Alan Yates' Sea Fishing blog 17.7.08

Manufacturers are seeing the light

I must admit to being very amused every time I open the pages of an angling magazine to see the Daiwa advert for the Millionaire 7ht Mag.
A great reel, but as any F1 driver will tell you, the later you brake the more chance you have of crashing! It is a myth that a multiplier reel has to run faster to cast further.
For so long casting tournament opinions have ruled rod and reel design and in recent years it has been great to see lots of improvements in gear that is related to fishing rather than casting tournaments.
One of the worst developments ever was the removal of the ratchet from some beach multipliers because the mechanism slowed the reel spool in a field!
Thankfully manufacturers are seeing the light and returning the ratchet to their reels, whilst anglers are at last realising that casting distance is not all that catches fish.
Tournament casting skills are no more than chucking a lead down wind with the reel brakes wide open, it’s a separate sport!.
Add a squid, force 8 head wind and you are in the “angler’s world” where what you catch counts for more than how far you can cast!
That apart, how you fill your multiplier reel and with what line is far more important than the spool spinning fast with the reel working at its best if the spool supplies the correct amount of line through the duration of the cast.
Don’t be fooled by the hype, even Anthony Hamilton crashes when he goes too fast!

Very poor turn-out

The weather wrecked my latest pier competition with strong winds and torrential rain keeping anglers off the Southern breakwater at Dover.
That and the pathetic entry of just 5 anglers lead to the first ever cancellation of the Dover Sea Angling Association annual Wednesday open.
The event originated 33 year ago when lots of shops and businesses around the local Kent towns shut for early closing on Wednesdays, then the event attracted large numbers of anglers.
This year not one Dover resident turned up and around the coast lots of angling clubs are experiencing a similar fall in support.
Perhaps, like Dover SAA, they should have a re-think and update events because whilst sea angling around the country has changed most clubs have stayed with age old formats that seem set in stone.
Its time for a massive rethink of match fishing and its systems.
One obvious move is to organise more events at times of year when the fishing is best.
The large clash of major fixtures during the winter months is also something that reflects the past.
Now the summer months can often be far better for shore fishing on many venues.

A really handy bait tip

Here is a handy tip for those out for a days mackerel feathering who want to maximise their odds of a catch but don’t want to kill too many mackerel too quickly.
Cut off the bend and point of every other hook on your string of six lures leaving the lure and you will keep the attractiveness of six lures, but only catch a maximum of three fish a cast.
The mackerel shoals are at the top of their range in the next few months so remember to take a few for the winter freezer – It’s my opinion that mackerel that are caught and frozen quickly at the start and end of the mackerel season are best.
Those caught in the height of summer when they are stuffed full of whitebait etc have a far softer oily flesh than the leaner fish of the early spring and late summer.
Great for boat bait but after freezing the flesh goes soft and flaky and does not cast well.