I was going to go shark fishing last week and made the mistake of believing the week’s forecast. It said it was deteriorating so I put the departure day back, and back, and back…then ended up with no boat fishing at all as the weather was probably OK after all! It seems they rarely get anything correct more than 2 days in advance, and I can’t really blame them as it’s the direction and power of that Jet stream that makes it so difficult to forecast. It’s particularly annoying as the next three weeks can be really good for boat fishing, as the sea temperatures are at their warmest. I believe there really is a chance of a Marlin during the next few weeks as more boats are starting to drag big lures around in the hope of a Bluefin Tuna. Eventually one will get the shock of their life when a fish with a big long bill takes to the air! Probably a white marlin as they can tolerate a wider temperature range, but with a Blue Marlin washed up on our shores there is little point saying it cannot happen.
Add to that a mail Mike had from an angler who found what appears to be a Mako shark tooth (quite a big one) while walking on a South Coast beach (opposite the Isle of Wight) and it confirms surely that some weird and wonderful fish are coming in. Two of us have already had a go at trying to catch what has been said to be either a Mako or a small Great White both attacking a boat’s nets and also chasing seals. Same area the tooth was found, and while the first attacks on nets was this time last year, apparently the “perp” has been seen again chasing seals up on mud flats. Don’t worry, while no contact has been made with it yet we are still planning another night trip, and with the finding of the possible Mako tooth, it all adds up to something very substantial hunting the South Coast waters. We have kept this info to ourselves so the superhero wannabees don’t all rush down, as we want to tag and release this rarity if we can. My belief is that (possibly a small Great White) returns to this area this time each year and having had a taste of seal decided it’s not a bad place to hunt. No charter boats fish this area which is why nobody else knows about it, but I heard a yacht coming in also saw the shark, and I obviously would not be towing my boat 50 miles to fish there if I didn’t believe it to be true. The Shark tags are ready, the spotlights are ready, underwater cameras are ready the shark Cage is ….well, not ready, but I have enough chum for another two night trips. Plus I have an extremely large fish for bait. Fingers crossed.
That’s the exciting stuff over, now on to the freshwater scene. Our fishing with a rod the size of a pen has gone off the scale with views, another has been done, with more planned. Amazing really, the size of fish you can get on a rod and reel you can put in your pocket. We did a few coarse afternoon trips for film fodder. One was a last minute trip to Watmore Farm fishery where we caught a few Carp. No doubles, but good rod benders on the Avon quivertip rods. We also had a few Roach, so I guess they will be making more of a showing as the water cools. Fishing a rod length out and feeding red maggots with two on a size 16 barbless hook and medium waggler float should get you among them. That’s if the carp don’t get there first.
Also had a trip up to Royal Berks Fishery, near Ascot, where they have 3 lakes open for day ticket fishing. We don’t get the opportunity to fish private or syndicate waters, so waters like Royal Berks are a godsend for us as we can usually throw in a last minute trip and have a chance of coming up with something. John the bailiff assured us we would have the chance of a Perch, if…if …we could get past the Carp, which had been hard on the feed in all the lakes. Bait was prawn, and Mike’s first fish turned out to be a 13lb Common Carp, that luckily for him, almost swam straight into the landing net before waking up! He topped that off with a several Perch to almost 2lbs, while I had a common, some Roach (big ones in here to 2lbs) and small Perch.
A last minute trip to Bowsaw Lakes in Hampshire gave me one of my more enjoyable sessions. I fished the upper lake on the advice of owner Jim who advised me to watch out for his flying Bream ….First cast with waggler float and double white maggots I had a tussle with a Common carp. That was followed by some small Perch taken on the inside, and some larger Roach about two rod lengths out. I threw in a handful of maggots, cast out, and turned to move some tackle. I heard this noise as the rod pulled round and turned to see a Bream flying about three feet through the air, and landed smack in the middle of a lily bed !…I joke not. It was incredible. I managed to get it out (about 3lbs), and through the afternoon session had another 2 “Flying “Bream. Why do they do this? They don’t just flop out. They missile into the air like a Kingfish taking a live Pilchard in the Gulfstream. Plus I had loads of bubbling in the swim, so next time I reckon I need to take more bait. I only had a pint of white maggots.
Over in Courtmacsherry Mark Gannon has been catching more Porbeagle sharks in among the blues, and they seem to be running 60/80lbs. Plus, for the second year running he has had Bluefin Tuna busting the surface. The last sighting was just the back of the wreck of the “Lusitania” when crewman Shaun was fishing garfish in the chum slick and the Tunas burst right in front of him. Now that must be exciting. The last Bluefins I caught were off Gibraltar, so it would be nice to think I don’t have to travel so far to get a rod bent. Mind you it’s probably quicker to fly to Gib than it is to drive/ferry all the way over to Ireland. And of course the weather is lot better in Gib as well!
I hear there is uproar over a huge stocked carp that is bigger than the British record. Mike was telling me the angler had been getting death threats!…I mean, what is the carp world coming to ? Almost every fish in current carp waters must have been stocked at some stage, and yes, I realise it was grown on and put in the water as large, but how is that different to the big trout waters? Double figure and twenty pounders both Browns and Rainbows that were grown on before being stocked. If I recall correctly these trout could only have a “Cultivated” record status, so I guess the big carp (about 70lbs ?) would surely have to have a separate “cultivated” record. I guess the British record administrators will be having kittens as to how they will sort that one out. Good luck to them. I am happy enough catching 10/20 pounders on my Avon rod. Life is too short to sit around waiting for the one balloon belly that might pick up my bait.
I reviewed the underwater footage I took on my recent trip to a Southern river and was shocked to see how many Gudgeon were working the groundbait trail at the back of my feeder. From the surface I could see the millions of minnows, but never saw all the Gudgeon as they were skulking along the bottom. Years ago we fished maggot and rarely caught a Gudgeon while feeder fishing, so I wonder why they have had a population explosion. Or maybe they haven’t. Maybe they have been there all the time?
The traditional Pike fishing season starts on October 1st and the Perch won’t be far behind them. On the shore fishing scene I hear the Cod are starting to show for a few lucky anglers and the Whiting will be coming, generally in the hours of darkness.
So, I have absolutely no idea what the weather will enable me to fish for this week, but another assault for the Great White/Mako shark is deffo on the cards, so it’s a question of watch this space !…. Good luck.