Tuesday, 28 July 2015

28/7/15 Quality Silver.

 Popular opinion among the British coarse angling public is that our rivers 'ain't what they used to be'. I often hear people moaning about the lack of , what they call 'silver fish' and the general decline of the fishing on moving water, often blaming the perceived situation on the 'black death' (cormorants), otters, and even European immigrants.
In the 1960s and 70s before the advent of 'commercial' still water venues , coarse anglers made a bit of an effort for their fishing. They would walk further than fifty yards from where they parked their car, if indeed they had a car . They would take the time to master skilful techniques such as trotting the stream using a centre pin reel, and develop a knowledge of how to read a water to find the best swims.
Indigenous species such as roach and dace were cherished although it has to be said, pike were badly mistreated and misunderstood by many.
River angling was far more popular than it is today and indeed my local river, The Arun, regularly saw coach loads of  Londoners visit every week-end during the season often to fish large competitions.
Nowadays most matches are fished on man-made, murky mud puddles where artificially reared carp compete with each other to jump on a pellet baited hook. Its all so easy this 'quick fix' angling, so much so that it would appear that the vast majority of anglers just can't be bothered with the rivers any more.
Of course , these 'commercials' do have their place in the angling world and allow elderly or disabled anglers to pursue their passion or even those with little time on their hands to get their 'fix'.
 I often wonder why, when they are so little used, clubs still rent river fishing for their members. One club official acquaintance of mine, a river fan, says that he rarely sees another angler on the bank all season, yet the still waters are packed. However, from a personal of view, that's not a bad thing at all. It just means I can fish in peace and quiet, and have the whole river, or at least as far as I can see, to myself.
This afternoon, following up a tip from a river mooring neighbour, I took the small boat a short distance to 'The summer house' swim and took full advantage of the ebb tide which tends to fish well. The recent rain had 'freshened' the river somewhat, and it had 'fined' down to a very 'healthy' level of colour. Combined with partial cloud cover, and a 'mild' temperature, I couldn't have wished for better coarse fishing conditions.
Armed with just a pint of maggots , and a bag of brown crumb, I nestled the boat against the thick bank side vegetation, anchoring it in exposed mud in an attempt to keep it steady enough in the strong upstream wind to fish a feeder /quiver tip outfit. It worked a treat.
Almost all of the river is inaccessible from the bank along this stretch so being afloat, is a tremendous advantage
Once the fish had homed in on the ground bait, which took just a few casts, it was a (very delicate)bite a chuck and , apart from a handful of 'tiddlers' every fish was of a decent stamp.
 Roach to about 12oz and some lovely dace to 9oz (I think the biggest I have ever caught) steadily took my single red maggot on a size 18, with a solo perch and the odd tiny chub for variety.
By the end of the session I'd amassed about ten pounds of fish in my keep net ( I haven't used one of those for years) and thoroughly enjoyed the fishing, and some interesting wildlife including a barn owl out for an early afternoon 'hunt'.
O.K they weren't exactly monsters but, a river match angler, or indeed an 'old school' coarse pleasure angler would have been pleased with such a haul and I wasn't disappointed.
 What is far more important however Is the indication that the roach and dace population in the river is healthy, and this situation has further implications regarding our favourite freshwater predator-the pike.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

25/7/15 Difficult Mullet

Perceived opinion states that mullet, and in particular 'thick lips', are always a 'difficult' fish to catch.
Whilst I agree , they are a tricky adversary at times, with a little understanding of their habits, and lots of practice, they can be caught regularly.......If you can find them.
The biggest problem I had today was that of location.
According to the weather gurus, yesterday, we experienced a month's worth of rain in one hit. The river at the 'small boat' mooring was coloured, but didn't seem to be carrying an excess of water probably due to the surrounding land being bone dry.
It was still carrying a little colour downstream on the 'mullet grounds' and despite having a good look around, I didn't actually see a sign of a mullet all day. Its entirely possible they have been moved downstream by the fresh water. Hopefully, this will be a temporary situation.
The only fish I caught was this one at 4lb 9oz and it came very soon after arriving at the first swim, the lower mud flats, so filled me with confidence.
With the boat anchored in merely inches of water, and the fish giving me quite a hard time when I coaxed it anywhere near the landing net, I decided to hop out on to the bank and beach the fish. It certainly made things easier.
Unfortunately, that was that. A tentative, but definite bite towards the end of the session was the only other action .
The little Orkney is proving to be a very useful tool indeed and, although its quite a long run (ten miles) down to the mullet grounds from her upstream mooring, its been worth the effort if only for the variety of swims that can be covered in a short space of time.
The fuel consumption of the little 6hp two stroke is nothing short of remarkable, and I would estimate that todays 20 mile return journey consumed roughly a fivers worth of petrol. I wish my Warrior was as frugal as this!

