LATEST TAFISHING NEWS
Rain after a dry spell normally spells one kind of job at this time of year…yes, it makes the grass grow, so wifey has had me chained to the lawnmower for a good deal of the time, and shackled to all the other garden jobs that require taming. When I think of the very short period of an entire year in which we get decent weather you have to ask yourself if it’s all worth it. You labour away making the garden look fit for presentation to Royalty, and then you rarely get the chance to relax in it. One factor that might swing the fishing odds in my favour is that I bought a high concentrate weed killer that should reduce hours on the strimmer and let me actually get out fishing. The one session I did get was to return for an afternoon fly-fishing at Frensham trout fishery in Surrey. I always like the catch and release aspect of this complex, and even in this dry spell, owner Richard Twite seems to have plenty of cool fresh water going through the various pools and lakes. I am sure this must be a major contributing factor in the success rate of his C & R fishing. Of course you can also buy a ticket if you want to keep a few trout for food (check out Wayne Comben’s “Curried Rainbow trout recipe on our sister channel The Totally Awesome Outdoors Show…mmmmm !). But that C & R does take a huge amount of pressure off the fly fisherman who don’t feel the added pressure of “having” to catching their 4-fish limit. Or indeed it works the other way as sometimes you can go to a trout water and end up getting your 4-fish limit inside thirty minutes. So what do you do with the rest of the day? So for me C & R is the way forward. Having had great fishing the previous week’s trip there I kind of knew it was going to be different on this one. Rarely do trout go on the feed unless atmospheric conditions create a good environment for insect activity, and on this trip I had to watch while the trout fed on some miniscule insects, ignoring my small Black Montana (and other assorted patterns) with disdain. I could actually see visually that they were taking something off the surface but could not discern what, and of course I could see they swam straight past my flies many times as though nothing was there. However, by working on the sooner-or-later principle I finished with four nice rainbows, but I assure you they were hard earned fish.
On the sea fishing front I was thinking of a wheel check from my last boat trip. I noticed the 8-ply trailer wheels seemed a bit spongy and my tyre pressure gauge gave me a reading of just 25lbs. As I had just bought new wheels to put them on I was surprised the tyre company put such a low pressure in them. Maybe they did not listen when I told them it was for a boat and engine. The car had to be fitted with new rears so I had the trailer tyres pumped up to 50lbs. When fitting them I noticed they were sluggish to turn, yet I had just fitted new hubs and bearings?? On checking I found traces of rust and no rolling on the bearings which can only have come from the single trip I had made, and not pressured more grease in the hub to push what was barely a teaspoonful of water out of the bearings. Well, lesson learned. It takes just a teaspoonful of salt water to start screwing up a pair of brand new bearings after just 4 weeks. Take note all you boat users. Apparently I should now invest in a pair of bearing savers. More money, but it has to be done.
Still on the sea front I ran across a piece of news that the coloured water I keep finding in the inshore Eastern Wight area was also noted by the West Wight people who reckoned it ran out offshore last year to twenty miles. So what is causing all this colour in the sea? As far as I am concerned it is definitely messing the fishing up. And then there’s news that the millions of slipper limpets washed up on beaches must not be used live or transported as bait? Well, I was using slipper limpets on Hayling Beach front in the late 1960’s, with school bass and flounders being the target after a big blow washed all the limpets up on the beaches. So they have been washed up for over half a century, yet now they have to be prevented from spreading? There’s an old saying… “Shutting the door after the horse has bolted??” I think you will find anglers not using live slipper limpets as bait will have absolutely no effect on the millions of limpets currently residing along the South coast.
I have seen another mention that the Plaice are now scarce, even over the usual mussel beds. Previously it had been thought that the 2014 storms actually destroyed a lot of the mussel beds and even moved entire sandbanks, but why should there be less Plaice over existing mussel beds. All very curious. Especially as down Eastbourne they are having phenomenal Plaice fishing (and Cod in the 3/5lb still) from the boats, and the South-East corner of the UK has also been getting great Plaice fishing. I personally reckon they have no coloured water down East and that’s why they still have the Plaice. All interesting stuff for fishing theorists.
Still on the repairs theme I resurrected “Drifter”, our company 4-berth caravan which has remained dormant for about 2 years. Previously I had kept it down on the North Cornwall coast for the Pollack and Shark boat expeditions, and closer inspection revealed the lights did not work and one of the tyres had perished so much the wire cabled was showing through!!! So it was off to the family tyre factory for another three new caravan tyres, plus a light board, all of which enabled me to haul the old girl down to Swanage at the weekend for Mike and Emmy to do some wrasse fishing.
