Monday 14 November 2011

April sunshine, West Bay, Dorset

This site is built using a standard blogspot template, it is not ideal but it is easy to use and is free!

To navigate this site, please use the links to the right, scroll down for links to places to fish, listed under areas, tackle shop links etc. I am adding to the site on a regular basis.

an alphabetical list of links to all fishing spots described in this blog is here

Update History

updated September making lead weights added

updated July/August 2011. Fish Identification pages added
Gobies, Blennies, Wrasse.

Added info and photo to West Bay Harbour

link changed for The Aquarium Project site,
an excellent resource for fish identification

click for accessible venues

Friday 7 October 2011

Pembrokeshire, Amroth Beach.

Amroth, looking back towards Saundersfoot., the slip in the background

Amroth, Looking east, water just reaching the bank.

Amroth is just along the coast, to the east of Saundersfoot, it is a south-facing sandy beach and is noted for catches of flounder and bass. Approaching the village from the Saundersfoot direction you will drop down to the seafront and see, on the corner, free parking and a toilet block.

There is easy access from here down onto the sandy beach via a concrete slipway. The beach to the left has a bank of large stone 'shingle' which is not comfortable to either walk on, stand on, or climb...for that reason many will fish from the slip...or fish at low tide when fishing is more comfortably done standing on flat sand. Catches seem to be about the same at any state of the tide. If heading west, take care not to be cut off by the tide amongst the rocks.
The fish to be targeted here are flatfish and bass, mullet can be caught and according to season, smoothhound and gurnard put in an appearance. Dogfish are probably ever present.
Long casting is not required, fish can be very close in... when fishing a rising tide the water moves in rapidly on big tides so a short cast will soon be a long cast if you do not recast often. When fishing a dropping tide at night you can end up a way down the beach from your kit...some reflective tape on your kit can help in finding it again.............

Amroth, fishing from the shingle.

If fishing from the shingle bank a big bait dropped in close to where the sand meets the bank can pay off with a bass. If there are gar or mackerel about a pop-up rig* may catch them.

Best baits here are worms and fish-baits of various kinds; mackerel, gar, sandeel will all find fish... the beach is sometimes littered with razor shell so razorfish would seem to be a good bet.

Bait can not be got in Saundersfoot unless you dig it yourself, the nearest tackle shops are at Tenby ( ? now closed ) or from Raven Trading, Unit 16, London Road Mall, Pembroke Dock, phone John on 07794 522 396
. Out of season it would be well to phone to check on availability or to order fresh bait.

There are shops pubs and cafés along the seafront within easy walking distance, there is a bigger car park a little further down the road if there is no room on the corner.

* a pop-up rig... a running ledger trace perhaps 3 or 4 feet long with the addition of a small float ( usually a 12mm floating bead or two ) a few inches from the bait to 'pop-up' the bait into mid water and away from the crabs; this rig does not work well in strong tidal flows as the drag of the current forces the float down to the bottom.

OTHER LOCAL VENUES ................ Saundersfoot .......

Approximate Tide Times for the next 7 days

updated April 2012 Saundersfoot tackle shop now closed.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

making lead weights the easy way

The evolution of the process of making cheap leads, lots, quickly.

You can purchase aluminium moulds but they have limitations, they are expensive and generally produce one or two at a time, they make 'professional looking' weights but it takes forever to make a batch of several dozen

Leads are not to be judged on their aesthetic properties but on their ability to give enough weight to cast a baited trace and to hold it on the bottom... so home made, rough and ready....and cheap.... leads will do the job.

lead weights, cast in wooden moulds

Many years ago we decided to go fishing but had only a few weights and tackle shops were shut... so a quick think and the use of tools to hand resulted in the first 'cast in wood' weights.

Many people have told me that you cannot do this, 'the wood will catch fire', but you can.... and it doesn't. You will note in life that the 'you can't do that' types are the ones who haven't tried it.... and the 'yes you can' types are the ones who have.

