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  1. @Saintly Fish and I headed out on Tarlach Too yesterday in search of stingrays. An early start saw us leaving the Hamble at 0730-ish and made progress across flat water, despite the forecasted windspeed of low teens. About an hour later we rolled onto our first mark, in very shallow water within casting distance of shore. The wind was blowing us off the tide throughout the day which made for some "interesting" line management throughout, particularly whe combined with heavy weed, which required removal every 5 mins or so. πŸ˜– After a couple of hours with no bites the stingrays were clearly not playing ball for us, so Saintly skipper moved us back up the Solent a few hundred yards to search for some bream. Another hour or so later with still no bites we moved again, this time to a reliable mid-Solent spot. Despite the weed and lumpier conditions, it wasn't long before I had a decent tap on the rod and wound in a strap conger. A fish at last! Neil's turn came next, as you'll see in the video below. Please excuse the poor quality sound of the background music - it was on in the background and clearly lost some fidelity between the speakers and the camera microphone 🀣 After this the bites dried up, so we tried one more mark on the way home where the conditions couldn't have been more different from the lumpy, bumpy mid-Solent. This time we found ourselves in calm, hot, almost tropical conditions in which to avoid catching fish. Neil rigged up a float rod and managed to winkle out a schoolie bass on ragworm which promptly dropped off before the net, but sadly that was all the action we saw at this mark, beautiful though it was. So, with at least a fish each and some sunburn, we called time and headed home. Here's a gratuitous wake video taken as we passed Bramble Bank. Thanks Neil for a lovely day afloat - it was great to be out on Tarlach Too again after so long. You're the only skipper I know who can make blanking almost as fun as catching πŸ‘
  2. I thought yesterday was a bank holiday so I kept the diary free and planned to go fishing. Then I found out it was just a normal day and you all had to work. So in the spirit of kinship and kindness, I went fishing for you all. The plan was to go after a new species, the stingray. I'd heard of a couple of spots that were capable of producing the odd one or two. So Sunday I went to the bait shop to see Bill the owner, I needed some weights and rag worm. We got talking and it came up that he was at a loose end Monday. So, I did what any decent guy would do and invited him to jump onboard Tarlach Too. I would have normally had Leo with me, but school was calling him... (much to his annoyance). The good thing about having a tackle and bait shop owner come fishing with you is that they have loads of the best freshest bait. Bill didn't disappoint. He bought along 4lb of large kind rag and about (from what I could see 40 peeler crab). We used none of the crab btw, didn't need to. We met at 06.30 and left Mercurys by 06.50. Headed to the mark and dropped anchor in 7ft of water right on the turn of the low tide. As it was a rising tide I let out a couple more meters of rope to soak up the extra depth as the day ticked on. The deepest we were in at the end was 3m. Bill started proceedings with a first drop bass of around 5lb, it quickly went back. Then I pulled in an LSD (oh fuck here we go was my initial thought), that was just 1 of 3 that we saw all day. My next bite was an impressive pull down and line started to exit my reel. I was convinced that it was a decent hound, but no. It was better than that... A 13lb stingray was on the deck, my first ever, and what a fish. It doesn't look very pretty due to the fact that the tail had been docked and a large tope mouth shaped chunk was missing from his left wing. Either the tail and added meat he would have pushed 14lb. Not to be out done, Bill landed a stinger too, smaller thank good at 6.5lb but spirited it was. And that's how the day continued. In total we had 7 stingray (me 3, but the biggest), we had more hounds than I remember, again the biggest went to me at 13lb also. All were double figures, and in 7-8 feet of water they went ballistic, so much fun. As the high tide eased so did the bites, we upped anchor and set for home at 3.30pm. Both quite knackered and full of high spirits. We hoped to get 1 or 2 stingers, but 7 was a red letter day. I'll be back. When I got home and told Leo all about it......... you can guess!!
  3. Ok, so not a real fruitful day TBF. We left Hamble at 8am and sped to west lepe in good spirits. The sky was blue and the sun shone, low wind speeds. First thing we noticed was a grounded sailing boat at the mouth of the Hamble. Matey was onboard and looked rather chilled about it all. As the ebb was in full flow he either did it on purpose (?) or fucked up somehow! Any way we got to the mark hoping for bream and hounds. We ended up with 8 dogs and an 8oz bream. 6 dogs and a bream to me (in your face son🀣)!! Leo was fishing 2/tu rods today too, and doing all his own bait for a change, I helped with the nippy crabs however. Dog fish are a pain, but they do get cuteness points.... That was it, we moved back near Southampton to Hillhead hoping for some decent hounds, but 3 hours later and 8 crabs..... nufink. Lovely day with the boy again (they always are), got a bit of a tan and had some haribos. What more could one ask for??
