Alan Yates Sea Fishing Blog 1st October

I wish I never brought my net!

I have got into the habit of taking my landing net during pier trips since the codling turned up on the Kent coast and to date in three sessions I have used it five times but I am having second thoughts about the wisdom of having a net?

Why? Because although I have used the net five times, not once was it for myself and I feel that I may have done myself out of a prize at the recent Dover Pier open event when I landed a cod and a bass for other competitors and then finished third behind them!

Both fish were in the 4lb bracket and that’s the size that is on the limit for hauling up the pier wall by the line.

I will never know and it didn’t bother me that much. However, my next netting experience did.

A couple of ethnic anglers fishing Folkestone pier asked me to use my net to land a mullet. I did and they killed it and put it in the bucket.

I was gobsmacked and explained that mullet are regarded as a catch and release species in England and we don’t kill them because they are precious – that was as alien to them as Yorkshire pudding and they laughed, but I will tell you what – Just no one is going to pursued me to net a mullet again if they are going to kill it!!!!

Upcoming matches

I was talking to Warren Doyle who organises the Irish Winter Beach Festival in the Wicklow region in January 08 and he tells me that there are only four of the houses (sleep 5) left at the Sean Oge complex at Kilmuckridge which is the  base for the 2008 event.

The match which is measure and return, fishing day into night and it takes place on the 29th/30th and 31st January 08 and is a Penn league. Full package available from Warren Doyle Tel. 00353 128287769 E mail:

A couple of the biggest events in my home county of Kent take place over the coming weeks and both are Penn league qualifiers: The British Open Sea Angling Championships takes place on the 19th October from the beaches of Deal and Walmer, fishing 12 until 5pm.

Top prize is £1000 for the best weight and £1000 for the biggest fish with another £4000 up for grabs for runners up etc.

Details and pegs on 01304 361248 / 363968.

The popular and usually a sell out well before the day, Sheerness Steel SAC, Kent Classic is on the 2nd November on the Isle of Sheppey beaches.

Fishing is from 12 noon until 5pm with a host of cash prizes on offer. Details and pegs on Tel. 01795 662461

Plenty of species from the Isle of Wight

I had a great three day trip to the Isle of Wight with John Wells and Sea Angler photographer, Lloyd Rogers last week and thanks to the help of Isle of Wight anglers, Russ Cattling and Anthony Stanyon we clocked up some great features for Sea Angler magazine, watch out for them in coming issues.

But what was remarkable about the trip was the species list which included: Black bream, red mullet, gilthead bream, small eyed ray, pouting, smoothhound, bass, pollack, scorpion fish, garfish and mackerel.