A few minutes with a flat-bit in an electric drill drilling into pieces of timber, some copper wire stripped from an off-cut of electric cable and some lead melted in an aluminium milk saucepan with a blowlamp solved the problem. The holes were drilled with the wood on a concrete floor so the drill broke through the wood to give a small hole; twisted wires were put in the holes,the wood levelled up and the molten lead was poured into each hole. Some smoke ensued but no flames, so far, so good. When cool the wood was split open to reveal the leads, we made dozens of a three ounce version and they lasted us a good while, such is the nature of fishing that if you have plenty you seem to lose very few.
Somewhere I have a photograph, will add it when I find it.  update, have found one of the original leads

Now that species hunting has taken over most of my fishing I am once again turning to this way of making leads. Leads are consumable items and, although small one (28g) and two ounce (56g) weights are relatively cheap the losses during a session fishing in weedy or rocky places can put a dent in your wallet.

So, back to the wood, drills and a bit of thinking. The destruction of the simple mould each time was no real problem...the wood used was off-cuts of no value and twenty or thirty leads were made from each piece. Experiments since have shown that when cool the wood can be whacked down hard and the leads will emerge from the hole.... obviously the smoother the hole the more easily the lead will come turns out that the more leads you make the more the wood chars until a layer is built up, this makes the extraction of the leads far easier and a couple of whacks soon shifts them.

one ounce lead, mould drilled with 9mm twist drill

The next session was to make some ounce leads, a 9mm twist drill was used this time and the holes drilled into a pair of pieces of 2" x 1" timber so that instead of splitting the wood the mould could be parted along the centreline and the mould reused...this worked well and many 1 oz ( about 30g) leads were made.
coke bottle shaped leads

Having the need of heavier weights, but having no bigger twist drill, the mould was modified by wiggling the drill from side to side to enlarge the hole, this resulted in some interestingly shaped 'coke bottle' leads. This enabled the production of loads of larger weights, 45 g , but at the cost of ruining the mould for making the smaller weights. It is a bit of a fiddle inserting the wires each time and reassembling the mould.... also the enlargement of the wire hole by constant use increased the risk of the molten lead escaping through the bottom of the mould; with the right sized hole the lead 'freezes' on contact with the copper wire and prevents any run out although there are gaps around the wire.

So the next stage was a re-think... put the wire loop in from the top ?

putting loops in from the top

Two lengths of 2" x 1" planed timber were drilled with a 16mm flat-bit, the lead poured into the holes and the twisted wire dangled into the molten lead on an aluminium nail placed across the hole and resting on the wood.
This worked well and the resulting lead of about two ounces has a sharp edge that grips into the sand or silt, they grip surprisingly well if you tighten the line...and will roll in the current if you don't.
These weights are fine for smooth ground fishing but snag on rough ground, as they are cheap to make that is not such a problem when using a rotten bottom ( attaching the lead with a lighter breaking strain line than your main line so that the lead is lost when it breaks rather than the rig or the hook-length with the fish on it. )

So it was thinking cap on again to make a lead with a smoother 'nose end' that would pull through weed without too much snagging.

pictures tells it all

An impending species hunting visit to the species rich snag pit of Hobb's Point made it necessary to come up with a better way.
To make a rounded nose the flat bit drill had to be made rounded, careful application of an angle grinder gave the required profile, the purchase of a pillar drill since making the other moulds gave the facility of drilling a smoother hole to an exact depth; the point of the drill could be brought to within a smidgeon of breaking though... a baiting needle the same diameter as the copper wire was pushed then through to make the final breakthrough.
Link16mm bit, 48g lead

12mm bit, 28g lead

Experience showed that the last holes were best not used as you need some spare at the end to whack onto a hard surface, as the copper wire is not doubled and twisted the leads come out fairly easily, and as said before, more use made for easier removal. The tails of copper wire are easily wrapped around a nail and trimmed with snips to make the loop ....although you will get sore fingers if you do 200 at a stretch....
The copper wire in this case is stripped from an old length of cooker wiring cable, scrounge some offcuts from an electrician or keep an eagle eye on builders skips.
The 12mm drill gave a weight of pretty near the ounce and the 16mm drill a weight of about an ounce and a half...

Trying to be clever........

I did take a tenon saw and chisel to pieces of wood to investigate making a tapered square section lead, it worked but I am unsure as to the benefits of that shape over the easier to produce round leads.... we will see............

The leads produced weighing 30g not bad for an estimate of 'about an ounce ( 28g)... good guesswork.

We will experiment further to see about making heavier weights at some time, obviously the bigger the lead the more heat has to be dissipated on cooling, this could mean the possibility of conflagration of the mould..... we will see...

