Winter Kayak Fishing – Cod a plenty

I headed out for a solo session at Whitley Bay at dawn this morning (17/12/16). I was feeling a bit jaded after celebrating a friends 40th the night before but I had a precious weather window and a pass so it had to be done. It didn’t disappoint. I only had a couple of hours before I needed to be back to head of to a bouncy castle party. The joys of parenthood.

I drifted for the first hour and had a fish a drop in between trying to keep 3 seals at bay who were looking for an easy meal. The tide was running strongly and all fish caught on the drift were small with the exception of one good Pollock and a chunky scorpion fish.

Later on I opted for a rest at anchor. I did some ground baiting and whilst the fishing slowed, the stamp of fish caught improved. Out of mussel, black lug and squid almost all were caught on the squid. This is not the norm for me but just shows that no two days are the same out there. In the short session I had over 15 fish and enjoyed every minute of it.

Below are some pics and a video:

Lovely day for it:

Plenty of cod about:

A nice scorpion fish:

This shows a couple of seals on the finder just as I returned a small cod. They repeated this strategy for 3 of my returned fish. You can see the cod working its way to the bottom. It looks like it just managed to escape….

A surprise pollock. A fair size as well:

Tea sorted:

A video of the session:

Kayak Fishing – Octopus Caught

I had a mate (Dean) up for the weekend. We were hoping for a surf but with 0-1 ft forecast and gorgeous weather I was keen to take him out on the water for a fish. I got the Stealth and the Scupper Pro ready the night before and we were out on the water for 6:30am on the Saturday morning. Conditions were perfect for a paddle but the fishing was slow. This didn’t matter much. I had 4 species overall. Pouting, Pollock, Cod and Mackerel but all in low numbers and small. The highlight of the trip was Dean catching a good size Octopus! I have only caught one before whilst night fishing and it was small. Dean’s however, was a really good size and put up quite a fight. Initially we thought he was snagged. However, after a bit of paddling back and forth to try to save the rig from the ‘snag’ it came free and then the fight began. At the surface once it looked like it had given up we were about to get the hook out of it’s tentacle and it made a lunge for Dean’s kayak. The octopus was now firmly suckered to the underside of the kayak and there was no budging him. These things have a serious grip! I was still able to remove the hook from the side of the kayak and once unhooked he released his grip and sank beneath the water. After the excitement we went for a paddle to the lighthouse to soak up the gorgeous conditions and crystal clear water and show Dean some of the seals.

All in all, poor fishing but a great paddle and a session I wont forget any time soon.

Cheers,

James

Pics:

Dean all ready for action:
Kayak Fishing Scupper Pro

A nice early start:
Kayak Fishing Sunrise

A pollock to baited feathers:
Kayak Fishing Pollock

The Octopus:
Kayak Fishing Octopus

Kayak Fishing Octopus

A paddle to the light house:
St Marys Lighthouse Whitley Bay

Checking out the sunbathing seals:
Seals Whitley Bay

A lovely quick trip out:
Kayak Fishing

Fishing for Pollock

Hi All,

I went out on the hunt for Pollock on the 18th of August. I set out just as the sun was rising before 6 am. I have found early morning or later evening my most successful times to fish for Pollock here around Whitley Bay.

The sea was still choppy from the SE blow the day before (which was also forecast again later in the day). I love being out early (once I have managed to get out of bed).

Sunrise Whitley Bay

I headed straight for the kelp beds that cover most of the bay around the lighthouse area and picked up a small cod very quickly. This fell to a weedless shad.

Cod Fishing

After that I tried a variety of techniques and struggled to find anything for about 2 hours. Jellyworms, Fiiish Minnows and Artic Eels, jigged, trolled and cast and retrieved. Nothing was happening. The wind was starting to pick up as forecast and things were not looking too hopeful. I had orders to bring home some tea as well!

By this point I had drifted along to Seaton Sluice and decided to work my way back. I trolled most of the way and tried a number of drop offs I have marked and finally got some Pollock action.

This one fell to a jelly worm rigged weedless:
Pollock Fishing Jellyworms

This was a better fish that gave a good account caught on a white HTO Artic Eel cast and retrieved:
Catching Pollock

This one was the biggest of the session and fell to the same lure as above. It fought very hard and made the session all worth while. This one had tea sorted:
Pollock Fishing Lures

Pollock for tea

On the way back I lifted up a pot I had put down a couple of days ago. I had a lobster in it but it was undersized so back it went but not before a quick photo:
Lobster Fishing Kayak

I’ll hopefully fit in a few more Pollock sessions before the murky waters return and the cod goggles come on.

Cheers,

James

Fishing for Pollock in the North East

Hi All,

I got out for just for a very quick fish on Thursday. I only had a couple of hours free but it was the first day of the summer holidays and I was super keen. The wind was a bit of a pain. Nothing major but enough to make the drift faster than I like with light lures. I paddled straight to St Mary’s lighthouse and Whitley Bay and fished from there up to Seaton Sluice. In just a couple of hours I had 8 fish. These were a mixture of cod, pollock and coalfish with pollock making up the bulk of fish.

I had always read to not stop the steady retrieve when fishing for pollock until the lure reaches the surface. Up until this session I’ve never had a super late take but on this occasion I had 2 takes in the last foot of water. This was thrilling! The fish weren’t huge but such a late take followed by the express train dive in 20 ft of water kept me very entertained.

