Sea Angling News June 2020

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Sea Angling News Ltd. - - - Issue 296 June 2020


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“Sussex IFCA consulted on one set of proposals in September 2019, but then made radical changes which were whisked through its approval process without giving the public the chance to see or comment on them," said David Curtis of B.A.S.S. “Not only that, the new management measures are a backward step, reducing the area of nearshore waters in which sea trout are protected, allowing nets to be set close to the shore and raising enforceability concerns.”

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Aurthur Savage, Dave Roberts Lee Bolingbroke, Wayne Thomas Kevin Morgan, Gareth Mayers Paul Whittall, Adam James Andy & Sam Cumming James Wigglesworth Craig Butler, John Skeggs Phil Higgins, Martin Wood Scott Smy, Richard Saxby.

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All entries must be accompanied by a clear photograph. All entries must be weighed on accurate scales and witnessed. All entries will be judged on the size of the fish, tackle used and the quality of the photograph. Weights must be submitted in pounds and ounces, metric weights may be submitted in addition to imperial weights. The Editors decision will be final in all cases.

Acting for its member B.A.S.S., Fish Legal has already warned of potential legal action after the Sussex IFCA voted to pass the byelaw in January 2020. It has now been forwarded to the Marine Management Orgabisation and Defra for approval. Unlawful consultation

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Sea Angling News, May 2020

Fish Legal has asked for the Secretary of State to reject a new netting byelaw drafted by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Coastal Authority because it does not protect sea trout, is unenforceable and has been brought in without proper consultation. The controversial new “Netting Permit Byelaw and Flexible Conditions” is intended to control fixed nets in sensitive nearshore coastal waters and was approved by the Sussex IFCA committee in January 2020.

Sea trout migrate along the coast and until now have been protected by a byelaw which stops nets being set in shallow nearshore waters. However, Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.). and Fish Legal say the new byelaw will allow nets to be set much closer to the beach, in shallow water, inevitably killing more sea trout. The original proposal for a new byelaw put out to consultation in September 2019 included netting exclusion zones that would have been easy to understand and operate. But the new byelaw will be difficult to enforce.

Fish Legal and B.A.S.S. have therefore called on the Secretary of State to reject the byelaw and send it back to Sussex IFCA to reconsider – or alternatively put the byelaw to an inquiry. Jamie Cook, CEO of Fish Legal and the Angling Trust, said: “At a time when we are leaving the European Union, we want stronger not weaker laws to protect fish stocks including effective byelaws. The byelaw is badly drafted and provides less protection than the existing byelaw for sea trout, so it needs to be rejected and sent back to the Sussex IFCA for redrafting."

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By Lee Bollingbroke, skipper of Sophie Lea We are now into our first week of charter‐ ing but due to the virus many things have changed, we are very lucky to have a cata‐ maran charter boat were social distancing is easyer to practice we have two meter markings all around the boat making it technically able to take out ten anglers but in practice not so easy so we are now lim‐ iting our charters to six we have equipped the boat with hand wash station and tissue dispencers and done our best to keep every one safe . This obviously causes a little bit more ex‐ pense keeping to six anglers but what can we do we need to keep our customers safe and ourselves. It is important to support charter boats through this pan‐ demic if you don’t when things get better

there will not be the boats available to continue your passion many charter boats out there have marine mortgages to pay these don’t stop, I have been contacted buy many charter boat skippers for some advice with regards to how we are operat‐ ing and advice from the Govt is minimal for our type of business so we just all need to try to operate sensibly. As for the fishing it is great in our part of the uk the Thames estuary with big hounds rays and bass making up catches and also some very good spur dogs off‐ shore. We are also finding it very busy with many anglers being furrlowed from work getting out on the boats and the weather has been perfect for it so its not all bad news for us.

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Thornback ray - Sophie Lea

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Sea Angling News, May 2020

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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By Chris Way

With lockdown restrictions eased, anglers have descended on the South Devon coast to wet a line. Local tackle shops have now implemented a click and collect service, strictly adhering to the social distancing guidelines. South West Sea baits owner Matt Parry lead the way with this and other shops soon followed suite, now more than ever it is imperative we all do our part to support the local tackle shops. Check out their Facebook pages for further details. Charter boats are now also operating with whole boat bookings, the reefs off of the south coast are now showing good numbers of summer Pollack & Cod. With the Mackerel slowly beginning to make an appearance it won’t be long before the number of Blue Sharks we have come

accustomed to in recent years will be back in force. The local Charter fleets will be feeling the pinch with the current climate, as with the tackle shops it is crucial, we support them through the tough times. Mackerel are beginning to show up and down the coast, reports from Start Bay to Plymouth Hoe are indicate their arrival is imminent! Estuaries are showing good number of Bass, Gilthead Beam & the obligatory Mullet. Catches of Smoothounds & Plaice are being reported from the Start Bay, unfortunately you have to compete with the numerous Spider Crabs which have also taken up residence, something to bare in mind. Small Eyed Ray have been caught from a few of the south coast rock marks & beaches over the larger tides.

Steve King – Gilthead Bream 3.9 Steve King took his annual birthday trip to a local estuary in the hope of his first Gilthead of the year, his early start resulted in a birthday present in the shape of this cracking Bream.

Donald Smith – Plump summer Cod Donald Smith took full advantage of the settled weather, pointing the bow of his boat ‘Independence II’ south west to a reef 10 miles from Plymouth, he had a fantastic day with numerous Pollack and Cod up to double figures.

Martin Neale – Nice Small Eyed & Smoothound. Martin Neale took advantage of the settled weather recently and headed out to a south coast beach in the hope of Small Eyed’s & Smoothounds.

Lee Treeby – Gilthead Bream 3.15. Martin Larkin – Gilthead Bream 3.14 Lee Treeby went out in search of Giltheads recently, after moving multiple to different spots on a local estuary it was a long day, but this PB ‘Gold Bar’ made it worthwhile. On the same session Martin Larkin managed a lovely fish of 3.14.

Rob Wheaton – Bass – 6.3 & 5.14 Rob Wheaton has been getting out on the local estuary’s recently and managed to catch a few cracking Bass while on the hunt for monster Gilthead Bream.

Lewis Hicks – Gilthead Bream 3.02 Lewis Hicks went out guided by local angler Martin Larkin in the hope of catching his first Gilthead Bream, Lewis had previously put in a lot of effort trying to achieve his target and, on this occasion, he was rewarded accordingly. The very first cast of the session he managed this lovely specimen.

Rob Batten – Nice local Mullet. Rob Batten was itching to get out fishing over the lockdown period, he took full advantage of the restrictions being eased with a few nice Mullet.

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SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TACKLE SHOP - PART 2 MW. Hi guys it’s good to tie up again with regards to the save our tackle shops campaign, can you both tell me a little more about it like what you guys have been up too or are planning, and what your plans are for part two after this lockdown has ended as I know on social media we have had plenty of interested parties asking about this great project and some are wondering just how large this will be. J&C. So what have we been up to during lock down! We have managed to plan the next part of our tackle shops journey which will take us from Southampton round the coast up into Bristol, this part of the campaign is a longer stretch than we have previously done which has taken more planning but I believe we are all set to go. This is fully dependant on timing, we won’t continue the campaign until it is fully safe to do so and social distancing restrictions are lifted as we won’t be able to travel together or engage with shop owners which is highly important for us to be able to document and record going forward. But we are 100 percent committed to this campaign and getting the message out to people to support their local tackle shops as a nationwide plea to anglers. Tackle shops are going to need your custom and support now more than ever before when we come out of lockdown and into the future ahead of us all. I have spoken to a lot of tackle shop owners over the last few days and many of them are putting in place strict social distancing measures going forward, some shops now have screens and will have a limit to the number of people allowed in at any one time. Others are operating a service where you can call up to place an order for baits / tackle and then once it’s ready you can pick it up or some will deliver locally. So please check with your local tackle shop as to what measures they are putting in place going forward and what services they can offer and provide to you. Also if you lead a busy life and can’t get down to your tackle shops I have found that a lot of them do run their own websites online and some have their own eBay accounts linked to the shops. If you need to shop online please select these options to support independent tackle shops instead of big corporate companies that just want your money and offer nothing else in return. I myself am looking forward to the calming in UK lockdown restrictions and am excited to be able to get back on the shingle. However now is still a time to be extra cautious and keep to the social distancing guidelines please do not take this opportunity to bend the rules and take advantage. I want to personally thank every angler who during this lockdown has stayed away from the sea and resisted the urge to fish. Also huge thanks to the Angling Trust for

