb-40lb with some in excess of 50lb. Just a few ground Mackerel can be found taking the Whiting baits; these fish are some of the largest I have seen for years. Scad and Garfish are also hanging on.

Other fish taken this month in the same area were Thornback and Spotted Ray with the occasional Undulate still putting in an appearance; all of the Rays were returned to the water. The Solent has made a comeback over the past couple of weeks with the weed disappearing in some areas, allowing the local private boats to make the most of the period of fair weather. West Lepe and the Solent Banks have been producing some early Cod around 9lb-10lb over the deep water mark; Bass have also been boated in the same locations. Many of the private boats, and some of the charter fleet, are also fishing for Sole around the usual marks in the West Solent after dark (with the British Sole record in mind). I can say that I was speaking to one of the local netters who works that area and he confirmed to me that he had Sole over 5lb from the same locations, so its all there to be fished for.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good month around the West Wight, Needles area with the fishing holding steady through most tides. There have been some exceptionally good fish caught this month with the best Cod going to "Dulcie T", skipper Ron Bunday, who managed to boat a Cod of 33lb. This fish took double squid bait on a Pennel rig and I am sure would have been worth first prize (1000) on the British Cod Festival, which is being held on the 14th & 15th of November from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

Channel Whiting, which arrived early this year, are still being boated in good numbers with an average size of 1½lb to 2½lb. We normally see the larger fish arrive next month which can top the scales at over 5lb. There are fish which haven't turned up yet in any great numbers; these are the large amounts of Conger we normally get over the open ground from late September up to Christmas. We had an early run last month with fish up to the boat in excess of 50lb, but they have thinned out now to just the odd one or two a trip.

Mackerel, Garfish and the occasional Scad are being boated on Whiting baits; some of these Mackerel are in excess of 1lb. Large Pouting, Dogs and Smoothhound are also knocking the baits around, some make sure you bring enough to last the day. The Solent is still producing some fair catches of Cod and Codling from the Solent Banks, right down to North East Gurnard. These are also being taken on Squid baits with the small fish being returned to the water.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This month starts with a week of gales and heavy rain, but I guess we can consider ourselves a little lucky with the settled spell we had just before. It allowed the British Cod Festival to be fished on both days outside of the Needles Light, with 43 Cod being caught on day one and 33 on day two. 195 anglers fished the event on 22 charter boats. Overall winner of the competition, with 3 Cod totaling 32lb 12oz, and British Cod Champion for 2007/08, was Peter Bailey (alias "Geeze") from Bognor Regis. First day winner (best Cod) was Simon Connor with a Cod of 16lb 1oz. Second day winner (best Cod) was Alan Blayden with a Cod of 16lb 6½oz. Skipper's prize, sponsored by Ray Marine, went to Dave Stephenson; skipper of "Becky M" with 7 Cod boated on the first day. On behalf of the West Wight Charter Skippers' Association I would like to thank all who took part, and of course our sponsors, for making it a very successful event; our sponsors were, Isle of Wight Council, Ray Marine, Plastimo, Fladen, Simmion Arms, Pipe Maintenance, Stainless Steve Engineering, Poindestres and Sydenhams. Many thanks also to the West Wight Sea Angling Club for a very professional weigh-in. Moving on to this month's fishing, it has been quite productive around the Needles area with some reasonable catches of Channel Whiting coming to the net. There haven't been any reports of fish over 5lb yet, but the average size is around 2lb. I said in the last report that the Conger had moved offshore, however during the week before the weather took off we did have a couple of good hits with Conger going into double figures (all of the fish were returned to the water). Pollack are also on the scene, not in any great numbers, but are being taken on the Whiting rigs and are weighing in at anything up to 19lbs.

The Cod are remaining steady with some reasonable catches being taken on most boats. These fish are averaging around the 12lb - 14lb mark and are taking multi Squid baits or large Cuttle fish presented on a 6.0 or 8.0 Pennel rig. Fishing the offshore banks, over the smaller tides, Blonde and Undulate Rays can still be found with Conger and the occasional Spurdog making up the bag. Lastly, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and even BIGGER fish for 2008!!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a great deal to report this month as the weather put paid to almost all of our late winter cod charters. In fact, the weather has been so bad that I have been considering bringing the boat out early for its winter re-fit. However I couldn't get a space in the yard so I will just have to suffer the weather.