Friday, 24 July 2015

18-19/7/15 Wild Camping By The Stour

What better way to spend a week-end than 'wild' camp on an organic farm which has a mile or so of the Dorset Stour running through it's fields.
The only 'facility' provided on this 'site', if you can call it that, is merely a tap............in a goat barn, but this does mean that you can expect peace and quiet especially as the farmer only allows six units to use her land at a time. Definitely, my kind of camping.
Apparently , there was another customer somewhere, although we failed to even see them.
I have fished the Stour  some years ago for pike, and indeed once caught a twenty pounder, having been 'guided' into said pike's lair by a good friend from the National Mullet Club, so I suppose it doesn't really count.
On this occasion we ( my better half was also having a go) concentrated on basic coarse fishing tactics using maggots, bread flake, worms and corn for bait.
It's obvious that this part of the river receives little attention from anglers. Bank access is extremely difficult due in no small part to the extent of  the vegetation  but eventually, after some searching , I did find a swim that could be fished without too much 'destruction' although the farmer had given me permission to carry out bank side 'modification' if needed.
The Stour is subject to considerable flooding in the winter and the river at this time of year runs in a deep gorge, which  hampers easy fishing. There is also a considerable amount of weed growth however, we found several pools that would be well worth a revisit during the winter months for a pike trip when I suspect the majority of the vegetation will have died down.
I grabbed an hour or so as the light faded on the Friday evening and Immediately managed to wangle out four lovely roach all around the pound mark on bread flake. I've not caught roach like this for many years and ,regret not photographing them but it was getting quite dark at the time, and I didn't want to ruin the fishing with the camera flash.
Daytime fishing was less productive with mostly tiddlers-smaller roach, dace, mini chub and gudgeon making up the catch but, it was fun fishing and rewarding to see my wife honing her float fishing skills.
I did at one point bait up with a worm, and out came a perch of about half a pound, but those lovely roach from the first evening failed to show again.
We didn't see a soul , apart from the farmer, for two days and I suspect that another late summer visit will be paid to this rather special location hopefully to sample some more of its fishy delights.

Pristine roach

Thursday, 16 July 2015

15/7/15 Brian's Big night Out................Out.

In the immortal words of  comedian Mickey Flanagan tonight Brian and me, were 'out out'.
My mate's been after a 'good ' eel ' for a while and  I've been watching the 'pointers' very carefully of late looking for an opportunity to get back to 'that' conger mark. Last night did seem to provide the ideal opportunity however, it would be a long session, in fact , an 'all nighter' was on the cards due to the times of the tide.
Ideally, I needed an ebbing tide in order to be able to position the boat accurately on the mark and with high water around midnight, the best fishing would come in the early hours.
We left the mooring under a cloudy sky at 8p.m and attempted to pick up mackerel on the journey with some limited success although, we were well stocked with frozen bait for back up.
 The last of the flood was doing some very odd things , direction wise, when we arrived at the location in the fading light but ,with little wind, I was able to accurately 'park up' on the south side  close enough to get our baits in the 'zone' at least for a short while.
There was enough time for me to catch a conger of about 20lb before the boat 'swung off' ,as the effect of the ebb tide started, and repositioning was necessary. 'They' were 'in attendance'.
Again , the boat was easily anchored just yards from the target and ,as the tide picked up,by now in complete darkness, the conger 'kicked off' almost immediately.
I suspect that the flow dragged the scent from the baits  because bites were fast and furious.
Altogether nine good conger came to the boat with the best by far going to my mate in the shape of this beauty at 66 1/2lb- a new personal best . Two more slipped the hook so it was hectic fishing and quite hard work as these eels don't half pull back .
 She was the only one to come on board, the others being freed at the boat side and ,with some good teamwork, and a clear deck, we managed to successfully weigh her in the shark sling , before getting the required 'snap shot'-not that easy as I had to get right up in the bow to get her, and Brian all in the shot. I need a longer boat!
The sling was also used to slide her ,albeit a little unceremoniously , back over the gunwale but, she swam down strongly into the depths leaving a thick coating of slime over everything she had touched in the boat.
Bites were extremely gentle affairs and fearing deep hooking, were struck quickly but I do think a close look  again at using circle hooks for these beasts would be useful- I seem to remember them working quite well in the past.
The fresh mackerel did produce takes of course, but equally impressive was the frozen cuttle although the stuff I'd brought along was quite old and a little 'high' Luckily Brian had some 'fresher' frozen bait.
We had intended to stay out over the 'lock out' period. until 8 a.m, and fish the dawn period over the reef with lures but, both feeling decidedly 'knackered' by proceedings (neither of us are getting any younger)we called it a night at about 3-30a.m and headed home with just enough 'half light' for safe passage. A very satisfying trip indeed.