Sea Angling News, May 2020


pushing forward a fantastic campaign and speeding up the process for us all. It has been very hard and extremely tough for all of us, but we have all done it and collectively minus a few people we have all shown we can do what’s best for others. Look after yourselves, your families and stay safe. MW. Thank for that guys! If you want to find out more you can find out more at the Eastbourne fisherman on FB where they have all information you could need and want. Jason and Chris are both very approachable guys and willing to help you out. I know i look forward to helping out tackle shops and hope this campaign carries on being successful for us and them and yourselves well done guys and speak again soon when all the rules are eased up and things have calmed down. Check there pages Amazing fishing UK & The Eastbourne fisherman and the column below for a competition also aimed at getting new youngsters into the sea angling sport. THE BIG JUNE - JULY COMPETITION So for this competition I will be teaming up with Greg from YouTube channel Amazing Fishing UK to provide you with a truly fantastic competition. As both of us are parents and fathers we know how important it is to get kids off their xboxes and out into the fresh air. So we are keen to launch this competition for kids and to aid and help kids into responsible sea fishing. So what are we going to do...... I myself working with Tony’s Tackle shop and Anglers Den will be putting up 2 x Fishing Rod and reel combos This will comprise of a ready to fish package suited to the winners age these two winners will be Eastbourne or surrounding area based (able to pick up from the shop in person) and will also receive a demonstration on how they work. Hopefully social distancing will be relaxed more when the comp ends. I will also be putting up myself the cost of 1 x Fishing Rod and reel combo Ready to fish package to be won by anyone in the UK and Ireland - Once the winner is chosen we will PayPal the cost of a complete set up to the chosen tackle shop of the winner. Greg from YouTube channel Amazing Fishing UK will also be putting up a prize 1 x Rod and Reel Combo (ready to fish) Again to be won by anyone in UK and Ireland - once winner is chosen we will PayPal the cost of set up to chosen tackle shop of winner. Each combo we will cover to maximum of £50 Entrants must be 14 years and under So how do I enter? It’s a competition for kids So we are asking you to enter on behalf of your child or grandchild To enter we are asking:

1. kids to please submit pictures of fish, drawn / coloured in with attached location of where you are located on your pictures. Please then post them in the comments section of this post 2. We would also like you to please support us by subscribing to both YouTube channels so we can continue to do fantastic things like this in the future. 3. And to share this post to everywhere you physically can! Good luck to you all and we look forward to seeing all your entries Winners will be chosen at random.

Also a huge amount of this has been made possible with the money made from sticker sales on The Eastbourne Fisherman group and as promised I have invested it back into the group so I thank every one of you who has purchased stickers. The Eastbourne Fisherman Facebook page And Amazing Fishing UK Facebook page There they will be able to enter the competitions by submitting their pictures with location on




Sea Angling News, May 2020

GEAR REVIEW TRONIX PRO XENON TRAVEL ROD So first off I will admit I have never been a fan of travel rods in beach caster format and the only “decent” one in my opinion that I had seen and tried was a Shimano Beastmaster beach caster but at £240 was a bit much for just travelling now and then, so whilst looking around I came across the Tronixpro Xenon travel rod for around the £139.99 mark and decided why not. With the rod all ordered and purchased I awaited it and when it turned up it was straight out to the man cave to have a look at this rod properly. So it’s a 12ft 6 inch beach caster, casting 3-6oz leads, It has 6 sections and comes in a nice black embroidered padded case that rolls up with a total length of just shy of 70cm so easily put into a case or a longer backpack. Taking it out of the case my first impres‐ sion was wow! It’s sleek and looks good but as well all know looks are not everything but anyway all the whippings are in black and purple and are done well, the high build is all neat along with the graphics on it with the rod finished in a lovely gloss look. Ok so far so good! I was now wondering what I would get for only £139.00 in the department of actually fishing. Putting the rod together it was smooth and seamless and when fully constructed there is no wobble or give in any of the spigots which is nice as that has been quite a fault on other brands travel rods i have seen and tried and was something I was worried about as I couldn’t find any reviews on this rod. Looking at the rod you have a 24T light weight carbon blank with 9 genuine Fuji guides which are not too small even the smallest tip eye you could easily pass a Gemini link clip through it. There is a nice adjustable reel seat and a coaster to secure it in place and the rod is suitable for both fixed spool and multi‐ plier use. Clamping the reel seat down with the coaster... It’s snug and secure with no give slide or wobble. There is a rubber butt cap at the bottom and nice Japanese shrink wrap on the bottom sections of the rod which gives plenty of room for putting the position of your reel and handling as well when the reel is in place whether casting or bring‐ ing fish in. Looking up the rod it’s a high gloss finish and looks worth more than what you have paid for sure, there is a white tip section for bite registration and low light. So far from just holding and putting to‐ gether etc I’m actually very impressed and nothing has been spared by Tronixpro all in all great start

on the field with no problems at all it could clearly take a lot with no problems what so ever so with that switching my lead out for a 6oz and checking all the joints all was still in place and solid I gave it some welly again from off the ground and it flew again this time 135 yards after quite a few casts I was really starting to like it and the rod filled me with confid‐ ence in its ability I’m far from being a great caster but it was taking all I was throwing at it, I switched back to 5oz and continued casting achieving my best dis‐ tance of 152 yards so it appeared that the rod is best suited to 5oz plus bait but has no issues with more. I had a 7oz dca with me so figured... I’d do it! It handled the 7’s no issue at all with an over the head thump but as its not rated for these I would obviously advise against it

First I attached my Penn battle 2 reel and a 5 oz lead on a pulley rig with a simu‐ lated bait and headed out over the fields nearby loaded with 20lb Asso HT and a 70lb shock leader I got into position and gave it a bit of oomph but not too much just a simple cast that went 80 yards no problem feeling everything during the cast its very forgiving and had a good stiff lower part of the rod with a softer whippy tip that recovers well. Feeling more confident just after one cast I decided it was make or break literally so with an off the ground cast set up I gave it some welly and gave it a lot of power and pulling my left hand in hard and watching it fly out it hit the 140 yard mark

Overall this rod is a lot of bang for your buck it looks good it is aesthetically pleasing and performs well on the beach it is happy either pulling in small whiting or larger species going into double fig‐ ures, I’ve even used as an uptider by re‐ moving the bottom section! I have since found out that a friend also bought one and took it to Africa and was pulling in small sharks with it! All in all this is a great option for a travel beach casting rod! Tronixpro really have done a great job with it and changed my mind on travel rods I will be buying a second one to match up for when travelling.

I’ve now used the Xenon travel rod a few times on the Bristol channel and it has performed well on clean through to mixed to light heavy grounds. It sits in the tide very well and the tip is sensitive enough pick up smaller bites and it won rip your rig out in stronger seas. Hooking into fish the tip goes over well even on a dogfish which worried me until I hooked into a 12lb conger later that night and it was being adamant it didn’t want to come in, the tip may be soft but mid section has power along with the butt section and bullied the conger onto the stones no issues at all. A week later it landed a double figure ray over sand. Whilst out with the rod I have noticed that it is tip end heavy but we have to remem‐ ber this is a travel rod and not a match rod it’s only because of all the extra spig‐ ots that are obviously adding the weight to it, but it’s not uncomfortable at all in fact it doesn’t actually bother me but we’re saying it as it is with these reviews so definitely worth a mention. The second time I was using a Penn Fathom II 15 SD multiplier down low and it balanced the rod out quite well and per‐ formed exactly like its meant too so is happy with either fixed or multi use. Whilst out recently on Bossington beach hounding I used it again as I wanted to travel light but again it performed really well I hooked into some decent hounds that day giving it a good test and I was using whiplash braid with a mono shock and it was just as well suited as it was with mono line and the fact Bossington can be light heavy grounds it didn’t cause an issue at all.

GOOD POINTS: -At 70 cm in its case you can easily transport the rod. -Has full Fuji K guides. -Very forgiving on casting for all abilities. -Can easily put a bait 100+ yards. - Looks great. -Dependable rod which can handle most grounds. - Sensitive tip and sits in the tide well. -Cheap at £139.00 I would expect to pay a lot more BAD POINT: -It is a bit tip end heavy.

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Sea Angling News, May 2020


POOLE PORT REPORT SILVER SPRAY & SILVER SPRAY II Two modern catamarans from Poole. Fast and spacious boats fitted with twin engines. COP 60 miles for 12 anglers. Large heated wheelhouse with toilet. Hot drinks provided and microwave available. All necessary rods, tackle and bait available.