On the occasions that we did manage to get out the fishing was reasonable, bearing in mind the month of the year. The Conger over the open ground have now moved offshore onto the 6 Mile Banks and further. The best day we had saw 27 Conger being boated (and returned) with an average size of 14lb to 40lb; these fish came right through the day no matter what the state of the tide. The Cod are now beginning to fade with just one or two being taken on some of the trips, these average from 12lb to 16lb. However we did manage one of 25lb 4oz.

Moving out onto the deeper banks has also produced some very respectable Rays with the best Thornback weighing in at 15¼lb and the best Blond at 22½lb, with just a few Channel Whiting, but not a sign of any Spurdog yet so perhaps they will turn up next month. The Solent has been producing some good catches of Flounder over the Banks around Lepe and Calshot. On the rougher days some of the private boats have been fishing Southampton Water with some really good results.

Just a couple of dates for the 2008 diary:-

1. West Wight Skippers' Association light line competition is being held on Wednesday 27th August.

2. The British Cod Festival, two day event, (for more details contact Dave Stephenson, event organiser on 01983-821225) is being held on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th November.

Best wishes for the New Year.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Between gales we did manage to get to sea for a few days this month, over the smaller tides, which turned up some reasonable fish, bearing in mind which month of the year it is. Fishing the offshore banks, up to the Six and Ten Mile Marks, there was a good reflection of Rays; one trip managed to bring four different species to the boat, Blonde Ray up to 14½lb, Painted Ray (best 8lb), Undulate 14lb and a Spotted Ray. These fish were all weighed and returned to the water (i.e. recycled).

It's good to see a few Painted Rays this early in the season; we normally get the early run around the end of March to early April over the inshore banks. It is also worth mentioning that we have seen many more Undulate Ray these past few years, which tells me that they are making something of a comeback around the West Wight area. I would like to think that the recycling of these fish has kept them in our area. The inshore marks have also had their good, and not so good, days with "Challenger" skipper, Mike Cottingham, reporting Thornback up to 14½lb and his best Bass this year of 12½lb; this fish was taken on anchor on a Mackerel Flapper and 6.0 hook.

The only reports of Spurdog so far this month were from "Voyager", skipper Kevin Jewel, who boated three fish all around the 9-12lb mark. These fish were also recycled. We are expecting to see these fish increase in numbers as the month progresses, along with a few early Pollack over the offshore banks. The private boats fishing the Solent have reported a few Bass being caught off Salt Mead and west down to Newtown Creek. Calshot and Southampton Water are also producing a few late Flounders.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a great deal to report this month with the weather yet again being the main reason we are not at sea. The only positive thing to come out of all of the bad weather was to take the opportunity to get the boat out of the water for its annual survey and refit and launch again ready for the wrecking season. This we did, and with a shiny new boat the weather managed to stop us again, which is very frustrating as we are dying to know if the fish are up to the East yet and which wrecks are fishing the best. So the next good spell of weather should give us all the answers.

Inshore fishing around the West Wight area is a little slow with the weather playing its part. However, the summer fish are beginning to turn up with "Challenger", skippered by Mike Cottingham, reporting Small Eye and Spotted Ray around the Fresh Water area. Out over the Nine Mile Banks, Smooth Hound, Blonde Ray and Undulates are being boated and returned. No reports of any Bream yet!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weather still hasn't been that kind to us, but we have seen a few fish appearing over the last set of big tides. Bream have now started to be found over the Christchurch Ledge and the west side of the Shingles Bank. Some of these early fish are in excess of 3 lb and sporting those beautiful spring colours of blue and turquoise (how could you not put them back!) Pollack are also over the rougher areas of the Ledge but not sizeable; we will have to wait a few weeks for the larger fish to appear.

Smoothhound and Wrasse have also made a show along the West Wight shoreline, however it is true to say that the Smoothhound have been here for a couple of months out on the deeper marks. Reports from the Solent are similar, with Smoothhound and thornbacks being the main species, with the occasional Plaice and Bass to make up the bag. Haven't seen any Mullet in the river or around the moorings but I am sure they will make the next report. Mackerel was another fish we were looking for this week, but we couldn't find any to date. However we did manage some Garfish, which is a very good sign.