Time for a disclaimer, we are sensible grown ups and suffered no death or even injury, we were careful to put plywood splash guards to protect against over enthusiastic filling, we had a bucket of water nearby to cool any burn sustained but kept all water away from the molten lead. We used an oven glove when holding the handle of the aluminium saucepan and added only dry lead to the melt..... and we worked outside in the fresh air to avoid being made crazy by the fumes from the lead.
I take no responsibility whatsoever for any harm that may befall you if you do something silly and hurt yourself or others after reading this.
Safety glasses would be a good idea as well as having immediate access to a bag of frozen peas... a burn will be far less of a problem if the heat is removed quickly from the affected area, cold water immediately then a frozen pack against it to quicken the cooling, common sense works better as you don't get burnt in the first place.

Friday 15 July 2011

Fish Identification, Gobies.

Gobies are possibly the most difficult group of fish to identify...

starting with one of the easier...

The Rock Goby

Like all gobies the Rock Goby has two separate fins on top rather than the one continuous dorsal fin of the blennies. It is easy to identify by the cream coloured fringe to the first dorsal fin, ( we refer to them as custard tipped gobies, it seems a more accurate descriptor than rock )

Rock Goby ( Gobius paganellus )

Colour is not a good way to identify fish, as can be seen with the variation here, the male often changes to a dark, almost black, colouration when breeding
I read that the female has a cream fringe and the male, orange. the sex of gobies is of interest to gobies but not to many anglers. Catch them in rocky or weedy places close to structures like piers and walls. They can be caught in stuaries in brackish water.

 A little section of worm on a size 4 or smaller hook fished close to the bottom or on the wall surface will do the job, but they will take about anything, they are not fussy eaters.

The 'pelvic' fins are very far forward underneath and form a sort of suction cup by which the goby will cling on to smooth surfaces. Most fish caught will be 12cm or less.

The Black Goby

                                                         Black Goby, (Gobius niger) 

Black Goby, (Gobius niger) showing the specialised pelvic fins.

The Black Goby is fairly easily identified in the breeding season; the last few rays of the first dorsal fin are very elongated, however the fin does not show this feature all year. The black refers to the dark blotches on the flanks of the fish, not the overall colour which can vary from sandy to dark brown, the breeding males can be almost black . The first example shown was caught in the weed and rough at Hobb's Point and the second over eelgrass off The Pleasure Pier, Weymouth. It seems to prefer more silty and less rocky places than the Rock Goby.

for further reading, The Aquarium Project is a good reference site

to be continued.

Fish Identification, Blennies.

The Tompot Blenny

Tompot Blenny

This fish is easily identified by the fleshy 'antlers' (tentacles/lappets ) above the eyes, when the fish is in water they are most obvious but tend to stick down to the fish when it is out of the water to give the appearance of an orange blob over each eye. No other blenny has this feature. The blennies have a continuous dorsal fin, ( the fin along its back ). They have a fine set of teeth and are not afraid to use them, many a man has yelled like a big girl when a blenny has decided to bite. The blennies can clamp their jaws with surprising strength, you may have to wait for it to open its mouth for you to extract the hook (or remove it from your flesh ). They will eat most things, worms or little pieces of fish strip, squid, sandeel or even bacon rind. Tiny hooks are not required, even the smallest will have a go at a size 4 hook and bait and this size is easier to grip to extract from the fish. The tompot is one of the bigger blennies and grows up to 20cm or more, normally you will catch them half this size.
Swanage Pier is a good place to catch one.

Tompot Blenny ( Parablennius gattorugine )

The Common Blenny or Shanny

Not as flashy as the Tompot, it has no fancy headgear, and is usually a more muted colour. They do not seem to grow quite so big but otherwise inhabit the same sort of ground and have the same habits and tastes as the Tompot.
They tend to have a greenish hue rather than the red-brown of the Tompot
In breeding condition, in early spring, the male Shanny turns almost black and has distinctive white lips.

The Common Blenny or Shanny ( Lipophrys pholis )

Like most fish that live in places where they can be left stranded by the tide, the blennies can clamp down their gills and survive out of water for a time.... however do please put them back as soon as you can...or equip yourself with a bucket of fresh seawater to keep them in while you look at them; they will be quite happy as long as you keep them out of the sunshine and refresh the water at intervals. It can be useful to see species side by side to spot the differences and learn to identify the fish correctly.

