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The Matchman Letters #4

Written by Tony Geal

Sunny at the solstice 21/6/2011
Dave, Ian and myself are also members of the S.A.S. and today we  fished their Summer Solstice which for health and safety reasons was moved from the West Arm to Worthing Pier.

The Comp started at Midday, draw was done at eleven. My gut feeling was to fish close in and try for flounders and schoolies and then head out onto the landing stage after high water or when any dogfish was landed. I should have followed my instinct but as usual I didn't, I followed every one else!

I started fishing the Landing Stage and found out that my specially made up dog fish rigs were still on the bench at home in the garden shed. I never saw a bite, nobody had any fish apart from one sea Scorpion. Gradually nearly all the anglers left the landing stage for pastures new, leaving just one other and me!

I moved into the north east corner of the Landing stage and fished Maddies (my father's and my favourite spot for flat fish when I was a child). Seconds after casting out the rod tip gave a pull down resulting in a 24cm Plaice, but that was it, nothing else! But very pleasant sitting there in the sunshine.

Pike came along to see me for a chat. He told me porkies about what was being caught by others on the top deck, so I decided to move up to the empty space by Dave. I had just cast out when the word gets around about dogfish being caught on the landing stage. Immediately I pack up again and back down I go!

When you are skate fishing out at sea and you have a perfect skate bait on it is taken by yes the humble dog fish! Well I'm please to say it works on the pier as well. One 54cm Dogfish thank you!

The Plaice and the L.S.D. got me third spot, Dave had the biggest Flattie with a 26cm flounder and Ian had the biggest round fish by default with a 21cm Bass. We all got our stake money back.
The next trip is defending my Conger Club Championships at Brixham next weekend then looking forward to my first big hound from the beach in our comp at Selsey the following Wednesday.
Wish me luck!




Pollack on the fly

I know  good place...where the rocks are gradually exposed on the ebbing tide and it's possible to hop from rock to rock until you are able to get far enough from the shore to cast a fly into water beween twelve and twenty feet deep even at low tide. There's location in particular where there are two jagged fingers of barnacle encrusted rock that rise up steeply from the crystal clear water and the fronds of kelp growing over the submerged reef.Between these two outcrops lies a bay where pollack heard together shoals of bait fish and they set about them with great ferocity as dusk begins to fall. This, of course, is a great time to be casting a fly or using a light spinning rod.

In other places within this cove they lie in ambush on the down tide edge of the rocks waiting to pick off the small fish as they are swept along with the tide. Pollack will very often sweep upwards through a shoal of bait fish, taking as many as possible before crash diving back to the bottom.

If a fly or lure is fished too high in the water they will totally ignore it so you have to be prepared to risk losing tackle by fishing as close to the kelp as possible. But as the light fades they move closer to the surface and this presents the best opportunity for some exciting action.

When a pollack hits your fly it will dive for the bottom at speed

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