Available for wreck, reef, banks, evening trips, 4-day Alderney and 3-day Cherbourg trips. **Bass, turbot, cod, plaice, shark specials** Both boats available for charters and individuals. Owner/skippers Sam & Andy Cumming Phone 07787 375 386 Email:


POOLE REPORT by Philip Higgins At last we are able to get out on the water with 1 non member of our family legally, I know there are some charter boats advertising up to 6 spaces but that is against current guidelines and may render that boat uninsured. Please check as I would not risk going to sea without proper insurance cover for my crew. It is full on Bream season and there are plenty out there, I have been asked if this is due to the recent non fishing the honest answer is I do not believe this as last year was a bumper bream year with so many small fish around in August and September that it was difficult to keep bait on your hook even the dogfish during that period went into deeper water in search of food. During the lockdown I spent several hours searching the plotter for new marks to try

and this week started to fish a few with 2 excellent results yielding plenty of Bream plus some nice Plaice and 1 complete disaster both rods loosing gear every drift it felt like a bit of lost net hanging onto the mark as it gave for a few seconds them parted. On the 1st ‘jolly’ my wife had 3 bream boated before I managed to get a rod in the water this carried on for most of the morning with me unhooking and regaining her rod. I hope the guidelines relax soon and with common sense and reduced numbers we can salvage some of this season, it will mean having strict policies and Risk Assessment in place for passengers to view if that helps then it is worth the time sorting these out now. Stay safe

Mistress Linda Fishing from Poole, Dorset Skipper Philip Higgins Fast Twin Engined DS Bullet 38 Fully Licensed & Insured for 12 Persons All the Latest Electronics Full On-board Facilities, Hot Drinks Provided

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Black bream - Mistress Linda

The Purbecks Premier Tackle shop


Black bream - Mistress Linda

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Sea Angling News, May 2020


CHESIL REPORT By Gareth Mayers I’m sure most will agree it’s nice to be back on the beach again during this horrid situ‐ ation we’ve had to endure recently and what we are still encountering now. With the current guidelines in place we can finally get back out and it’s great to just be back angling again. Anyway back to the fishing, with an early plaice being on most anglers minds I’m pretty sure we’ve missed the best chance to grab that early flattie as there are a lot of spider crabs showing along the beach es‐ pecially the eastern end of the beach and the may rot/weed is horrendous at the mo‐ ment. After fishing the beach twice now since the rules being slightly relaxed I had a Chesil nightmare with the crab situation and just couldn’t get away from them. The following session saw a few hounds landed by myself and fellow anglers on the beach but was overcome with the weed clogging all terminal gear and even break‐ ing the leads out at times which was a real shame as the fish had no chance of dis‐ covering the bait due to it being smothered in weed. The smooth hounds are well and truly on the feed along the beach with peeler crab being the best bait by far although squid

Gareth Mayers & Co - Smoothound

Bull huss at the far end of Chesil weighing 8LB

and rag worm will also pick this species up at times. Whilst targeting rays Kyle Blackmore has a shock when a double figure hound picked up his fish bait! Be sure to set your drag on tour reels when targeting the hounds as they do hang on! Other species showing along Chesil but in small numbers at the moment are a few gurnards. Last year saw a variety of gurn‐ ards coming in along the beach with most catching on a session. Ben Stockley recently got amongst some gurnard including a lovely grey. Ben also being landing some cracking Thornback ray as well with the biggest going 12LB 14oz. As usual Chesil always throws a few sur‐ prises from time to time, Another monkfish made an appearance weighing just under 25LB caught by Dave Davies with mackerel head as bait and Chris Locke Landing a stunning turbot weighting in at 8LB 15oz!

Chris Locke with a superb turbot weighing 8LB 15oz

Monkfish just shy of 25LB for Dave Davies

Remember please social distance on the beach and take all litter home or use bins provided. Until next time keep safe and tight lines!

Ben Stockley Thornback ray

Ben Stockley Tub & Grey gurnard

Lee Hayler with a Chesil smooth hound

Jon Bentley with a lovely blonde ray coming in at 15LB 4oz

Ben Stockley Smalleyed ray

Ben Stockely - Smoothound

Undulate ray for Paul Joyner

Cracking Double figure hound caught on fish baits intended for a ray for Kyle Blackmore

Ian Vetier (see above) with his first ray from Chesil and a hound for his son. Well done!

Sea Angling News, May 2020

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Sea Angling News, May 2020

NORTH DEVON REPORT By Wayne Thomas North Devon’s anglers were soon onto the shoreline as lockdown was eased and catching a few fish. Smoothound were probably the first fish to get the reels screaming with several caught into double figures. The Taw and Torridge Estuaries have been in good form for thin lipped grey mullet with multiple catches tempted using rag� worm baited spinners.There have also been a few thick-lipped mullet tempted from both the estuary and open coast. Lure fishing for bass has been a little slow with just a few school bass from estuary and coastal marks. If mackerel move close inshore it is likely that there will a few tope starting to show along with bigger bass. The clear water on the open coast has proved to be ideal for the wrasse fishers with several colourful specimens landed from rock marks.

Charlie Jenkins with 7lb 11oz small eyed ray

A colour full ballan wrasse for Olie Passmore

David Jenkins thin lipped grey mullet 3lb 12oz

Ross Stanway - Ballan Wrasse 3lb 7.5oz

Kody Chugg with a nicely marked bull huss

Kody Chugg smmothound 10lb 6oz

Jack Phillips with 2lb thick lipped grey mullet

Dan Spearman thin lipped mullet 4lb

Charlie Jenkins smoothound 12lb

Steve Pinn 3lb 4oz Thick Lipped grey mullet

Chay Boggis 13lb 7oz smoothound

Mark Tossel with a lure caught wrasse

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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and can operate up to 40 miles offshore.


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Sea Angling News, May 2020

LANGSTONE HARBOUR AREA BOAT FISHING REPORT By Neville Merritt, Southsea Marina Angling Club

After weeks of lockdown watching day after day of perfect fishing weather pass us by, we could hardly believe our luck when restrictions on fishing and private boating were eventually eased and we were blessed by a few days of calm and sunshine. Most people with boats on moorings and in marinas hadn’t even been able to visit them to make sure all was well, although it was nice that the marina staff at Southsea Marina kept an eye on the boats and even sent us a phot if we wished. It wasn’t the same though, and when we got the green light there was a rush to get boats in the water, checked over and out to sea. Social distancing still applies so it was “families only” for boat-owners, and single occupancy for charter vessels. I think most people were just happy to get a line in the water and the sun on their faces, and it certainly made a welcome change from Zoom meetings, queueing down the street to buy a carton of milk or wearing a groove in the same old park walk. Even though we have only had a week or so of actual fishing to report on this month, the results have been surprisingly good. You may recall from the Local Guide we published in the previous issue of SAN, in May we can expect seasonal visitors of some big tope, bream over the rocky marks, smoothhound, plaice, the first mackerel and of course all the residence species. Team Crawford (Heber, Heber Junior and Archie) found quality tope south of the Island

Where are all the humans

and an epic trip included a personal best for Heber with a tope of 60lb plus. Bream are plentiful if you get the tide and location right. My daughter Aedy and I fished a popular bream mark and only managed to land one. When we returned to the marina we found that another boat which had been on the same mark at 5am caught 60 (only keeping a few for the table). On another day, Arron Shons located some very good specimens and also boated the spectacular cuckoo wrasse which in those colours and weather conditions looks like it belongs in the tropics. One of the problems of “social distance fishing” is that there is nobody to take your photo so unless you have a family member present or are proficient with the self-timer, you don’t get the fish and the angler in the same frame. Nevertheless Tim Andrews reported this nice blonde ray and a brill.

Heber Crawford 60lb Tope

The combination of warmer winters and bass conservation measures has meant that bass are now much more plentiful, and the sizes are increasing steadily too. We can now keep two bass per angler per day over the MLS of 42cm. Drifting over the banks south of the Nab Tower and southeast of Selsey produce good catches, and boats reported plenty over 4lbs in size. It seems to be a human trait to respond to adverse situations like the current crisis with humour. Thanks to Bill Arnold for his bream complying with precautionary measures, and the social comment from the fish point of view! Let’s hope that all the efforts we are making to control this virus remain effective so we can progressively return to normal, including more charter trips and catch reports.

Heber Crawford Tope

Heber Junior Tope

Bill Arnold Bream

Archie Crawford Tope

Crawford Family 3-up Tope Arron Shons bream

Arron Shons Cuckoo Wrasse

Bill Arnold Tope

Blonde Ray Tim Andrews

Well-marked Plaice

Luke Scott Ray

Heber Crawford Bass


Sea Angling News, May 2020

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At last anglers have been allowed to go fishing again, obviously within the appropriate guidelines. But this does mean that we can now see some smiling anglers holding their catches proudly again !! The fishing so far has proved to be very good despite some May rot still being about and plenty of large spider crabs not only stealing the bait, but hooks and snoods as well. In the Sus‐ sex region there have been plenty of thornback rays showing as well as some quality plaice in Seaford and Eastbourne. Fred Puttick caught some nice plaice at Seaford up to almost 3lb! And James Wood also caught a few good fish with the largest around 2 and a half pounds. Also at Seaford Mark Pantony caught several nice fish with the largest at 43cm ! Eastbourne has also produced some nice plaice at Langney Point and along the seafront, with Seven year old Hope Mason catching her first ever fish with a plaice at Eastbourne. Some lovely Thornbacks have also been caught in Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay through to Nor‐ mans Bay. Mark Franks managed a lovely Thornback on Saturday 16th May 54cm across the wings. Chris Voller caught several nice rays to 7lb from the beach at Hastings, and Les Glazzard had a sizable fish in Pevensey Bay during the day. A.J. Puttick caught a nice bass first cast in Normans

Bay then 3rd cast caught a P.B thornback of 10lb 14oz on Friday 22nd May. Some nice bass have been caught recently with Gavin Croft catching a 6lb bass first cast in Eastbourne, with John Schindler catching a lovely bass in Pevensey Bay on 15th May, also on the 15th Lorcan caught a nice bass on fresh lug in Cooden. Barry Roberts caught some nice fish as well as a good bass just after the restric‐ tions were lifted. As well as Bass some nice sole have been showing with David Matteusz landing a lovely one and Adam Faiers also catching a sole of 1lb 3oz. Young angler Thomas Chappel also caught a nice sole at Langney Point. Now that some boats have been able to go fish‐ ing some good fish have been caught. Plenty of plaice from inshore marks as well as smoothounds and bass. Jim Whippy caught plenty of fish from an inshore mark recently, with some good pollack, the best one at 11lb. Gary Wllis has been venturing out on his Kayak and caught smoothounds, bass bream, plaice and thornbacks! The fishing generally so far in a short space of time has been very good in the East Sussex area with a variety of good quality species to be caught! Lets hope this continues!! Be safe everyone and tight lines !!!