I have seen these fish stamped on by ignorant people who swear that they are poisonous....they are not...... and even if they were it is no excuse for such barbaric behaviour.

There is another blenny that I have caught.... the Viviparous Blenny or Eelpout , however that was many years ago when fishing the Humber estuary, I have yet to catch one anywhere in the south or west.

for further reading, The Aquarium Project is a good reference site

to be continued

Thursday 14 July 2011

Fish Identification, Wrasse.

Wrasse are often wrongly identified, the following will help you identify what you have caught.
None of the wrasse are considered as a food fish so catch and release is the way to go.

The Goldsinny Wrasse

Goldsinny wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris)

The fish illustrated, which I caught from The Stone Pier at Weymouth, is particularly pale but illustrates well the distinguishing black at the top of the tail root and one at the beginning of the dorsal fin. They have thick lips compared to other wrasse species and have a shallow profile, the Ballan and Corkwing are much deeper in the belly. They do not grow very big, most of the fish caught will be 12cm or less. Best bait is a piece of ragworm fished near the bottom near weeds/rocks on a hook size 4 or smaller. Another Wrasse, the Corkwing, has a spot on the wrist of the tail but it is central, not on the top edge.

The Corkwing Wrasse

Corkwing wrasse indentifier
The easiest wrasse to identify if you know what to look for, behind the eye and in front of the gill cover you will see tiny serrations or grooves like the edge of a pound coin. No other common wrasse has this feature. The Baillon's Wrasse also has this feature but is not commonly caught.
There is confusion however because the male and female have different markings. The male is the more showy, having iridescent green and gold wavy lines on his head. They show especially well in sunlight.

Corkwing male Symphodus melops

The female is dowdier and has a cork-tile like colouration, the spot in the centre of the wrist of the tail is distinctive.

corkwing female

The Corkwing Wrasse can grow up to 25cm long but a fish of half that length would be more typical. Like all wrasse a piece of ragworm on a small hook will entice them, they can be caught in open water but are more likely to be caught near the shelter of rocks and weed. The dorsal fin contains spines which are not apparent until you grasp the fish.

You will learn to hold it from the underside.

The Ballan Wrasse

The largest of the British Wrasses the Ballan can show a bewildering range of colouration from lime green, through various shades of brown, to dark purple with white spots.

Ballan wrasse ( Labrus bergylta )

A juvenile Ballan Wrasse

Ballan Wrasse showing typical spots

another variant 

You will sometimes catch a wrasse that is overall one shade of brown/gold all over with a very distinctive row of large scales down its flanks... you think it's a new species... but it's  just another of the myriad of variations of ballan colouration.

The Ballan grows to 60cm or more in length and is a bit of a thug when caught, it will head for the nearest weed and rocks and will often snag the line, it is a hard fighting fish and considerable pressure is needed to stop it heading snag-ward . If it is snagged then patience can help, leave it for a few minutes and it may well swim back out of the snag. If large wrasse are around it is best to hold your rod or prop it securely so that it is not pulled in.
It has spines in the dorsal fin so handle carefully. The British record for Ballan Wrasse fish stands at
9lb 1oz. Larger wrasse are quite happy to take fish strip, squid or sandeel, a livebait, or a lure, smaller fish tend to go for worm baits, especially ragworm.

The Cuckoo Wrasse

The most colourful of the British wrasses, it grows to about 35cm long and is found in the company of other wrasse species over rough weedy or rocky ground. The male and the female are quite different in colouration but have the same body shape, they are a leaner fish than the Ballan or Corkwing and have a pointed face. The colouration changes during the year, a breeding fish will have a different colour scheme to an immature non-breeding fish. The examples shown were caught at the same spot in Swanage Bay and are darker than fish caught further west along the coast where the female is more beige than copper coloured.

Cuckoo Wrasse female (Labrus mixtus)

The male has the iridescent wavy lines that are seen on the male Corkwing and the Rock Cook but the lines are distinctly blue and not the blue/green of the Corkwing; they extend right to the tail whereas the Corkwing shows mainly on the head and shoulders. The fringes of the fins are also distinctly coloured.

Cuckoo Wrasse male (Labrus mixtus)

The Cuckoo Wrasse is less likely to be caught from the shore unless fishing into deep water, it will take most baits but ragworm can be counted on to catch. Why it is called cuckoo is subject to speculation..... it shares no similarity with the bird but shares the sound of its name with the Rock Cook....which is also an odd name. My suspicion is that there was an old dialect/Cornish/Breton/Welsh word that was pronounced cook but meant neither a bird or a chef, but something quite different.