  4. Leo and I sped off at 8.30am to find the Middle bank on the south side of the Solent, just outside Ryde on the IOW. we had full height spring tides today so we were not expecting much. Good job too. Middle bank threw up 5 dogs to my rod, is this the day I get my own back on the little one?? A worried Leo was quick to agree a move to a mark that we fished with @Andy135 and Thomas last year, we called it Breamhuss. But really it was just west of the east bramble market bouy. more dogs arrived, I'm now 8-0 up!! Leo comes back at me with an LSD and a small pout. And then the sneakiest tiktak ever was deployed by my first mate. I got into a nice hound, only about 7-8lb but on my light bream rig it went well. Trouble is, little man forgot that there is an extra 50% of the handle left on the net, so the hound went nuts as Leo floundered trying to net him. The line chaffed and bye bye mr hound. I swear I saw a rye smile at the corner of his mouth πŸ™„. Anyway, that was the height of the excitement, it ended 11 dogs to me and a dropped hound to Leo's 3 dogs and pout. Still he claims victory though for boating more species!! Wtf The most curious part of the day was what I found in the pack of frozen squid!! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
  5. Sooo, after a 4 hour drive down to Hamble on the Thursday evening, a fish and chip supper, me and the lad settles in to the Royal Southern Yacht Club. 6am alarm, and up and about and down to the marina to meet up with Neil, Leo at Tarlach Too. Very little breeze and clear skies,lots of mullet in the harbour the day looked promising, and deliver it did. Our first mark, we caught at the end of the ebb, trying for bream. No bream showed, but my lad had a lovely 8lb smoothound for his birthday. We moved to the next mark and the tide started running. Dog fish central (sorry @Andy135 , forgot to ask permission !!!) That was pretty much how it looked to pan out, until Leo caught a cracking fish. Will let Neil fill in the details of that. At the death started getting some bites that were possibly bream, but by then, had hooks on too big for bream. The day passed all too quickly, great company, great boat and a beautiful day on a cracking location. Leo skippered us back in and did a fine job to boot and another day where the kids outfished the adults was had. Neil, thanks soo much for today, Mikey has had a birthday to remember with a personal best too πŸ‘
  6. Sunday morning bright and early @JonC travelled over from Essex to plunder the Solent with Thomas and I on Jersey Girl. Full of optimism for a great day's dangling we leave the marina at 8.30am and head south to the Fingers, just east of the Nab. A couple of other boats were already on the mark and a couple more turned up after us. Although the wind-speed was only forecast to be 3-4mph, the wind over tide conditions had produced a nasty swelly chop that just wasn't pleasant, so we gave it an hour and headed in to the more sheltered water of the Solent. Several other boats had the same idea as us - we were all pulling anchor at the same time, so clearly no-one else was enjoying it much either. We headed round to Browndown to fish the rough ground by the buoy. Bites were frequent for the first 30 mins, with strap conger, dogfish and a solitary whiting to the boat, but they soon died off as the tide dropped to slack. We re-anchored to get a better lie on the mark as the tide and wind had pushed us off, but this didn't produce any better results. A very average day I'm sorry to say, and definitely not worth the effort Jon made with his very early start. #skippermusttryharder
  7. I went fishing solo today. Caught a 4lb codling first drop. It came to a small bait of squid ring about the size of an old 50p coin. I let it go to grow strong. And it returned beautifully. That was it. Mission accomplished. Rest of the day was dogs and tings. weather was great, and the Solent smooth. What more could a man ask for on a Friday?
