As the cod season gets into gear, we’re bringing you a 13-page special covering tackle, rigs and tactics. Check out the advice because now’s the time to get out there to catch some fish.
Don’t miss out because we’re getting reports of some superb fish. There was an 18lb 13oz cod caught on October 22, and an 11-pounder on October 30, both at Chesil Beach, Dorset.
Elsewhere, they are showing in South Wales, Yorkshire and the North East. For instance, Callan Stevens caught a 10lb 4oz fish at Craster during a match, while a stunning 33lb cod was caught on October 31 by Malcolm Bayldon (pictured below), of Weston-super-Mare, aboard AlyKat, skippered by our contributor Dave Roberts, out of Minehead, Somerset.
Not only do you get our cod special, but also there are two free supplements as well – a 32-page gear guide and a bumper 84 pages of tackle bargains from Glasgow Angling Centre.
Turning to bass, there will be a decision in December about fishing restrictions and bag limits. There is a proposal for a bag limit of 10 fish a month for 10 months, and a surprise ban on gill nets. See our story on page 106. If the proposals are adopted by the Council of Ministers in December, commercial bass fishing will be hook-and-line only.
The likes of BASS and the Angling Trust say the proposals are very good news for bass stocks.
Of course, there will be horse trading at December’s ‘Fishing Opportunities’ meeting, and some might argue that the potential for keeping 10 bass a month for 10 months is a reduction on 2016’s one a day for six months. That’s only a legitimate argument for those anglers who fish every day and might, if very lucky, be able to catch and take one a day. Most ordinary mortals might only get a few fishing trips a month.
How it will be regulated is a matter of interest. Our contributor Dave Barham reckons sea anglers might have to record all captures, even fish returned, in an electronic logbook. It would be an App on smartphones or PC to transmit data. Other fish could be included though. It remains to be seen how some anglers will deal with the technology! A monthly bag limit would help charter skippers, who have seen revenues slashed by more than one-fifth as a result of the 2016 bass restrictions and anglers being reluctant to pay for bass trips only to be allowed to take one fish home to eat. This is backed up by a survey, carried out by the Professional Boatman’s Association (PBA), that showed individual charter skippers reporting an average of 22 fewer bookings, and each losing more than £8,000 in revenues.
The proposed ban on gill netting could have benefits for the likes of Poole Harbour, which is discussed by Chris Clark on page 40.
Meanwhile, UK anglers will have mixed views on co-operating with a new survey launched in October. The Sea Angling 2017 catch and spend diary project (see page 104) could reveal more about the state and value of sea angling.
Up to 1,000 sea anglers will be selected to complete an online catch diary next year and provide information about what they spend.
Some believe the survey, commissioned by the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), could provide information that the commercial fishing lobby group might try to use against anglers.
Tuna are still making the news too (see page 102), and I’ve received an interesting revelation from a reliable source that a bluefin, estimated to weigh 400-500lb, was spotted jumping out of the water much further north, off Port Logan, by anglers fishing on Spike Millington’s charter boat Go West.
Finally, congratulations to Mainwarings Angling Centre, in Sketty, Swansea, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary of trading. Set up in 1931, it is still operating as a family business.
Matthew Garbutt caught this 6lb 7oz cod at Marine Drive, Scarborough