Baillon's Wrasse.Baillon's Wrasse ( Crenilabrus bailloni.)

Baillon's Wrasse is one of the rarer species; the one illustrated above was caught in 120 feet of water off Swanage. It was 24cm long and weighed 200g and was caught using baited feathers fished on the bottom, ragworm proved its undoing as with the other wrasse species. They are often caught from the pier at Swanage, they have become increasingly common over the last few years; they are most likely caught in many other locations but are disregarded having been thought to be just another corkwing wrasse. There are similarities, the mottled brown colouration is quite like the corkwing female but there is distinct banding on the Baillon's, there is some iridescent blue and yellow colouration about the head but it is not as pronounced as on the male corkwing. The orange spots are not found on other species. The front of the gill cover has the serrated edge as found on the corkwing.
The defining feature of this wrasse is the colouration of the fins which are unmistakably red.
Baillon's wrasse, showing serrations

           The Rock Cook Wrasse                                 

Rock Cook Wrasse,( Centrolabrus exoletus )

This small wrasse might be confused with the male Corkwing but the wavy iridescent markings are quite a definite blue rather than the blue green of that species. It is one of the smaller wrasse seldom growing more than about 15cm long; it is rather more dumpy than the corkwing and has a small mouth with fleshy lips.
It is not as widespread as the corkwing or ballan, I have caught them at Weymouth and this specimen was caught at Brixham Breakwater by float-fishing a tiny piece of ragworm on a size 4 hook. The wrasse tend to be in the weed and rock so float-fishing deep so that the bait  passes directly over the weed is effective and tackle loss kept to a minimum.  

there is also the Rainbow Wrasse to be added when ( if ? ) I catch one to photograph....

for further reading, The Aquarium Project is a good reference site

updated jan 2022

Cuckoo Wrasse added 04/07/11
Baillon's Wrasse added 14/08/11

Rock Cook Wrasse* added 18/08/12
* found a photo of one I caught back in 2005
to be continued.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Rod licence scam.

An advert appeared on this site from

this is a scam.... do not pay for anything via that site

A rod licence is not required for sea fishing unless you target sea trout or salmon within a few miles of the shore....

check with the real site if you need a game licence

The Environment Agency used to run an ad here until I complained that they did not make it clear that a licence was not required for sea angling.
They said they would make it clear on their site...

have they ?....c'mon this is a government agency we are talking about....

when I figure out how to ban ads from this site I will stop the ad appearing,
it has been reported to the Environment Agency.

Tackle Shops, Weymouth

Weymouth Angling Centre has moved from one side of the bridge to the other.... go over the bridge towards town, round the bend with the pedestrian crossing and it's just down the road on the right....although all you can see of it is the name painted on the balcony that projects over the pavement until you are quite close.

Weymouth Angling Centre, St. Edmund Street. Weymouth Tel. 01305 777771

Weymouth Angling Centre.

A new tackle shop has opened, filling the gap left by the demise of Dennings Tackle
, which will be convenient for those heading towards Ferry Bridge, Chesil Cove or the Portland marks.

You will find it on the left as you drive out towards Portland, after the roundabout and after the Filling Station on Portland Road, there is very limited parking in front of shop but you can park on the roadside further down or in a side street.

Chesil Bait 'n' Tackle 77 Portland Road Wyke Regis Tel 01305 766222
Chesil Bait n Tackle, Wyke Regis.

Sunday 24 October 2010

North Devon, Ilfracombe Harbour

The top deck of the pier, note the tall post on the left on the lower deck.

Ilfracombe is on the north Devon coast, when you arrive you will note that the locals are not fond of direction signs.... there are small brown signs for The Aquarium and Harbour but they are easily missed. There is a large car park adjacent to the harbour wall so you can fish near to your car. There is a cheaper car park back at the head of the harbour.
There are toilets at the entrance to the car park and a tackle shop nearby, back up the road you came in on, follow the road round to the left and the shop is a short distance down that road on the right,
(Variety Sports, 23 Broad Street, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9EE). Note, Apr 2016, this shop looks as if it is closing down, for sale sign and irregular opening hours. There is another shop High Street Tackle, 153 High Street, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9EZ 
There are plenty of shops, cafés and pubs nearby for food and drink.