Some pics:

The red tinge of a resident kelp cod (spot the seal cruising underneath me on the finder! Plenty to keep the fish in hiding around here unfortunately):

Followed by a smaller one:

The average stamp of Pollock I caught:

Another:

This one taking a slug go:

Hopefully I’ll be out amongst the kelp beds in this area again soon with a few bigger fish to show you πŸ™‚

Cheers,

James

Cod caught on the kayak at Whitley Bay

This session was a couple of weeks ago now. I’ve just been too busy to get a report up. I had really struggled to get out recently and the times that I did the fishing or conditions or both were really poor. This session was different though. The conditions were lovely and the fishing was good. It took me a while to find them and there was nothing of any real size but once found, I has over a dozen cod in a couple of hours.

Initially I searched on the inside of yellow can at Whitley Bay and fished around the light house but the water was thick with plankton. I then headed out past yellow can when the water finally cleared enough to give me confidence in my lures. Within minutes of being out there I had my first cod. I then proceeded to get take after take until it was time to come in. I also had a nice scorpion fish.

I have had the last week off work but not got out once locally due to the persistent northerlies but hopefully there will be more out there when it settles once again.

Some pics of the session:

Perfect conditions for once:
Whitley Bay St Mary's Lighthouse

Getting some action once out past yellow can:
Yuki Rubymar Cod

Plenty of cod but almost all were small and lean:
Kayak Fishing Cod

Kayak Fishing Cod on Lures

Cod caught on Yuki Rubymar

Cod on weedless lure

I was surrounded by charter fishing boats at one point. 4 or 5 fisherman fishing either side doesn’t float my boat. I much prefer the solitude of the kayak.
Charter Boat - Whitley Bay

This was a better fish:
Yuki Rubymar Kayak Fishing

Cod Savage Gear Sandeel

I then got a greedy scorpion fish. My second this summer:
Scorpion Fishing on Fiiish Minnow

The wind got up so the drogue was deployed:
Kayak Fishing Drogue Wind

Fishing started to tail off so it was time to head back in.

I’m back to praying to the weather gods to give the North East a bit of a break in the rubbish weather. Surely it will settle soon.

James

Sunny Solo Session – Yuki Rubymar, DIY weedless lures and nice cod

I got out early morning on Friday. I needed this one after a difficult couple of weeks of work. The plan was ‘the usual’. To head out at Whitley Bay for convenience at bait fish at anchor but I would take a few lures just in case. I wasn’t expecting much from the fishing from the last few reports but just needed to clear my head a bit.

I set out into lovely conditions and immediately noticed how clear the water was. Not just a bit clear but as clear as I’ve seen it even in mid summer. Excellent I thought. My attention turned to getting my lure rod ready. My wife bought me a Yuki Rubymar rod from Moonfleet at Christmas and it has just sat in the garage waiting patiently until today. I wanted to try this rod after watching a few videos of people messing about with them and catching very large fish and for only Β£20 I thought it would be good fun.

I added a homemade weedless shad (attempting to cut down some of the costs of the Fiiish) and within 5 minutes I had a fish on. Not a big fish but it was a lot of fun on the Rubymar. I then had to wait a while but I was enjoying the slow drift in the sun. I then had a very subtle tap followed by nothing. This happened a good few times before the rod lurched over and a better fish was on. A big grin set upon my face as I reeled it in and it turned out to be a 5 1/2 pound cod.

I then thought I would try bait fishing for a bit given that I’d gone to the effort of defrosting my bait but didn’t even get a knock. A couple of hours had past and it was time for me to head in to help out with the kids. I’d had my fix until the next time.

I’m liking the Rubymar purely for the fun factor. Even the small fish felt like a monster!

Some pics of the short session:

Lovely conditions:
kayak fishing in the sun UK

Happy to be back out by the lighthouse. Loads of seals about already though:
kayak fishing whitely bay uk

First small cod brought in:
kayak fishing uk cod

Something better this time. The Yuki Rubymar gets a good bend!
Yuki Rubymar Fishing Rod

The 5 1/2 pounder. That is tea sorted:
big cod on lures

Cod Fishing UK Yuki Rubymar

The ‘devil ear’ green one had all the interest today. Nothing from the others but glad it looks like I have a cheap alternative for the snaggy stuff:
DIY weedless lures cod pollock under Β£2

A very short video for anyone interested in a cheap fun light lure rod. I’m not sure how it will stand up to the abuse of kayak fishing but I’ll enjoy finding out.

Lovely weather at last!

Hi All,

Dave and I got out this morning at Whitley Bay. The forecast 10-20mph offshore winds was for once an over estimate and there was hardly any wind at all (to start with anyway!). We paddled out to a mark fairly close to shore and anchored up in 30ft of water over kelpy ground that has been producing biggish cod for me all winter. We stayed put for approx 45 minutes and I didn’t have a bite. Dave on the other hand had a fish within minutes followed by a couple more. He made sure he was fishing on the inside of me today. Last time I fished on the inside I bagged up and he struggled. Maybe there is something in it…..

We then headed further out into 45 ft of water. Less kelp here but still rocky. I got a great take within a minute of getting bait to the bottom. It felt really good even on my heavier 12lb class rod but came off before I got to see it. This was more promising I thought. Dave and I then proceeded to get bite after bite. We had a bit of a mix here as well. The usual cod (although in very varying sizes, hopefully I’ll get some pics off Dave that explains that one), whiting and pouting.

We headed in after a couple of hours. The wind had picked up a lot in the second half of the session and it became a bit of a workout getting back in. A thoroughly good session with great company and lovely weather for the most part. There are plenty of fish out there at the moment if you can get out amongst them.

Below are some pics of the session. These are all setting up and paddling out. I had another 6 pics of the fish but none would open from my Garmin Virb. I hope that is a one off. I’ll put some of Dave’s pics up if possible.

First outing – Stealth Profisha 575 Fishing Kayak

Eric Davos from Stealth Kayaks Europe gave us a Stealth Profisha 575 to store as a demo and I got to try it out for the first time yesterday. Conditions were pretty poor with 3ft waves crashing on the shore and a bigger swell outside but the wind was light enough and given the conditions recently I had to give it a go.