Wrecking has kicked off with some good results, with Pollack being the main catch (as expected). We were hoping to see some early Cod but, try as we may, we couldn't make it happen - so we have that to look forward to. On behalf of the West Wight Charter Skippers' Association I would like to remind the anglers who fished the Light Lines competition last year, the date for 2008 is Wednesday, August 27th; any angler wishing to take part, please ring Dave Stephenson on 01983-821225.
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No complaints with the fishing this month with most marks around the West Wight fishing really well. The local charter boats are going for the Bream at the moment, with some really good fish being landed over 4 lb. All of the females are being returned to the water along with most of the males. Mackerel have also arrived, along with some good size Gar fish; these early ground Mackerel came in on dead baits whilst fishing for Bream with small baits. The Solent is also producing some early Bream around Sowley and the Calshot area. Thornback and Smoothhound are also on the catch list. Speaking to one of the local inshore trawler-men this week he mentioned that he had put back into the Solent a Stinger of over 50lb, which should give one of the local anglers some real sport and a possible personal best.

Dolphin Banks are at present producing some really good painted Ray with fish of over 9lb being reported; Smooth Hound and Bass have also been boated from the same location. Offshore wrecking has started with some good catches of Pollack up to 16 lb, with the average size being between 9lb & 12lb. Cod have also just made an appearance over the past two weeks with the best fish hitting the scales at 20lb. Anchoring up to the wreck at slack water has also produced some good sized Eels up to 80lb, Ling and Pollack on dead baits; and a really welcomed surprise for Peter Hartley, from Warren Sea Angling Club, who boated a Turbot of 25 lb.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The West Wight area is in full swing this month producing great sport fishing for anglers. It has so much to offer you are hard pushed to know where to start. Mooring the boat up on the pontoon, just a couple of days ago, we had the Mullet anglers having some great sport with fish up to 5lbs on carp rods; they looked to be having a great time. The Western Solent is also fishing well at the moment with very little weed to worry about. Bream and Smoothhound are in good numbers on all of the marks from Lymington Banks down to Calshot. Mackerel are now being caught off Sconce in good numbers with the best tide being the flood. I have also had some reports of Bass from Hampstead, Warden Ledge and the Bridge.

South and West of the Needles, from Christchurch down to the Shingle Bank, Bream and Smoothhound are producing some great sport with the occasional Plaice being landed on worm. Freshwater Reef and Brook Banks, to the east, have continued to produce some beautiful Blonds and Painted Rays and the first Undulate Ray of 16 lb; all of these fish were weighed, photographed and returned to the water.

Tope fishing over the smaller tides at St Catherine's Deeps have certainly separated the men from the boys with fish up to 50lb fighting every inch of the way to the surface. Great care must be taken when you get them on board, firstly not to put your hands anywhere near their mouth, but also importantly not to let them thrash around and damage themselves (and others). These fish are measured, weighed, tagged and returned to the water to fight another day.

Offshore wrecking is also producing some beautiful fish with the Pollack improving in size, best fish weighing in at 17 lb, which is unusual for the time of year as we normally see a reduction in size, down around 9-10lb, which we call summer Pollack. Ling and Conger can also be found on anchor at slack water, with one angler from Warren Sea Angling Club, Mr. Peter Hartley, boating a 25 lb Turbot as the boat swung off the tide. The Cod have also arrived on the mid channel wrecks and over the banks, which is also producing some real sport.

DARTMOUTH REPORT By Mike Concannon

SPECIAL SHORE CAUGHT FISH

Junior Anglers have recently been showing us "Adults" how it should be done. I'm really pleased to see this happen. It is reassuring for the future of our sport. Rhys Coulson, Junior Angler Big Bass from Shore - Friday 30th May - I was invited to join Sean Coulson and his teenage Son, Rhys, who are both members of Brixham SAC on a shore fishing expedition in search of those elusive big Bass. I was very excited by the prospects. The plans were dented when Sean found his bait freezer had given up the ghost, which reduced his supply of fresh Devon Peeler Crabs to a handful of live peelers, and half a bucket full of dead Crabs which were starting to "Whiff". It couldn't get worse could it? You probably know the answer to that rhetorical question. Yes, it did. Sean called me around 8.15 pm, to let me know that he had been delayed. We would miss the tide at our preferred venue. It was one of those warm evenings with high humidity in the atmosphere. The conditions screamed "Bass". I put my two 11 foot Bass rods, a new "Northwestern" Flounder rod, capable of casting 1 to 3 ozs; and a 15 year old friend, a "Silstar Bass" 2 to 4 ounce rod, recently refurbished by me; into my rod sling, together with a lightweight rod stand. The "Northwestern" rod was fitted with a "Grauvell" Zeus 4000 size fixed spool reel, while the "Silstar" had my "Mitchell Avocet 7000". Both reels were loaded with 15 lb class clear monofilament line, terminating in a 30 lb clear mono leader.