The lower deck at low tide.

The tides here are typical of the area, big. The water comes up a long way and can catch out the unwary..... the weed growing on the wooden posts on the lower level is a clue to what happens later in the tide. You can only fish the lower section for a couple of hours before and after low tide, less or not at all in rough weather.

This is a venue that can be fished with light or heavy tackle, big baits cast out towards Wales from the end of the lower level can catch you a conger, more likely to catch a dogfish, but conger are regularly caught here. Fishing light close in can result in many species that are attracted by the cover provided by the pier structure and submerged obstructions, it is snaggy however and you will lose some gear. Fish with hook lengths and lead links of lesser breaking strain than the mainline so that you can pull clear of the snags, fine wire hooks that bend such as the Mustad Nordic Bend are good in these situations. Size four are about right for general species hunting close in. Ragworm is the most used bait but fish baits will catch as well.
Fishing further out puts your bait out onto a generally sandy bottom with some weed clumps and other snags, there is not much tidal flow so grip leads are not necessary to hold bottom.
Float fishing near to the pier can be productive, when last there ( Mid October ), there were gar, sand smelt, coalfish and a mullet caught on fish strips fished at depths of up to twelve feet or so. Fishing out onto the sand gave small whiting, sole and a small conger eel

Tide flooding the lower level.

The pool that is enclosed by the pier can be fished; an angler fishing here had a silver eel later in the tide.

Note the post referred to in the first picture caption !

Fishing from the rocks is possible at low tide but be very aware of the advancing tide, the rocks in the picture above offer no refuge from a swell or a bigger tide.

Easy wheelchair access and no distance casting needed makes this a good venue for a disabled angler

easy level access to railed promenade on top level sloping ramp to un-railed lower level.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Bait, Salted Ragworm.

salting ragworm

Getting bait can be a problem; often the times you want to fish do not coincide with the times the bait shops are open. It is useful to have standby baits if you can't get fresh, frozen mackerel, squid or sandeel is easily obtained and stored but worm baits present a problem. Because of their high water content normal freezing will result in breakdown of the cell structure of the worm as the ice crystals form and expand, leaving you with a mushy bait when it thaws. One of the oldest methods of food preservation is by salting, salt will remove the water from the worms, dry them out, and preserve them. The process is simple, put a half inch layer of salt in an old plastic container, add worms so that they don't touch, add more salt to cover them, add more worms and so on. The initial uptake of water from the worms is rapid and after a few hours the salt will have become very wet. Take the worms out, knock or brush the salt off the worms as best you can so that the next dry salt can reach the skin of the worms and not residual wet salt, repeat the salting with fresh salt in a dry container. Leave for a day or so, take the worms out, knock the salt off and repeat the process again. The salt can be dried out on a tray in a dry warm place and reused again and again, it will pick up a smell from the worms.... if that bothers you then salt is cheap in any case, 3kg for under £1. After another day or two the worms will be dried out and have a tough texture; they can then be stored, in a fridge or not, I've left my salted worms in a tackle box in the car for days and in a cupboard for weeks or months with no deterioration in the fish catching ability of the bait.
A plastic colander can be useful for sieving out the worms and bits of vermiculite or peat that the worms were sold with at the shop, don't use metal, damp salt is highly corrosive.

salted ragworm, after second day, ready to use or store

The salting process will shrink the worms, the two worms to the right of the coin were 6 to 8 inches long when they were alive. The worms are a tough hook bait and stay on the hook better than fresh worms, they will bulk up when they are in the sea as the water replaces that taken out by the salt.
I usually leave the worms in paper in the fridge until they are dead or dying... I'm sure the fish prefer the bait with a bit of smell to it, they certainly catch more than worms salted when still fresh.

these were salted months ago

I find that the salted bait is taken readily by all species of fish, it is an especially good bait for match fishing in early spring when catching rockling and other small species can mean a match win. I prefer the preserved bait to fresh, the catch rate is noticeably higher. It is satisfying to beat your fellow anglers with bait they have given you after the last matches.... at the end of a match I've been given scores of worms..... " because they won't keep "..... oh yes they will !

I was asked by one chap if the taste of salt puts the fish off , I did point out to him, as gently as I could, that the fish are quite used to the taste of salt..........