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The tides for pumping lug are perfect at the moment and remain so until Saturday night.

Thursday night is a huge low water, 0.5 at Dungie, LW 2207 (use a headlight!). Shirl pumped 21 score last night and even I managed 18.5 score, of which at least half were monster worms a good 8" of body and as thick as my middle finger! Anywhere on sand out from between St Marys bay to Jurys Gap will produce. (sorry, can't give favourite spots away, but a safe area is out from the toilet block between Dungie and Seagull tackle 1/2 mile east from Dungie).

Gut them as you dig them (squeeze the head till they pop then give the body a good squeeze), wrap them and freeze them straight away and you will have some prime stand- by cod bait this winter when worms become in short supply.
 

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Sound advice Si,

I'll give Brickie Lee a call and see if he can lend me his pump for a book of raffle tickets.
 

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Geordie, I know you are trying to be helpfull, but that stretch of coast is already being absolutely hammered by pro bait diggers from all over the south east and is already being pumped out patch by patch. Even the pros are starting to moan that they are getting completely cleared from huge patches (just ask Tony at Seagull Tackle).
Taking huge quantities for winter bait means removing even more worms during the time when they breed.
The beaches around Dungeness are one of the last areas of the Kent and Sussex coast that have even a shadow of their former worm concentrations and are under massive pressure already, please dont take more than you are going to use in the summer months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Geordie, I know you are trying to be helpfull, but that stretch of coast is already being absolutely hammered by pro bait diggers from all over the south east and is already being pumped out patch by patch. Even the pros are starting to moan that they are getting completely cleared from huge patches (just ask Tony at Seagull Tackle).
Taking huge quantities for winter bait means removing even more worms during the time when they breed.
The beaches around Dungeness are one of the last areas of the Kent and Sussex coast that have even a shadow of their former worm concentrations and are under massive pressure already, please dont take more than you are going to use in the summer months.
Sorry mate but you're talking rubbish, the majority of worms have already bred (80% of anyway). In digging on the big tides away from the easy smaller worms inshore it is in fact the most conservation friendly way as you are not damaging the nursery areas.

Recreational anglers like me do very little damage to the lug beds, where I pump it is unusual to see another digger I don't already know and rarely more that 2 or 3 other diggers. Last night there were 3 of us who went together and 2 other diggers. I couldn't see anyone else within a mile and the whole area is full of worm. One or two commercial guys who live close by usually dig elsewhere at their "secret" places. I very rarely see the commercial diggers at any of the spots I pump.

There are worms all the way between Hythe and Rye, a huge expanse of sand and millions of worms and if I can save myself £4.50 a score and guarantee quality frozen bait which is better than anything I will ever get from a shop who don't freeze lug until it's not been sold for a day or two, I'm going to do so. I will also be able to go fishing whenever I want and not have to rely on bait suppliers or tide times.

A little reading about the lifecycle of a lugworm.....

Lugworms begin to breed at an age of two years, when they also reach a large enough size to be considered suitable as bait. Each animal spawns on a single day, and the entire population of any beach completes spawning within a few days, although populations on different beaches spawn at different times. Most lugworms breed in winter (October to March), with the majority spawning in November and December. Some 20% of lugworms spawn in summer (July to September, Shahid 1982). Some lugworms die after spawning, and the remainder stops feeding and producing sandcasts for the period during which their larvae are living attached to sand grains in the adult burrows. Adult populations are at their lowest density, and individual worms at their smallest size in winter after breeding. Population density and worm size both increase quickly in spring as growth rates rise and maturing worms migrate into the adult lugworm beds.

Soon after fertilisation, the larvae migrate from the adult beds to a zone just below the low water mark, where they occur in dense populations for the next six months until they reach a length of about 10 mm. They then swim in a mucus tube to the upper part of the shore, where plenty of organic material occurs in a zone just below the strand line (in natural conditions; beach cleaning operations will remove much of the organic input usually provided during the holiday season). Very dense beds of juvenile lugworms occur in this area. The maturing worms eventually move down to the less densely populated adult beds at the bottom of the shore and in the sublittoral. Adult worms are capable of living for six years. They reach weights of 25 g in the south and west, or 10 g in the north-east, and may breed several times during their lifetime.

This complex life cycle makes lugworms very resilient to bait collection pressure, provided that bait diggers do not dig in the nursery beds high on the shore. Populations on the lowest part of the shore and in the shallow sublittoral are only rarely or never exploited. Adult worms will migrate into dug areas from these refuge populations, as well as from the nursery beds. However, the same complexity of life cycle and their relatively slow growth makes lugworms difficult candidates for bait farming, although progress is now being made with the culture of UK species (Olive pers. comm.).