I put the very minimum tackle in a large plastic bucket, which included several sliding lead links; an assortment of 2 and 3 oz lead weights, with and without grip wires; some "Gemini" small swivels; a few black 8 mm beads for use on the line as lead stops; some 25 lb clear mono trace line; and a handful of Sakuma "Manta" size 8/0 hooks.

I met Sean and Rhys and together we clambered down a steep slope to our chosen spot on the shore. By the dim light of our LED headlamps, carefully pointed away from the water so as not to spook the fish, we tackled up just one rod each. We were anxious not to leave it too late and miss the run of the end of the tide at this location. We baited our hooks with 2 or 3 Peeler Crabs each. Rhys was the first to get his line wet and quickly registered a good bite. There were fish at our feet, but were they Bass? Within minutes Sean and I had cast our baits out perhaps 50 yards from shore into a fairly calm sea, across a gentle sea breeze. We both registered bites but did not connect with the fish. The adrenalin was starting to pump around our veins as the excitement mounted.

We re-baited and cast our lines out again. Within a few short moments I was rewarded by a clear bite which registered on the rod tip and almost pulled my rod over. I was quickly into a good fish. At first it put up little resistance, but as it neared the shore it put up a brave fight, taking line from the spool of my reel. Sean grabbed the net and scrambled down to the water's edge. He expertly netted a Bass for me, which I weighed at the time, on digital scales as 5 lbs 9 ozs. I was a very happy chap. A couple of casts later, Rhys caught a fine Bass which we weighed on digital scales at 4 lbs 5 ozs.

As the tidal flow weakened, we had a few tentative bites, but no more fish. Around 1.0 am we re-baited our hooks for the umpteenth time and discussed what time we might leave as the fishing had considerably slowed down. We chatted quietly about all sort of interesting fishing experiences and righted the wrongs of the entire world, as one does. The next thing that happened was when Rhys' rod tip registered a very clear bite. Rhys grabbed his rod from its stand and was clearly into a very good fish. It initially swam towards him and he reeled in line, thinking the fish had gone. Then it turned and ripped line from his fixed spool reel against a well set clutch. Rhys kept his rod tip high and as soon as the fish stopped, pumped it back towards the shore in small stages, while Sean scrambled down to the water's edge, landing net in hand. I shone a torch to guide Sean and after some wild thrashing by the fish close to the edge, Sean cleanly gathered it in the landing net. It was ours. We were "over the moon". We could see it was a very big Bass. We gently unhooked it and checked it on my digital scales. It confirmed our initial estimation when it registered approximately 9 lbs 3 ozs on my hand held "Berkley" lip grip digital scales.

We fished on for about another hour in high hopes, but without any further success. We retired tired but very happy around 2 am. The following morning, Sean 'phoned me to tell me that Rhys' big Bass had been weighed-in on the certified scales at Brixham SAC, where it tipped the dial to 9 lbs 10 ozs 14 dr. That is potentially a new Junior Brixham club record for shore caught Bass for Rhys. Nice one! "Thank you" Sean and Rhys for your excellent company and for asking me along. Isn't it great when a plan, even a scheme modified by circumstances, comes together and exceeds your wildest dreams?

More Bass - Space precludes inclusion of full details and photos, but I must give an honourable mention to other excellent locally shore caught Bass. Wednesday 11th June - 7 lbs 9 ozs 2 dr by Sean Coulson. Sunday 8th June - 7 lbs 0 ozs 8 dr by Steve Ford. Sunday 1st June - 8 lbs 8 ozs by Mark Wills and Wednesday 4th June - another of 6 lbs 5 ozs by Mark Wills.