Jim Whippy with an 11lb pollack caught from an inshore mark

Barry Roberts with a nice bass

A picture of Gavin Crofts 6lb bass caught first cast from Eastbourne beach

David Matteusz with a lovely dover sole

A.J. Puttick with a PB 10lb 14oz thornback in Normans Bay

a nice 3lb plaice caught by Fred Puttick at Seaford recently

Chris Voller with a 7lb thornback

Kayak fisherman Gary Willis with a nice thornback ray

James Wood with a nice 2lb 8oz plaice

Kayak fisherman Gary Willis with a nice smoothound

A.J.Puttick with a 45cm bass

John Schindler caught a lovelb bass by beachlands in Pevensey Bay recently

Lorcan with a lovely bass

Mark Franks with a nice double figure thornback from Eastbourne venue

Mark Pantony with a 43cm plaice caught at Seaford

Junior angler Thomas Chapple with a nice sole

Seven Year old Hope Mason with her first ever fish from an Eastbourne beach a lovely plaice

Adam Faiers with a lovely 1lb 3.5 oz dover sole

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BURNHAM ON SEA REPORT By Richard Saxby First off I hope everyone is ok in this wor‐ rying time. I haven't done a report for a couple of months for obvious reasons but as restrictions have been relaxed a little a few boats have just made it out for the first time in months. We missed some perfect boating weather during lock down but hopefully we will have a good summer with slight winds from the south. As a club we have cancelled all matches and social gatherings during lock down but we have a monthly meeting on Zoom which gives us a chance to catch up over a beer or 5 from the comfort of our own sofa. May 20th and 4 boats launched for a full day in great conditions. All boats are stay‐ ing local at the moment and keeping in

Simon Stroud huss

Sea Angling News, May 2020


contact with each other so if any issues arise we can sort between us and not be a burden on the emergency services. Dog‐ fish were present in plague proportions, plenty of rays, congers, hounds and a huss for Simon Stroud. Surprisingly even with all boats spending a period on the banks not a bass was seen. That's it from me this month, hopefully next month I will have a lot more to report on, maybe even a competition or two. You can keep up-to date with latest news and catches and all things fishy on our facebook page and website Burnham Boat Owners Sea Angling Association.

Anthony Georgiou hound

Nigel Devey thornie

Well we all want honest reviews on gear as I do before we know if it’s right for us or good for the hard earned money we are parting with but unfortunately some but not all anglers who review gear won’t give an honest review anymore as they have sold out! Which I can assure you won’t happen here no punches will be pulled if it great I’ll say it’s great and recommend it or if it’s equally a load of old tosh then again... I’m going to say so! The reason for these reviews is I’ve wasted a lot of money on gear in the past that’s had great reviews online or in publications and no bad points only t find it was the opposite and some of these reviews were from anglers who know better but are or were sponsored and money talks. So with all that said what are we looking at today? Today I have decided to do two reviews with the idea of travelling either compact or long distance on foot as I have to do now and then doing Roving rods articles so with that in mind i have chosen the Shakespeare seat box Sherpa and the Tronix pro Xenon travel rod (see page 7) Shakespeare Sherpa box carrier: So with it being reasonably priced at between £16.99 and £20 at tackle outlets I did wonder what quality I was going to end up with so when it came and upon unwrapping to my surprise i was pleasantly surprised a good start just holding it and looking it over my first thoughts were it felt and looked well made it is also a simple design so not much to go wrong, the clips look like quality and feel robust as well so won’t break after a couple of uses so all good. The material looks and feels durable and stitching appears to be solid. I use an old Team Diawa seat box so test 2 was at hand as it will suit all team boxes in the description and it went straight around it with no hassle at all, a quick tighten up of the straps and it was ready. lifting it up and putting it on my back was again easy enough as I had set the shoulder straps with an initial guesstimate, with a little shuffle into place and a tightening up of the straps

then clicking the chest strap up all is secure and solid I was actually very surprised at how comfortable it is, the shoulder straps are also nice and wide which prevents any digging into the shoulders, but the real test would be when I use it on the roving rods article as I had a long jaunt to get to the secret mark over some pretty bad terrain. So after using the Sherpa for all local mark trips lately I won’t be using anything else now! I can honestly say my two mile walk over stone and boulder with it fully laden was no problem at all and didn’t become uncomfortable at any point! And it held extra on top of my box with out bungees needed. I had a break away system for my box for a while but it always irritated my back or made it ache on a longer walk and went back to the normal strap. You don’t have a back rest with the Sherpa but for me this is no issue so all in all it’s a great bit of kit if you have issues carrying a box or you have a long trek ahead of you and for £16.99 £20 from most retailers it’s a steal and now an essential part of my kit! GOOD POINTS: -Cheap at £16.99 - £20.00. -Robust & well built. -light weight. -Simplistic and easy to use/ idiot proof. - Versatile on many boxes BAD POINTS: -No back rest -Not permanently attached to box

Ian Tench hound

Simon Stroud hound


CHECK US OUT ON EBAY Nigel Devey Hound

Ian Tench thornie trksid=p2047675.l2559

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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WEST SOMERSET HOTEL Watchet’s best angler friendly family run Hotel Bed & breakfast , Drying room Freezer facilities , Packed lunches in request And a great harbour town pub for a drink after a hard days fishing West Somerset Hotel Swain Street Watchet TA23 0AB

Tel: 01984 634434

BRISTOL CHANNEL SHORE REPORT BY CRAIG BUTLER With all eyes and ears open on when the government were going to let angling commence again after lockdown. It was a relief up and down the country on Wednesday 13th May when anglers were set free, but strangely only in England! I’m not one for getting into a political conversation, but it seemed odd that on the English side of the Bristol Channel we were all good to go and our friends on the other bank of the channel in Wales were still not permitted!! Leaving that aside. When the shore fishing resumed on the beaches here on the Bristol channel ,angler were treated to some fantastic fishing right from the off. With May being one of the most productive months in the Bristol Channel calendar the timing couldn’t of been better to let anglers back out again and this was backed up by perfect weather and tide conditions. Multiple catches of smoothounds, rays a good showing of spring codling and bass

all made up some very good catches throughout the channel. Frustratingly many anglers were caught out by not being able to get any bait. However, in the true Bristol Channel community spirt of things, so many anglers came together and helped each other out, and even a few bait shops un able to open their doors put themselves out to help by supplying limited supplies to get those struggling for bait out fishing. At the time of doing this report we are only 12 days into angling again ,so it’s early days, but if the past 12 days is anything to go by then the month ahead is going to continue to produce some awesome shore fishing. The Bristol Channel fishing community has always welcomed visiting anglers with open arms. But please remember if you are planning to visit any part of the channel please respect our beaches, beach access , car parks, take your rubbish home or bin responsibly and more than ever respect everyone’s personal space and keep yourself and others safe. Tightlines and happy hunting…

18 Email:


Sea Angling May 2020


Blonde ray - Teddie Boy

Blonde ray - Teddie Boy

Blonde ray & thornback - Teddie Boy

Blonde ray - Teddie Boy

Huss - Teddie Boy

Hound - Teddie Boy

Hound - Teddie Boy

Tradition Local Fishing Boats


Blonde ray - Teddie Boy

Owned & skippered by D.E. James & M.J. James Fishing trips 6-8 Hrs £180 Licensed for 7 anglers per boat

FREE CAR PARKING AVAILABLE FREE FROZEN HERRINGS FOR BAIT Fishing area 10 mile radius from Minehead Harbour

Tel: 01643 702207 / 07977930549


Mike Jane solo Alykat angler, cracking small eyed ray

Thornback ray - Teddie Boy

Fast 10m Cougar Cat operating from Minehead Harbour


● All the latest electronics ● Tea & coffee provided ● Full on-board facilities ● Tackle & bait available ● Experienced anglers & beginners welcome ● Full tuition provided

Call Steve on 07967 362132

Teddie Boy Charters Teddie Boy is a fast stable 9m AMC cat fully licensed and insured, code of practice 60 miles. Equipped with all the latest marine electronics. Tea & coffee, gas hob and flushing toilet. Experienced anglers, beginners and ladies very welcome. 4 hour trip £25 per person, 8 hour trip £40 per person

Rods, bait & tuition are available.