My first impressions are very good. It feels really stable and paddles well. The glide with each paddle stroke is really noticeable but I want to paddle it in a flat sea before commenting on speed compared to the 475. I took out a couple of rods and fished for about an hour. There are still a good number of fish out there. I’ve found the fishing pretty poor at this time of year previously but this doesn’t seem to be the case this year which is a great sign.

If anyone is interested in trying out the Stealth Profisha 575 just get in touch.

Here are some pics:

Paddling stealth profisha 575

Paddling Stealth Profisha 575

Cod Fishing Profisha 575 Kayak

First fish on the Profisha 575

Profisha 575 Stealth Kayak - cod on

Rod bending action

Cod fishing Stealth Profisha

That is tea sorted!

A very short and windy session 24th Jan

Hi All,

Graeme and I headed kayak fishing out at Whitley Bay at first light on Sunday. We knew the wind was going to get up late morning but were hoping to get a couple of hours fishing in first thing before it came in. We were on the water before 7.30am just as the first light was showing. The wind at this stage was fine. Probably around the 10mph mark but coming from the South rather than the forecast South West making it a little choppy in what should have been a flat sea.

We paddled to a mark fairly close in shore. Graeme dropped anchor over the reef edge in 20-25ft of water and I then anchored up fairly close by on the inside. I decided to fish 2 baited rods. One with a size 5/0 circle hook and a good amount of black lug and squid in search of a nice size cod. The other has a size 1 hook with a small bit of razor tipped with squid to help my cause on the species comp. I had a good cod on the big bait on the first drop. I must have only been fishing for a maximum of 2 minutes. Whilst dealing with the cod I then had a small tap on my other rod and up popped a pouting. Things were looking good. The next 20-30 minutes saw another couple of cod appear and then just as I thought I was going to bag up the wind picked up. It went from 10mph to 20mph+ in no time at all. The sea went from choppy to rough and Graeme and I decided we needed to call it a day. It was a shame we didn’t get another hour or so but any time on the water is enjoyable.

Cheers,

James

Setting out into relatively calm conditions:

Action from the off:

A canny cod for just 2 minutes fishing:

A small pouting almost immediately after (cod still on my lap!):

Back on dry land after a fun paddle back in amongst the chop and small waves breaking over the inside reef. One for tea πŸ™‚

A short report for an even shorter fishing session. 40 minutes fishing is my new record!

Kayak Fishing New Years Day 2016

Happy New Year everyone. Hope you have a great 2016.

Dave and I headed out at Whitley Bay at first light this morning just for a couple of hours before the family lunches. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year πŸ™‚

We headed out to a mark that produced a 10lb and two 8lb cod in the last 3 times I’ve fished it but this was 3 months ago. I hadn’t returned due to the rubbish weather we have had of late.

There were some small waves on the paddle out. I timed these perfectly (not!) and met each at their perfect peak and got waves right in the face. That certainly woke me up and cleared any signs of a hangover. Still, the Stealth ploughed through them without any bother.

We paddled out straight to the mark without any messing on the way. The wind was already strong (forecast to get stronger later) and the sea was choppy but very do-able. I put Dave on the mark and he dropped anchor. I then proceeded to mess up anchoring 3 times (each time getting closer and closer to Dave) before finally settling in to the fishing.

I had a cod within 10 minutes whilst Dave had to wait a little longer. We both had good fish in the session though. We would have had more but these fish were using nasty tactics. The mark had deep kelp and these fish knew exactly how to stay on the rough ground. Shy bites and then a rush for cover meant I lost at least 3 good fish (and traces!). Dave managed to give me one trace back though as he caught the same fish later on πŸ™‚

My biggest was estimated over 7lb. Returned to be caught another day so no definite weight. A really great quick session and hopefully the start of many more in 2016.

Cheers Dave for the good company.

Now for some pics:

Getting ready:

The only small cod caught. The stamp of fish was good and encouraging for later on in the year.

Starting to get a better:

Dave at anchor:

I nearly didn’t get this one. It left me snagged for a good few minutes before finally coming out of the kelp:

Happy Days. This gave a really good account of itself:

Roll on the next session. I’m beginning to think a really big one is going to come from Whitley Bay this year πŸ™‚

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Whitley Bay

    Kayak Fishing at Whitley Bay – Location Guide

The location:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay

Whitley Bay Kayak Fishing Location overlooking St Marys Island and Lighthouse

Whitley Bay is a fantastic all round kayak fishing location. It has a lot of varied terrain offering quite a few species in close proximity to each other. It is also relatively sheltered as a lot of the large swell gets blocked by the outer reef allowing for an easy paddle out (particularly at mid tide) when other spots such as Tynemouth would be hard work.

The bay is shallow until you get to the outer reef whereby it drops away quite quickly. Most of the ground is rocky making it an excellent spot for cod fishing. Around the light house area there are large drop off’s and there is always a good chance of a pollock and wrasse. Further North of the Island there is some large kelp beds which are also worth a look at. It is rumoured that bass can be caught here on the inside reef but I’m yet to get one.

Further out towards yellow can (a marker approximately 1 mile out to sea) you will find more rough ground in approximately 60ft of water. This is again, cod country and if you are adventurous, there are a few wrecks not too far from there that are worth checking out.

Whitley Bay is one of my favourite areas to kayak fish from and has produced good size fish for me with cod and pollock both over 10lb fairly close to the shore.

Whitley Bay offers a few different options when it comes to launching the kayak.