"Gar Blimey" - Saturday 7th June - Email received from Jason Upham, a good pal and fellow member of Brixham SAC. Isn't it really great to see Junior sea anglers enjoying so much fun. They are the future of our sport. Well done to all the lads and to their Mums and Dads for encouraging them by taking them angling. Here's what Jason said:

After our successful week catching Gars we had to give the kids a crack! We took my lads Shay and Corey Upham and Shinta's lad Harvey Bevan-Jones. They had a great day, all taking Gars of NFSA specimen size or better. Shay had Gars of 1-8-0, 1-4-10 plus other smaller ones. Corey had Gars of 1-11-12, 1-9-8 plus others. Harvey had his first ever specimen fish, a huge shore Garfish of 2 lbs 1 oz 4 dr.

Graham Dryer's River Dart Thin Lipped Grey Mullet - Wednesday 28th May - Jason Upham, who is a member of Brixham SAC Emailed. What an excellent specimen Thin Lipped Mullet.from the River Dart by Graham Dryer, who is the proprietor of Brixham Bait and Tackle and Chairman of Brixham SAC. Here's what Jason said: Graham Dryer caught this cracking Thin Lipped Mullet on Tuesday morning in the River Dart. It weighed 3 lbs 4 ozs 8 dr. It's a club specimen and new personal best for this specie for Graham.

River Dart Grey Mullet - Wednesday 11th June - It would be remiss of me not to mention that our favourite Mullet Master Mike Bailey caught a Grey Mullet from the River Dart today which exceeded 5 lbs. It was returned alive. Mike lost a bigger Mullet at the same location a few days earlier when it took him into the moorings and broke his line.

Jason Upham's Shore Caught Bull Huss - Monday 26th May - Jason Upham, who is a member of Brixham SAC Emailed. Here's what Jason said: This weekend saw the first round of the Plymouth shore league. I went out before the match for a practice and had a great night Hussing from a local shore mark. First cast, I had a Bull Huss about 10 lbs which was returned alive. Then later in the evening, I had a cracker of 14 lbs 0 ozs 10 dr. This was followed by another of 11-3-0. A pretty good night and high hopes for the match! Sods law prevailed though and in the match my best Huss was only 6 lbs 6 ozs.

Flounder in the Teign - Monday 19th May - Dave Fortune, Publicity Officer for Brixham SAC, Emailed. It's good when it's your own success and not just that of one of our many pals! Here's what Dave said: I went down the River Teign on Monday afternoon for a Spring Flounder and caught two. The biggest would have been a good 3 lbs in the winter. It weighed 2 lbs 8 ozs 12 dr. Hopefully it's a sign of improvement for the river.

SPECIAL BOAT CAUGHT FISH

Steven Amer's Paignton SAA Junior Club Record Golden Grey Mullet - Sunday 8th June - Barry Amer, who runs the Paignton SAA web site www.psaa.org.uk Emailed. Here's what Barry said: Just to let you know that myself and Stuart Jay, together with my my son Steven, went Mulleting today from Torquay. We started off slow this morning but managed to catch to a few Golden Greys around the 1 lb 10 ozs mark. My Son, Steven, joined us later in the day. On his first cast, Steven landed a Golden Grey Mullet, about 2 lbs 10 ozs. It later weighed in at PSAA club on calibrated scales as 2 lbs 9 ozs 4 dr, setting a new Junior club record, beating his old record of 2 lbs 4 ozs 12 dr.

Rocky Marshall's Big Grey Mullet - Monday 26th May - Email received from Doug Mosedale, Fishing Chairman of Brixham SAC. Here's what Doug said: "Rob "Rocky" Marshall's Grey Mullet , 5 lbs 11 ozs 12 dr, caught from a dinghy in Brixham Harbour. It was weighed on official scales, and then released alive and well to grow, breed and fight again another day." What a superb Mullet and great to see it was returned alive and well to grow, breed and fight again another day. Well done "Rocky".

The 'Other' Mike Johnson's Big Thornback Ray from Boat - Saturday 10th May - I received an Email from Mike Johnson, a member of Torbay & Babbacombe ASA. For a moment I was confused as I have for many past years known a good pal, a different Mike Johnson, who fishes out of Paignton SAA. For a fleeting minute I was confused until I saw the photo attached to the Email and realised it was not the same chap. What an excellent fish. Here's what Mike had to say: I thought you would like to know what an excellent day I had aboard my mate's boat "Wizard", which is owned by Gary Messenger, fishing out of Dartmouth. The Torbay and Babbacombe ASA staged a club competition on Saturday and Sunday fishing from boat and shore. On Saturday we were going for Bull Huss by the Mewstone at Dartmouth and we had them up to 12 lbs. Later on when the tide eased we fished another mark close by, and I landed an 18 lbs 3 oz Thornback Ray. I caught it on 25lb mainline and a 20lb class John Wilson boat rod. It was a lovely fish, a monster. Its weight is 180% of specimen size. It won our club competition.

