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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I thought I'd tell you about my first 2014 weekend fishing and would welcome your thoughts, (perhaps just read the bits in bold if this is too longwinded) although I appreciate it’s still a bit early in the year and I probably shouldn’t expect too much yet.

The missus was due to Eurotunnel over to Paris Thursday night, but the trains were cancelled, so instead I had to drive her to Southampton airport to get a last minute early morning flight. Thought if I have to get up at 4am to get her to the airport for 6am I might as well throw the rods in the car. :)

Managed to kick her out at the airport in time and continued to drive down to Portland to fish a few marks I’ve fished before. I found the harbour was gin clear and was glad to see some bait fish cruising about. Blue skies and sunshine, it was just nice being out and wetting a line, in fact I think I got most of my lures wet although I didn’t have a touch. Tried a few spots then decided to go and have a bit of a stroll/fish along Chesil.

I clambered over the shingle at Ferrybridge and found with an offshore wind the water was dead flat, calm and clear. There were several anglers fishing with feathers and I could see a few bait fish swimming up and down in the ‘waves’. I walked/fished a 500yd stretch. Tried a few surface and shallow lures and had a go with the SG Sandeels. It just all felt a bit dead really with everything too quiet.
It was approaching midday and low tide so I decided to jump in the car and go and have an explore/roadtrip East…

Chesil beach seemed too busy further along (abbs and Bex) so I decided to give it all a miss and go and have a look around Devon for an evening of fishing…

Ended up at Hopes Nose, I arrived about 3pm and found the whole East side full of anglers feathering and pulling out mackerel. I moved around to a quieter point on the West side and proceeded to go through my repertoire of lures. Again not a touch, I even had a root around in the bottom of my bag for something resembling a mackerel and found some sidewinder joey’s. I quite like these things as the tail flaps like mad no matter how slow you reel them (it's funny how you can like something even when you've never caught a fish with it?!) . But again nothing so I thought I might try some small soft plastics. Switched to a texas rigged lunker city paddle tail in arkansas shiner. Slowly bounced across the bottom and I got a good solid tug then nothing. Reeled in and found the tail had been bitten clean off?! Never had that before? Would a wrasse do that?

Anyway I got bored of catching nothing, so thought ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ and decided to have a crack at the mackerel. I put on one of those small mucho lucir jig things and pulled out 5 good fish in 30 consecutive casts. That was a bit of fun but made me think maybe you can’t catch bass when there are an abundance of mackeral around?!

By now it was about 7pm, so I grabbed my stuff, went back to the car and drove around the corner for an evening on Meadfoot beach. Again not much showing and the water was quite clear. I fished for about an hour before my 4am start began catching up with me..
I called it a day and drove into Paignton for a Chinese takeaway. Then had a snooze in the car with the intention of fishing Berry Head at first light…

It was my first time fishing Berry Head and to be honest I found it all a bit daunting. There was quite a big swell and I was in a quite elevated fishing position, so struggled to get any of my lures to behave or dive, and my only suitable deep divers cast crap. (Shopping list : some sinking lures, any suggestions?!) I ended up just fishing with shads and SG Sandeels again but I get bored of these things pretty quickly and by midday I was back at the car.

decided to go into Brixham for fish and chips, a walk about and a look in the marina. A few people fishing in the marina, but the sea-side of the wall was a milky colour and there was no real sign of fish other than the odd bait fish milling around. Plus it was now low tide. Decided to drive East some more and have a look around for somewhere to fish the afternoon.

Looked around Dartmouth, Stoke Fleming and Blackpool sands, before deciding for a walk/fish along Slapton Sands (mainly because parking was a nightmare everywhere else and I fancied a walk). By now there was a big onshore wind and the surf was picking up, although the water was still quite clear. I must have walked about a mile in total up and down, although again couldn’t get much action or range on my lures due to the headwind and swellso mostly used the dexter wedge which is not my most confident lure. I got a bit tired and cold and decided to move along...

Decided to look at Start Point for the evening, but by the time I got there and had a walk about there wasn’t much light left and I was feeling knackered. :sleeping: Went back to the car and drove home.

