Weather soon quells new year en­thu­si­asm

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentmotors - By Alan Yates

The good news is that the new year brings re­newed in­ter­est and op­ti­mism to sea an­glers.

Sud­denly the match en­tries are up and more an­glers are out on the lo­cal beaches and piers – it’s all that new tackle from Christ­mas to try, I sup­pose.

The bad news is that the en­thu­si­asm is short­lived and the weather hor­ren­dous.

The end of Jan­uary sees catches slow dra­mat­i­cally as most species move away from the shore to spawn and all that are left are the tid­dlers that can­not spawn and the few species like floun­ders and rock­ling that spawn closer to shore.

It’s a time when tid­dlers are it and no amount of imag­i­na­tion can con­jure up a big cod on many venues let alone a dou­ble cala­mari squid!

Sadly, many shore an­glers give up un­til spring, while a few hardy souls and the match­men fish on through the worst of the weather.

I must ad­mit it’s a time of year I en­joy – it’s prob­a­bly the chal­lenge of get­ting a bite that does it for me and be­cause it’s mostly small fish you get to ap­pre­ci­ate what you have and make the most of it.

Typ­i­cal Fe­bru­ary gear is a lighter match rod, 12lb line or braid on a fixed spool, wire booms which al­low you to fish lighter hook snoods tan­gle free, more beads and se­quins and smaller hooks,.

Catch­ing the smaller mouthed species may not be en­joy­able in terms of the fight they put up but the chal­lenge to get a bite, any bite, can be ad­dic­tive.

The re­cent storms have again led to dam­age to the lo­cal piers with rail­ings and Tar­mac

‘No amount of imag­i­na­tion can con­jure up a big cod

on many venues’

ripped up on Folke­stone pier.

Re­pairs are un­der­way as I write this re­port. In the mean­time, re­pairs from the last storm are still not re­paired to the Ad­mi­ralty Pier at Dover and it re­mains closed with the first half not ex­pected to re-open un­til the end of Jan­uary.

Be­tween the storms, the an­glers have been out with catches rea­son­able for the time of year – some big dabs, among the odd qual­ity whit­ing, plus a few codling to 3lb.

The last pier com­pe­ti­tion of the Martin Wal­ters Sea Angling Club of 2013 fished from Folke­stone Pier, was won by Mick Jago of Folke­stone with 4lb 2oz. Another lo­cal man Sean Carey was run­nerup with 3lb 14oz, with Melvin Lee third with 3lb 9oz.

The next ma­jor shore angling com­pe­ti­tion be­ing fished from the beaches is on Sun­day when lo­cal tackle dealer, Peter Owen holds his Folke­stone Angling Open, pegged at Seabrook and Hythe.

Fish­ing is from noon un­til 5pm (take a head­lamp) and the top prize is £1000 sub­ject to a full en­try. Tick­ets on the day from the Foun­tain Inn, Seabrook from 9.30am. More de­tails from Peter on 01303 253881.

The South Coast Beach Cham­pi­onships is on the same day at Hast­ings. Other events com­ing up in the new year in­clude the Folke­stone SAA Open on Sun­day, Jan­uary 19 at Seabrook and Hythe. Fish­ing is 11am un­til 4pm. Tick­ets and de­tails from lo­cal tackle shops.

Kent Sportscast­ers have can­celled cast­ing at Til­man­stone un­til the event on Sun­day, Jan­uary 12 be­cause the field is wa­ter­logged and un­suit­able for car ac­cess.

GLUT­TON FOR PUN­ISH­MENT: Alan Yates en­joys the chal­lenge of fish­ing when the el­e­ments are against him

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