Access Point 1:

kayak fishing spot St Marys Island Whitley Bay

Access Point: Ramp to St Marys Island and Lighthouse at Whitley Bay

This is a very easy spot to launch from at high tide. You can wheel the kayak down the road right into the water. At low tide it can be a bit of a pain getting the kayak up over the raised road but it is do-able (especially if there are two of you). The parking is not free though and at time of writing is Β£1.20 per hour which is a downside.

Access Point 2:

Whitley Bay Boat Station Kayak Fishing

Access Point: Steep ramp from the Golf Course at Whitley Bay

Whitley Bay Boat House Kayak Fishing

Access Point: Steep ramp at the Golf Course looking East at Whitley Bay

This is probably the most popular access point amongst local kayak fisherman. People park opposite the small golf club car park and walk across the dual carriageway. Parking here is free (note: the golf car park is not). The access is OK going down but it is steep. Going back up is a killer. It is only a short walk but the steepness can really test you. Especially if you are carry the extra weight of a good catch!

Access Point 3:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay access point 3

Access Point: Path from the car park at Whitley Bay

View from the road of the foot path that can be used to launch.

View from the road of the foot path that can be used to launch.

This is the spot that I launch from quite frequently as it is close to home. You can park in the large pay and display car park directly above the foot path and walk the kayak down. It is a good spot if you want access to the middle of the bay. The only problem is the last 10m stretch as this is over uneven rocks and pebbles.

Access Point 4:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay - Access point 4

Access Point: Easy ramp down to the middle of Whitley Bay beach

A view from the top of the concrete slip.  This is a very easy launch.

A view from the top of the concrete slip. This is a very easy launch.

This is the easiest access to the middle of the bay and is just slightly south of access point 3. The concrete ramp is wide and runs straight to the beach. It isn’t too steep either and is in quite good condition. The only problem is the distance to get to it as you will most likely still need to park at the large car park.


Fish I have caught in this area:

Coalfish

Coalfish

Cod

Cod

Ling

Ling

Mackerel

Mackerel

Pollock

Pollock

Pouting

Pouting

Wrasse

Wrasse

Lobster

Lobster

Octopus

Octopus

Scorpion

Scorpion

Plan your trip:

I hope this has been of use to you. Feel free to add a comment if you want more information and please ‘like’ the page.

<-- BACK to locations map

North East Cod Fishing

Hi All,

Early on in the week Friday looked do-able. Not great and most likely raining, but do-able. I started getting excited as the forecast was holding. This was dashed on the Thursday night when xcweather (along with other forecast sites) updated to show strong S winds around midday. What an ar*e I thought.

I woke up Friday to pouring rain and winds. DIY on the house kept me pre-occupied. However, around midday the rain stopped and weirdly the wind did not build. In fact, quite the opposite. It was dead calm. I quickly rigged up and set out at Whitley Bay to the mark that produced my PB 5 days prior except it was a low tide and only 20-25ft. Would it produce again for me?

The swell was 2-3 ft and confused when I started but forecast to build so was one to keep an eye on.

All set up and ready to go:

Fishing was again, very good. All fish were taken on black lug tipped with squid. To start with I was plagued by pouting after pouting. They aren’t shy of taking big baits on big hooks! I then had a 3-4lb cod. That was better I thought. Now can I find any others?

A couple of snaps of at least half a dozen pouting:

The first cod:

I started ground baiting again and the cod kept coming. I then had a massive take on the 12-20lb rod. Violent head shakes taking line from the reel. It had all the hallmarks of a good cod. It lasted all of 5 seconds before the hook pulled out. Gutted!

The short lived fight on the ‘one that got away’.  The face and tilting kayak says it all.  There was a lot of power there….:

I re-baited and put the rig straight back over the spot. I didn’t have to wait long. Bam! Fish on. It felt of similar proportion and it didn’t get away. In my rush to get out I forgot my scales so no real idea of size.

Its a big one πŸ™‚ :

What a beauty.  The fish finder shows you the mark  ::)

More cod followed but not as big. I then had take on my 6-12lb rod. This was different though. It kept crash diving to the bottom. It felt like a pollock but I’ve never had one take static bait off the bottom before. On surfacing, my suspicions where confirmed. It was a good pollock of approximately 5-6lb.

I had been out about 2 hours and the swell was building quickly so decided to head back in. The tide had risen and there was quite a shore break which made the paddle in interesting πŸ™‚

I created a 3 minute video of the trip:

Forecast looks mint for tomorrow. I’ve committed to keeping my father in law company on his boat but will be keen to hear how others get on in the area as it seems there is a really good stamp of fish about at the minute.

Cheers,

James

Fun cod session at Whitley Bay (plus two PB’s!)

Hi All,

I managed 3 hours on Sunday the 25th. The forecast wasn’t great with 10mph, gusting 18mph SE winds and fairly choppy seas but I hadn’t been out in ages so decided to go for it. The worst that would happen is I would paddle out and come back in and just that was good enough for me.

I headed out around lunchtime with slack tide. The water was much clearer than I was expecting so first off was lure fishing with my staple Fiiish minnows and H2O Artic Sandeels.

Paddling out:

First drop in approximately 20-25ft of water and I was into cod amongst the kelp. I had 4 in quick succession but all were small. Still, it was a good start and great fun.

I then headed out to a drop off at 30-35ft of water (but surrounded by 45-50ft) and anchored up. 2 rods bait fishing with lug tipped with squid and I was straight into cod again. These were still small though.

It was time for a bit of ground baiting with diced mackerel I had caught in the summer. Berley bomb getting prepared:

I put bait down little but often and a better stamp of fish began to appear. Now, it could have been the hundred other factors going on down there but I would like to think it was the ground baiting πŸ™‚

At last. Something bending the rod a little. This is the Ugly Stik 12-20lb so quite heavy class.

