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'PURE SMUT' - Featuring Very Little and a Good bit Larger.

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by prof tench, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    Hi Again,

    Following my encounter with the ‘Stranger in the Night’ (see ‘New Recruit….’ Post), I fished on, ‘shaken not stirred’, until 1am. By which time the sea was peeling off the flat sand rapidly and I doubt I was fishing in much more than a foot of water? I only had one further bite, which didn’t get the hook. I put it down as another small skate at first but had cause to change my mind later. I find it extremely rare to ‘miss’ skate, by the time you get a proper indication they are moving off with your bait and it’s usually ‘game over’.

    The bite I missed was a fast double ‘snatch’ whereas skate often give smooth pulls or slackers ime. I was on the old squid, per usual, and had skate in mind. Throughout the couple of hours I was there, I retrieved full baits and felt sure I’d missed out on some decent fish by getting there so late. I was determined to have another quick go on the morning tide.

    I hit the beach again at 7am this morning, and had a repeat performance of the missed bite scenario first chuck. I was bringing back full baits again and confidently expected to hammer the thornies but by about 8:30, I’d still done nowt and was starting to nod off! I roused myself to re-bait and it felt as if I’d caught something on the first rod I went for, couldn’t work out what though. As I got it close, I could see the leader jagging, then caught a glimpse of silver grey flank and though it was a schoolie. When, I swung it to shore, it was the most perfect mini-hound you could imagine and I couldn’t resist taking it’s photo:

    [​IMG]
    Definitely the smallest I’ve had and took a squid’s head!

    The other rod then went off and I got another about twice the size of the first, so still very much a toy poodle ;D. While all this was occurring, I noticed a small silver fish wash-up on the beach. Despite several attempts to revive it, I failed and I recorded it for posterity while it still had its colours:

    [​IMG]
    A small herring I think? Although if anyone would like a closer look, it now resides in my freezer, as I hope to introduce it to a big pike of my acquaintance this winter ;D. Not sure if I’ve seen this type of thing before on Holderness, might have but can’t recall precisely (old age?!).

    While playing with my ‘herring’ (ooh er! ;D) I noticed a bit of a slacker on one of my rods. Picked up a bit of slack and pulled into something that felt better. It came in very easy though and did nothing, thought it might be a skate but didn’t feel quite right. When about 10yds out, it caught me unawares by deciding a quick sprint to Holland was in order! It didn’t get far as my drag was done up tight, but did drag me seawards a bit, no real danger except for wet feet as I was only wearing wellies. It repeated the performance 3 or for 4 times until I beached it. Here’s the culprit concerned:

    [​IMG]
    6lb+, no great shakes in the Holderness hound stakes these days but nice to get a proper one at last and on squid to boot. Reckon these would be great fun from a Yak?

    That was it, 3 in half an hour, then they were gone. Or at least I think they’d gone, but I was still bringing in full baits after 20mins when I left shortly after 10am. It’s difficult to say with hounds if you’ve no crab and are the only angler on the beach. The latter is usual for Holderness during the week ime, in summer proper on my patch.

    Anyway, it can be pretty frustrating to sit in a crab-free zone while Macky and co. have been hammering the hounds on peelers down south, so it was nice to get off the mark this season. Just wish they weren’t such snooty buggers when it comes to bait and would take fish like their cousins, as they are great fish.

    One comment of Macky’s on the ‘Holderness Match’ forum did interest me though. I think Chris reckoned Holderness would go dead in July. Now this may well be the case south of With’ (must buy a map and find out where Withernsea actually is some day ;D) but was never the case on mid-Holderness beaches. It was once one of the top months for skate, although the season for them is now much longer these days. I have a recent gap of a couple of seasons but have always rated July.

