A time when lingering winter fish feature alongside a new season’s specialities…
Take advantage of winter and spring species.
T he reality of climate change is a hotly debated topic, but sea anglers can’t fail to notice some strange things are happening with our weather every year. My patch, in the Bristol Channel, is no exception, with seemingly stronger winds, heavier rainfall and temperatures reaching wider limits. This, in turn, could well be the reason for our apparent change of seasonal activities, as far as sea angling is concerned.
These days, no one can guess what even the next day’s weather will bring, whereas years ago, we could expect our summers to be long and hot, and weather forecasts were fairly predictable; tope, smoothhounds, pollack, mackerel and bass would feature in everyday angling charter trips, with their arrival almost set by the clock.
Autumn would herald the start of the frosts, when cold, settled days would provide angling parties with boxes of whiting and the start of the annual cod run. As winter approached, anglers would buzz with excitement at the possibility of landing a dream lunker that, in bygone days, could only be realised in the dead of winter in these parts.
Nowadays however, things have changed dramatically. As we approach the spring, anglers are being treated to ever-changing catch statistics. UP FOR ANYTHING With the winter out of the way meteorologically, our home waters are now playing host to a whole new range of target species. The cod, which historically would be long gone by this stage, are still present and in some decent numbers. A large squid or cuttlefish bait presented on a flowing trace with a size 6/0 Pennell rig will give you a real chance of a monster cod.
In the past, before the end of the year these fish would be preoccupied with feeding on the pelagic mid-water swimming food fish, such as herring and sprats, but now their biological clock has forced them into a dietary change and they are virtually up for anything.
Along with the possibility of that personal best cod, there is also a run of smaller fish, once termed the spring run. These fish continue to
The peace and tranquility of fishing at dusk