  8. Well as the weather has been so nice it was rude not to go out and bash some more fish. First mate LB and I left the Hamble at 8am and headed for West lepe bouy about a mile shy of lymington. Once I'd got the anchor set properly (it got twisted in the chain first attempt at slack water)we dropped baits down and soon realised that we had landed directly above the kennels. Dogs on the prowl jumping on baits with gay abandon before they'd even had time to settle on the bottom. The score was 5 all before Leo had his PB (?) snake. A nice strap of about 7lb gave him some fun. It was bleeding a fair bit so it went quickly back in without a photo. Then a few different bites started, whiting showed up as the tide eased and I landed (probably) my biggest whiting to date. It went to 2lb on the boga. After a PN break, we carried on with the whiting and dogs. And Leo also managed a double hit of starfish. And that was pretty much it. A nice gentle day out with my favourite son, it was a bit chilly but nothing us men couldn't handle!! πŸ’ͺ🏻 As is now routine, Leo took us home, at WOT of course πŸ™„. So for a special treat I allowed him 15 mins of coming along side practice in the river, lots of boats off their mid river pontoons so it was a perfect opportunity. And I'm happy to report no damage caused!! Now just got to keep fingers crossed that next Friday stays calm.
  9. A relatively leisurely 6.30am start today to head down to the boat. The forecast was for 7mph early doors rising to 13-14 by about 2pm, and I wanted to be back in the marina before then. Nice and calm in the marina heading out. But once out of the lee of the Harbour and with a following wind the sea turned decidedly choppier. I headed round to Browndown where I'd have some protection from the ENE wind. Anchored up by the Browndown Buoy and fished the southern wreck. Didn't have to wait long for the rattles to start... After the recent chatter about uptiding I had taken mine along and gave it a chuck. Amazingly I even managed to catch on it... And that was about it as far as fish went. A couple of plate sized whiting came home, and a live-bait sized one... became live-bait. But nothing wanted it. As the tide increased I noticed a rip appearing to my stern, with a flock of birds working over it. Too far for me at anchor today but worth a better look another day. As the morning wore on my baits remained pestered by whiting and, sadly, unbothered by unicorns. As the wind picked up in the early afternoon I headed back in, topped up the tanks and called it a day. Sorry if you were reading this expecting pictures of cod - guess I caught something bigger than a whiting today after all! 🀣
  10. After @Andy135 decided that looking after his daughter was more interesting than fishing with me (what's that all about πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ), I decided to head out solo and find the last Solent cod. I set off at 07.45 from Hamble and was greeted by a nice slight sea and a great sunrise. I aimed east and 20 mins later I dropped anchor off browndown beach, a good 13lb cod had been landed from this exact spot just two weeks ago so it was worth a shot. The pout we're home And too were the whiting.... But no cod unfortunately. Also, not one strap was seen today which is weird. Or not as it happens, especially when these two bastards spent the whole day going up and down and up and down hoovering up what was left. And to add insult to injury, the fresh NE breeze decided to liberate my bait bucket complete with my last squid. So the tally was 3 pout and 6 decent whiting which all swam back well. Oh well, still better than working!!
  11. Some weeks ago a plan was hatched for @JonC to venture south to dangle a line with @Saintly Fish and I, aboard Tarlach Too. The target was the ever elusive cod. We had lucked out massively with the weather; flat calm with no swell at all. Hopes were high that we'd see a bearded unicorn grace the decks. We had enough bait on board to sink a small battleship and we were double-patting with spare rigs baited and ready to go to maximise our chances and keep the scent flowing. Jon opened his account with a succession of pout on his uptider. While Neil and I persevered with our downtiders, pondering a blank, Jon pulls another unique and rarely seen Solent species out of the bag. A lesser spotted glove-fish! Neil and I were really feeling the heat now, with no catches to our names after the first several hours of hard fishing. But just as the tide started to turn, my downtider gave a hard rattle that turned into my first fish of the session. As you can see I was delighted to have dodged a blank, and clearly Neil was just as pleased for me as he minced over with T-bar in hand. 🀣 A few more eels followed, and a couple of table-sized whiting, before we made a move further east and settled in to fish the next tide into dusk. Still no cod, but another decent whiting for Neil and congers all round after dark. Before long the skipper called time and we headed back to the Hamble in the dark. So no cod but plenty of action (and laughs) nonetheless. Big thanks to Neil for hosting us and to Jon for making the long, early drive south from deepest Essex to the Solent. πŸ‘
  12. No boat fishing for me this weekend but I managed to find a few hours to head to the beach and wet a line. Beautiful, flat calm night tonight. But when I arrived there was some sort of police operation taking place a bit further up the beach as I could see blue lights and this was buzzing around looking for someone. Manhunt aside, I got the rods in the water in short order, and the clarity was pretty good tonight. First cast produced a pin whiting which fell to a black lug and prawn combo. And that was all for the rest of the session 😭. Not even a whelk this time. No weed either, which tells me that there probably wasn't enough tide tonight. Only an average range today, and my window of opportunity to fish meant I'd be there over high water. Still, line wetted and blank dodged so not all bad... πŸ€”πŸ˜–
  13. Left the jetty at 8am sharp and was setting a line by8.35am. Sat there for 6.5 hours, got through a 5lb box of squid and caught 2 pin whiting and a dog! Still the water was nice! On the plus side, I got a call to say Leo had passed his grade 3 classical guitar exam at the first attempt!! That's my boy!!
