As this year draws to an end I thought I would share my thoughts on how my fishing year went!
The year started with storms and gales that wrecked many of the marks I fish. Chesil was hit very hard and tons of shingle were swept off the beaches and out to sea. Making the famous bank level in the short term, the old pill boxes exposed their foundations and the sea breached the sea wall at Portland.
This had the effect of a lot of anglers favourite marks disappearing and new ones had to be found I think a lot of the clay marks were buried under the shingle from the beach and the Plaice were very thin on the ground . A fair amount of lugworm was washed up so the lug beds also got a good bashing. I don’t think we had a decent plaice run early season like we have had in previous years.
However dispite all the doom and gloom Chesil repaired itself and over the course of a few months the shingle reverted back to the ridges that we all know and love although the fishing was still very slow.
For some reason the Ferrybridge end from about June onwards fished it socks off with reports of Bass bream codling gunard smoothhound to name but a few being caught on a regular basis. In fact the codling were in plague proportions and bags of a dozen fish being caught was the norm nothing big most in the 2 to 3 lb mark with the odd bigger one being taken .
The Cod Open match was well supported and a lot of Codling were weighed in this run of fish looks like being here for a few weeks yet. The more western marks are now playing catch up and the codling are all along the length of the bank.
Nearer home some of my local marks had also felt the brunt of the storm . Milford shingle bank was split and partly washed away and needed the help of diggers to rebuild it. I fished a session at Barton and lost three sets of gear in three casts to the clay sea bed that had been exposed. That whole area did fish very well for undulate rays and many fine specimens were caught up to 18 lb.
One fish that was missing was the mackerill in the club matches I fished there were plenty of small scad being caught but very few macki in fact this was the situation around the country until late August when they arrived in vast numbers . Southbourne was a Mecca for them some shoals were at least 500 yds long great fun on light gear. No sooner had they arrived they had gone again why they were late this year who knows was it the storms or global warming we shall never know.
Apart from the large number of undulates being caught most other fish were small which I think reflects in the amount of nets and trawlers that fish Bournemouth Bay. To catch these smaller fish you have to scale down your gear to coarse style angling gone are the days when you could fish 2 rods with sandeel for the small eyed rays at Southbourne and catch a few they seem few and far between.
So it’s been a funny old year not many plaice for me although I fished Chesil more than normal with limited success loads of yting a few bream but nothing special. Locally with match gear had some nice sole at Southbourne but no Rays . Still there is always next year lets hope the fishing improves !!