Fishing this morning

so woke up at the absolute crack of dawn to catch an hour of the sweeping tide.  That’s a trick that most wont tell you, but worth knowing, as the tide heads towards high tide, the fish start to make their way inwards to try to be the first when the tide gets to full height.

So always catch the tide an hour before and then two hours when peaked.

Anyway, caught four gurnard, 1 red, 3 gray.  Couple of pollock, 5 unmentionables, a cod, 3 haddock and a few strings of mackerel, most of which I gave to my mate to turn into pâté.

Kept a few for the smoker, smoked mackerel salad is beautiful.  Interesting that investing just three hours has given me the base for about sixteen meals.  I don’t understand why people move away from the coast when the sea’s bounty basically just provides free food all year round.

For anyone even remotely interested in fishing I was using the following rods (all with penn slammer 560 liveliners that sadly you can’t buy anymore) :

Savage gear 8’6 salt spinning rod.

Shakespeare 11’ static mackerel rod

Century Excalibur J curve 13’6 caster.

I used a variety of bait, including a rag worm/Squid cocktail, for the big stuff I was using savage gear pencil prey lure on the spinner and I have some ‘secret weapon’ mackerel stuff that got stopped being made in the seventies I think but I got given it by a nice chap in Anglesey and it has never let me down.

If you are interested in fishing, the penn slammer reels are worth looking at on eBay.  They stopped making them because they never break and are just too good so no incentive to buy more.  The spinfisher range which is their replacement is utter dogshit, better to buy something by Shimano IMO.



Sorry linda I don’t understand the point of that.  I’m perfectly content with the size of my ‘Johnson’ and my boat is actually pretty small.  Weird.  Has gannicus been borrowing your account or something?

Freelining with green sandeels from the shore early this morning - 3 bass but one was a bit small so that went back.  Now BBQing.

Sandeels are utter shite for bass.  Surprised you caught that much.

Bass hunt by smell, so mackerel, lug, rag, worm, Peelers are all going to be vastly superior bait.  Anything really smelly and moving (like a big ball of rag) will attract their interest.  Sandeels not so much.

If you can grab any lancers then they can work if live but are far from ideal.  Personally I prefer a rag/peeler cocktail.


Good work.  Looking forward to my first mackerel fishing trip in 2 weeks time!  Have absolutely no idea what I am doing...

Mackerel trip?  Dead easy.  They’ll take you out on the boat, give you a rod and multiplier and it’ll be kitted out with feathers already.

(Writers note: I don’t actually use feathers, I use small plastic bait which look like little prawns and are far better but every boat I’ve seen uses feathers because they are cheaper).

They will take you to a spot, tell you to drop the line and then just gently raise and lower the rod, this simulates the meandering movement of a school of prey fish and the feathers will usually be shiny which will cause the mackerel to go into a feeding frenzy and attach themselves.

Its not uncommon to be able to pull out 6-8 mackerel on one line, they are -extremely- obliging.

Have fun, it’s a great way to get into proper sea fishing.

Do you reckon a six year old would be able to do it (with me "helping")?

Definitely, talk to the skipper, he will have a helper onboard who is used to families and they are usually brilliant at making sure kids catch ‘something’ to have a picture with and go home to tell everyone about.

Ive actually been that mate of the skipper myself and it’s a genuine joy to help a kid catch their first few fish.

One thing worth mentioning is keep an eye on what everyone is is up to.  If there’s a few people blanking, and you’re doing well, then keep pulling them out so those guys have something to take home.  But if everyone is catching well, don’t go mad.  No point in catching more fish than you or others need/will enjoy.


There will be 6 of us so imagine we will have the whole thing.  

Will also be lots of crabbing going on.

Depends on the boat, some of the good proper fishing ones, yes, but I know mackerel boats what will take out up to 22 people.

Why on earth would you go crabbing on a boat?  Genuine question.  

Oh, hint, ask them to gut them for you.

And don’t ask them if they’ve killed them prior to gutting. No one on boats bothers.  I have been stood at the gutting trays on commercial vessels where hundreds of fish are going past and yeah, they ain’t dead.  Lol that caused an issue between me and the ex wife...

”well, it’s dead now at least”. Didn’t exactly cut it. 

They were live.  The bass go mad for them.  Where I go is just too rocky and there is too much seaweed to go on the bottom.  It’s either float or freelining.

My son did it when he was 7, so with a bit of help/steadying you should be OK. Depends on the weather really. The up and down movement of the rod (yes, I know) makes for easy sea sickness when it's choppy. We'll be doing this next week in Falmouth. Looking forward to it.

Gurnard is one of my fave eating fish.  Gut, take head off (will need a strong knife...), rinse in fresh water, put bundle of herbs/slice of lemon in cavity, wrap in streaky bacon, put parcel in in tinfoil, bake for 20 -25 mins depending on the size of fish.

Declicious flesh falls off the bone.

I usually make them into goujons for dipping. Nom.  Agree that it’s one of the tastiest fish.