For all bookings and enquiries call Mike



Mike Jane smoothound on AlyKat solo angler day!

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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Historic Harbour-side Venue ●Newly refurbished iconic pub and hotel with its fantastic Minehead harbour-side setting. ●Fine ales & river cottage style food & traditional hospitality at its best. ●Fishing parties welcome.


Free Postage and Package on orders over £10

Tel: 01643 703 516


Proprietor: Ian Daniels 10 Tregonwell Road, Minehead TA24 5DT Email:


20 Email:

Sea Angling News, May 2020




Tel. Ian or Bex on 07795 538933 Email:

11m South Catamaran with twin 330hp Iveco Turbo Charged Diesel engines. She has a top speed of 26 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots. The boat is fully coded to MCA CAT 2, and is licensed to carry 12 passengers. Individuals / Small and Large Groups Catered for Email: Mob: 07796023881 Owner: John Skeggs. Port: Lymington FREE PARKING! Now taking bookings for winter Cod fishing! A full day targeting Cod / Whiting, or you can split the day for Cod / Bass. Plenty of options!


Whilst Corona Virus is restricting our activ‐ ities, fishy reports are a little brief. In the blink of an eye, spring season has come and gone, and already summer is creeping up on us. Bream, Smooth-hounds, Stingray, Plaice,Mackerel,Garfish,Bass, Tope and Skate are all species you can expect to catch in the coming months.

Hopefully we can all be out there again soon, enjoying each other’s company, telling jokes and plenty of fishy stories. I am still taking bookings for the rest of the year, there’s still plenty of good fishing to be had between July and December. Stay Safe ! See you all soon. Tight Lines John Skeggs (Last Laugh/Lymington) Bream - Last Laugh

Bream - Last Laugh

VALK YRIE CHARTERS Skipper Glen Cair ns O f f ice: 02392 4 61717 Boat : 07831 878669 Valkyrie 6 & 7 are based at Northney Marina with easy access just across Langstone bridge plus FREE secure parking. Specialising in Wreck, Reef, Pollack, Cod, Bass fishing. All the facilities you would expect onboard a modern catamaran heated cabin, seating, cooking facilities. Licensed for 12 + 2 crew 60 miles fully insured. | Email

Sea Angling News, May 2020



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Fast Cat out of Lymington fishing the Needles area. Channel wrecking, reef fishing, 3 to 7 day Channel Island trips. Needles cod - bass fishing. evenings - individuals - parties

Tel: Arthur Savage 02380-897111 Boat 07702 607216

Members of Honiton Sea Angling Club took their small boats to salcombe last weekend. Jack Squance landed this 1lb 4oz John Dory on a small skerries eel. Its sets a new record for the East Devon club.

LAGOON BAIT & TACKLE NOW UNDER THE NEW OWNERSHIP OF BRETT LOMAS FORMERLY OF THE BOGNOR REGIS ANGLING CENTRE Brighton and Hove's largest selection of fishing tackle for all types of fishing specialising in sea fishing.

WE ONLY STOCK GREAT BAIT! New opening hours 8am to 6pm monday to Saturday. 8am to 12 noon on Sundays. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Lagoonbaithove for catch reports and special sale items. Bring this advert into the shop and redeem your 10% discount (Limited time only, bait not included)

327 Kingsway, BN3 4LD Brighton - TEL: 01273 415879

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Several very Tall (but true!) Tales from the Offshore Rebel Logbook Tale 1. The Froggies in the Fog. Fog. The Seafarer’s nightmare. Everywhere on the boat is damp. The windows are smeared on the outside and steamed up on the inside. Despite occasionally seeing the glow of the sun, it is chilly and dank….and, without the sight of land to focus on, it seems to take forever to travel across the sea to the chosen offshore wreck mark and even longer to return to port. It means a day glued to the radar and watching the plotter for the skipper and for keeping the fingers firmly crossed that the boat doesn’t run over something like rope or netting with all the awful consequences this can bring. It tests out your hearing to the utmost and soon exposes any weaknesses in one’s sense of direction. It is a day to be highly alert. In the June of 1992, we were 20 miles or so south-west of Portland Bill. Offshore Rebel II was anchored nicely to a wreck in 60 metres and flat calm conditions…the sort of conditions that allow sounds of other vessels to be heard miles away. We were catching a steady run of conger. We were on the flood tide so the bow of the boat was pointing to the west. I was in and out of my wheelhouse keeping an eye on the radar screen for any new targets; my crewman, Ian (he took over Park Street Tackle in Weymouth for several years), was on deck unhooking the conger as they came to the boat. The past couple of seasons had been marked by the presence of the rogue French trawler the Chrystal Nathalie out of Cherbourg. Despite the best efforts of both charter boat and UK com‐ mercial fishing vessel skippers up and down the Channel, the skipper of French boat refused all attempts at radio communications. He had been causing many problems by trawling up static nets, strings of crab pots and even charter boat anchors! The French skipper would aim straight at an anchored vessel and then cut across its bow allowing his trawl to snag into the anchor and tow the anchored boat away! This sounds far-fetched. Surely no professional skipper would deliberately do this to another vessel…but, as many will testify, this is exactly what was occuring in the English Channel in the early 90’s. It’s no wonder Anglo-French sea‐ farers’ relations are fractious! In the mid=afternoon I heard a boat approach‐ ing far off to port but in the very thick fog could see nothing. I had the vessel on radar now heading straight at us but showing nearly 3 miles away to the south. It kept coming straight towards us and the distance was narrowing. It had to be the Crystal Natalie. I started our en‐ gines and warned everyone what might happen and that there might be a need to ‘reel in quick’. Standing on the bow of the Rebel, I waited to see what would happen. Sure enough it was the


rogue trawler. She cut across our bows, veered westwards into the fog but did not pick up my anchor. All was well. The anglers on-board looked at me in complete disbelief and bewil‐ derment. We carried on fishing. Clearly unhappy about his lack of success in dragging us away, the Crystal Nathalie made a big circle in the fog and headed straight back at us. This time I said nothing to the lads but pre‐ pared my anchor rope for a quick release by at‐ taching several large buoys to the end of the anchor rope and made ready to throw the lot overboard if needed. My engines were turned back on. I was back on the bow with an anticollision flare (not that it would have been much good in the fog) and I had notified Portland Coastguard as to what was occurring and asked them to try and communicate with the French trawler. I also put out a call just in case there was any Fishery Protection vessel around. Out of the fog came the Crystal Nathalie, clank‐ ing and banging as only a large trawler can, heading straight at me. Again it veered across my bow but very close this time and turned to the west. I looked at the French skipper who was leaning out of his wheelhouse and leering at me. He wanted trouble. This time, he was successful as my anglers started yelling at me to ‘slow down, skipper’ as they had congers on. Anglers and skippers of‐ ten inhabit totally different worlds and this was a great example of my chaps not having a clue what was going on! I explained we were now ‘under tow’ by the French trawler that they could not see ahead of us in the fog and to stop mucking about and get their eels which were now bouncing along the surface in as we were dragged away at 4 knots. Meanwhile I put Offshore Rebel into gentle reverse to make life a bit trickier for the trawler. Once the conger were all released and the lads were shouting at me as to what was going on, I released the anchor warp and buoys and then raced towards the bows of the Crystal Nathalie aiming to try and slow her down. Surprisingly she did slow and then heaved up the trawl along with my anchor. This was a ri‐ diculous waste of fishing time for the trawler and no-one was more surprised than me when the net came up with my anchor in it and the French crew untangled it and let it drop…. I was convinced they’d just cut my anchor warp and I’d lose everything. We retrieved my anchor and buoys. Attempts to communicate with the vessel failed so we headed back to Weymouth with all of us amazed at what had occurred. I gave a detailed report to Portland Coastguard who forwarded it to Fisheries and to the French Coastguard at Cherbourg. We all knew what the outcome would be…..nothing! Tale 2. To ‘Bob’ or to ‘Weave’….that is the question. The next day I was due to leave on a 5 day trip to Alderney. After I passed my details to Port‐ land they though it would be jolly humorous to talk to me in a silly French accent reminiscent of