Monday, 13 July 2015

12/7/15 Better Mullet

Mullet was to be the target again today and Dave joined me in our small boat for another run down stream. The winds continue to blow curtailing any inshore boat fishing ,and did indeed hamper us somewhat . This made  anchoring, and keeping the boat steady a little difficult at times.
We started the day running against the flooding tide making the journey much longer but arrived at the mud flats in time for high water and some feeder fishing. The mark soon produced a mullet to my flake bait- a better stamp of fish than Monday's  at 4-07.
As the ebb set in we moved out into the main river and broke out the float rods. I was experimenting with a small modified multiplier(Abu 4601) instead of a centre pin having read an old 'Angling ' article, extolling the virtues of the reel, written  by Dave Steuart in the early 70's.
The tiny multiplier worked well to a point but, still being fitted  with its anti reverse mechanism, it didn't allow the same sort of control over a running mullet that a 'pin' has. Also, being mounted on top of the rod the line kept sticking to the  blank which, due to incessant rain, remained wet all day.
I'll probably revert back to a centre pin reel for this work but, it was worth a try.
A second mullet of about 3lb fell to my rod as we trotted the flows on the 'lower flats' and after relocating to 'carp straight' and fishing a few spots, a third smaller fish also took a liking to my bait.
A difficult day in difficult conditions and I was actually quite pleased that we'd managed to find the three mullet.
As the ebb ceased, we headed home following the tide all the way up to the mooring- a very pleasant run indeed earmarking several swims for future experimentation along the way.


10/7/15 Briefly

There has been far too much wind of late preventing any 'big boat' action at all so, when a brief window appeared today , I decided to nip out for a couple of hours in the evening and chuck some lures around.
Clive was out in his boat too in the same area, doing the same 'stuff' but intending to stay out all night in search of conger, and then hopefully dropping some lures at sun rise.
Unfortunately, the evening session proved to be unproductive for us both. We each caught a few small ballan, and cuckoo wrasse but that was it, and shortly before dusk I left Clive 'out there' and headed home .
He did manage to score a few eels and a solitary bass on a strip of cuttle but generally, it was all a bit slow over night and the dawn period was little better.
By the time I awoke the next morning the winds had picked up and the sea was rough once again. It would appear that we've got a few days like this ahead of us.

