An untraditional bank holiday

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · May 31, 2016

What happened to the normal poor weather and bad conditions to spoil a typical British bank holiday? I don’t know about you, but I had a cracking weekend. Unfortunately I was unable to get the peeler crabs I so desperately wanted, but it didn’t stop me catching loads of fish and having a great weekend. Lets take a look at just some of the great catches that happened over the weekend.

Firstly Dan Church proved, on a trip to Abbotsbury that you don’t need fresh peeler crab to catch smoothounds. He opted for two frozen peeler wrapped in squid to take this lovely hound.

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Mark Parfitt sent me this report from a recent trip to Chesil: I have been sea fishing for about four years now and a plaice was still on my list for a new species . This year I’ve  put in about 8 sessions around the Solent area trying for one but only managing a few small dabs. I came down to Chesil a good few weeks ago and had a chat with Tom at Abbotsbury tackle. He told me they were a good distance out , which just about ruled my casting distance out . I came down yesterday for a session targeting smoothound for a bit of sport and a few mackerel for a weekend BBQ, but unfortunately took one look at the water and knew the mackerel wouldn’t be close enough. So armed with ragworm and 6 good peeler from Tom I focused on the hounds. Top of the tide had a banging bite and thought I was into a ray. When I saw the orange spots I almost wet myself with excitement, I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, not only my first ever plaice but a 4lb 12oz absolute beauty caught on a 3/0 pulley Penney with a bunch of rag. Happy man was an understatement. Through the day I also managed 5 smoothound biggest going 7lb and a doggie. It was without doubt the best day time session I’ve had, packing up due to running out of bait about 8.30. On the long drive home all I could think was eat it ? Or stuff it? What a day but there was one guy 50 yards to my left and two to my right  about 80 yards away who caught nothing .

Iv been reading every report you’ve published for over three years now and your old phrase of 50 yards from a mark springs to mind

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Thanks for sharing your trip with us Mark. I would love to feature more of everyone’s pictures and tales.

It is amazing how two days can be so different. I decided to try for some Mackerel from Chesil. When we got to the waters edge, one look at the tea coloured water was enough for me to know it wasn’t even worth wetting the lines. I decided to go after some Bass on lures instead. I headed over to Portland Harbour and a mark that normally produces over high water. Unfortunately with such a small tide this weekend, there was not enough water to bring the Bass close to shore on that mark. I knew another couple of marks that would produce, but not till the tide started to ebb. I had a long lunch, then headed to my next mark. First cast and myself and Gavin had knocks from Garfish, We could see loads of Garfish following the surface lures, but not hooking up properly. I switched to a 5g Fladen mini shore jig and had even more hits, but still no hook ups. Gavin went for a larger Maxi shore jig and straight away had a Bass. I quickly changed and was also hit straight away. Even though we were using different colours (green and blue), it was the size of the jig that made the difference. I found the same pattern last year. The more I use shore jigs and work on the different ways of using them , the more I like them. I will create a video on the different way of using them, so you can see how effective they are as lures. At the end of the day both myself and Gavin had at least 30 each and my other mate John had loads as well. There was no great size to them, but it shows that the Bass stocks seem to be recovering.

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As I said earlier, it is amazing how two consecutive days can be so different. I went back yesterday at the same state of the tide and all I managed was a couple of knocks from Garfish.

Catch and cook: For almost a year now, myself and Fishing Tails cameraman Gavin, have been filming loads of videos that we intend to release over the course of the year. One area we have been concentrating on is Catch & Cook. We spent all day Saturday, finishing off filming the first of the series. Even before we have finished editing it, I know you will love it. Check out the picture below of our Cod and Chorizo recipe, I don’t really like fish that much but this blew me away. We are aiming for to release the video next Monday. We are still looking for you to send in your fish recipes to be included for our recipe of the month competition. Each month the winner will receive a prize, with all winners being judged at the end of the year. The winner will win a place on the River cottage shoreline course. To enter just send my your fish or shellfish recipes with some pictures to [email protected]

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Chesil Beach: calm with lightly coloured water

Portland: calm with lightly coloured water.

Portland harbour: calm and clear water

Weymouth Bay: Calm with clear water

Chesil Beach forecast: with the water so coloured with May water, mackerel fishing is pretty much out of the window. The May water should clear in a couple of weeks. The Smoothhounds don’t seem to be effected by the algae bloom and are my top target species this week. There is still a good chance of a plaice.

Portland: Wrasse fishing all over the island has been amazing. My friend Nathan Edgell managed 70 over a couple of days. He was using soft plastic lures.

Portland Harbour: There was a lot of anglers fishing in the Harbour over the weekend. It proved to be a good mark, with lots of Garfish, Pollock, Wrasse and Bass landed.

Weymouth Bay: As usual the piers continue to fish well with bait. Ragworm will tempt the Wrasse and Pollock, whilst small strips of Mackerel are ideal for Mackerel, Garfish and Pollock. Preston Beach should fish reasonably well for dabs and flounder, but there are better marks that I have mentioned above for this week.

Guiding: The new guiding season is underway once again. Although we can’t keep any Bass at the moment, we can certainly catch them. I am hoping that the winter fishing ban and the new commercial quotas, combined with an increase in the minimum landing size, will make for some great Bass fishing. I specialize in lure fishing and I am offering Fly fishing this year as well. I am still more than happy to go after the multitude of species in this area with bait, whether that is big Wrasse, explosive Smoothound fishing or targeting the tastier fish such as Plaice and Bream. If you want to book a session or find out more information drop me an email at [email protected]

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5 Responses to "An untraditional bank holiday"
  1. Rob Aylen says:

    Great report. I was the guy 50 yards to the left who caught nothing. When I saw Mark pull in that plaice I knew it was a special fish. I fished on through the night but only had dogfish and pouting and one dropped smoothound. Cest la vie! Congrats again to Mark on that super plaice.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      That is fishing for you Rob. I know it happens to me regularly. But it is seeing someone catch a decent fish, that makes you go out time and again.

      • Rob Aylen says:

        Absolutely Sean, I love the challenge of Chesil, you just never know what will happen next! Thanks again for the great reports and articles!

  2. brean slosher says:

    what a great plaice. and well done on all those bass sean , must try those fladen jigs

  3. Mark parfitt says:

    Glad you managed to catch Rob , a fish is a fish at the end of the day. And thanks for taking the pictures

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