    With skate, and possibly hounds, you have to remember that they are not cod. While I’ll always go for a building mid-height tide, I pay far more attention to weather conditions than I do tidal range in summer. In 1994, when I had a proper go at our skate, I caught on tides from 4.9m – 6.4m on the Brid’ scale from the same beach. My first two Holderness hounds came in late July on a 4.9m tide along with 10 small skate. Not bad fishing imho, although I certainly haven’t had anything like enough hounds locally to even begin to try to establish any sort of pattern.

    The case for a good bit of run while cod fishing on clean beaches, especially if there’s no sea running, is case proved many thousands of times imho. The habits of skate and hounds are very much different to cod though, they like flat seas and I need convincing that tidal range is a big factor? The three I had this morning were around top of tide, when the lack of flow wouldn’t even put at bend in the tip.

    I was hoping to have another crack at it tonight but shall leave it until the morning when the rain is forecast to have gone, so I thought I’d tell you what happened now.

    I shall keep tabs on the situation and we may well be better off fishing the Holderness match here, if it ever happens? If we do go to one of my spots though, you will be expected to be escorted to the mark blindfold, of course, and sworn to secrecy for the rest of your life! ;D As you will be inducted into the ‘Original Holderness Hardcore’ (no problem), who make the ‘Masons’ look like ‘Mills & Boon’! ;D ;D ;D

    Final word of warning, following all the rain, the cliffs are pretty treacherous in places. So if you’re not familiar with the area go carefully if you do visit us. It’s usually the last few metres to the beach that are tricky and don’t be tempted to step on the recently slumped material at the base of the cliffs. If you do you may have to dig your boots back out again by hand, I’ve actually done this twice! ;D

    That’s all folks, T
     
  2. baza

    baza New Member

    you might not get the badge for most or biggest hound prof, but you get the medal for best report.an enjoyable read.do you ever use crab through the summer to target hounds? would you like to fish squid side by side with it?
     
  3. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    Cheers Baza,

    I've used crab down at Pagham and fished it along-side squid and caught on both. The problem with squid, is you seem to miss a fair proportion with the kind of 'smash and grab' bites you get from packs of hounds. This was also late in the season, when the hounds do switch onto the old squid a bit more. May to June it appears to be mostly crab, including hermits, and I tend to give them a miss as I also love tench fishing then. The problem locally though, is getting on the fish when you've got both baits at your disposal. I'm not really into the 'grapevine' or 'fish chasing' so you can spend a lot of money on crab to little effect, so I no longer buy them. The Pagham 2003/4 situation was pretty unique as the fish were almost guaranteed, so i didn't mind the expense.

    Like many people I've racked my brains to come up with an alternative to crab for hounds but really come up with nothing better than squid, which still isn't too great. One possibility I mentioned to 'mww' the other evening is mussel. I don't know anyone who's treid it for hounds, but molluscs and crustaceans are reckoned to be their main diet? The crabs will think it's 'Crabmass' in summer if you use mussel when the fish are not about but it's cheap bait.

    Anyone got any other offers or ideas?

    Cheers, T
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A New Member

    T,

    before crab was used widely on the coast the few smoothies which were caught were usually taken on shrimp.
     
  5. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    Cheers Phil,

    Still a few people's fav' skate bait from the shore as you know. I shall endeavour to try it on the hounds but getting on them is not easy at times!

    T
     
  6. quint

    quint Watch out Emperor Zorg's about

    great report prof - really impressed with your "articles" - you should write for sea angler
     
  7. Acko

    Acko Rockling

    Nice report prof
    very interesting-Great read.
    Its got my juices flowing lol
     
  8. robq

    robq Rockling

    good skills prof ;D ;D

    £1.65 for a box of calamari is much less painfull than £15 for enough crab for a decent session !!
     
  9. Maxie

    Maxie New Member

    does frozen crab not work for smoothies,a couple of hundred in the freezer and a few taken out in a flask each time.
    saying that bass wont look at them up my way,iwont even venture out unless ive got fresh on some marks.
     
