Glo­ri­ous Guernsey of­fers great sea sport

An­gling Times se­nior re­porter Mark Peck and col­league Ian Jones have a bril­liant time when they fish in the Chan­nel Is­lands from boat and shore

Angling Times (UK) - - WHERE TO FISH -

IHAD never been on a fish­ing trip abroad. I owned no sea fish­ing equip­ment and my dis­pos­able in­come was nowhere near large enough to af­ford a trip like those you see of­fer­ing the chance to fish for ex­otic species in far­away places.

So when my col­league Ian Jones and I were asked if we wanted to go and dan­gle rods off the coast of Guernsey, in the Chan­nel Is­lands, you can un­der­stand why I was a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive.

Fast for­ward a few weeks, and I was on my way home from one of the best fish­ing trips I’ve ever been on. And it cost me lit­tle more than a week­end in Skeg­ness! That’s when I re­alised An­gling Times read­ers should be do­ing this too.

My trip to Guernsey taught me three things. First, fish­ing on the coast doesn’t re­quire spe­cial­ist equip­ment. Sec­ond, tak­ing fish­ing gear away from these shores is eas­ier than I thought – and third, sea fish­ing with light tackle is so much fun.

Be­fore we left, Ian and I de­cided that with our low bud­gets and lit­tle time to pre­pare we wanted to see if we could catch plenty of fish us­ing just the coarse tackle we al­ready owned, ex­cept maybe for buy­ing a few big­ger lures and a cou­ple of floats to cope with the swells. With Guernsey be­ing no more than 78km square, find­ing the right camp­site to pitch our tent was easy, and we didn’t even need to change any money – a real bonus! So, armed with a carp rod and a reel loaded with 15lb line, a lighter match set-up and our drop shot­ting kits, we took the Con­dor Fer­ries ves­sel from Ply­mouth to St Peter Port, Guernsey’s cap­i­tal. The har­bour town was beau­ti­ful. Me­dieval cas­tles, lines of yachts and rows of white­washed shops and cafés greeted us as we docked in warm sun­shine, and as we drove off the ferry, ex­cite­ment was grow­ing fast. We were guests of for­mer An­gling Times staffman Greg White­head, who owns a fish­ing boat in St Peter Port and knows all the lo­cal marks – a valu­able as­set, since we hadn’t re­searched the best places to fish be­fore we left. Our first port of call was the ma­rina. Car­ry­ing just our match rods with a few wag­glers and small hooks, we made our way down the wooden board­walks and un­derneath the main ma­rina walk­way un­til we were hid­den among the small sail­ing craft at the wa­ter’s edge some 40ft be­low the road.

Our tar­get was the most finicky fish on the is­land – the mul­let.

By reg­u­larly flick­ing out blobs of rubby dubby (a wet­ted mix­ture of bread and fish oils) Greg told us that the mul­let would come to our baits. By al­ter­ing the depth of our floats we even­tu­ally found the fish and all three of us man­aged at least two fish each, the best a thick-lipped over 3lb. It was an

ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The next day we wanted to explore more of the is­land so we checked when the tides would be at their high­est and drove to the rock marks Greg had told us about – Fort Doyle, Cas­tle Cor­net, St Martin’s and Fort Hom­met in the north of the is­land. Us­ing eel im­i­ta­tion lures at dis­tance and small jigs tight to the rocks, we had a su­per day net­ting nu­mer­ous pol­lack, wrasse and odd bass.

On the fi­nal day we took a trip on Greg’s boat. He doesn’t run his ves­sel as a char­ter but oth­ers on the is­land do of­fer vis­i­tors trips to catch mack­erel, bream, tur­bot, conger and tope.

Af­ter we’d mo­tored a few miles out to known sand bars and bays, the fish­ing was su­perb. We caught bass on lures close to the rocks, while fur­ther out on the sand­bars we caught tur­bot and Ian even man­aged his first-ever tope weigh­ing more than 30lb. We re­turned to our tent ex­hausted but thor­oughly sat­is­fied.

Of course, Guernsey has plenty more to of­fer hol­i­day­mak­ers. Visi­tor at­trac­tions, his­toric sites and su­perb beaches, restau­rants and shops make it a fab­u­lous fam­ily des­ti­na­tion.

The trip opened our eyes to how easy but sat­is­fy­ing a longdis­tance fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion can be. I’ll def­i­nitely be re­turn­ing to the Chan­nel Is­lands soon.

Greg White­head with a colour­ful cuckoo wrasse.

A tasty tur­bot for Mark Peck from Greg’s boat.

Ian holds a sleek lure-caught pol­lack.

Ar­ti­fi­cial sandeel lures are real killers!

Rock fish­ing is safe when the sea is calm.

Float­fish­ing at sea is a whole new ex­pe­ri­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.