6/7/15 Back To My Roots

Firstly, an apology. As my good friend, Roger from the marina kindly reminded me, I've been rather neglecting the blog of late and failing to keep up with my entries so hopefully within the next hour or so, that will all be remedied and I'll be bang up to date.
I make no excuses for this situation apart from the fact that, like so many retired 'folk', it would seem that I just don't have the time! LOL
Mullet, and in particular, the thick lipped variety, lie at the root of my obsession with angling and were the specie that got me back into all this 'mullarkey' around the turn of the century.
In recent years, with my growing enthusiasm for inshore boat fishing, I've rather neglected this superb fish but, it has to be said, that if I was forced to fish for just one sea specie alone, then I would without a doubt, choose the thick lipped grey mullet.
No other fish fights so hard, pound for pound, nor challenges the angler so much. It rightly deserves its rather grand nickname of 'The British Bonefish'.
Its a ten mile run downstream from the river boat mooring to the stretch where I know for sure that mullet frequent. It's entirely possible that they could be found further upstream but, with my recent fishing form being a little on the 'dull' side, today was not the day to experiment. I needed to recharge the old batteries and put a bend in a fishing rod.
Precision timing is required to gain the optimum efficiency of the tide with our little river boat as its only got a maximum theoretical hull speed of about eight knots. I left the mooring just as the tide turned to ebb and completed the journey in a blisteringly quick, and technically illegal , fifty minutes!
Work out the maths for yourselves!
The river speed limit is 5 1/2kts but I can assure the reader that the little boat created absolutely no wash whatsoever on its journey towards the 'salt' and its tiny engine remained barely above 'tick over' for the duration.
My intention was to fish some of my old, but not quite yet forgotten, 'banker' marks and the first is known as the 'lower mud flats'.
Actually its a shallow section of river with a firm gravel bed, but that's not the point. It's produced well for me in the past and is nowadays completely inaccessible from the land. As I anchored the boat in just a couple of feet of water, and barely a rod length out from dry land , a bold mullet whelmed in the neighbouring shallows almost teasing me into casting a bait across his snout.
As there was a dry stretch of river bed between the boat, and this character I decided to leave him well alone, and concentrate on the clear swim in front of me, but at least I knew that mullet were about.
A bucket of Tesco's finest white bread was mashed to a soggy pulp and introduced sparingly to the swim with a plastic spoon whilst my home built cork on quill trotting float followed closely behind.
It didn't take very long for a few mullet to give their presence away in the swim and the first bite to materialise....which of course, I missed.
A few trots later and the float buried itself just a couple of rod lengths downstream from the boat and this time there was no mistake. The swift 'strike' was 'spot on ' and I was connected.
 Not a big fish at all (2-3lb) but could I get the damned thing in the net!! It just would not give up . Eventually I won the battle but the 'scrap' reminded just how powerful, and how much fun these little fish are, especially when afloat.
The activity waned after the disturbance so I allowed the boat to drift a few yards downstream and in effect fish a 'new' swim. It wasn't long before another similar sized mullet was 'on' but this time, the mullet won ..slipping the hook within netting range.
A move downstream was in order and some whelms were spotted at the end of 'Carp straight'- so called because I hooked a beautiful, fully scaled mid double common carp from this swim several years ago- a fish that had me convinced that I'd secured my best ever mullet for about twenty minutes until it's bronze back finally broke the surface and gave away its true identity.
Again I managed to get the boat very close to some moving fish-curiously they seem far less worried by a relatively huge lump of fibre glass on the water, compared to a human form walking the bank. Its very difficult to get so close to them when fishing on land.
A spoonful of mash was sent on its way and literally on the first trot down with the float, within seconds of sending it on its way, a mullet took the bait and was successfully boated- a slightly bigger fish this time of around three pounds.
As the tide slacked and started to flood I relocated to a swim known as the 'Upper mud flats',,,,which in this case, are extremely 'muddy' and a perfect refuge for mullet as the tide floods being one of the few places where the river defence retreats back into the surrounding land creating an area of almost still water.
However, separating the flats from the main river is a rocky vertical 'wall'  about four feet high and this mark consistently produces a fish or two before the water creeps over the main mud area.
Today was no different and yet another fish was taken just inches from the rocks, before I was able to gradually 'drag' the boat by the anchor on to the  mud  as the tide crept in.
After a brief respite of about half an hour where I didn't actually fish, a change of tactics was undertaken and a liquidised bread feeder was cast in to the ,by now fully flooded, swim.
Once again the activity and bites soon materialised as the mullet moved into the area and before long, the rod tip registered some interest and I managed to 'hit' the bite and score yet another fish.
As the tide slowed reaching its high point, it was time to head for home 'gaining' on the flood as I motored upstream.
I'd been out almost ten hours , it had been a superb day all round getting reacquainted with an old friend. lets hope we see some more this season.

4/7/15 A Monumental Failure

The only successful part of this trip was the catching of the pouting, and a solitary mackerel, for live bait because, apart from that, despite a huge effort to trap a bass by drifting countless times over several reef marks- I failed miserably...just one take and I managed to miss it!
Relocating the boat to a hound mark , no sooner had I set the anchor and cast my baits, the wind from the east 'kicked up' ...'big style'.
With waves almost breaking over the boat conditions became just 'too much' so I hi tailed it home with my tail between my legs.
You can't win them all.
Luckily, some better fishing was just around the corner.