  10. baza

    baza New Member

    frozen works maxie, it works for me anyway. ive heard even stinky crab takes fish. the hardcore hound angler is the man to see.
     
  11. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    Thanks for the feedback lads, nice to know my insane mutterings are appreciated by a few. Not sure about me writing for Sea Dangler though Quint, for some reason ‘a marriage made in Hell’ springs instantly to my mind at the thought of working for Mr Russ! ;D Have you ‘Yakkers’ considered putting a feature together for SA though, or has it already been done?

    Maxie, as Baza says, frozen crabs are just fine and dandy where the hounds are concerned and what I mostly used at Pagham. Some would say they’re even better. Obviously if you get live crab on the day you fish, only a minority would be perfect ‘poppers’ on the day. If you really wanted to ensure your crabs were at their juiciest when you fish, you're probably better off obtaining a supply prior to the Hounds arriving and freezing them down yourself. Don’t think it’s really necessary for Hounds as they just love crab, even hardbacks are effective on the Solent. Macky gave some very useful tips on getting the most from your peelers on the ‘Tope from the Shore’ thread so check it out if you’re interested? When I lived down in the West Midlands most of the crab in the Bristol area came from Devon and there seemed to be a lot in April. Sometimes the dealers would sell these off quite cheaply when the weather or fishing was poor but I think most now freeze them down themselves.

    The real problem on Holderness is simply that of supply and demand, you either pay the asking price, if you can find a reliable supply, or collect them yourself. You only have to look at the many posts on this site on the subject to see the latter is a lot easier said than done :(. I’ve had a couple of good looks in crab territory myself recently and returned with an empty bucket each time :(. It’s clearly a bit of an art form in its’ own right and I’m not sure I shall bother any more. If you’re a dedicated match angler like Ramrod, Lobbers and Bob, you’ll go to the trouble if you really need them to compete. As an all round angler, I’d much rather spend my spare time fishing and there are other avenues to explore.

    One of the things that disappoints me most after over 30 years of shore fishing, apart from the over-fishing, is there is still no real viable alternative to natural bait for the species I target. By now I thought there would be, the farmed rag is fine, I caught my first Holderness bass on one and have had cod and skate on them too. To produce them they needed access to heated industrial cooling waters and land for lagoons to breed them, so I don’t ever really see them being the answer to all our needs? The only thing I ever really heard good things about was ‘Biotrak’, although I never used it myself. It’s most productive use appeared to be for enhancing natural bait, which really defeats the object a bit as it would actually increase your bait costs to use it and you would still need a natural bait supply.

    I experiment a lot with both powder and liquid additives in my coarse fishing, especially in ground bait. Most of these are ones from which I’ve had the nod from ‘hardcore carp-men’. Some of the responses can be quite amazing but they don’t always equate to fish on the bank. Unfortunately gauging response from our coast would be a lot harder, as I’ve never seen, cod, skate or hounds ‘topping’! ;D ;D ;D Bait experimentation has died a bit of a death on the carp scene since the ready-made baits became available.

    I feel certain that the most viable avenue for the shore angler would be in the use of amino acid compounds. These are the building blocks of proteins, the main constituent in the diet of most of our target species. The carp lads made some good progress with these in paste bait days, but the vogue for ‘boiled baits’ seemed to put an end to it. I think the use of eggs and binders in ‘boilies’ pretty much locks them away in the bait. With pastes it was reported they could produce a very strong but often short-lived feeding response in several species but the boilies came along and I don’t think they were ever fine-tuned. Many of the bait ‘gurus’ of this time made reference to a MAFF research paper concerning cod in tanks at the Lowestoft research facility. I believe this may have been called the ‘Loeb’ report and it was stated that no substance produced a more marked feeding response in the experiments than amino acids?

    Food for thought for any amateur biochemists out there, I reckon,?