As you have read, spawning worms don't cast so don't get pumped anyway. More harm is done by digging juvenile worms on the smaller tides so if anything, now is the best time to get bait. Bigger worms = less worms required.

In my experience the Dungie lug spawns by the end of May if the "milt" filled worms are anything to go by whichy is usefull as Feb - June is the time when demand for lug in kent is at it's lowest. These collectively I believe are the reasons Kent lug has survived the invention of the bait pump.
 

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If you have the skill to pump that many then good luck to you. You have your fuel to pay to get there, the time it takes to pump them, the physical effort and dedication to pump them and the fact you are saving yourself money.

I have always brought my bait, and while I don't hold it against the diggers, sometimes I have been given worms that are either half dead, or are so tiny, you have to put on 4 at a time to get a single hookbait.

It would be different if the tackle shop did them by weight as you would get what you pay for, but you don't expect to pay the best part of £15 for 3 score and find you have been given a load of rubbish that lasts you about an hour and cuts your session short. If your doing no more than stocking up for the short times, I don't see the problem after all thats what the pro diggers do, what makes them any different?
 

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I'm gonna stick my neck on the line and say if people want to go out and collect large quantities of bait then that's all good.

I don't really see the point of posting it on a forum, this I think might not be such a good idea.

I sit with my head in my hands sometimes reading some of the stuff on here.

I'm off tonight bait collecting tonight, I don't think I'll get the urge to post the details on here tomorrow,:sad:
 

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If you say so mate......
I live there, work there, fish there. I know what i see and I know how things have changed in the last 10 years....
But you must be right, how could taking out hundreds or more likely thousands of worms a day from a single patch of coast day in, day out make any difference.........

Yes, sometimes ther are only a few bait diggers but on other days I have counted 15, and thats only what I can see from the lifeboat station.
I'm not saying dont pump your own bait - I do. What I'm saying is dont tear the ar5e out of it. If its in your freezer for december and january its hardly likely to breed in october or any other time is it?

Still, there's plenty more worms on the beach...........until there isnt.
 

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tbh gibber fish its right there should be arears that need to be left fallow for 3 idealy 4 year (but you cant please every one) at a time to allow the worms to rebuild that area that way you will always have worm for year to come and so will your kids tho they are looking in to good farming techniques so this could bring price down a bit
also look for other good baits out there too like cockles mussles go down to your local fish monger i often get free bait(binned stuff) from them yeah its not lug but theres prawns, fillets of mackerel and bits anb bobs and there normally happy as it saves them a trip to the bins

i did today got about 10kg of stuff obviosly its not all good but i freeze or salt what is and use rest in lobster potting or if you got aboat u can mince it stick in some tights you got some awsome chum
 

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Geordie, I know you are trying to be helpfull, but that stretch of coast is already being absolutely hammered by pro bait diggers from all over the south east and is already being pumped out patch by patch. Even the pros are starting to moan that they are getting completely cleared from huge patches (just ask Tony at Seagull Tackle).
Taking huge quantities for winter bait means removing even more worms during the time when they breed.
The beaches around Dungeness are one of the last areas of the Kent and Sussex coast that have even a shadow of their former worm concentrations and are under massive pressure already, please dont take more than you are going to use in the summer months.
well said m8 ,last thing dungie needs is every one down there hammering it in summer :thumbdown:thumbdown:nono::nono:
 

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im the third digger that was there last night and it was my 1st ever session with my lovely sexy slim pump i won at the GT MEET sooooo much easier than my 50mm alvey ...whilst not getting a huge amount i think my 8 1/2 score is amazing for a 1st time with new pump(think lee if you bought a few more raffle tickets it could of been yours lol)

and as for gibberfish,s comments all i can say is i can see you point of view but can you please explain to me the difference between my buying my worms and digging my own???? i only have an 'o'level in maths but when i do the maths it works out as:-

last winter season money spent 120 score @ £4.50/score = £540

this winter season money spent 120 score self dug =£000000

worms removed from bed to supply my demand 120 score

so by my maths i use 120 score per winter it doesnt matter if i dig them or i buy them its still 120 score the only diffenence is the £540 i have to pay someone for a job i can do myself

so whilst i understand your concern about the number of worms being taken the only thing that will effect how many worms are dug is whether or not the cod come and play this winter!!!!!
 