A lovely coloured 3-4lb kelp cod:

Another good one. Bigger at 8lb. A new PB for me (previous was 7lb). The strange thing about this one was it took the bait on the rise as I was winding in, a good 10-15 ft from the bottom:

Big fish like this go back. I just keep a couple of 3-4lb ones for the table. Good to see him swimming off strongly:

During the action at anchor I lost 2 rigs. Not to snags but to fish. Both felt like great fights. On the first occasion, I was a bit miffed. Second time around I was getting annoyed. This all changed though as the 12-20lb rod lurched over into a good fish (it would have been awesome on the 6-12lb rod sitting to my left…)

The fight was very strong initially. I couldn’t budge him from the bottom and thought I might be stuck. Then it gave up and rose to the surface quickly. There it was. My PB cod record smashed twice in one session :). This one measuring 10 and a half pound (or thereabouts. The scales were wobbling all over the place in the building chop). I was over the moon:

Again, returned safely to get even bigger. A few more cod fell to the hook after that but none anywhere near the last two so it was time to head back in buzzing! I just need to find another weather window soon to get back out amongst them.

Cheers,

James

I put together a video of the session for those interested:

More Pollock at Whitley Bay

A short session today around the back of the lighthouse. I had to work hard for the fish but was rewarded in the end. One thing that struck me more than any other session I’ve had before was the number of fish I lost! It was driving me mad. I was fishing like a doughnut! It was a case of fish on then, half way up, fish off. Two takes felt like potential PB contenders. It was very peaceful on the water up until these moments when I couldn’t help but scream a little. Still, it made for an exciting session.

I struggled to find any decent cod despite a 10lb’er being pulled out of this area earlier in the week. I had a few but all small.

What was enjoyable was the amount of Pollock around. I’ve not caught them around here this late in the year before but with the settled weather the water is so clear they are all still to play for. Long may it last πŸ™‚ I’m really starting to get this location wired but will most likely need to log it to memory for next summer when the weather turns.

Time for some pictures:

The first pollock within about 5 minutes of fishing:

Then another:

All returned to fight another day:

A few more:

This one went nuts! Not huge (approx 4lb) but it just wouldn’t tire. Even at the surface it was one seriously frantic fish. I didn’t think I’d get it on the yak before it slipped the hook:

I also managed a few mackerel. It is great that these are still around and will do nicely for my lobster pot bait. This one took a large Delalande Swat Shad. Greedy blighter.

Catch Reports cod Fish pollock Whitley Bay Leave a comment

There be Pollock at Whitley Bay

Hi All,

I managed an early morning session at Whitley Bay today. Conditions were brilliant with clear blue skies and no wind (until around 11 am anyway). Fishing was generally pretty slow but I did get some nice Pollock which kept me entertained.

First off I headed to a new (to me) wreck mark about 1.5 miles out. On the second drift I got a nice Pollock on jelly worms but then didn’t get another bite.

I then headed back to my old faithful and fished the marks around St Mary’s Lighthouse. The seals were there in numbers again. I picked up a few small cod and another couple of good pollock before returning home.

It was great to just be out on the water in such calm conditions. It would be great to get these more often πŸ™‚

The launch:

The conditions:

The action:

The seals:

The fish:

More lobster, a lost ling and a lot of wind

I’ve had a couple of trips out over the last two days. On Thur night / Fri morning I fished with my creel for the second time. I wanted to see if my 2 lobster on the first outing was a fluke. It probably was but this trip even more so.

Anticipation building on the approach.

Greeted by a pot full of lobster. 4 in all.

Three were under size and went back to fatten up:

One was a good bit over the size limit and came home for tea.

With the shell fish trip out of the way my thoughts were on a trip back out at Blyth with Dave (DT1). Especially seeing how well the local lads did on the Thursday when I was working. Saturday looked like a nice weather window and a plan was hatched to meet at ‘hole in the wall’, North Blyth for a launch at 6.30am.

The setting:

Stealths ready for action:

The wind turned out to be a right pain in the a**e. The forecast 5-8mph turned out to be a choppy sea of white caps for most of the session. Fishing was hard. I struggled and only hooked a couple. Dave “the fish magnet” DT1 didn’t have the same outcome and well and truly showed me how it was done πŸ™‚

Our first spot proved fruitless but a move a 100 yards or so made all the difference. On the first drop in this new area we both hooked into good fish. Mine was on the drift a fair way up from the bottom with a jellyworm and screamed pollock. After a few big runs it began to tire and I gained some ground. The whole time this was going on Dave was wrestling with what looked like a very big fish as he struggled to get his rod tip out of the water.

My fish finally came to the surface and to my surprise it was a good ling. I was over the moon although this was very short lived. It did a roll and slipped the hook. I think the pictures say it all. From elation to dismay in about a second!

Dave won his battle to be greeted by a double hook up. A 6.5lb pollock and a good size cod.

After that eventful few minutes the fishing became very hard (for me) and I only pulled up another cod.

Dave proceeded to bring up another half a dozen cod!

My fishing was poor but the trip was great.

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing for Lobster

I recently invested in a small creel to try to catch some lobster and brown crab of the North East coast. I visited the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries agency in Blyth to get my 5 pot license. These guys were brilliant. They explained the do’s and don’t and even gave me a tour of their facilities πŸ™‚

After a good mackerel haul the last time I was out I had the bait sorted. I just needed a weather window that would allow me to drop the pot after work one evening and then collect it the next day. A 2 day window was pretty hard to find but finally I saw an opportunity yesterday and today and I managed to catch two lobster! One was small and returned and the other was over the 87mm carapace size and came home for tea and tasted delish! πŸ™‚

I was told they thin out at the end of October and disappear through winter so really hoping I can catch a few more before the season is up.