"Silver Sea" Dover Sole - Saturday 31st May - Bill Devlin from Ivybridge enjoyed a day out aboard "Silver Sea" Skippered by Dave Harrison. Dave should very soon have his new Blyth 33 catamaran "Gemini", which is an updated replacement for his previous "Gemini" which was also a Blyth 33 cat. Here's what Bill said: On Saturday 31st May we were invited out on a Brian Coles trip with Dave Harrison. There were 5 of us from the "Conrods of Ivybridge" plus other local anglers. In all 30 Plaice were caught, plus a few Red Gurnards, and some Whiting. The best fish of the day was a Dover Sole of 1lb 7ozs, caught by Phil "Kipper" Craig, of the Ivybridge Conrods SAC.

Bull Huss from "Skerries" aboard "Outlaw" - Saturday 31st May - Jim Davis, who charters his very smart Vigilante 33 "Outlaw" out of Dartmouth Emailed. Here's what Jim said: "Chris Worbley with a Bull Huss caught on the "Skerries", on board "Outlaw." "This fish was caught using live Launce, presented on a 'circle' hook at slack tide, while waiting for the tide to turn. It just shows how a change of tactics can pay. This fine fish was returned alive after being photographed. Also, several Plaice and Whiting were caught on a fine day out of Dartmouth." You can find good Huss on the rough ground bordering the "Skerries" and sometimes on the shingle banks, close to Crab Pots, where they are attracted by the smell of the pot bait. Nice fish. Good to see it returned alive. Those Circle pattern hooks are great. Very few deep hooked fish and the hook-up rate is excellent.

Jim Laing's Huge Summer Pollack aboard "Samuel Irvin 3" - Monday 9th June - Every month, Jim Laing and I enjoy a great day fishing out of Dartmouth, aboard Ian Noble's Dartmouth charter boat "Samuel Irvin 3". It's a Blyth 33 catamaran, with plenty of space where one can fish in great comfort. Today we were out with several friends old and new, fishing the mid-Channel wreck marks out of Dartmouth. The conditions were as close to perfect as it gets. The sea was flat with the sea breeze no more than a soft Zephyr from the NNW. To top it off, the fish were hungry and in full predatory mode, eager to grab our lures. Mike Morgan, from Wales, caught several fine Pollack, all taken on a white "Sidewinder" lure. Chris Tracey, from Dartmouth, caught several excellent Pollack, taken on various "Storm Shad" and "Sidewinder" lures. Lizzie Busby, also from Dartmouth, enjoyed her first ever day out charter fishing. She caught several quality Pollack.

Top fish of the day was a truly magnificent Summer Pollack caught by Jim Laing, President of the Torbay Sea Angling Festival. It fought like a Tiger, making several crash dives which ripped yards of bright yellow braid line from Jim's Abu reel. Jim used his new Shakespeare Salt Sport Braid 20 to 30 lb class rod to subdue it. The soft tip action cushioned the dives very effectively. Jim later weighed-in his big Pollack on calibrated scales at Brixham SAC. It recorded 19 lbs 13 dr. That is for most of us a fish of a lifetime. Well done Jim. Thank you all for your excellent company, and Ian, once again, many thanks for another superb and enjoyable day afloat, "Fishing Dartmouth".



Lizzie Busby from Dartmouth proudly holds one of several fine Pollack which she caught on a red and yellow "Sidewinder" 6 inch lure aboard Ian Noble's Dartmouth charter boat "Samuel Irvin 3" - Photo courtesy of Mike Concannon.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The West Wight area is still fishing well with the weather pushing the charter boats into the Solent for a good period of the month. Weed is a problem for the Solent anglers and on springs it is almost unfishable. However, the neaps are fishable with some good Smoothhound, Bream and Bass giving some good sport. Thornback and Spotted ray are also on the Banks with the occasional Stinger making up the bag.

