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I had a go at fishing Hayling Island today. I say had a go as the strong tide made it a bit of a struggle. I was using 6oz weights as that was the heaviest I had and the heaviest my rod is rated to cast but each cast got delivered back by the tide. I was using gemini break out weights which seemed to break out too easily despite my best efforts to tighten the wires. The only way I could make a bait stick for any period of time was by insulation taping the wires permanently in place.

I was not expecting a particularly rough sea and when I arrived I thought it looked what I have heard described as bassy. I initially went for one up and one down rig with rag but the baits got annihilated by the waves. I changed to sand eel which stood up to the conditions but came back untouched. I then changed to a single squid stuffed with lug but still no joy. We battled until the tide changed at which point it calmed down enough for me to deploy a second rod with which I managed to scratch up a single whiting to save the blank.

I'm still not sure what I should do with this kind of sea. I half think I should have turned around and gone home. However I also think if I had heavier weights and stronger gear I would have been more effective.

If the fishing had been better I would have been more annoyed about the kite surfer who set up next to me and got a bit too close for comfort. I usually fish the Inn On The Beach but moved to the other side of the fun fair to avoid them. At one point the surfer had a bad run and ended up getting dragged right across where we were fishing. Luckily all our rods were in at the time otherwise it could have been a bit of a tangle.

I have still enjoyed the day, Hayling Island is a beautiful place for a bad session.
 

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Binding the wires of a gripper is a good way to hold bottom,
If the tide runs and your bait finds a holding place that's probably the better way to find when bait is congregating so it's most likely to be where the fish are, reading the current will help you pick up your intended target.
 

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You can buy plastic gripleads that attach above your usual gripper with no extra weight .....these are excellent for holding bottom .The only downside is that if there is weed about you bring in a lot more. Pete.
 

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Not all hayling beaches are surf beaches but you need the right timing for harbour entrance shingle beach. I know what you mean about those big waves...
 

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I didnt want to do another thread...so just a quick update, i fished on Friday night east of the island, but had no keeper size fish. I was beaten on my last cast when my rod lifted off the rest by what I suspect to be a big smut rather than bass...so get your hard backs ready for next weekend
 

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I didnt want to do another thread...so just a quick update, i fished on Friday night east of the island, but had no keeper size fish. I was beaten on my last cast when my rod lifted off the rest by what I suspect to be a big smut rather than bass...so get your hard backs ready for next weekend

Smuts? You being serious?
 

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apparently the best bait on Hayling for bass is either a mackerel head or tail... I had a 10lb bass there using a tail on a 4-0 pulley fished about 5 yards into the surf.. I have spoken to the locals who fish there all the time and all they ever use is heads and tails...
 

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Very seasonal Rossy same as anywhere else... When the mackerel are in then yeah killer bait, but this time of year when the crabs start moulting then peeler is a lot more productive.... Shortly after the Cuttle spawn and die and with the Influx of dead cuttle everywhere they'll out fish anything else... When the Pout turn up in force then live baiting one will get more hits then a dead bit of Mackie... Later in the summer a good chunk of Garfish will account for a lot of good Bass, then normally squid baits end of the year.....

Bass will eat most things but you want to be targeting them with what ever they will naturally be looking for at the time.
 

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There's been a lot of smoothounds caught already of the boats, I've had a couple in hayling bay half a mile of the beach whilst plaice fishing. Biggest I've heard is 8-10lb so there's every chance it could of been a smoothound.
 

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Crinkly line
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You can never say never but this time of year although the boats have had them for weeks you just never see them from the beach this early.. Obviously no one will ever know but time of year assuming it more likely to be Bass or even a ray.
 

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I still think we're having May fishing in March...and reckon hayling gets the bigger hounds before anywhere else like west beach and Bracklehound bay which is usually in May, but this year things are arriving early. So my money is on the next spring tide and hope im wrong because I'm not a fan of smut fishing. If only i didnt have to take my son to football match at 9.30am i would have stayed and finish off all my crab bait in the bucket. I loaded up two smaller size crabs to make it a big one, a classic hound setup and ive only caught bass above 4lb on peeler once in my life and that was years ago. So it's not a big fish catcher more like a scratching bait that hounds cant resist the scent. I was 50yards up the beach putting my gears away when I heard my rod heading for iow. Thought it was too powerful for a bass but who knows...
 
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