Weather soon quells new year enthusiasm
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