Sea Angling News, May 2020

‘Allo ‘Allo and ‘oped wee wud ‘ave a gud weeek in Ol-der-ney’. I headed out to a big wreck just 20 miles south of Weymouth where we intended to start our Channel Island trip with a conger session. We fished the flood tide down and then it was time to head off further south to a mid-channel wreck ready for the ebb tide and the chance of some pollack. The anglers were relaxing and chatting as my winch pulled in the anchor in when suddenly one of the lads yelled out‐ ….”Whale!” as a very short distance in front of us was an enormous spout of water hurtling up‐ wards. Before I’d registered the first explosion, another excited shout pointed to a massive crash into the sea behind us with the shout of,“It’s a plane. It’s crashed!” And then came the sound from the first explo‐ sion mingling with the second and we were shrouded in smoke. The third explosion took place at the starboard side of us and this time I could see the shell dropping out of the sky and into the sea as I tried to get the anchor in. I was pretty convinced the next one would land right on top of us but I didn’t want to do something stupid like heading off at speed as I would surely wrap the anchor warp round my exposed propellers. The anchor surfaced just as the fourth projectile crashed into the sea and by now we were com‐ pletely enveloped in smoke. I called up Portland Coastguard and explained what was happening as the fifth shell exploded by us. They clearly did not believe me. It took an excited voice from Condor 9 which was return‐ ing to Weymouth from Guernsey to break in on the conversation and verify what was happen‐ ing with a final conviction coinciding with the last explosion that Offshore Rebel had definitely been hit. Tiger Lily with Chris Caines and Channel Chief‐ tain skippered by Pat Carlin were also closing in on my position and added to the general melee on the radio. I managed to break in on the conversation and asked Portland to contact Fost (Flag Officer Training Organisation) Ops and tell them to stop firing but Portland replied that there was ‘no firing in our area’ for today!! I notified Portland Coastguard that I was going to break out of the smoke and that I would take a Southerly bearing and go as fast as I could to get out of the shelling zone. I asked if they could offer me any advice. Remember that the day before saw me having that run in with the French Trawler, Crystal Nath‐ alie, and that in the morning Coastguard had bade me farewell in a jolly bad French accent that they thought was hysterically amusing. And now….when I needed a quiet and reassur‐ ing voice against the escalating panic on the radio from my colleagues who still could not see me through the smoke and the general air of panic on my boat…I am ‘advised’, in an even more dreadful ‘Allo Allo’ French accent that I should ‘Bob and Weave’. ‘Bob’ and friggin’ ‘Weave’!! Great Advice! We hurtled out of the smoke and didn’t look back…hoping that another salvo wasn’t coming our way. Condor 9 took a sharp turn to west‐ wards; Tiger Lily and Channel Chieftain headed east and we were pointed towards the French coast and travelling at 20+ knots which made the steering heavy and ‘bobbing and weaving’ difficult. I felt no further inclination to converse on the ra‐ dio and left the ensuing VHF chatter to my friends. HMS Southampton, the ship in question, was regarded as a ‘bad luck ship’. I can understand where that reputation came from when reading such information as this:

In 1984, she (HMS Southampton) ran over one of the Shambles Buoys off Portland during the final Thursday War intended to prepare her to deploy to the Falklands. The collision sank the buoy and resulted in a period in dry dock for re‐ pair. On 3 September 1988, whilst serving on the Ar‐ milla Patrol, she was involved in a collision with MV Tor Bay, a container ship in the convoy be‐ ing escorted through the Straits of Hormuz’. An official enquiry into this shelling incident fi‐ nally resulted in this announcement: A 'LIMITATION' in a Royal Navy destroyer's radar system led to three fishing boats almost being blown out of the water, it was revealed last night. Three live shells fired from guns on HMS Southampton came within 200 yards of fishermen. (How about the truth of FIVE live shells coming within 20 yards of a charter boat carrying pas‐ sengers???) Last night defence chiefs admitted the limitation resulted in the vessels being 'invisible' to the destroyer. The equipment on board HMS Southampton is installed on ships throughout the Naval fleet. But an emergency safety code is to be intro‐ duced by the Navy to prevent a repeat of the shelling near Weymouth, Dorset, last June. The findings of a top-level inquiry were revealed last night by Archie Hamilton, the Armed Forces Minister, in a letter to Ian Bruce, the MP for South Dorset. He concluded: 'However, as all the safety pro‐ cedures then in force were fully complied with, there are no grounds for taking disciplinary ac‐ tion against any of the personnel involved.'

Tale 3 Is it a canoe…or is it a yacht? I read many people saying that they were out on a charter boat in force 7, or 8 and even a 9! Yeah, right. I don’t think so. A gale force 8 is scary and a 9 is something to avoid. And if you are in a Storm Force 10 then you could be in deep trouble. We left Alderney with a forecast indicating that we needed to get a move on. We had a south‐ erly force four 4 to 5 which was the perfect dir‐ ection to get us home to Weymouth very quickly. With that sort of forecast we would also expect to do some wreck fishing on the way. But, on this occasion, the forecast was for winds to ‘soon’ be veering to the west then north-west and increasing 7 to 8 and then NNW 9 possible storm 10. This was an unusually bad forecast for summertime but the key word was ‘soon’ giving us a 6 hour window. With a follow‐ ing sea and easily cruising at 18 knots we could expect to cover the 54 miles from Braye Har‐ bour to Weymouth in 3 hours and be home for 11.00 am. We set off with the start of the big spring flood tide helping to give us even more speed. We had travelled 20 miles out but already the wind had turned to the west and was increasing in strength very quickly. The flood tide was actu‐ ally not now to our benefit as with its easterly going direction and the wind now coming out of the west we were heading towards home with a lot more easterly in our direction than I wanted. I had with me my trusty Radstockian crewman, Trpy, who was ex-military and had told me on a number of occasions that he had a ‘sniper’s eye’ meaning he could see a man rolling up a Golden Virginia cigarette on a passing trawler 18 miles away.

Sea Angling News, May 2020

Troy (remember him?) yelled out that there was what looked like a surf board off to starboard. I didn’t want to go any further east but we were bound to just in case someone was miracu‐ lously hanging on to the ‘surfboard’. This low ly‐ ing white object turned out to be a dismasted yacht called the ‘Eclat’ from Weymouth and was quite a way off to our starboard. When we ar‐ rived the seas were becoming increasingly big with Atlantic rollers building. The yacht’s mast had snapped with a full set of sails up. The sails and rigging were tangled under the yacht and around the rudder and prop. The VHF aerials and GPAS antennae were on top of the sub‐ merged mast so no radio or navigational aids. This was a yacht in trouble indeed. I needed to get up-wind to communicate with the yacht and tell them I could not take them under tow as it was far too dangerous and that I would call the Alderney Lifeboat and stay with them until the Lifeboat arrived. It seemed like there was an ‘elderly couple’ (probably a lot younger than I am now!) and two children….although this turned out to be four children on-board the yacht. Alderney had taken over a new lifeboat which was the very first Trent Class to be stationed on service and this was to be their first rescue. The Lifeboat 14-01 was called the Earl and Count‐ ess Mountbatten of Burma and stayed in Alder‐ ney until Replaced by 14-04, The Roy Barker 1, in 1995. Waiting nearly two hours in a very rapidly freshening wind and increasing sea and being pushed ever further eastwards in the know‐ ledge that a NW wind is going to be a very diffi‐ cult head-sea situation. Once the lifeboat arrived, we were released from ‘Standing By’ and the lifeboat established a tow to take the yacht back to Alderney which by now as a long way to the SSW against the flood tide. We headed towards St. Alban’s Head. I tried to head more into the north west but it was not possible. My reasoning was by the time we were nearing St Alban’s, the early ebb tide would be under way and help take us more into the west despite the wind. The wind was now a strong force 8. The big swell had breaking rollers on their tops and these were wacking into the port side of the boat making it difficult to maintain a straight heading. I was thinking that we will have to use St. Alban’s Head and the coastline eastwards to Old Harry to offer us protection and go into Poole if necessary. The change in sea=state from a Force 8 to 9 is very noticeable. Now the foam from the break‐ ers riding the top of the swells was being whipped off in a horizontal manner so that it looked as though we were in a severe snow


blizzard. We could see nothing except white sea all around us and that included the driving spray in the air. We couldn’t even see the back of the boat from the wheelhouse. I was very lucky be‐ cause my trusty crewman managed to point out every monster wave that was approaching us and doing a continuous knee bending series of exercises by hanging on to the boat’s dash‐ board edge. His continuous shouts of ‘Shamoolie (whatever that is!?) coming‐ …brace!’ thoughtfully kept me on a nervewracking edge. We were still some 20 miles out to sea and now more like south east of Weymouth but the tide was starting to ease and I was able to at least now keep the boat headed towards the glimpses of land I could see. We managed to round come to the west of the St Alban’s Race area and saw that our speed had risen back into double figures. I called Portland Coastguard to tell them what was happening and they told me they had mon‐ itored the rescue and our slow progress was being tracked by several radars. They noted that I was attempting to line up for Weymouth but by now the Northwest Wind was bang on our nose and was slowly developing into a storm 10. Coastguard told me to remain on Channel 16 and they were going to contact me every 15 minutes from now on to check on our condition….so that shows how serious the sea state was becoming. And what of my customers during this trial and my 10 year old son, Tom, who was with us on this trip? I was very fortunate that these cus‐ tomers were all very experienced sailors who had a good deal of experience of heavy weather sailing and were actually enjoying the experi‐ ence. They were doing a very good job of keep‐ ing Tom safe as well….so I could not have asked for better men to be aboard. And they were in a small group of 6 which also helped. From our position west of St. Alban’s Head to Weymouth was now about 12 miles but it still took nearly two hours to reach port with condi‐ tions on a full blown NNW 10 by the time I entered the harbour mouth. I was drenched in sweat and hardly able to talk and in need of a good strong cup of tea!! The last 5 miles had been horrendous and that was with increasing shelter from the land. The Lochin handled the seas magnificently and it is no wonder the RNLI used the Lochin 33 for its Breye Class Life‐ boats. I could have taken the easier route and run for Poole but as the boat was performing so well, I decided to maintain Weymouth as our destination. Coastguards welcomed us back and said that they bet my customers were relieved. By now everyone was in the wheelhouse and shouting out…’No…we want to go back out and do it again!!’

