Smoothounds and Rays

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · May 20, 2016

It is getting to that time of year when the larger Smoothounds start arriving in numbers. Reports from the Solent indicate that the hounds are well and truly in and some impressive catches have been reported. I love fishing for Smoothound, they have to be one of my favourite sea fish. Not regarded as a good eating fish, they more than make up for that in their sporting action. The size of the hounds being caught has increased considerably over the past couple of years. There were several reports of fish well over the british record, that were caught and released last year.

Smoothound Skegness-3

On Chesil the average size of the Smoothounds is smaller than the Solent and the Bristol Channel. However even a 6lb Smoothound is capable of pulling your rod from the rod rest, so never leave your rods unattended.

 

Smoothound on Peeler Crab

 

Peeler crab are without a doubt one of the best baits to use for hounds, but fresh Hermit come a close second. Smoothound are one of the few species that you can successfully target with hardback crabs and lets be honest, it is a lot cheaper to use than peelers. I normally use a Pulley rig or an up and over rig with a 4/0 hook.

Ray fishing has been pretty good recently and Ben Stockley has once again been targeting them. On this occasion he opted not to fish Chesil, but decided that a 40 minute hike was in order to find some relatively unfished ground. The hike paid off as Ben managed a number of lovely Small Eyed Ray, with the best going 9lb 14oz.

It would seem my quest to introduce more people to the fun of catching fish on the fly is starting to pay off. I have even managed to get top Pike angler Nathan Edgell chasing his favourite quarry on flies.

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For more on catching Pike on fly, have a look at David West Beales article on Chalkstream Pike, which makes me very excited for the start of the river season in just over 3 weeks.

Job opportunity: Are you any good at sales? Here at Fishing Tails we are looking to recruit a sales person to sell online advertising. The position is  commission based and would suit someone that wants to work part time from home. Knowledge of fishing is essential, but if you are reading this, I expect you are half way there already. Perks include free tackle and a high rate of commision. If you would like to apply or find out more information then please send an email to [email protected]

If you have not already seen some of the articles from this week, it is well worth going back and having a look. We finally got round to writing a review of the top of the range Trabucco Poetica  and for those looking to learn how to create your own rigs we have the Wishbone Rig 

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: It looks like we have a bit of a blow heading our way on Saturday morning. It is going to be wet and windy for a few hours, but don’t let that put you off too much. It is an onshore wind, which will help keep the baitfish close to shore. This should tempt the Bass to attack them in the surf. The surf shouldn’t get much bigger than 2m and the use of a Mackerel head close in, may well result in a lovely fish.

Conditions on Sunday look far better, opening up the opportunity for some Plaice and Mackerel fishing. I ran the first of the River Cottage Shoreline courses at West Bexington on Monday. We had one of the first Gurnard’s of the summer. It was only small but it was great to see.

grey gurnard 2

Portland: It will be pretty busy on Portland this weekend, especially for the lure anglers. We have some great tides and the high water is near enough dawn and dusk to make it worth fishing for Pollock at those times. I am heading off to the Bill to try and film a Wrasse fishing video, which we hope to release in a couple of weeks. That should tell you that I am confident that there will be plenty of Wrasse around. This one is going to be a bait fishing video, so I need to take a load of leads with me, as I expect heavy tackle losses.

Portland Harbour: I spotted a huge shoal of Mullet in Portland Harbour, earlier in the week. They were in the middle of the bay at Sandsfoot yacht club, but it is likely they have distributed themselves around the harbour.
Weymouth Bay: Preston may well be worth fishing on Saturday, as it will allow you to stay out of the wind. Expect Flounder, Dabs and Gurnard, but also lots of bait stealing school Bass. Handle these little fellows with care, as they are the big fish of the future.

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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