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get every one on the forum in this area down there to hammer it this time of year ,then you will be paying £6 score when there is even less worms , we all use differant baits this time of year and that give the worms time to rejuvinate:wallbash::doh::eek:fftopic:
 

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I've got to side with gibber on this one, i sell dungie lug and things are becoming pretty hard along the sands here. i like to think that it has more to do with cyclical reasons than anything but then i am an eternal optimitist (arent all us fisherman!).

What worries me is the fact Si says that at least half were of a good sie (no letter on my keyboard after Y). I know exactly what he means when he is talking about the smaller worms and they are not worth a wotsit, certainly not worth bothering with for winter codding. I avoid areas with lots of small worms.

I am avoiding a certain local area, may well be where Si dug, because of the quantity of small worms there. Like Si says only half are worth having. Where i have dug this week produced 95%+ of good worms, less worms in total but only saleable worms were dug.

Everyone has the choice to pump bait but think about what you take and how many. No matter how many people stock up come september onwards the beach will be awash with people trying to pump bait making our lives even harder, i cant wait!
 

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and as for gibberfish,s comments all i can say is i can see you point of view but can you please explain to me the difference between my buying my worms and digging my own???? i only have an 'o'level in maths but when i do the maths it works out as:-

last winter season money spent 120 score @ £4.50/score = £540

this winter season money spent 120 score self dug =£000000

worms removed from bed to supply my demand 120 score

so by my maths i use 120 score per winter it doesnt matter if i dig them or i buy them its still 120 score the only diffenence is the £540 i have to pay someone for a job i can do myself

so whilst i understand your concern about the number of worms being taken the only thing that will effect how many worms are dug is whether or not the cod come and play this winter!!!!!
There is nothing wrong with pumping your own bait instead of buying it, its what i do a lot of the time.
What i am saying is don't take the worms out of the beach till you need them and dont take more than you think you will need. That way the worms will have a better chance to reproduce.
To be honest, i freeze any leftovers that I do have and that gives me what i need for the lean times - I dont pump to freeze.

Interestingly, a certain local tackle dealer swears that amature pumpers kill more worms than they catch! I dont agree with him but its an interesting point.
 

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The Dungie black/yellow is a hardy little soul, they bounce back in numbers after realy hard winters such as the earlier sixties, that killed thousands that year ,but come the summer they were then there again in numbers. Of course over diging/pumpin takes its toll , but the few odd tides of making hay by a few wsf members on long tides will make no difference. The guys whose living depends on digging bait is hammering the beds at every opportunity!You dont see Billy or Kevin, Tim or Dave, Frankie or Vic telling themselves' I had better stop at 20 score, or there wont be any tommoz otherwise'!!
You dont see the same guys using spades anymore either, but a lot of them lambast the anglers who use them and the guys that have invested in the equipment to perfect and manufacture them!!
cheers, mick
 
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nice one geordie!

me and a load of mates are off down there for the next four tides and are gonna "bucket" right up on them big ole worms.

your a good lad u are!:happy:
 
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nice one geordie!

me and a load of mates are off down there for the next four tides and are gonna "bucket" right up on them big ole worms.

your a good lad u are!:happy:
You can get me some while you're there and if you don't mind popping them up to Essex, that would be great.:love:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A. I haven't said where I dig. The bank I dug is only accessible at tides of 0.8 or less so are only dug a few times a year. There are a zillion worms out there.

B. the only people who take thousands of worms from the same areas are pro diggers, I now have 1400 worms in my freezer dug over about 6 tides this year and I now have just about enough for this winter. I'm not being greedy, I'll still buy at least 50 score between Oct-Jan but what I am doing is guaranteing my supply. Getting bait at short notice is difficult on short tides in the winter as we all know.
I don't like fish or shellfish for cod (except after a storm when shellfish is great, but I collect my own from the HW line anyway).

C. Digging is much harder in winter plus I prefer to fish Dungie over low water so can't do both!

D. I agree it would be knackered if everyone dug the same patch, but they don't and it isn't. I'm sorry if recreational anglers are making life more difficult for commercial diggers, but they manage to sell everything they pump, fresh or frozen down for the winter and some even sell it on the internet! If I could get worm every time I needed it I wouldn't dig my own, it's bloody hard work!

E. Fill yer boots Dave.

F. I don't care anymore.

G. Don't throw away your defrosted unused frozen. Re-freeze it and it'll be perfect for catching Dabs on the 30th January 2011.
 
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