Monday 28 November 2016


Hello to all

Back on for my big update,I thank you all for reading.

Some more salt water angling to get through before I reveal my coarse fishing exploits.After my success on the smooth hound  fishing my attention was turned towards catching a few rays.And no,I don't mean a week in a cushty all inclusive lounging about like a lizard.
Far from it,I'm talking about those flat things with the long tails.I have become fascinated with the species as a whole,
Undulate,Spotted,Small eyed,blonde and thorn backs were the target.I wanted to collect them all over the course of the season....But then again we don't always get everything we want....yet.

To catch them all from the shore was a tall order,Me and the likes of Moxy,James and Tom Collinridge Clocked up some miles trying to do so.
The tally of dogfish and packs of blast frozen eels we got through was also excessive.

The hunt for Rays became a bit of an obsession,long drives after work to the likes of Poole and other favoured Ray territory's all to often ended in no Raymonds,but hey I am learning and each unsuccessful session only spurred me on to rectify that matter more and more.Like I said...a bit of an obsession.

The Thorny was fairly easy to catch from shore and boat,I had a few from the Bristol channel and a bonus one whilst trying to catch  flounder or plaice from the Kingsbridge estuary.
We all had good Small eyed whilst fishing a lads trip out of Watchet aboard Seafire.A few spotted's were also boated along with huss,smoothys,eels and the ever prolific pooch fish making for a cracking day out and a few more Rays under my belt.

With 3 down I still pursued the Blonde and Undulate,the latter really kicked my ass.To cut a long story short I still have not got my grubby hands on an Undulate,and not for the lack of bloody trying for that matter.I think it will have to wait until next year now but hey ho that's fishing for you.

On a positive note I did manage a Blonde! my main plan was to fish out of Dartmouth but
After 3 trips in row got the thumbs down right at the last minute due to the shit winds I had to look else where.
With a little gap in the weather ear-marked myself and Tom managed to get a last minute charter out of Minehead
Most of the lads on board were targeting cod but me and Tom had our hopes on some ray action,Mike(the 18 year old skipper of Teddie boy) assured us that when the time and tide were right we would move over a deep gully he had found to be especially good for a blonde or two,that will do me I thought.
Sure I like a Cod or two but I couldn't wait to move! finally the time came to up-sticks and after a short steam up the channel Mike seamlessly anchored the boat in the perfect position for our baits to be presented bang on the money.
He wasn't wrong either, 10 minutes or so passed before Tom was into something that was pulling back with intent, his rod was as bent as a nine bob note whilst heaving the creature up against the strong tide.A few tense moments passed before we got to see what was causing all the commotion.Sure enough it was  the Blonde ray Mike had promised us.
However, time was getting on, the window for me catching a Blonde was closing.

Meanwhile Tom was into his third! the thought of throwing him sea-bound ran hard in my mind when out of the blue my rod was nearly pulled into the pond.
I grabbed the rod to be met with heavy resistance! playing a good Ray as calmly as I could I was praying the hooks held,bloody good job they did too! I think the smile says it all.

A big thank you goes to Mike! I cant recommend a trip out with this keen young Skipper enough,he will keep you on the fish and trust me you'll be pissing tea from your ears if you accept every brew offer.Four out of five is not bad,but trust me I will get my Undulate sooner or later!

Ain't Rays brilliant!!!!

Til next time

Good luck

Tuesday 22 November 2016


Hello to all

If there are any readers of this blog left out there? I salute you all

So Fish Tales has had more long breaks than your average painter and decorator, but alas my fingers are back on the keyboard with much to tell.
So what's happened since the last post all that way back in January, well....Donald flippin Trump was somehow elected as the next American president, oh yeah and that other Brexit thingy the world has gone nuts but F that! I have some good news...I have been up to a fair bit of the old angling, fresh and salt water but lets start with the latter.

The sea is like a magnet to me right now, to some up the last six months sea fishing is easy, it has been a succession of highs and lows.The long slogs and effort made to catch specimen fish from the shore can be crushing to a man's spirit.
After re rigging in a shit storm for your 20 th dogfish of the session whilst targeting Rays can be a bit of a punisher and a very common occurrence.Or perhaps having crabs maul your valuable and carefully presented bait within a few minutes of it hitting the seabed! frustrating stuff.
But then it all goes right and the target species is caught.
The feeling is amazing!
after all you have just caught the fish you wanted from the biggest piece of water ever....the sea!

Anyway, that's the way I see it.

This photo was taken on Chesil beach,I think I caught one dogfish whilst my friend James had a brace of smoothy's and a nice cod.
Talking of Smoothhounds,one of my summer targets was a double figure sample from the shore.
Hinkley point reef on the Bristol channel is probably your best bet for a real whacker, but I wanted to concentrate on a venue a bit closer to home and a dam site less hostile so Branscombe seemed a good bet.

I was at work on a boiling hot day when James called asking if I fancied soaking some crustation's,I had nout on that evening and with the tides and conditions looking good  for a hound or two how could I say no.
We arrived at the beach at around 5.30 ,there were already a few anglers plotted around the shingle and after a chat with a couple of them it seemed the beach wasn't exactly crawling with fish,both party's had caught nada.This didn't bother me to much as the tide was still yet to push and the sun still held high above the cloud.
After rigging up a couple of pennell pulley rigs I baited them both with fresh peeler crab including a slither of squid to bulk the bait out a bit.I then donned my trusty finger stall, clipped the baits down and proceeded to do my best Danny Fairbrass at Gigantica impression.
A couple of fruitless casts later the tide really started to push, my six ounce gripper leads could barely hold bottom.
The tips of my sturdy beach rods were bent right round in the tide looking very uncomfortable,when all of a sudden one of them pulled round then sprung back on its self as a fish broke the lead out of position.
I picked up the rod, wound  until I could feel something then struck into what felt like a decent fish.I took a few more turns of the large reel handle confirming something special was on the end.
"This ain't no doggy" I enthused to James.A few minutes later I had the fish close in,it was really pulling so I let a tiny bit off the drag.A bit to much!  the fish aggressively  kited with the tide igniting a few expletives from yours truly.Not worry tho I soon regained control as James hurriedly made his way to the waters edge,after a bit of a splashy rummage He lifted out a Huge Hound from the Drink."You jammy bastard" he said.  

I couldn't believe my first shore caught smoothy was a double,11lb 1 oz to be precise.I was literally dancing on the beach .....great times.
A short while later my other rod completely shit itself and was nearly dragged off the rest, I was in again.The fish felt like another goodun really scrapping on what I consider to be a heavy outfit.It turned out to be a 7lb'er but my god these creatures are ridiculously powerful.
Over the course of the summer I went on to catch a few more hounds mostly from the Bristol channel and Chesil but nothing compared to the magnitude of the Branscombe beast.

 Plenty more to catch up on so please watch this space.

Til next time

Good luck