29/6/15 Slow Tope

Following on from the shark trip, and with the 'clock' approaching 300 hours of use I decided to treat 'Jupiter's' main engine to a service and , yet again, get a coat of polish on the hull before dropping her back on the mooring.
The whole process of servicing the engine was , once again, very straightforward and , after a thorough inspection and lube up with a newly purchased grease gun, she was deemed 'fit and well' and returned to her watery home.
Considering the use she's had, and the fact that she's kept afloat most of the time, she appears to be wearing very well. Certainly the engine is as clean under the cover as the day she left the factory and runs equally as sweet, and the hull is showing little sign of degradation .
 A few 'water' marks were showing on the port side dark stripe but a quick cut and polish soon brought it back to 'new' and generally, the hull is still 'gleaming'. A testament to the quality of the product.
Half a dozen tope came to the boat today but generally, things were a lot slower than usual.
Weed was actually quite problematical out there and, speaking to a charter boat fishing a mile or so inside of me, it was a similar situation there too.
The ebb tide actually produced only one high teen fish and over slack proceedings were so 'dead' that I actually laid down on the deck and dozed off.........with one eye open!
As the flood set in the bites did pick up and five more tope came to the boat with one decent heavyweight among them. I thought I'd set the Go -Pro to film the capture and subsequent release of the 'biggun' but................it would appear that I  pressed the wrong button on the camera DOH!

23-24/6/15 Blue Shark


Quite a slow couple of days after the blue shark of Falmouth.
I 'd been contacted by my good mate Andy Howell of  http://www.specialisedcharters.co.uk/ telling me that a few blues had been showing up in the area so. with a window of opportunity in the weather, I made the decision to nip down with the boat for a couple of days.
Luckily, I'd brought along both my own chum, and  hook baits as the local mackerel were conspicuous by their absence. They're not exactly plentiful at home but, at least we can catch a few. The situation 'down there' in the south west is not quite so good.
Day one saw no shark takes whatsoever but another small boat angler fishing in the general vicinity did manage to connect with three shark so I'm guessing we were just a tad unlucky.
The drift pattern had been unpredictable on our first day with the boat heading in completely the opposite direction than that we'd expected so, for the second day we started in a completely different location.
Again the fishing was slow but whilst whiling away the time we noticed a sunfish approach the boat with a gull appearing to peck clean the fishes' body-nature working in harmony. A terrific sight to see.
Suddenly the sunfish made an erratic move as if it was avoiding some unseen predator and within seconds one of my floats disappeared and line peeled from my 'Senator'.
The take was actually quite 'timid' and it appeared to me as if the shark had actually dropped the bait. Momentarily the float reappeared so I left the gear to settle hoping the shark would come back for another go...which it did.
A strong fight ensued with the blue taking a decent dive before being brought alongside for unhooking. We managed to film the last minute or so with the Go-Pro under water and I'm quite pleased with the results which are shown in unedited form above.
Unfortunately, that was the only shark action of the trip but our small boat 'friend' managed another three fish again so maybe we were just unlucky. At least we know they're about and their numbers should increase as the summer progresses. I'll be back soon enough.

20/6/15 Hounding

I'm a big smoothound fan. These fish provided me with endless entertainment a few years ago when I spent quite a bit of time in the spring and early summer , chasing them on our local beaches. They're actually one of the few species, regularly encountered, that can put a bend in your average beach casting 'pole'.
I remember one very calm August night tide in 2008 when I was joined on the beach at the back of my house by  a colleague from work , and Brighton sea angling guide Rob Howard.
In a hectic session, we put together a catch of thirty good hounds to mid teen size making for some very entertaining fishing- a feat I've not been able to repeat in recent years.
Hounds featured also quite a bit in my early boat trips-general bottom fishing forays to inshore mixed ground marks.
On a light boat rod, such as a 12 or 20lb class 'stick' , a smoothound can really show its mettle, and I always thoroughly enjoyed their arrival. Many anglers revere the ever popular bass but, dare I say it, in my opinion, the smoothound is a much more sporting fish with even a single figure fish giving the angler a run for his money.
Snobbery can be quite common amongst anglers, and often certain species can be derided in favour of more fashionable quarry. The humble hound does receive  bad press from some anglers, most often, in my experience from the shore bass angling fraternity. Quite why this is so personally, I fail to understand , but then to me, virtually all fish are worth the catching.
With shark fishing on my mind today's trip was spent trying to gather some invaluable mackerel hook baits, of which I managed to find a few, before settling on 'Brian's mark' to sample the 'smoothies'.
They co-operated and I put together a nice bag of fish around the double figure mark before the sea state sent me packing. I'll be back for more!!