    Off fishing soon I hope, will try not to forget the bait as I did a couple of weeks back! ;D

    Cheers, T
     
  12. macky

    macky New Member

    Many a time Frozen crab has out fished live.
    and many a time dead (for at least a week) will out fish live and frozen (like last time i was at chapel)

    People say crab is expensive????
    i cant see how, 10 crab is more than enough for a session wich will cost u about £7.50 - £8.00 locally in hull

    10 crab and a box of squid is all the bait u would need for a summer session on holderness coast.

    many a time u will not use the full 10 crab, so just bring them home and either carry them over to the next session or freeze them and build up a stock

    Well done on the hounds prof!
    but im sure if u had crab u would of had a dozen out! :p
     
  13. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    ;D ;D ;D You may well be right Macky, you may well be right, but it's very hard to prove now, ain't it? ;D ;D At the end of the day, this was 'spur of the moment' stuff and it was skate I had in mind, you can catch plenty of those on squid, mackerel or shrimp. So I'm grateful for any hounds that happen along at the time ;D.

    You are starting to win me over though, with your 'crab tips' for which I'm grateful. Another factor is my summer fishing is rarely planned, it's very much last minute, if it feels right, sort of stuff. I can just grab a box of squid and go, so unless I've crab in the freezer it's not always possible to get them at short notice? Are Mark's to order Macky?

    You obviously love your hounds Macky, but you've only got to look at the site to see the different types of fishing people get up to in summer and it's simply a matter of what you chose to spend your money on?

    There are so few anglers on the beaches these days and I do think bait cost is a factor for many? I don't think anyone would resent paying a tenner if they knew they were going to get a dozen good hounds, but realistically, on Holderness, how often is that really going to happen? It's when you're clocking up the blanks, and feeding the crabs, that your bait costs soar when using crab, especially if you want to keep fishing effectively by having at least some bait on the hook! You've obviously got your finger on the pulse Macky and may suffer few blanks, but the rest of us 'mere mortals' do!

    These are the first fish of any note I've caught on Holderness in two months which puts things in a bit more perspective. I've mostly been at the tench but still get on the coast most week's if it's owt like. It's definitely not a bait thing as I've fished beside lads on crab and they've blanked too. Over that two months there've been few anglers about but this is what else I saw caught: Cod of about 3.5lb (Daz H on squid), a pouting, and a handful of 'checker' bass; that's hardly a big incentive to raid the piggy bank to buy crab is it?

    By the way your mate last night Macky, I think only had one dab and was fishing crab, that make's it a pretty expensive flattie to me ;D ;D!? Nice lad though, but he went home just when he should be staying (as it got dark, loads of people do this in summer and I don't understand it ???). Although the fish really weren't there last night and I only had another 'jinny', see if you can spot it?

    [​IMG]
    Nicely camoflaged aren't they?

    I don't mind paying for my fishing and in the past some of my coarse 'tickets' have been over £100, but as I do both types of angling I have to watch the budget. I noticed on your site Macky, that some anglers resent paying a paltry £3-00, to fish at Spurn? This amazes me, as a coarse angler, and no one's forcing anybody to go there are they? I seem to remember that Macky was one of the people who thought £3-00 was too much, so it really is a case of priorities? I suspect even £8-00 on bait, would be a lot for young Dan, who's just left school and has no work?

    One thing I'd never dispute though, is if you really want hounds get yourself some crab by whatever means you have at your disposal!

    Enjoy, T
     
  14. Phil A

    Phil A New Member

    This is a good point Chris I was told this many years ago by some of the top anglers in the North East that this was often the case particularly with coalfish. They put it down to the freezing process braking up the flesh and releasing more scent. I think bait going off does the same thing. Frozen sandeel which is going off releases a huge amount of oil - dogfish just love them!
     
  15. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Definately something in it Phil. Frozen is the best for Coalies. What I can never work out is the cod and why you can't touch a fish on frozen untill
    around November then they wont look at a fresh crab if you put one under their noses - why the switch ?.