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OFFSHORE REBEL CAT, Cop 60 miles, licenced/insured for 12 anglers, Channel Islands, wrecking specialist fishing trips Tel: JAMIE PULLIN Mobile: 07886 931406 Phone for free newsletter & individual list Contact my web site on:

Skipper - Keith Brown


ATLANTA Reef, Wreck, Shambles & Kidney Bank fishing. Individuals, Parties, Beginners welcome. 60 mile COP, Licensed & Insured. Tel: DAVE PITMAN 01305 781644 Boat 07721 320352

Offshore Wrecking, Reef, Bank and Alderney Fishing Trips


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Sea Angling News, May 2020


Well after a long lock down which I think should not of effected anglers. Fishing has got off to a bang, with fishing showing the whole length of west Sussex with hounds everywhere, with undulates. Few stingers and tope into the mix. Bracklesham Bay been producing plenty of good hounds, tope and bass. Selsey producing plenty of undulates, bream, hounds, bass and odd tope. Bognor beaches, loades of smaller hounds, undulates, bass and stingers. Heading Littlehampton to Shoreham few rays and again plenty of rod bending hounds. Rivers have started to produce mullet now. Let's hope, as the sea temp rises and clears, the Fish stay around keeping the packed beaches at night busy with fish, tight lines... 42lb5oz tope caught on whole joey

Mike leillott with a nice 37lb stinger

Joe from sas tackle with a 31lb tope 1st cast

Carl Golding with a nice 10lb undulate

Dean Martin Adams with a cracking 9lb9oz bass caught on a mackerel bait

Micheal Trembath with a chunky stinger just shy of 40lbs

Nathan John Yates with his pb hound after traveling all the way from kent

15lb3oz hound caught on edible peeler

Mat J Newell with a nice little double figure hound

James William with what you have to agree is a stunning looking undulate

Carl Golding with a 12lb hound after traveling all the way from essex

Gavin eason with a 12lb hound 1 of many that night

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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BACK TO BASICS By Martin Wood Stingrays:

Because stingray are becoming more of a popular target species from the shore these days I thought we would have a look at some of the basics you need to know about these great rays! Because of the sporting aspect of these rays they produce powerful runs when they just take the bait and run leaving your reel screaming with line peeling off and then when you get some control just when you think you are winning they get near the surf and they tend to take off again cruising up and down the surf line taking line of your reel again, and with stingers reaching good sizes in excess of 100lb you want to be prepared! So whats not to love about these fish! In the last 20 or so years people have been studying Stingers a lot, they have noticed that the rays are a lot more prevalent in our waters than we previously thought and that there are 5 year fluctuations around the British coastlines that hold them and some years there will only be a few rays beached but of a good size and yet other years there is a lot landed but all will be a lot smaller sized stingers. When landing Stingrays and handling them you have to be careful due to their tails it’s long and thin and can whip round extremely quick using a serrated spine it has in the tail normally there is just 1 or 2 of them but 3 spines has been known. Not only can they produce a nasty stab wound they have toxins covering the spines so you really want to be extremely careful. The way the rays use their tail is generally producing a strike over its body and head impaling the spine into you if this should happen you need to seek immediate hospital attention. They come in a variety of colours depending on where they live if over sandy mixed ground you will find them a brownish colour or over muddy/weedy areas a dark olive green or greeny grey hue, the underside is a cream colour and has grey edges some prominent some not. So how do we catch a stingray? The baits you want to be prime baits are crabs, ragworm and shellfish a good wrapped up peeled crab and ragworms mixed in does wonders or mussels are a favourite and a common bait they hit! Again mix it with ragworm and try and keep the bait long and slim so it’s taken easier by the ray. Although these baits are the "preferred" they will also take fish strips and squid baits. The best time to hunt stingers is from mid April is warm through to June which will see good numbers of stingers closer to the shore but after

this period larger rays tend to head out to sea more leaving smaller rays closer in. Stingers tend to feed during daylight and love warm sandbanks you don’t always have to cast far for stingers as they don’t mind coming into warm shallows especially if there is food being surfed about in the gentle surf lines of a beach. They tend to prefer mid tide according to most anglers not either end like a lot of fish at just before high water and low water when the movement is normally stronger. So, calm, warm, clear seas they don’t like murky water or rough seas/ heavy surf. Stingers also predominantly hunt by scent so get a good stink in the water by breaking and scoring baits etc. The rigs that are probably best for stingers are: Running ledgers Up and over rigs Pulley droppers with a 3ft trace which gives plenty of room for a large ray to move over and hoover up your bait! These rigs also keep your bait harder on the bottom and give a good presentation. ( if using large baits use a penneled hook to aid presentation) A large ray is going to test your rig and tackle you want a good strong pattern 3/0 - 5/0 hook they don’t have massive mouths so long thin baits are best presented to them. Your line wants to be: On a mixed ground I would use 80lb rig body and 70/80 lb mono line or amnesia line in a heavy gauge. With clean ground you can drop it down a bit which again will aid presentation amnesia line for the hook length can also be a great aid. You will want a strong rig with strong knots (I use Palomar knots) as they will be tested if you get one of size and the with the runs it will make. SO quick recap: -Clear, calm water, warm shallows and sand banks/ gulleys -Bait should be crab, ragworm, shellfish like mussels. -Rigs running ledger, up and over, pulley dropper all with a 3ft trace. -line on mixed ground 80 body 7080lb trace. -clean ground 60-70 body (depending on casting and weight used) with a 40-60lb trace. -Hooks should be a strong pattern 3/0 – 5/0 - Streamline your baits. Happy hunting all and stay safe until next month hopefully tight lines and a screaming reel!

COMPETITION BEST LURE CAUGHT FISH PRIZE The Red Gill is for the heaviest lure caught fish. The editors decision is final. The claim will have to be backed by photographic evidence and weighed on accurate scales. Full name and address will be needed plus details of where the capture was made. If you wish to have your photo returned please enclose an S.A.E. Entries to Red Gill competition, Sea Angling News 102 Periton Lane Minehead, Somerset TA24 9BP or email: Usual competition rules apply

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Sea Angling News, May 2020

HOOKED ON LURE FISHING The groundbreaking new hardback from Merlin Unwin Books (RRP ÂŁ24.99)

Packed with brilliant tips and ideas from Dom and saltwater lure fantatic Andy Mytton, this new book reveals a huge range of species to target and exciting tactics to try. Over three years in the making, it also features the amazing underwater photography of BBC Wildlife star Jack Perks. It is available now from various book and tackle shops, or signed from

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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LRF REPORT By Richard Salter It’s a been a while hasn’t it! After what seems like an eternity, it feels good to be able to report a bit of recent fishy action! I've been a bit slow off the mark getting back out there, but have managed the one session. My destination was Mount Bat‐ ten, which just so happened to be the last place I fished before lockdown. That ses‐ sion proved to be a bit of a disaster, as I took a tumble on the rocks, lost my land‐ ing net down a hole and damaged my rod to the point that it snapped in half after a few hours fishing! The fact that I caught a string of colourful corkwing wrasse was kind of lost amongst the carnage of a pretty expensive day! So my return trip to MB was as much about restoring my confidence on the rocks (and having a quick look down the holes to see if I could spot my net!) as it was about seeing what the fishing situ‐ ation was like following a bit of break for both myself and the fish! Water clarity was superb, although with a bit of a green tinge showing signs of the may bloom appearing. With the water be‐ ing so clear I decided to try out a few new soft plastics I’d acquired, mounted on jig‐ heads ranging somewhere between 1 and 2.5g. Although I was getting plenty of hits on the unscented SP’s, it was frustratingly difficult to connect to whatever was inter‐ ested so it wasn’t until I switched to scen‐ ted stuff like isome and gulp that I actually began to hook a few fish. First fish to hand was a goldsinny, a pretty abundant species at Mount Batten, this was probably what I was struggling to hook on other lures as, like other small wrasse, they often nip and nibble at lures rather than fully commit.

