All types of fishing can be potentially dangerous, but out of all fishing venue types, the coastline and sea has to be the most dangerous. Simply because in the UK the sea is so unpredictable. Strong tides, freak waves, the weather and erosion all play a part, and over the years many lives have been lost.
Potential dangers include:
- Being cut of by the tide
- Freak Waves
- Getting out of your depth if wading into the sea
- Shifting sands
Potential dangers include:
- Falling off the edge
- Slipping in wet conditions
- Being washed off by a freak wave
Potential dangers include:
- Falling overboard
- Breaking down out at sea
- Getting lost – in the fog
- Boat fires
To help prevent any disasters I recommend you purchase some safety equipment, after all you’d spend a lot on fishing gear, but how much is you life worth. Equipment to consider includes:
- Life jackets, also know as Buoyancy aids – ideal for fishing
- Torch or some kind of light
- Compass, or better still a GPS
- Mobile phone
- First aid kit
- Spare petrol / diesel when boay fishing
- Good all round clothing, waterproofs, hats, boots
However the most important advice is never to take risks, go fishing with a friend and always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
It’s always a good idea to inform the local coastguard via VHF if you are planning a boat trip overnight, but keep them informed when you return back to base.
Also check the weather forecast before you leave, the sea can get very rough before any sight of a storm, being in a storm and a rough sea can be fatal!
There are many ways to skin a cat or in this case spin a cast. We are talking, of course, about casting multiplier reels sometimes known as “baitcasters.” They are a more effective way to cast . Whether your fishing with squid or worm, multiplier reels are the way to go when you want to cast far for those bigger species..
Many anglers who are used to fixed spools are skeptic about using multiplier reels because they fear an over-run or even worse, that they won’t know how to use one. Fact is, multiplier reels are quite easy to use and cast.
A great idea when you cast is to hold it at 45 degrees towards the sea. You want to make sure you cast up instead of out. This will help the line come off the spool slower and allow you to achieve a cast with greater distance. It will also help you to avoid the most common rookie mistake– the dreaded birds nest. Make sure that your rod is the same weight as your lure for the best cast. A steady hand will go a long way in your fishing endeavors.
Another tip to keep in mind is stopping the spool firmly just before the lead breaks the water. Make sure to control it with a thumb finger as soon as the lead begins sinking. The trick is to start off gently and then build up your power at a slow pace. This technique will help you with greatly with efficiency and is another way to avoid birds nest. Once you get over your fear of multiplier reels, you will start seeing big results. Just remember that it may take you a few different tries at first, but it will be well worth it once you start reeling in those big fish!
September to December can produce some very big bass from the shores around Cornwall.
It’s best to go just after a very stormy period, so the sea is still rough, and surf quite large.
Fish an incoming tide (about 2 hours after low tide is best), in the evening just as its going dark. I advise you get there a little earlier so you can setup in the daylight!
The sea bass is one of the most desired fish to catch off the UK shore. Known for its hard fighting, catching this fish on plugging gear makes the catch extra special.
The setup is very eay, simply attach the plug to the main line. If the plug does not come equipped with a swivel (most do), its worth adding a trace from the main line connected via a swivel. This will stop the main line from twisting a fraying.
Use a heavy spinning rod between 9-11ft, with a medium sized fixed spool reel when plugging. You need this setup with a fixed spool reel in order to cast further, a multiplier doesn’t work as well when there is no weight.
There is no right or wrong plug to use, you could try a popper, deep diver or any other, they all differ depending on the weather conditions, the depth you are fishing and the terrain. Simply keep swapping if you have no success, but when you find the bass plug which works, you should catch regularly.
Plugging for Bass from the Rocks
‘Rock hopping’ as it;’s known is the best way to cover a lot of ground, basically fish very light. A rod, reel and bag full of spinners and plugs. Look out for gullies and rock peaks and fish from these, cover all areas by casting in all directions. Reel in at different speeds and change plugs for different depths.
Plugging for Bass from a Boat
The same technique should be used from a boat, cast in all directions, from the boat you have a 360 degree rotation, so cast in all directions to cover all the ground. Bass tend to feed close in, so only go 50 or a 100 yards from the coastline, or find a peak of rocks and fish around these.
Bass like oxygenated water, so water splashing against rocks or gushing through gullies attract them, and sand eels (which is their natural food source).
Bass are most active on spring tides, and plugging is best between the months of June and November. Although the bigger bass tend to show from October to November.
Popular Bass plugs include:
The storm saltwater chug bug
Storm Jointed Thunderstick
Rapala Countdown Magnums
Yo Zuri Crystal Minnow
Regarded as a premier marine sport fish in the United Kingdom. The sea bass (Dicentrarchus labraxis) a highly targeted fish for UK sea anglers.
The sea bass is an excellant fighting fish, and the bites are often a real heavy clunk followed by a long run. They provide sea anglers with great sport.
The bass is a very powerful fish, its features include a very large muscular mouth, sharp pointing fins and gills like razors. The scales are menium sized and the colur a steelish bluey grey.
They mainly feed in the surf, for sandeels and on clear days can often be seen swimming, sometimes in depths of water less than a few feet. Other feeding grounds include rock peaks, and ‘School Bass’ can be found entering estuaries during the summer. Juveniles venture far up estuaries into brackish water, where salt water meets fresh.
Bass move inshore to spawn during March through to June, they are a very slow growing fish and a few year ago were becoming very rare.