The weather forecast was a horror story so we decided to tow it all the way down there as a test run, leave it for them to use, then drag it all the way back. Fortunately it towed like a dream and was enjoyed by everyone. I’ve done plenty of camping in my time but just opening the door of a caravan, being able to stand up and putting a brew on means I probably won’t be under canvas ever again! I think Mike and Emmy might have got the comfort element of caravanning now as well. Maybe I will tow it down to the Portland Bill /Chesil area over the May Bank holiday and check out the shore fishing down there. Let Mike know if you fancy a Totally Awesome fishing assault at the end of May, and we’ll see if something can’t be organised. Full report of Mike and Emmy’s (windswept) Dorset trip in his E-News section.
On the tackle front, the shore anglers will want to start getting ready for Bass and Pollack fishing trips. Top of the lure list will be the Sidewinder lures, so start thinking of the 4-inch versions Mike has in the online shop, particular attention for Bassing should be the Super holographic “JETFIRE”,the “COD SQUAD” pack, and the deadly “BLOOODHEADS”. These are all 10gm casting weight which we find is about right for casting from the shore. Boat anglers will be looking for the “MIDNIGHT BLACK” Super solid and Super holographic “MACK/FIRE” in the 6 “ and 25gm size for those double figure Pollack.
For those guys wanting to “pimp up” their tackle boxes, we have obtained 20 of the rare TOKUSHIMA stickers which Mike is giving away free with every pack of three Totally Awesome tackle box stickers. Check out the web shop for these, but the “TOK” stickers are only only free to the first 20 people. It’s all we have been able to get.
We also have a bit of a BARGAIN BASEMENT, for any avid freshwater collectors out there. I had a sort through an old box of tackle and found 9 screw-in quivertips and swingtips that I used to use.
There are Drennan 1-ounce, 1 ½ ounce and 2 ½ ounce quivertips, even with my whipped on valve rubber tubing that I used to put starlights in for barbel fishing at night. Plus various weight swingtips, one of which is an ultra-Lignum tip. £10 the lot plus £1 P&P,which I think is unbeatable as you probably can’t buy these any more. Contact Mike if you want them.
We are now getting to the time of year when everything should start to bite ,from the “secret” new spots for big Porbeagle sharks , to the Black Bream (if they can dodge the nets) to the reel screamers of the shore, the Smoothhounds,to pods of Bass moving in to the rock gullies to chase the Sandeels. If we get a decent spell of weather try to get out there, but if you can’t, or it blows too hard, well you still have plenty of our Totally Awesome Fishing Show films to watch on YouTube. Trust me, we have plenty of brand new, recently made films all backed up and ready to roll. Don’t forget to hit the “Subscribe” button, and tell your buddies about us.
It was great to get out fishing on the bank holiday weekend! Thankfully Graeme had towed the caravan down for myself, Emmy and her little sister Beth to stay in for two nights. Boy were we grateful for it after what seemed like a tornado shaking the caravan on Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong, I love camping, I’m happy to camp in bivvies or a one man tent and no shower for a week. That doesn’t bother me. But when you’ve got the luxury of a caravan with clean water, a sink, fridge and a cooker it does make the world of difference. We all enjoyed the added luxury and I am sure we will try and use it more often throughout the summer.
Now onto the fishing….I did mention in my previous e-news that anyone who fancied joining us for the rock fishing session on the bank holiday weekend was more than welcome. I had many replies from you guys, but it seemed I had put the offer out a bit too late as so many of you had already made plans and some didn’t want to risk it with the weather forecast looking bad. However, two of you did turn up! Massive thanks to Jak and Darren, who joined us on both days for some rock and pier fishing. Jak had driven all the way from the cotswolds, and Darren from Newbury way. It was a pleasure to meet two members of THE AWESOME ARMY, and although fishing was tough, we did manage to find some fish in the end. On the first day myself, Darren and the girls took a drive to Portland Bill, a well renowned rock fishing area. Given the strong south westerly winds, we thought the eastern side might be sheltered and allow us to fish from the rocks. How wrong we were! The wind was ripping around the headland and swinging into the mainland. It was odd, but there was a big swell and it made it too dangerous to fish. So we moved on into Weymouth and fished the harbour for a bit. The girls had a few small fish but it was tough going. The next day conditions were almost the complete opposite. The sun was out, the wind seemed to be half as strong as it was the previous day, and we still had so much ragworm left! We headed to one of our ‘banker’ fishing marks. It is pretty much one gully with a nice flat ledge to fish from. Not too deep, and it has produced fished on both high and low tides. However, we arrived there only to find that the wind, despite being much calmer than the previous day, had moved around to a southerly. Which meant a large swell was being pushed straight into the spot we normally fish. After walking the coastline a little further to see if we could access anywhere else, I decided we should still fish the mark. As I knew that Wrasse will feed in almost any conditions, and if you have ragworm with you, then you’re certainly in for a shout. Lure fishing was out of the question, we were fishing the white wash which meant visibility was poor. It wasn’t long before the fish found the ragworm and we were into a few small wrasse. I landed one about a pound, and everyone else managed to land a few fish. Happy days (thank god for ragworm!).
