On the march for cod

Two stal­warts of the North York­shire sea an­gling scene, Paul Medd and his dad Dave, head out along Fi­ley Brigg as the tide ebbs. The walk is worth it at this fa­mous shore mark, par­tic­u­larly if your quest is for cod. Pic­ture by

Sea Angler (UK) - - Welcome - Lloyd Rogers Cliff Brown, Edi­tor

Au­tumn has be­gun with its usual mix of warmth, com­bined with wind, rain and ear­ly­morn­ing fog. As the chill be­gins to set in, most shore and boat an­glers will turn their thoughts to cod, the na­tion’s favourite fish.

The good news is that a fresh flush of cod is al­ready show­ing in parts of the coun­try. In­deed, late Septem­ber pro­duced shore­caught cod at Ch­e­sil Beach in Dorset, along with plenty of non-res­i­dent fish in the Fi­ley to Whitby area, and, of course, in Scot­land. If the sea­son is any­thing like last year, we should see them from all parts of our coast­line.

That fish at Ch­e­sil was caught by Paul Mun­day (right) on his first cast, and proved to be a per­sonal best weigh­ing 9lb 4oz 8dr. It was taken on freshly gut­ted black lug at Ab­bots­bury, Dorset, on Septem­ber 28. The Kilm­ing­ton, Som­er­set an­gler fished with a Pen­nell pul­ley rig in rough con­di­tions dur­ing a south-west wind. Up in Scot­land, af­ter los­ing a fish early in his ses­sion, Peter Dilks (be­low, left), of Durham, caught an 8lb 8oz cod, also a per­sonal best, on a peeler crab bait while fish­ing at Auchmithie, An­gus. He told Sea An­gler: “I hooked a good fish an hour ear­lier but lost it on the re­trieve, but when I got this one I was sur­prised to find my snapped hook snood was in its mouth.” Sto­ries like that can only en­cour­age an­glers to get out there and sam­ple the de­lights of cod fish­ing. Away from the sub­ject of cod, I was in­ter­ested to see the lo­cal press re­ports of a 7ft-long bluefin tuna be­ing found dead in the River Severn near Gloucester. Three pad­dle board­ers spot­ted the fish at the side of the river es­tu­ary at Min­ster­worth, Glos. With blue-fins be­ing seen or caught in the shark­ing grounds in and close to the Bris­tol Chan­nel, par­tic­u­larly off south-west Wales, the the­ory seems to be that the dead fish was car­ried in by the big tides in the area. I’m sure the story cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of many an­glers in South Wales.

They can also pon­der the fact that the An­gling Trust is ex­tend­ing its role to Wales to deal with is­sues linked to its on­go­ing cam­paigns. This will in­clude com­mer­cial over­ex­ploita­tion of bass, salmon net­ting, agri­cul­tural pol­lu­tion, un­law­ful ca­noe ac­cess, tidal la­goons, cor­morant and goosander pre­da­tion, ab­strac­tion li­cens­ing and bar­ri­ers to mi­gra­tion.

Yes, it makes sense to have one or­gan­i­sa­tion deal­ing with such cam­paigns. How­ever, the Trust may take on a full rep­re­sen­ta­tive role, as it does in Eng­land, cam­paign­ing on scores of other is­sues, and has of­fered to work closely with the var­i­ous Welsh fed­er­a­tions look­ing af­ter sea, game and coarse an­gling. Only time will tell if that hap­pens or is a pop­u­lar move.

Fi­nally, con­grat­u­la­tions to Ross Ste­wart, who won the 38th Na­tional Small Boat An­gling Cham­pi­onships at Sal­combe, Devon. Fished on a spec­i­men per­cent­age ba­sis for two fish, it was a 2lb 4oz 8dr three-bearded rock­ling (92%) and 11lb 10oz 5dr small-eyed ray (105.966%), for a to­tal of 197.996%, that se­cured vic­tory for the an­gler from Teign­mouth, Devon.

En­joy this is­sue of Sea An­gler.

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