17/6-18/6/15 Coarse Fishing

Two days general coarse fishing aboard the 'new' boat with Dave. We elected to fish swims upstream of our mooring and even selected a spot to do a bit of pre baiting on the first day.
Using trotting and feeder methods , most of the fish we caught were fairly small roach, bream , chub and dace with the odd half decent fish thrown in to the mix.
We rarely see anyone else fishing the river but, it was surprising that so few people were out considering that the season was so young, and the weather quite kind.
Just two fellow enthusiasts were spotted. A bank angler who is known to me anyway, and also a fellow boat owner from the moorings who , according to Dave,is quite a celebrity in carp angling circles.
I'd never even heard of him (ahem) but then I must confess that I don't really keep up to date with what's going on in the angling world generally.
Fishing was slightly hampered by large quantities of debris that seem to be everywhere in 'our' stretch at the moment. Hopefully in time, it will disappear but, for the time being, it's going back and forth with the tide and generally being a nuisance .
One thing we did learn was that its quite possible to successfully leger from the boat and, seeing as we're often fishing some pretty deep swims, this could be a major advantage. However, relying on the usual 'bank' methods of bite indication, when afloat, can prove problematical. The solution is to virtually touch leger , it sometimes being necessary to hold the rod all of the time.
Hopefully, we'll get a chance to fish for the 'bigger' species at some time such as carp and, dare I say it, a barbel (I know Dave would dearly love to get one). In these instances , sensitive bite detection may not be such an issue but only time will tell.
In the meantime, we're just enjoying some peaceful fishing in beautiful surroundings. Dave pointed out a red kite to me today -a very impressive sight indeed.
 A plump roach
 An ugly bream

16/6/15 Lure Only

It's opening day of the coarse fishing season and, what am I doing???........Lure fishing in the sea! A short afternoon session visiting various reef marks with a few bass and wrasse to show for my efforts. Nothing spectacular but , enjoyable nonetheless.
It would appear that those large bass shoals we experienced in the spring have dispersed somewhat but those fish that remain are of a good size, but tricky to locate.

13/6/15 River Boating

A first exploratory trip with rods in our 'new' boat for Dave and me.
We decided to take a run downstream with a view to maybe trying for a mullet or two but mostly just to test out the boat and sort out a few glitches before opening day.
In a tidal backwater we did spot a few 'whelms' which probably indicated the presence of thin lipped mullet but we can't be entirely sure. However in the past, I have caught thins at this extremely difficult to access location on rag baited spinner.

Eventually we stopped short of our target location some ten miles downstream, 'sorted' the anchoring system and trotted some bread baits for an hour or two in the hope of seeing a 'thick lip'.
Unfortunately, only some out of season roach and small bream were tempted but at least everything worked well and the boat performed faultlessly.

14/6/15 Wrecking

A trip out with father and son team Brian and Martin on their ever capable craft, the 'Blueprint' to wrecks in  the 15 to 20 mile zone.
Cod was the target which seem to be in plentiful supply at the moment in our area. Lets hope that these fish will populate our inshore grounds and provide some entertaining winter fishing.
Each wreck we tried produced plenty of fish up to double figures and it was indeed, hectic fishing.
We took a few for the pot, mostly those that would not return, but the majority of the fish went back successfully with a little bit of assistance to get them started on the journey down to the depths-sometimes 150ft.
Being able to return the fish will probably mean I'll have a bash at these wrecks in my own boat as what's prevented me doing so in the past, is the fact that fish couldn't be returned and there would be far too many killed for me to take home.
Everything was taken on lures on various designs naturally, but one of my favourites was a mini octopus design moulded around a heavy ball lead which literally 'nailed' the cod.
Bizarre  http://www.waveinn.com/nautical-fishing/hart-wasabi/25990/p

Thursday, 2 July 2015

11/6/15 More Stingin'

Another attempt at snagging a beach sting ray and, as seems to happen every year, time is running out.
I'm not a great shore angler, it has to be said, and I suppose if I really put the time and  effort into this project I'd succeed but, there is simply too much fishing to do!
I joined Simon for a very pleasent evening on the shingle and once again, my man produced the goods. Not a monster but nonetheless, a stingray, and a very cute one at that.
I didn't even get a bite!
We have discussed using my boat to get close in on these marks to fish for these elusive (to me) creatures and, with the excessive weed that is hampering beach fishing at the moment , this might be a viable option but, for me, total satisfaction would be to get one on a beachcaster-otherwise they'd never get used!
I'll keep trying when the opportunity arises.