I made a short video:

Evening / Night Fishing – Whitley Bay (mackerel and seals)

Hi All,

Andy, Kiwi (Nathan) and I headed out at Whitley Bay around 5.30pm last night with a plan to fish into dark and coming in around 10pm. Conditions were lovely, company great and fish obliging. I struggled to find mackerel in any real numbers this season. That was until last night. They were everywhere! I stocked up on a dozen pretty quickly for winter bait (and some tea) and then firmly put the cod and pollock goggles on. The cod were there pretty much from the off taking a fancy for the fiiish minnow and slug go worms. No real biggie’s. Largest about 4lb. The pollock were harder to find but I did get a good one only to lose it right by the side of the yak. Still, the fight was fun.

The seals around the island are getting more curious each trip. This time around they were being a right pest. I couldn’t fish my usual pollock marks as a result. I could see them on the finder right underneath me taking it in turns to shoot up to the surface!

The night fishing was less productive. Cod were happy to take squid and black lug but no real size. Last night session I had scorpion fish and octopus so always hoping for something a bit different but it was not to be.

A thoroughly enjoyable session.

James

Pics:

Kayak Fishing North East – 7 species, a great morning

I managed a mornings session yesterday (24/7/15) before the weather turned. Forecast was for very light winds and with little swell for a few days clarity was also going to be good. The clarity part was right and for the most part the wind was light although it kicked up quite a bit towards the end. The wind always seems to make an appearance these days.

I couldn’t resist a couple of pictures of the light house before launch given how nice the conditions where.

My plan was to get some paddle fitness in and mix it up a little and go for different species. I’ve not tried this specifically before but I’ve been spurred on by the great pics of the Oxwich species comp. I initially planned to paddle the couple of miles or so straight up the coast to the sand bars at Seaton in search of flatties. I haven’t targeted these at all this year but really enjoy eating them!

On approach to the light house I could hear the barking and roaring of the seals. The island is teeming with them at the moment including a lot of pups. I know some find them a pest but I personally love seeing them (as long as they do not get too close!). It must be a sign of good fish stocks but it cannot help fishing when they are only a few feet away!

This area screams Pollock and temptation of starting fishing before the flatty ground got the better of me. A quick cast out into a favourite spot of mine and bam, straight in! Not a Pollock though but a nice Ballan Wrasse which fell to a 12g Black Fiiish Minnow.

1 species down. I had a couple more casts but then managed to get back to the plan and continued to paddle to Seaton Sluice (but trolling a lure in case a hungry Pollock was about).

On arrival to Seaton Sluice it took me a little while to find a nice sand bar and then I set about drifting spoon rigs. One had black lug tipped with squid, the other a white XL Isome Worm. I was keen to see how they compared. The flatties were very obliging. Nothing big enough for tea but half a dozen caught (mostly dabs with the 2 plaice) before thoughts of rough ground started. 2 fell to Isome worms. 4 to black lug. I also caught a couple of mackerel which took it to 4 species.

I then paddled to some ground near Hollywell Bay that grabbed my attention on the paddle across to Seaton Sluice. First drop with an inline 4” slug go and bang! A good cod of about 4lb came to the surface after a good fight on light gear. This action continued for about half an hour with a cod a drop. Some were pretty small but good fish were amongst them. I also tried the HTO Artic Eel for the first time in rhubarb and custard. This is a weedless lure similar to the Fiiish Black Minnow but slightly cheaper and has a built in rattle. In addition, it is longer and thinner with the hook running further along the body. They worked very well for me for cod and pollock and I look forward to using them again (see vid).

Some cod shots. Lures finding a good stamp:


On the drift back towards the light house I had a couple of surprise hits. Two pouting / scotch haddock fell to my lures. I have caught these around yellow can off Whitley Bay before but not in this area. They were also PB’s for me. One had thick brown bands running down its body. The other was solid brown with no bandings. Are these the same species or can I add another one to my list? Any info appreciated.

Pouting with bands:

Dark / brown Pouting (double hook up with a good cod!):

With 6 species under my belt I wanted a Pollock. These had been a little thin on the ground over the last few sessions with only 1 or 2 being caught after quite a bit of effort so I wasn’t sure how this was going to pan out. Fortunately, luck was with me today. I switched to a more natural HTO Artic eel colour (the β€œGrippan”) and paddled to some thick kelp beds that I have had luck in before. I didn’t have to wait long before I was in with a good size Pollock. I love these fish and cannot get enough of the fight they give.

Pollock action shot:

A good start to the Pollock fishing:

There were a lot. On almost every drop or cast and retrieve you could see one following the lure on the fish finder.

A lot of big smiles and grins from ear to ear followed as 3 more came to the yak but none bigger than the first.


7 species done and it was time to head home. That fix will keep me going for a while. What a great hobby of ours Kayak Fishing is.

A video for those with a spare 5 minutes:

Cheers,
James

My first Octopus

Hi All,

I got out at…..yes…..you guessed it…..Whitley Bay last night from 7:30 until dark. It was breezy but the drogue worked perfectly. I’m using this more and more with the windy spells we have been having and would recommend one to everyone who likes fishing on the drift.

Heading out:
P7030011

Fishing was slow but I did get 5 species which I was happy with. First of was a cod in deeper water.

Kayak fishing cod

I then headed close to the light house and after approx 1.5 hours of constantly missing takes and having 2 big battles which I lost I finally got species number 2, the Pollock.

Kayak Fishing Pollock

The light was fading so I paddled close to my launch spot and got a strange take to find a very greedy but good size scorpion fish. Species 3 done.

Kayak Fishing Scorpion Fish

A shoal of mackerel showed up on the finder so a quick drop of a toby lure and species 4 was under my belt.