We then headed to Swanage Pier for some LRF, again, conditions completely against us but we fished on anyway and more fish were caught. Darren and Jak seemed to enjoy themselves, and I’m glad we got into some fish as it was looking like it was going to be a tough weekend fishing.
You might have noticed that I have mentioned the word “Ragworm” quite often during this blog. That would be because I think it is the most deadly bait for wrasse out there. Big wrasse, small wrasse, ANYTHING! It really is the best back up when fishing tough conditions. I can just picture the lure purists hating this post, they seem to hate ragworm! I find it hilarious, why do you hate it so much? Is it because it catches fish??? It does make me laugh. I got invited to a facebook group the other day and I don’t usually spend much time looking at groups on facebook as I’m either out fishing or editing. But this one group was a lure purist group. I saw this guy who was a complete beginner, post a picture of a small wrasse he had caught on ragworm. This was his first ever wrasse on light tackle and he was over the moon. Now if he had posted this on Totally Awesome Fishing, we would have commented with two words “Totally Awesome!” and then congratulated him on his first wrasse catch and encourage him to keep fishing. But NO, this was a group for lure fisherman ONLY. So what did they do, they layed into this guy like some sort of teenage break-up. It was so pathetic. This was grown men saying “This is a lure only group, you can’t post pictures like that on here” and “the next person that posts bait pictures will be banned from the group”. You sad people! You have no right to demoralise someone for catching a new species on bait. We were all at this stage at some point in our lives, why not be supportive? It’s people like you that are ruining the sport and pushing people away from fishing. Here on the TAFishing show we always support the underdogs. We have no time for people who think they know a lot about fishing, have all the gear and genuinely have no idea. We have over 300 free to watch fishing films that we have put a lot of time and effort in, to help other people learn how to fish, or pick up new tips that might help them catch more fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love lure fishing, I’m totally addicted to it. But I also love bait fishing, because at the end of the day, I want to be able to catch fish, and if it means switching from lure to bait then I’ll do that. I won’t waste my time chucking plastic because it looks cool. If the conditions are right for bait, I’ll use bait. If I want to lure fish, I’ll lure fish. I won’t tell other people what they NEED to do, I’m happy to offer guidance on what works for me, but I’ll never put someone down for catching a new species be it on bait or lure. RANT OVER.
Back to work today so my time is consumed by lesson planning for Geography and PE. The kids I teach have started to clock onto TAFishing now, and I get regular fans in the school corridor saying they watch the show. It’s good fun and I’m pleased that some of them watch it. Anything to get them off the xbox or ipad or anything with a screen. Now I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here…I am one of those ‘screen watchers’, quite often scrolling through Instagram or emails etc. But I find the times I am most enjoying myself is when my phone is switched off and I’m out fishing. It makes such a big difference. Nowadays technology is dictating our lives. I mean, without technology there would be no TAFishing show….But recently I have found I am on my phone far too much, and the times I have been off it, have been bliss! So I’ll be making much more of an effort to do less ‘screen watching’ and more fishing!
Not sure what the weather will be like for the weekend, it’s so unpredictable here in the UK. But if the winds go down, there is the potential to do some boat fishing, if not then I might sneak out for some fly fishing or something. Not sure on that one yet.
I hope you guys enjoyed the collaboration film I did with swedish pike fishing channel “Kanalgratis”. I will post the link to it at the end of this blog. Lots of cool videos coming your way over the next few months. Remember our videos are uploaded every Friday night at 7pm GMT.