June 2007 Fishing Report
Published 22nd June 2007
It's a long time since our last report, it's just been one of those years so far! Lots to do and very little time to do it...
The weather hasn't been very helpful and I think to date we've already lost somewhere in the region of 75 trips since the beginning of the year due to bad weather. Whenever possible, and fishing on the small tides, we have ventured offshore and have found in the deep water wrecks lots of pollack and cod. The waters our side of the channel, have produced lots of smaller cod and as usual lots and lots of bass, although the run of fish this year seems to be quite small. Mind you, at the end of the day we can't keep catching all of the big one's and keeping them and still expect the big fish still to be there.
As the season has progressed the weather has slowly started to sort itself out, although the wind has played a large factor in the loss of trips. We've had good catches of Plaice up to 5lbs and I've had reports from some of the other boats of doing even better! Whilst drifting baits, during the slacker parts of the tide, we are catching plaice and now some black bream. If you put crab baits down, then you'll start picking up Smooth hounds that seem to be available in quite large numbers at times. Earlier in the year we struggled to find the skate but there do seem to be a few more of those around now. There seems to be, as usual, large numbers of smaller codling throughout the Channel which can be quite good fun on light tackle.
Although inshore waters still seem to be rather dirty, as you get further offshore the water clears up quite drastically and there has been pollack, bass and codling on most of the wrecks. Some of the small private fishing boats seem to be getting a bit carried away and are taking excessive amounts of small bass, and I would even go so far as to say under-sized bass. They seem to have forgotten that they are meant to be fishing for sport and not to fill the freezer. Fish tastes better fresh. Take a couple, cook them and enjoy them by all means. We all need to think of the future - these fish need time to grow...especially the bass. In my mind they are also too good to only catch once!
Mackerel haven't shown up inshore yet, although the Varne seems to have a plentiful supply. A few weeks ago the bass turned up in large numbers, a little later than usual. Bass fever kicked in. I think the best we managed to count, was 17 boats on one wreck!!! The majority of them were, of course, French.
Unfortunately I think most anglers now have the attitude, be it right or wrong, that if I don't take the fish I catch, then either the French boats or commercial boats will. In my opinion this attitude is wrong. We are constantly receiving papers from DEFRA with plans to impose new fish limits and fishing licenses - all of which will have an impact on charter boat fishing throughout the UK. If we were all sensible this wouldn't be necessary.
The licensing issue could be a problem due to the fact that a lot of our charters are for people that only fish once or twice a year, and the cost of a license on top of their fishing trip would more than likely tip the scales as to whether or not they bother to fish any more. Of course, this does depend upon what they have in mind - either way it is guaranteed to be more expense and hassle.
The biggest problem with the English Channel through the Dover Straits is that it is rather narrow and fishing always seems to be rather intense through this section of water. Our stretch of the water at the moment seems to be hampered with small netting boats which never helps - but I guess they're just trying to make a living. It would just be nicer if they made a living in someone else's backyard!
We recently had the pleasure of taking Keith Arthur, Max Cottis, Wendy Perry and the SKY Sports film crew out fishing to do a feature for Keith's show, Tight Lines. You will be able to see how we got on next Friday 29th June on SKY Sports 3 at 6:30pm.
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