Kayak Fishing Mackerel

I then tried for another mackerel to find myself catching a bit of weed (or so I thought). I wound in to find a small octopus attached. This little fellow kept me very entertained. I pondered how to get the hook out and then watched it regurgitate the hook itself. I then pondered how to get it back in the water. At this point it was well and truly suckered to the lid of my hatch. A photo opportunity I thought as it then worked its way to my foot well. After a few pics it then decided enough was enough and suckered its way to the edge and plopped back into the sea by itself. These are seriously smart creatures. The little octopus was my highlight.

Kayak Fishing Octopus

Octopus fishing

It was then time to paddle back in.

St Marys Lighthouse

P7140032

Cheers,

James

PB Pouting whilst out kayak fishing

Very quick report. I went out at Whitley Bay last night. Fishing was generally slow. I had a Pollock to about 2lb close in to the light house but the water was really murky from the recent swell. I went out half way to yellow can where visibility improved but the fishing was slow all evening. I thought I was into a really nice cod at one point to be greeted by a double hook up of 2-3lb fish.

Just one picture worth sharing. I got a pouting which took a large lure. This is my biggest to date by a considerable amount. It had cool bandings on it as well.

Whitley Bay Fishing – 28-6-15 Mackerel & Cod

Hi All,

Another quick trip out at Whitley Bay last night. I would have been out late afternoon if it weren’t for the bloomin wind that was stronger than predicted. It was still stronger than I would have liked at 7pm but manageable with a drogue.

Cod fishing was a bit slower than last time although there were still a nice stamp of fish around.

The mackerel shoals were very abundant. They were hammering my weedless 5″ shads set up for cod and tearing them to bits. I ended up rigging one rod for cod and when the shoals appeared, dropping a silver toby lure down with a single hook for some fun with the mackerel. This seemed to get the better specimens and they fought great on the light gear (imagine if they were 5 times the size πŸ™‚ )

I tried and tried for pollock but couldn’t hook any this time. Plenty chasing the lure half way up the water column but only tentative plucks. I have marked a couple of lovely deep kelp shelves so hopefully in the next month or so…..

Some pics:

This little cod thought it was a mackerel

The weedless shad on the bottom of an inline sinker that I wrote about earlier took all the bigger cod today so definitely seems to be working.

One cod and a couple of mackerel back home. That is lunch and tea sorted πŸ™‚

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay – Kelp Cod & Wrasse

I went out at Whitley Bay early morning yesterday. I was on the water for about 5:30am and conditions were lovely. I haven’t got out for a while so was really looking forward to some time on the water and I had a great time.

Pretty great conditions

Initially I went to rough ground towards yellow can. Plenty of cod were found on a variety of coloured lures:

I then moved close in to the lighthouse to see what I could find. I got a few pollock but all small. I then put the cod goggles back on and started bouncy shads along the bottom.

Kelp cod from the off. A nice stamp of fish as well:

Then something different. It pulled like a steam train. I thought I was into a decent Pollock but it tired quicker and as it surfaced it was a wrasse. Not a usual catch for me and my biggest to date so was well chuffed:

All fish returned except this lovely marked red cod which made a great cod curry last night:

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing with Seals – Whitley Bay

Hi All,

I had a really lovely evening kayak fish at St Mary’s Lighthouse (Whitley Bay) on the 25/5/15. I launched with Nathan from the St Mary’s Lighthouse car park at 6.30pm (free parking at this time and a doddle to get down to the waters edge).

Conditions were lovely after what seems like a relentless wind. We went hunting Pollock to start with. Nathan struggled but I pulled out a few trolling a deep diver. None of any real size though.

We then went further out for some cod and had plenty. Again, mostly small but all good fun on light gear. I caught all mine on shads of various colours. Nathan switched to bait as the dark approached which resulted in a couple of nice stamp fish.

I was really badgered by a couple of young seals during this trip. For about 30 minutes they would not leave me alone. Initially I found it amusing and enjoyed the company and the close up views. After a while it became a bit disconcerting. I kept paddling away but they would soon return. At one point I thought they were going to try and jump on the back and front of the kayak. I’m pretty sure this would have ended up with me in the drink but after a few pokes with my paddle they finally lost interest (note: No seals were harmed during this fishing trip!).

We fished into darkness and it was magic paddling back in with the lighthouse lit up. One of the nicest sessions I’ve had in a while.

Now for some pics:

All ready to go:
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Into small Pollock early on with deep diving lures:
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Love light lure rods. Every fish is a monster!
fishon2

fishon1

Pesky / cheeky seals:
Seal1

Shame this didn’t come out better. Look closely at the big lump at the rear. The seal’s mouth is touching my kayak!
seal2

Never far away despite my singing, shouting, splashing and anything else I could think of!
seal3

Nathan – hard to get this guy smiling. He has mastered the ‘blue steel’ pose though
P5250018

Losing the light but not the bite πŸ™‚
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Nathan with a nice one in the dark:
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Heading in. I was loving the illumination of the lighthouse. Very atmospheric.
P5250028

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Back on shore. Nathan with one of his keepers:
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Couldn’t resist another shot:
P5250029

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing – Whitley Bay 13-4-15 (Small Cod a Plenty)

Hi All,

I had a couple of hours free so grabbed the chance to get out on the water for a quick fish at Whitley Bay. The water was so clear and after seeing the success of Dave and Graeme at Blyth on lures I was keen to see if they would do the trick for me. After 30 minutes of drifting about with shads without a nibble I resorted to the good old faithful anchor up and bait fish!

It was bites from the off. Nothing big but there were a lot of cod about and I had both rods tapping a few times. Conditions were nice and it was a really enjoyable 2 hours on the water. Now for some pics and a video.