  14. I had a free afternoon today as our Poole charter was postponed, so after a quick check of weather and tides I headed south to soak some squid for a few hours. First drop produced a very positive bite whilst I was baiting up the second rod. Winding down into it, the fish felt busy but not at all cod-like. And it wasn't. Finished baiting up all the rods and so the waiting began... And I was still waiting a couple of hours later. Nothing else turned up, and my time was running out. Headed back and stopped at the fuel jetty on the way in as my forward tank was showing as 3/4 empty. My wallet is now equally empty... Still, always good to be on the water, whatever the cost.
  15. So after Fridays disappointing day aboard Jersey Girl with @Andy135, I needed to shake off the monkey and prove to myself that it's not me, and that I can catch fish. So, first mate LB and I set off from the Hamble at 8.50am, re fuelled at 9am and then set off to the Solent with an intent to catch a cod. We got to our chosen mark, circled around a bit looking at the sea bed on the "fish eye" feature of my Garmin 8410 (now my new best friend for anchoring). We baited Leos rod first and he dropped it down into a tide that was starting to run hard west. The bait hit the floor and instantly the rod rattled, Leo must have hit this strap conger on the nose with his bait. Blank saved before the day had started. I dropped my line in and waited, and waited, and waited. For the next three hours nothing. Around 12pm the tide eased and 3/4lb lead was deployed with devastating results, bang, fish on. Well ok, it wasn't a cod, but a welcome sight anyway and a healthy 7lb. Then it was a precession of strap congers topping out at just shy of 9lb the biggest. As the tide slacked right off so did the bites, until the tide swung and we fished hard again. Leo was made up with his codling of about 2.5lb, it's another new species and another PB for the little man. Unfortunately that was the only one we saw, and Leo insisted on it going back too. To grow for next year. It was touch and go, but after floating and flapping on the surface for a couple of minutes, he managed to dive down to rejoin his family!! The tally for the day was 8 snakes, 1 hound and 1 codling. Just goes to show it's all down to the skipper to find the meat, eh Andy? And as now it's the custom, Leo took us home.
  16. @Andy135 and I met at 07.00 this morning for another crack at mastering cod catching from the Gilkicker hole in the Solent. Anchor was dropped at 8am, rods baited and down the offerings went. within 2-3 minutes I had a cracking pull down bite that snagged a fish. This was not the normal strap conger bite that I though it would be, this beast held its station low in the water. A heavy nod here and there then nothing just weight. Cod was the thought and I'm convinced by the fight that that's what it was, unfortunately though it bit me off before I could get it to the boat. Around 2m from the top the weight on the line vanished, up came half a cuttle fish with the top pennel hook still in it, but the bottom hook and head section of the bait was gone. ☹️ And that was that, for the rest of the time we were out not even an annoying mini bream rattle was seen. dejected we went back in at 13.30! It was a lovely day and the sun danced well through Andy's ginger locks...
  17. I took the day off today to meet up with @Andy135 for a touch of cod bothering. Andy though decided a meeting was more interesting than hanging out on Tarlach Too with me. Can't say I blame him. Well it was quite a non event, no cod. This may be down to the fact that the water is still so warm and the strong 4.6m tide. The Solent never fishes brilliant when the tides are so big. However, I did manage to persuade a few fishies off the bottom. I ended with a pout who had eyes bigger than his belly.. 4 Dogs, this being the first, caught in the uptide rod... And I had 3 snakes... Not a cod fest, but still better than being in a meeting!!
  18. But from the pontoon. With bread. 6lb. Also had a 3.3lber which slipped itself back onto the water from the net once i laid it down.
