Alan Yates' Sea Fishing Blog 15.09.08

Kent goes into overdrive

The latest south westerly storm to hit the English Channel coast sent the codling into overdrive along the Kent shoreline with reports coming in from all of the regular venues of fish between 2lb and 6lb. It’s just like old times with the beach grapevine buzzing with excitement and with bass also showing now is the time to grab those rods and hit the beaches and pier. My latest trip to Folkestone pier yielded two codling and along with a couple of whiting and a small dogfish made 3.30kg for third place in a club match – However, it was great to see the rod tip drop back and a huge bow of slack line as the biggest codling took my two yellowtails. The fish was swingable, I hauled it up the pier wall and did not have to resort to my net which will be with me every trip this year because the fish are bigger. Thankfully I had switched to winter rigs with size 1 and 1/0 Fox Power Point MA and 30lb Illusion snoods which give you lots more chance with the bigger codling. Folkestone pier also produced four bass for Folkestone angler, Billy Clark who was fishing alongside the pier wall with ragworm fished on booms. Other Kent venues worth a visit include Dover’s Admiralty pier where on angler this week landed 14 codling from the extension section, best time is just after high water as the strong flood tide slows but you will still need a minimum 7oz fixed wire leads, Gemini Yellow heads are best. The extension is closed when a cruise ferry is docked and it’s worth telephoning the pier for info before you travel. Tel 01304 225238

Dungeness Point returns...

Dungeness Point is also returning its old glory with codling during the flood tide especially at dusk. There have also been lots of bass with Dorian Partridge of Seabrook SAA landing the best recent fish by the boats of 8lb 10oz. At Princes Parade, Seabrook, Deal matchman, Saul Page landed three codling, two at 6lb and one at 5lb and that was in daylight fishing close to the white shelter.

Try it yourself, first!

Whilst it is still mild and there are plenty of lugworms in the tackle shops a drop in the temperature will make lugworm particularly hard to come by in the coming months. The problem is that whilst the worms are easy to dig and plentiful lots of part time diggers are out making some extra cash. BUT once the weather turns and the job is no longer easy it is only the true professionals that are left digging. Add to that the many restrictions to digging like the neap tides, the shorter days and the bad weather and digging enough worms to make a living is difficult. I have heard anglers in the tackle shop complaining about the size of the worms and I tell you if I was a dealer I would tell them to F off and not give them any worms. Digging bait is a horrendous task in winter and the diggers earn every penny and I for one would sooner have just small lugworm than NO lugworm so before you crack on about bait – get real, go and dig your own!!!!

Word of advice...

One piece of advice that is worth taking – The spring tides are most likely to see a good supply of worms because more sand is uncovered at low water whilst during the neap tides the water hardly drops back from the high tide mark - so save a few worms from the spring tide weekends for the neap tide weekends. Another good idea this month is to stock your freezer with squid, not only will there be a shortage of lugworms, but squid gets short as the winter progresses. Buying a couple of 7lb boxes NOW and thawing them out into fours and repacking them back in the freezer may ensure that you have some bait to go fishing with when the cod are climbing the rod tip.