Out and about for a mixed bag…

Finally an opportunity to get back into my much loved kayak and get on some fish. But what could we target? My father and I decided to load up the car and get the gear ready for a day out fishing and after some debating we decided on our local deep water mark. Close to home and plenty of variety when it is fishing well. We are very luck to be within five minutes of some of the best fishing in the country in my opinion so it is great to fish in the deeper marks as one might never know what is going to turn up at the end of the line. The location itself comprises of water depths to 140ft and scattered ground with reefs dotted in amounts sandy patches. Great to hold fish of different species.

The morning started early enough with us getting down to the water for around 6.30am. There was not a breath of wind in the air and the reflection of the sky and cliff faces could be seen on the waters surface. To get out to the marks is only a short paddle with other marks being near 2km out. A great paddle on such a calm day. We were tipped off on a certain species that can be found out here so we rigged one rod with a heavier setup and the others were set up for general mixed ground fishing. I always carry three rods with me as I can always have a set of bait feathers ready should I come across any shoals of fish below the kayak. The second rod usually has a double hook trace which I will show in time. This rig is baited with fresh bait if it is about. I had some peeler crab I had frozen so took a few out. I know they are excellent for wrasse.


Following the GPS we made our way out to our chosen patch of ground. We baited up and sent them to the bottom. When the area is so calm it does not seem to fish as well as having a slight drift. This may be due to not covering much water and the baits being virtually still on the bottom. But with the weather the way it was who could complain about being the only people out on the vast open water taking in the sights and feeling of being alone. With that we started to get a bit of interest as the tide started to move. I was trying for some fresh bait and bought up the biggest Launce I have caught. Great news as this would provide some fresh bait. Mackeral were scarce and Dad managed to colossal Mackeral ,which were more suited for the table than being used for bait.



We witnessed an amazing sight this morning and it was a shame I was not as close to it as my father to catch it on camera. We saw a lot of bait fish on the fish finders and saw some Sandeel at the surface I them heard my dad shouting at me to look over and what I saw was like something I remember seeing as a young boy back home in South Africa. Fish were erupting out the water and Sandeels in the air all over. I could make out that they were Coalfish which had driven the Sandals up to the surface and were hammering them. What a sight on a beautiful morning. Dad casted his rod over to them and got one.


we were getting a good variety of fish which included, Poor Cod, Pouting, Cuckoo Wrasse, Gurnards and then I had a take which did not give any indication of what fish it could be but rather came in as a weight. I knew this feeling before and had a good idea what was at the end of my line. An octopus. As he came up I saw he was only holding onto the weight which they do often enough which makes me think if I should dress my weight with a colour and a flying hook. Just then as the always do he let go and swam back down. Day had more luck and got his to stay on. fascinating creatures.vlcsnap-2015-05-23-14h03m12s108


Following this we were greeted with some ling to end the mornings session. A great morning and good to see some action on the water. This is what fishing is about for me. Although I can head out to marks and catch big fish, it is mornings like this that put a smile on my face, not knowing what is next to come to the side of my kayak. The water temperature is rising and I have seen some dolphins which is great to see.



Until next time,

Tight Lines


First Gilthead for 2015

Recently the weather has not been all that great to get the kayak out and go for a paddle. Last year I would go at every opportunity that presented itself but these days I prefer to target specific species and make sure the conditions are right to increase my chances and have a more fulfilling day. With this said I went back to another one of my loves which is shore fishing. This is where I learnt most of everything I know so it was good to have the feet on solid ground and casting out from the chosen mark. This time of year sees fish moving in as the water temperatures increase and with this a favorite fish of mine can be targeted – the Gilthead Bream.

Peeler Crab in BucketI previously wrote an article on catching these magnificent fish which can be seen at this link, Tactics for Gilthead Bream. Having collected Peeler crab a week before which were prepared and frozen I decided to try one of my favorite fishing marks where I have caught numerous Gilthead. I was only using a spinning rod which is the best way to catch these fish as they really do put up a great fight. The trace consisted of a single hook ledger rig which had a 2/0 Cox and Rawle Uptide Extra hook. These hooks are great as the are very tough and with the Gilthead Bream having molar type teeth designed for crushing, these hooks would be strong enough to withstand this.


Peeler Crab RiggedI was only going to fish for an hour or so to pass some time and see was there any Gilthead around. I whipped up a peeler bait on onto my hook and casted out to a spot that looked like the Bream may be feeding. The weather was overcast with a Southerly wind blowing which was a little chilly but not unbearable. Making the Peeler Crab bait as appetizing and appealing is a must. A good sized juicy bait will give the best chance of getting some interest from any feeding fish. When whipping my Peeler Crab up I like to use ghost cotton and make sure I always leave the hook showing proud to increase hook up rates.

I was getting another Peeler Crab bait ready while watching my rod when I had a run which got the blood pumping. The take was violent and line peeled from the spinning reel. I grabbed the rod and set the hook by easing it into the fish as there is no need to strike erratically when the fish is running like it was. Solid head shakes I knew what this was. The fight on a spinning rod has to be experienced to get a true feeling about how hardy these fish are. After a couple of solid runs I finally got the fish in sight and I was greeted by a lovely Gilthead Bream. My first for 2015 and hopefully one of many.

gilthead 2015

gilthead face 2015

A very eventful hours fishing and I left with a huge smile on my face. It is great to see this species becoming a fish that can be actively targeted and not so much of a surprise catch. They are really good sizes too and I am sure it won’t be long till another monster bream will turn up somewhere.



I will be hoping for some better settled weather to get out on the kayak again to target some quality fish in the coming weeks and hopefully get some new species that I have never caught before but that is another story for another day.

Until next time,

Tight Lines.