Thankfully strict size limits, and a marketed catch and release policy has helped preserve stocks. Cleaner coastal waters are also all helping populations of bass to become re-established in many areas, but commercial fishing is still the major obstacle.
One of the better Bass Books I have read
Now an established classic on the subject, this revised and updated edition of Hooked on Bass shows anglers how to catch bass, particularly the bigger fish, from the shore. With excellent photography and clear, detailed diagrams to help illustrate the advice, any angler, beginner or expert, who has caught or would like to catch bass will find endless value in the pages of this book.
My Opinion on Hooked on Bass:
This is one of the better bass fishing books I have come across. It focuses on shore fishing for Bass, from rocks, beaches and estuaries. So if your looking for a book on how to catch Bass, what tackle and rigs to use, general methods natural baits and best bass venues then this is the book for you.
I prefer these types of book as they focus on one fish, and the information is detailed. It has actually got some humour as well, so it makes for a little more interest.
Anyway, I wont tell you too much otherwise it will spoil your read.
Best price I have found for this book is at Amazon
This method is as basic as it gets, but it is great for catching pollack in the daytime.
Light Beach caster or Carp Rod
Multiplier or fixed spool reel with 20lb main line
30lb shockleader – length depending how far up the cliffs you are fishing.
3feet 12lb trace
3/0 aberdeen hook
Ammo blast frozen sandeel.
Attach the weight to the snap swivel
Thread the snap swivel up the shock leader
Thread bead onto shock leader
Tie swivel the end of shock leader
Tie trace with hook to the other end of the swivel.
There are other methods where you could tie the weight to the shockleader using a rotten bottom method, so if the weight gets stuck in a rock, you will loose the weight, but the trace hook and maybe a fish is still in attached.
To use the rotten bottom method, simple tie a few nots in the line with attaches the weight to the main rig, this acts as the weak point within the rig, as the knots cause frictions and become weak, when pressure is applied this is the spot to give and snap.
Fishing MethodHook the sandeel through its mouth and out its belly, so the shaft of the hook is within the eels belly. Wrap elastic tightly around the eel. This will stop the eel from breaking up when casting hard, and will generally last on the hook a lot longer.
Cast the eel, once it hits the bottom, start a steady retrieve and do not stop reeling in (this is essential). When a fish knocks, do NOT strike, keep reeling at the same speed, the rod will start to bend and then reel harder and faster and do not stop. This will hep prevent the pollack from dashing down into the kelp.
Cast into rocky areas and deep gullies. You want to fish where the kelp is as this is where the fish hide waiting for its dinner!
3hrs before high tide, to one hour after.
This method is best on a sunny day, when the sea is calm and clear. The pollack mainly feeds by sigh in shallow areas, so having a visible bait when spinning is half the battle.
This method is also used for wrasse and the odd bass.
We all have to start somewhere and this blog is intended to help the beginner as well as give essential advice to the more experienced angler.
Ok so you’re interested in fishing and would like to take up the sport. My advice for the complete beginner would be to hitch up with a friend who fishes and go with them, try out their rod and see if you’re really going to enjoy the sport. Purchasing rods, reels and tackle can be expensive – so you want to make sure you are going to enjoy the sport before splashing out on new tackle.
Hopefully you enjoy the fishing session and the next move is to purchase your first rod and reel.
The rod will depend on your size; it’s no good purchasing a rod which does not feel right. I would advise you go for a rod capable of casting a 4 to 6oz weight. For a beginner definitely buy a fixed spool fishing reel. A fixed spool reel is much easier to use than a multiplier reel, and generally the cheaper option.
Tackle, is easy. Main fishing line 15 to 20lb, shock leader 30-40lb, hooks, swivels, beads, 4 to 6oz weights, knife, fishing box and rucksack.
The ideal place to find all the above is a car boot sale, you could probably get the lot for under £40.
For further advice look around this fishing blog, leave comments or questions below and I will answer them all.
Good luck on your first fishing trip…..
The mullet is the ‘coarse’ fish of the sea. They are very difficult fish to catch and a grat deal of patience is required.
Mullet can be found all around the coast, but are best targeted where frequent food is present. For example, harbour walls, slip-ways, jetty’s and even sewage out-lets. Estuarys and creeks are also a great place to fish for them.
To get the fish feeding groundbait should be used, a mixture of bread flake with mashed up mackerel is great. Coarse fishing or fly tackle is best, simply use light tackle with a waggler float, a size 8 or 10 hook is ample. With a fly rod, just use a hook with either bread, maggot or a thin strip of mackeral and cast out.
Bites are very small so strike as soon as the float goes, or fly line moves. These fish put up a great fight and can vary in size, a fish of 5lb is common.
The new Salt 2930/301 multiplier reels from Shakespeare have been designed to deliver a combination of top performance and durability and will maximise the output from both monofilament and braid.
The aluminium frame and spool provide perfect alignment to reduce wear and efficiently transfer winding power – the fast 5.5:1 gear ratio recovers nearly a yard of line with every handle turn.
- Star Drag
- Aluminium Frame
- Counterbalanced Power Crank Handle
- Instant Anti Reverse
- One Piece Aluminium Spool
- Rubberised Anti Corrosive Finish Side Plates
To date this is the best shakespeare reel I have owned, the gear ratio makes this reel stand out from others, its very smooth and has that quality feel when reeling in.
I’ve used this for Conger fishing to working a red gill for pollack 30m deep. This reel is an all round performer and ideal for any deep sea fishing.