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It has been around 15 years since I last went sea fishing. This was due to the number of nets 100 yards or so off the beach in the pevensey bay and Eastbourne area. I had, had enough of being lucky to catch a deeply hooked 3 bearded rockling, that I turned my attention to carp angling, and sold all my sea gear to fund the new project.............

Well 15 or so years on I was recently given a second hand Mitchell star beach caster (top eye missing) so repaired and bought a cheap fixed spool reel off of amazon. I wish now looking back I had never sold my 2 x Abu multipliers conoflex rod and my beloved diawa Paul kerry pro beach caster rod and other tackle for £125!

anyway to the point........................ I have now been sea fishing twice now. first time it was really calm and I had 3 whiting, 1 weever (grr) and a first of a small starry smooth hound! yay

Today I had another go in the Cooden beach area and caught around 9 or 10 whiting! Great although most when put back became seagull food! this has made me wish I never went fishing in the first place. I am so used to carp fishing and catch and release, but the mortality rate for the fish I caught is unacceptable. I handled them as little as possible putting them in a bucket of sea water before unhooking? if they were deeply hooked ( i had even crushed the barb down) cut the hook as close to the eye as possible before returning, only to see them around 5 minutes later being scoped up by the gulls.

Tonight i have come home feeling really low. The sea is exploited enough without me killing fish that need not die. unless i start using huge hooks what else could i do?

any advice welcome!
 

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use a tazer gun?



Only joking, so far fingers crossed i haven't experienced this yet, but im sure somebody will come along with some good advice.
 

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Welcome back mate enjoy
cheers, still can't get away from sea fishing. with river and lake fishing you kinda know what you are gonna get but sea fishing is all about the unexpected! also surprised to see seals off of the coast where i used to fish before and never saw hide nor hair of them before which must mean population explosion of good fish stocks!
 

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Hi mate. Ref whiting, they are a sensitive fish and don't usually go back well. When gut hooked they're pretty much done for tbh. In size ones usually go home with me for fish cakes.
 

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Hi mate. Ref whiting, they are a sensitive fish and don't usually go back well. When gut hooked they're pretty much done for tbh. In size ones usually go home with me for fish cakes.
Hi Nobby thanks for the info, I was also thinking along the same line. I may as well eat them instead of them becoming Shite hawk food, too many bloody beachyhead chickens on the scrounge, now used to McDonalds fillet of fish!

most were lip hooked but I spoke to some guys down the Den in Pevensey whilst getting some bait and they have said they are very delicate and do not do well being handled due to heat from the hands. i am better using a gemini discorger and using that to get them off the hook into a bucket of sea water. that way i dont handle them. Saying that though i wet a load of newspaper i had from some lug and the rolling wave smashed them up more than being handled as they dont seem very powerful swimmers just sitting on the surface of the water! So yeah, i think i will do my best to return but possibly in a net?
 

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I can't give you any practical advice on whiting handling, but I wouldn't let yourself get too upset, it's just the way they are, and as Nobby said still edible with a bit of this and that ;)
 
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