Fresh Water Reef is still producing some good size Blonde Ray and Small Eye, plus Bass over the rough on the southern end. Mr Glenn Grieves, of the Lymington Sea Angling Club, had a real shock whilst fishing Freshwater Reef, a Porbeagle Shark in excess of 200lb followed his bait to the surface and stayed alongside, for what Glenn said seemed, a very long time whilst they looked at each other (I am not permitted to write the words, never mind print them, that Mr. Grieves called the shark!)

Down to the west of the Shingles Bank, to the north head and Christchurch Ledge, the Bream are over the usual marks in good numbers, with Wrasse, Pollack and some small Tope over the deeper marks to the south. Wrecking offshore (when the weather allows) is still producing some good size Pollack, along with Cod up to 18lb and at slack water Conger, Ling, Pollack, and Bull Huss. The Mackerel have been rather scarce inshore and offshore over the past month but they have now arrived in real good numbers.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This month the West Wight Skippers Association will again run the Light Line competition from Lymington on Wednesday 27th August; last year was a great success and this year is shaping up to be the same. Any anglers wishing to take part should ring the competition secretary, Dave Stephenson, on 01983 821225. There are a few spaces still available and a very good prize table.

The fishing around the West Wight area has been a little up and down with the weather still not settling down for any period of time - "just keeps blowing!" The Solent small boat anglers have just about managed to fish the smaller tides with the weed not being too much of a problem. Reports of lots of small Bream right through the Solent, with a good spread of Smooth-Hound with the occasional thornback and Bass. Haven't heard any reports of big Stingers yet, but I'm sure they will appear once the weed problems starts to improve.

South of the Needles, around Freshwater and the Dolphin Banks, we have had some good catches of Painted and Blonde Ray with Roy Davies from Lymington Sea Angling Club boating a blonde of 24lb. All of these fish we photographed and returned to the water. We are just starting to see the Mackerel and Bass shoaling up in the Solent and off the Light at the end of the tide. This can produce some real sport, casting a jelly worm or even a fly into the shoal. However they were a little small with just a few sizable fish. The inshore wrecks are now worth having a look at with some good size Pollack coming on shads, jelly worms and bait on anchor; some of these fish weighed in at 14lb.

Offshore, when the weather allows, the wrecks have been producing some good quality Pollack and Cod, with the first Coal fish of the year, which is a little later than usual. These fish however are now beginning to thin out a little as they start to move on. Anchoring up to the wrecks in August and September will produce a real spread of fish throughout the tide. Our first trip this month saw Red and Black Bream, Cuckoo Wrasse, Pollack (on dead bait), Conger, Scad, some very large Pouting, Coalfish and Tope up to 50lb, which we tagged and returned to the water.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have just started my report and was going to have a little moan about the weather again, but the last two days have been wonderful, with light winds and sunshine, so I won't complain and hope that this settled spell continues. Having been forced to fish the Solent a couple of times over the last week, I can report that the weed hasn't completely gone but it is fishable with lots of Bream, which are mostly small, with just a few up to 2 lb which makes good sport when you can't get outside.

The Solent is also producing Smooth Hound, Thornback and Bass on the usual marks with the occasional Stinger and Plaice making up the bag. Outside of the Needles Light we have just started to pick up the first Channel Whiting, which is a little earlier than the past few years. Along with the Channel Whiting are lots of Pouting and the occasional Pollack up to 15lb.

Cod have also started to show with six being reported this week. "Voyager", skippered by Kevin Jewel, reported the best Cod of the week which weighed in at 14lb. This is a great start to the Needles Cod season and bodes well for this year's British Cod Festival, which will be held on November 19th (Wednesday) and November 20th (Thursday); anyone wishing to take part can contact the event secretary, Dave Stephenson, on 01983-821225. Prizes include 1000 per day for the heaviest Cod and 1000 for the most Cod caught.

Fishing offshore on the Banks, from Brook to Fairway, Blondes are still making a good show, with Painted and Thornback Ray also on the scene. Tope are being boated and tagged for release. On the bigger tides the Bass fishing has been good with the biggest Bass on the boat this week weighing in at 14 lb (only problem was that the skipper caught it!) Wrecking over the small tides has been rather hit and miss with the weather putting paid to most trips. However, when we can fish it we have had some good results with Black Bream up to 5lb, Red Bream, Pollack, Conger, Tope and Ling, not to mention large Pouting, Scad and ground Mackerel. So, all in all, it hasn't been such a bad month even with the poor weather.
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