    I also had an interesting conversation with a very good angler recently and he was telling me there is a period of time when cod will pick up a soft/crinckly crab before anything else you can put in front of them. Knowing what bait to put in the water when is a big issue for shore fishing. Many anglers fish hours and hours and conclude because they caught nothing there is no fish in the sea, then along comes someone with the right bait at the right time and pulls out a monster and people start calling them lucky bleeders. There is so much to be said about various baits and I dont think we know the half of it.

    I remember Dennis Thompson telling me him and their lad would have regular matches when they were younger where they had to try different baits and one would fish with a certain bait and the other with something different - Eg one would use chopped up Rocklings and one would use paps off the rocks. I feel they must have learnt some very valuable info over the time. There is so many things we have never tried and Ive learnt in recent years that some quite strange things will catch sometimes more effectively than your standard baits.
     
  16. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    The determining factor here may well be water temperature Bob, this has a very strong influence on what your bait actually releases so that a fish can home in on it. Fish oils have been tremendously successful in carp fishing but are not water soluble, for them to release from the bait the water really needs to be above 10 degrees celcius, when fish will follow the slick given off down to your bait. We certainly, don't experiment anything like enough with bait these days imho, when I started out, 'pepping' baits with Pilchard oil was standard fare but I can't remember when I last saw anyone do this? A confidence thing these days I reckon, with so few fish left to go at sometimes :(.

    Couldn't agree more about poxy LSDs loving manky frozen sandeels Phil, which is why I never use them in the state. Found on the IoW they must be good quality frozen and used pretty much straight-away to get at the rays and bass. Manky squid, I've found to be excellent for skate and bass at times.

    Cheers, T
     
  17. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    Frozen crab which is prepared correctly is as good as fresh in my experience, based on a seasons fishing.
    My perception of it is, when there,s plenty of fish competing in a given area frozen usually comes out on top, coalfish can be included in this as they,re often in shoals. This is is probably down to the fish homing in on them sharply due to the ammount of scent which is released quickly with the bait being "broken down" by the freezing process. When the fish are thin on the ground fresh usually sorts them out, certainly on rock, where the scent is released somewhat slower and over a longer period of time which gives any nomads a chance to home in on them.
     
  18. macky

    macky New Member

    My thoughts exactly RR
     
  19. rusty1

    rusty1 New Member

    Nice read there prof as usual and some nice fish aswell.

    On the note of bait I think people dont experiment with alternative baits and rotten rancid baits etc the thought that youd get there and "miss out" on some action. I know for ond I'd hate turning up somewhere with a big box of these alternative bit and bobs which certain people sware by and everyone else around you is baggin up on the usual baits and you cant even buy a bite.

    Also the only time you hear of people trying alternatives is when you cant get any bites on the proven baits in that area. So basically you half know there isnt any fish around, so you chuck out some weird concoction and then lable it as cr*p because you dont catch. I Personally would love to see someone turn up at a venue where everyone is baggin up on lug etc and to try all these different baits and then see the results. Cant see many people willing to try tho.

    Gotta say I love it when people say you'll catch absolutely squat unless you have the absolute freshest bait possible. How many totally fresh pieces of food will a fish find when its mooching about in the sea. ID hazard a guess at not much and most will be half rotten and decomposing.
     
  20. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    You're spot on there Rusty most people only ever consider trying something else when they fail on standard baits. Down here there are still very few anglers who have much confidence in fish-baits. You go elsewhere, like the IoW for instance and that's all they use for some of the same species, like Bass. It's funny people will happily blast out lug or crab and blank their nads off, then try something else for 10 minutes and declare it's useless ;D!

    The only real way for me to get to grips with a bait I've heard is good but have no confidence in, is to just take that one bait and sit on my hands.

    If I traget our Bass this autumn, as I currently intend to, I know what I'll be using and it won't be rag or crab ;)? As I've think I've said before somewhere, if we don't fish for certain species, we're never likely to know if they're really there, are we?

    T
     

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