The walk down to the water full of hope of a monster!

Nice and chilled at anchor. One solitary gull for company wanting the odd bit of bait. My warbird mini 200 reel is still going strong and makes me laugh when combined with my light lure rod:

Small cod:

Another bend:

Another cod:

And a few more:

It was then time to head in:

Video:

Tons of cod at the minute. Just need to hunt out the bigger ones. These were taking squid and lug but wouldn’t touch the razor.

James

Kayak Fishing for Cod – Whitley Bay 09-04-15

I managed a quick couple of hours at Whitley Bay this afternoon (09-04-15). The fret was threatening to come in and the sea breeze was picking up the whole time so had to cut it shorter than I would have liked.

Still, there were a good number of small cod around happy to take blacks and squid. One was tiny! Amazed it managed to get its chops around the circle hook.

This was the best of the session. I’ve just come back from the Skarnsundet Fjordcentre in Norway where my best fish was of a similar size! Funny how things work out.

Kayak Fishing – St Mary’s Lighthouse – A double figure pollock

Hi All,

I went out at Whitley Bay this afternoon. This was the first fish on my new Stealth Pro Fisha despite having it for weeks so I was excited to say the least. It was also the last day of the summer holidays (teacher!) so I was keen to make the most of it. I was on the water for just after 2pm. It was sunny and the water was calm and had cleared up nicely after the long period of swell we have had lately. I had a good feeling about this trip.

I trolled a diving lure to the North of St Mary’s Island without a touch. I then settled in to finding decent drop offs amongst the kelp and casting and retrieving jelly worms rigged weedless. It was all a bit slow with only a couple of bites but no connections. I was becoming a bit despondent.

Finally I got a solid bite on a black and yellow jelly worm. It was a pollock and a nice one for me. Just what I was after.

Then another lull. I went back over the same area, tried new areas but nothing was happening. On top of this the wind was building from the SE. Where was the 3mph SW wind that was forecast? The sunny day had created a strong sea breeze. The flat calm was also starting to get choppy.

I then found a really nice drop off from 12ft to 30ft covered in kelp. The wind was blowing me against the tide but I found an area full of fish and was not going to head in until I had caught a few.

Another on the black and yellow:

A bit quiet so figured they might be getting wise to the black and yellow passing by them every 5 or so minutes. A switch to blue and pink jelly did the trick.

And another:

Another πŸ™‚

Bearing in mind my PB pollock to date was about 3-4lb I was really chuffed. All fish caught were a good stamp of fish and at least on a par with my best prior to the session. It was turning into a red letter day but it was about to get even more interesting. I got a very big take on the same blue and pink worm. I was fishing with a light spinning rod and 20lb line on a fixed spool real. The rod was bent double into the water and the reel was screaming. I was losing the battle fast. I managed to get some line back and tightened the drag before it went on another screaming run and found it’s way deep into the kelp. There was no budging it and after 10 minutes of trying to get it out the line gave way. I was gutted. This was without doubt the biggest fish I had hooked since getting into this great sport.

I needed a break so went for a bit of a paddle trolling a deep diving lure. I got a nice hit and yet again, lost the battle. The lure was quite a way from the kayak and the fish had an easy time finding cover before I could get it into shallower water. Still, this time I managed to pull it out. Not as big as I was expecting but still nice.

I then went back to the spot that left me gutted about 15 minutes prior. Down went the blue and pink worm and bam! Another screaming run. This time I lunged at the spool to stop the drag with brute force. I thought a knot was going to give way or the line was going to snap but was desperate to keep it from the kelp after the last one. This felt huge and fought really hard. I finally saw a glimmer of gold underneath the water and thought ‘holy cow!’. It was big. My heart was pumping. I had won the battle and it was by far the biggest pollock I have ever caught. There was no room for it on the deck or my lap!

I decided to head in after this as conditions had deteriorated quite a bit and I couldn’t see how I could better this fish. On shore I asked a bystander to take a snap for me.

All other fish went back to fight another day but I couldn’t return this one. Back home it was weighed and came in at 10lb 3oz. Woohoo! A double figure πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay – Life Boat station, 03/05/14

Nathan and I headed out at Whitley Bay this morning. It was a beautiful morning.

Setting up around 7am. It was pretty chilly with a frost on top of the cars

Nice to see the sun out

A bit of swell but nothing too bad. Nathan bodged the launch and had a little dip in the sea but I couldn’t get my camera ready in time πŸ™‚

The wind was light (up until about 10am) and there was a 2-3ft rolling swell out the back. We paddled out about 2/3rds of the way to yellow can and spent about an hour drifting with shads without any joy. Both of us got snagged in the end so decided to paddle a bit further out and anchor up.

The first fish for me was a nice size pouting. I caught around 5 of these in the session

I then hooked into a really good fish. Definitely my best fish to date, rod really bent over, tip touching the water and unable to budge it from the bottom for the initial 10 or so seconds and then gone! On retrieve my hook knot had slipped. I was gutted!

Nathan was doing well. Here is his first keeper on squid.

And another one coming to the kayak.

I continued to get more pouting:

Then I got myself a better size cod. I had a few smaller ones before (except for the one that got away…..).

The wind really got up around 10:30am and it was time for the paddle back in. It was only forecast around 5-8mph but white caps were appearing and it was a bit of a slog heading back in.

I really enjoyed today. Hopefully loads more to come this summer.

One question – do Pouting struggle once being brought up from the depths? I was fishing in about 50ft of water and 2 of the pouting (both lip hooked) really struggled to swim away again after releasing. They were just floating at the surface but with no noticeable damage. I wondered whether they are susceptible to swim bladder damage on a quick(ish) retrieve.