So what did we learn?
20hrs fishing, 9 marks, different terrain and conditions = 5 mackerel :wallbash:
I need a good casting deep-diving lure!
I need a lure that is good in a swell!
If there are loads of mackerel about are the bass there? And can you catch them? :blink:

Anyway – It’s good to be back out and I’m looking forward to things picking up.

Tight lines,

Brett
 

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That's one hell of a trip from Essex to Devon via Southampton, fair play to you for giving it a go.

I can't even get motivated to drive the 20 mins from Southampton to the Solent at the moment as the water is so coloured and having blanked the last couple of trips I am waiting to hear of any catch reports before I try again.
 

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I admire your dedication.:crazy:
 

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Great effort nice report ...
Got to be in it to win it ?
Can't catch anything sat in an arm chair ...(though seems some people on here do , lmfao )
You would have learnt something any way ...May not be something obvious , but when your out again , something will come up , that you learnt ..
Good luck next time
 

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Great effort..great report.. great read!
Thanks for finding the energy to write it up, after all that lack of sleep

My suggestions...

Try scaling down lure size early in the year (75 -90 mm)
With smaller sizes needed..to maintain distance.... have a look at
Vibration options e.g. DUO Tide vibe 75 or Bassday Range Vibes, Jackall Big Backer, and similar from IMA, and Coreman.
and..
Sinking options: Maria Duplex, DUO Beachwalker Sprint 75's, Megabass X-80's

For lures that work well in snotty conditions...as well as the usual suspects talked about on here .. I'd say, have a look at Beachwalker 120MD, Maria Squash 125, 130+ Tide Minnows, IMA Sasuke 140 (sinking), Tackle House K2F-142, Evergreen 'Stream Demon' 160, and Duel Hardcore Minnows 150+

For sub surface, in the snot...Maria Fakebait NL-1 every time for me!
For Toppers ..in the snot.....Gunny's, Bowstick 130's, Realis Pencil 110, Chug Bugs
 

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Great effort just a shame you didn't hit silver... Next time mate!! My partners off to a festival in July for four days and taking the nippers with her.. I've been thinking of a solo road/surf/fishing trip just gonna chuck the gear in van and head out.. Your story's inspired me even more.. Cheers!!
 

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Agree with KerdiffLad on the Maria Fakbait NL. I just bought a Maria Squash, but haven't tried it yet.

With lots of mackerel about, I have a bit of success with:

1. A small seatrout fly fished very slowly in front of the lure. I reckon the bass sometimes cruise around looking for wee fish that have been bashed up (but not scoffed) by the mackerel.

2. Freelining a live mackerel. Hook it behind its middle -- that way, every time you tighten the line, it swims away.

But the real problem, I find, is that mackerel are so quick to grab almost anything I chuck out. I have sacrificed a lot of soft lures to their wee teeth.
 

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Agree with KerdiffLad on the Maria Fakbait NL. I just bought a Maria Squash, but haven't tried it yet......
Yeah, NL-1 has done me proud over the years..

Good call too, on investing in a Squash I reckon...:punk:

..I predict great things for the 'Squash' later in 2014 (pronounced 'Skash'!)

Here's my 'Squash Crew' gathered from around the world......
Maria Squash Crew 2014.jpg

The finish on em is second to none.. and a lot tougher than most others.. (their ability to withstand chipping is featured in their video advertising)

...p.s. the bottom two lures are a subsurface Maria Amnis 1 in mullet (Maria's version of the Duo DCBullet12)..............and an old Maria Angel Kiss in pearl sandeel
 

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When there are mackerel around there are usually bass - the thing is to concentrate on where the bass will be. Usually under or behind the mackerel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the advice fellas, it's all appreciated and I don't have any of those suggested lures, so will be worth a buzz!

I should update my profile as I moved from Essex about 6yrs ago and currently live in Middlesex/NW London.

I actually quite enjoy road trips. working as a Rep I drive about 60,000 miles a year for work and think very little of just jumping in the car and heading off with very little sleep or layby power naps.

All good fun! Cheers,

Brett
 
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