My next fish was a lot more committed to taking my bit of isome, fully engulfing my lure as I dropped it in a likely looking spot. It was a half decent pout, which made sev‐ eral dives for safety, shredding my flouro leader between the rocks, I just about swung the fish in before my line snapped. A couple more goldsinny followed before some fun and games with a tompot blenny that really wanted a marukyu crab but just wouldn’t hook up. A change back to isome did the trick. I continued to catch slowly, but steadily with another tompot, a small pollock and poor cod added to the tally before I was joined (at a safe distance of course) by my Lerfing ally, Ben Bassett. Ben was on a mission to catch some Long Spined Sea Scorpions, or Scorps as we call them and eventually got his target on a strawtail lure mounted on a bright pink jighead. I had a couple more goldsinny before call‐ ing it a day whilst Ben went on to catch a few more scorps at another spot later that evening. He’s continued to catch them over the last week or so, on quite an inter‐ esting variety of lures, including some al‐ most bigger than the fish itself. Gotta love the greed and ambition of a scorp! Its been encouraging to see other fellow lerfers out there catching a nice variety of fish too, with bass, wrasse, mackerel and many of the other regular species all mak‐ ing an appearance, good signs so early in the season! I’m hoping to get down to the local beaches soon and throw some metal around in search of gurnard, mackerel and whatever else might be around! I hope everyone manages to get out, stays safe and finds a few fish along the way. Tight lines all!

Ballan wrasse

Tompot blenny


Goldsinny Wrasse

Poor cod


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Sea Angling News, May 2020


Finally getting the all clear to go back fishing in England and I was straight away planning for some shore time but looking for another venue I opted for a secret spot I have which involves a long walk over stone and boulder but can yield great results. After talking to a few mates about hounds I couldn’t wait to get on them so decided that hounds and huss were the order of the day. With species and mark set I made up a few tough rigs as the mark can be a bit rough and some rotten bottoms in case the grounds had shifted at all, a mate wanted in as well so with him signed to secrecy I agreed! And Chris wanted a hound as missed out last year. With a few days past and on neap tides (which I prefer as I believe they hold fish around longer here) we had the tide times right and with them falling over sunset and into dark was perfect. I packed the box grabbed the century sticks and we got dropped off at Porlock

weir as the car parks were closed and we couldn’t leave cars anywhere. With the box securely on my back rest and rods in hand we began our long walk to the mark, walking over the boulders and stones to get there was a bit of a mission and if you attempt it you want some good footwear half way there and the winds decide to turn to NNW and started to rough up the water... not what I wanted for the hounds but we were in it now regardless so carried on with the wind picking up to about 20mph I was cursing under my breath as the inshore was starting to get choppy after about 50 mins to an hour of hard but scenic walking we finally reach my mark and Low water was just starting so first things first we decamped our gear and set up basics and then I broke out the coffee flask a welcome sight! Just as I sat there the waves were lumping up and starting to crash on the shoreline it was nice to just sit there and have a brew whilst listening to it all with

no one else about and the odd avocet flying low over the sea the sun was going a deep golden colour with pink haze over blue on the horizon... if the wind had gone it would be perfect. Anyway the armoury tonight consisted of a century WR300 Komp with a larger bait on and a century TTSM graphex which had hound baits on, both had Battle 2 fixed spools on 20lb line and 80lb leader as rocky and rough here in patches. Rigs were up & over for the hounds and pulley penneled rig for the large bait, for the hounds I was using squid as here I find they leave crab for some reason... and on the large bait it was a whole small bluey and squid wrap with the tail lopped off and scored one side to get scent in the water quicker. With both baits fired out it was time to wait and just take it all in after so long off the beaches, Chris had just put his rod out and down but then he was into his first Dogfish of the day. I had not had a sniff and was starting to

wonder if it was going to happen and Chris was into his 4th dogfish (although he can keep them haha) when I finally get a bite on the hound bait i jump to attention and lift into the rod setting the hook and reeling in I knew instantly that all too familiar motion it was a lazy dogfish with a quick unhooking and a quick photo it was back you go and go see Chris please haha. A quick rebait with the squid and set the rig for casting I fired it back out not so far this time hitting a small area of current about 60-70 yards out, I put the rod back into the rest and reset the clutch just in case the hounds hit it hard, as i don’t fancy chasing my gear down the beach and into the ocean. I figured it was time for another coffee and isn’t it just typical.. as soon as I took my first sip the rod tip of the graphex arched right over and line started to peel off the reel, I had forgotten how much I love that sound! Putting the coffee down rather pronto

Sea Angling News, May 2020 and jumping to my feet I lifted into the rod holding the spool setting the hook, a quick tightening up of the clutch a little and I started to reel in. Hound on! I could feel the tail pumping trying to power itself away in the current but not today mate! After a relatively easy reeling in hitting no snags the first hound stated to thrash a bit as it was beached, but all was well as it was well hooked and I was there ready to collect it. A quick unhook, photo and release watching it swimming off strong was good to see, Hound...check! Now for a Huss and maybe some larger ones as well. With a quick walk back to box and a quick rebait of squid and whipped up how I like it, then fired back out to the same spot traps are re set and time to have that coffee before I was so rudely interrupted, sitting there it went quiet for a bit but was a great sunset to watch so all was good whilst Chris was getting stuck into more dogs and some small juvenile huss about dog size. It was a proper black night tonight now the sun had set and the twilight had gone and with the hills blocking out any rising moon with any light and the odd dog had

ROVING RODS come in but was pretty quiet for hounds or huss unfortunately the only constant was the wind whipping at my neck and the temperature was starting to drop a bit. All of a sudden the WR300 tip started with some nippy tippy tugs on it I chose to leave it to develop and sure enough it started to go ballistic up and down rattling away, I leaned over as was standing up ready hand on rod and feeling the line and picked it up out the holder lifting into it and I could feel the tail pumping away another hound? If so it was a smaller one. I turned my headlamp on and piercing the darkness I could see the shoreline with the waves surfing onto the shore edge, getting nearer now and it sees the light and gives a small struggle to no avail and still underneath the water, then i see it 5 yards out the leopard spots of a Bullhuss... happy days both targets acquired for the night although not the largest of huss but it was a good 4lb and in perfect condition which I love to see on fish with the seas evolutionary perfection landed a quick unhook and photo it was time to release it back. Ok so both species hit I’m a happy guy

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no matter what happens now so I upped the bait size to keep the dogs off and see if something bigger wanted to come and play! With new baits on new rigs fired back out..bigger fish did want to play! I take a look across at Chris about 30 yards away and he’s up with his Kompressor SS bent over I yell over ..Snag? A shake of the head no and I see him started to winch his 525 mag slowly but surely taking his time bringing in a decent fish which was clear by the healthy bend in the rod, making my way down to the shore line to help if needed (socially distanced of course) and Chris landed a specimen Bullhuss in fact a belter of a huss, I felt relived one because Chris got it in and two that he’s had a decent fish after being plagued by dogs and small huss, patience had paid off! With him unhooking it I congratulate him and see a big pearly smile beaming out from his hoody and rightly so, I wish we had the scales on us this evening, but it was easily double figures and with a quick photo and a wave goodbye it was released back with a couple of swishes it vanished. We’ll let you decide what weight you think it might be! But it was a great effort and a

great fish! The tide was pushing in and our time was limited so a couple more casts of which I lost a weight and then one more small huss of about 5lb for myself and Chris landed another dog and the smallest rockling known to man! Not just content with getting the largest fish he had to take the title of smallest fish away from me too this evening haha. We decided it was time to leave so packed down and started our long awkward walk back but both buzzing with Chris’s catch and the fact I had hit targets of hound and huss as I set out to do, all in all it had been a great evening, great sunset and great fish what more could you want and yet again the mark didn’t disappoint, although the wind could have buzzed off! Please note if travelling around Ivystone then please please please check tides and get local information first as the tide can cut you off and if its a higher tide it will back you up against the face or possibly wash you off if its rougher weather! And tides here are extremely strong and fast. So be diligent and responsible and do your home work first.

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Here at AlyKat Charters and Images, we are proud to have partnered Sea Angling News to produce a series of exciting new videos. We will be taking a look at different species throughout the seasons from tackle and tactics through to techniques and productive marks. All our videos will be made aboard my charter vessel Alykat from Minehead harbour and I will be presenting personally on most of them with some special guest appearances. Whether your favourite target fish are rays and hounds or tope and bass, we will be covering them and many more, in detail.

Whatever your interest in sea angling whether you are experienced or new to the game and eager to learn, I’m sure you will enjoy joining us with ‘Alykat Tails’ going live on YouTube within the next few weeks, we will keep you informed! Watch this space also for our new informative book detailing angling in the Bristol Channel due to be launched at the end of the Summer! Dave Roberts Alykat Charters and Images Ltd.

Sea Angling News, May 2020

Sea Angling News, May 2020


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Sea Angling News, May 2020


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