  19. It was a rather painful 4.30am alarm today, and on a Sunday too! πŸ˜– The plan was for Thomas and I to join @Saintly Fish and Leo on Tarlach Too to head south of the Needles after tope. After leaving the marina just after 6am we headed out of the Hamble, pausing briefly to prospect for fresh bait, where we achieved our first blank of the day! No mackerel at all, so we headed out into the Solent and on to Yarmouth where we stood a better chance of finding some bait. Yarmouth generously provided us with our second blank of the day... still no mackerel 😭. So we motored round past the Needles and headed south for a few miles. We were expecting a a bit of a chop but not the swell that we encountered beam on as we began our first top drift with the frozen mackerel we brought with us. We hadn't been drifting long when the swell claimed its first victim, Thomas, who tasted his breakfast for the second time that morning. This would be the first of several visits Thomas made to the gunnels, poor lad. The swell really got to him, but he soldiered on and didn't make a fuss, nor did he ask to go back in. Much. It wasn't long after he had boosted our chum trail that we got our first tope run, which came to my rod. Tightening down on the fish it felt good to feel a decent weight on the rod, until all of a sudden there wasn't... 😭😭 Oh the shame of bumping off what felt like a good fish. Neil's rod then gave a rattle and he wound down excitedly to bring aboard a.... rock and sponge combo πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ Whilst waiting for another run I rigged up some feathers and prospected on the sea floor to see what was present, which turned out to be a PB Gurnard! Neil's rod was hit next, and he had clearly learned from watching me, as he did exactly the same, bumping off what looked like another good tope! 🀣 So after neatly letting off our tope we welcomed blank number three, as before long we decided to seek relative shelter back behind the Needles and switch to scratching rigs to see what we could find in a mark that was new to both of us. The answer came in the form of a strap conger and a baby bull huss for me and a pair of nice bream for Neil and Leo plus the Megalodon for Neil, which put a huge bend in his 20-30lb Ugly Stik! Unfortunately we never did find out what he hooked into because it snapped him up! 😭😭😭 We decided on another move, this time further into the Solent. As Neil recovered the anchor, amazingly he bagged a PB! I'll leave him to post the picture πŸ˜‰ On mark number three we settled into stronger tides and weed, but also prolific bream fishing, including another PB for Neil and a brace for the table amongst plenty of undersized fish that went back. There may even have been a dogfish too! 🐢🐟 Finally we headed for home to catch slack water in the marina, and as we made passage back up the Solent we caught the outline of the Golden Horizon in the distance off Cowes, amongst more modern shipping. All in all an excellent day on the water, well skippered by Neil, and with more than a few disappointments and surprises! πŸ‘
  20. I want to get back into beach fishing. So I thought I would give Gilkicker a try with my son Terry. We got to the carpark at 8.30pm ready for the long walk. Terry is a keen Carp angler so his trolley was well appreciated After a 1/2 mile walk we set up two rods Terry was on Rag and squid I was on a whole squid both on pulley pennel rigs Within 20 min Terry had a screaming run nearly took the tripod over nice 4lb Smoothound It was 2 hours until high tide the weed was being a big problem. It was nearly unfishable. We stayed until 2.30am just as we were packing up I was in. I had a nice just under 3lb Bass. Had a great time it's been too long since the son and I went fishing. We will go back when the weed isn't such a problem. Well pleased with what we caught off the beach in difficult conditions πŸ‘ I know it's not boat fishing but thought I would share this with you all. (Sharksmithangling)
  21. With the weather on the south coast too breezy for comfort on the boat, @Saintly Fish and I hatched a plan to chase rays and hounds from the shore in the Solent. So last night we hit the shingle, complete with Leo and Holly the Wonder Dog. As the sun set we were full of anticipation for a busy night's dangling. Before long darkness fell and this became our view for the rest of the session... Static rods untroubled by fish... 😭. The early weed gave way to a few tentative rattles that failed to materialize into fish on the shingle. With the chill creeping up on us we called it quits just after 11pm and headed for home with our tails between our legs. What a pair of blankers... πŸ˜₯
  22. Ok so just about to set off. It’s chucking down with rain and 40mph winds. I must be mad. got my AFAW estuary rod mk2 ready and a small travel rod stand. it’s one rod roaming with rag worm on a basic running ledger. What could possibly go wrong?
  23. Apologies to the exiled dude down under, rather than continue in his excellent threads blatant hijacking, thought I'd stick up a quick ditty here. Couple of hours to waste, went out to pester Mullet, had two on floating bread before they went off the feed at HW, switched over to lures and ran SPs in the run at the mouth of the harbour.. with a Wrasse followed by two Bass one after the other.
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