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….
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).
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.
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:
This was a better fish that gave a good account caught on a white HTO Artic Eel cast and retrieved:
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:
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:
I’ll hopefully fit in a few more Pollock sessions before the murky waters return and the cod goggles come on.
Dave, myself and Mark headed out at Blyth at 5:30 am on the 23rd. The conditions were lovely. We paddled a mile or so out and Dave got a good fish within minutes. Things were looking up.
Mark then got himself a good cod and a ling (both around the 6lb mark). We also had the pleasure of seeing a pod of dolphins being very active and breaching on regular occasions. Unfortunately they were a good 100 m away so it was hard to get some good footage but I’ve created a very short video to give you an idea. They really are magnificent creatures.
We moved on a few times and I was still unable to make a hook up. My blank was saved by a tiny pouting which took a jellyworm longer than the fish itself. Still, a fish is a fish! Shortly following on from this I hooked into a much better fish and up came a ~ 7 lb cod which gave a good account of itself. This took one of the 90g 160mm Fiiish Minnows. This proved to be my lucky lure as about 30 minutes later the same rod lurched over and a really heavy weight was felt at the end. Initially I thought I was snagged but then the tell tell head shaking signs followed and after quite a while a lunker of a cod came to the surface. This was my biggest cod to date at just over 12 lb. I was over the moon.
Top session in lovely conditions with great company. The fishing was hard going but the fish that were caught were real specimens.
The paddle out:
My first cod of approximately 7lb:
Released to get bigger:
A few of these about:
My PB cod:
Another pic of the 12lb (taken by Dave):
Sea state doesn’t get much better than this. Mark and Dave on the paddle back in:
Short video of the dolphins breaching in the distance:
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.
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:
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 🙂
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:
Getting some action once out past yellow can:
Plenty of cod but almost all were small and lean:
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.
This was a better fish:
I then got a greedy scorpion fish. My second this summer:
The wind got up so the drogue was deployed:
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.
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 £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:
Happy to be back out by the lighthouse. Loads of seals about already though:
First small cod brought in:
Something better this time. The Yuki Rubymar gets a good bend!
The 5 1/2 pounder. That is tea sorted:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
A short report for an even shorter fishing session. 40 minutes fishing is my new record!
I love light lure fishing in the summer up in the North East and Northumberland. A light lure rod, 15-20lb braid, a small baitcaster reel and a weedless lure is all I need to have a lot of fun amongst the deep kelp beds. I’ve had a lot of success and pulled out double figure cod and pollock with this method. My favourite lures to date are Black Fiiish minnows and the HTO Artic eels. The HTO Artic eels just have the edge for me personally but both have been excellent. In 20ft or under I use something in the region of 20-25g. I’ve also started using this set up over some of our wrecks off shore which has been very exciting. For this style I need something around the 50-70g weight range. Pulling up a double figure ling on a weedless savage gear sandeel was a great moment.
The only problem with this style of fishing is the cost. The black fiiish minnows are very expensive. The HTO Artic eels are better value but still set you back a fair amount. They don’t last forever as by their own success, they get hammered a lot. Also, even though weedless, you are going to lose a few. Pot ropes are my biggest issues. If I get one wrapped around those it is normally game over.
Over the last couple of nights I’ve been making my own weedless shads and lures using a mixture of components. The finished article look good and I cannot wait to test them out when the water clears a little.
I used the following components:
– 1 x Spro bottom jig 18g (pack of 4 for £2.99 so 75p each)
– 1 x 10cm Fox Rage Zander Pro Shad (bought on sale for 55p)
– 1 x 3/0 wide gape weedless hook
– Couple of drops of superglue to stick the lure head to the lead
– Stanley knife to put a carefully placed slit into the belly of the shad to allow the hook to travel through.
– Overall price: ~ £1.60
– 1 x Devil Ear 50g jig head (I have bought a mould for these so very cheap once you have paid the initial investment)
– 2 x small split rings (pennies)
– 1 x 12cm Fox Rage Zander Pro Shad (bought on sale for 64p)
– 1 x 4/0 wide gape weedless hook
– Couple of drops of superglue to stick the lure head to the lead
– Stanley knife to put a carefully placed slit into the belly of the shad to allow the hook to travel through.
– Overall price: ~ £1 (once you have the moulds)
Here are the finished results. I’m really looking forward to trying them out and will update here over the spring / summer with the results. If they work well it will save me quite a bit over a summer season. Fingers crossed!
Selection of weedless lures made up. Each one costing less than £2. Weights vary from 27g to 54g.
Spro bottom jig – 18g size. Ideal for inshore jigging with weedless lures.
Spro bottom jig 18g showing the pin removed. This makes it very easy to rig up weedless hooks to the jig.
Weedless cod and pollock shad using an 18g Spro Bottom Jig and a Fog Rage Zander 4″ soft plastic lure. A cheap alternative to the likes of a Fiiish Minnow costing less than £2.
Devil Ear jig head ball. These are very versatile and can be used to make a nice off shore weedless articulated lure.
Devel Ear jig head weighting 50g. This will be great for slightly deeper waters offshore.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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:
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 🙂
I entered the North East Kayak Fishing Competition today at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. The sun was shining and the wind was light although there was a canny swell out there. This was the best turn out yet for this competition. People travelling some distance to enter which is great for our sport.
Fishing started at 10am and finished at 2pm. The fishing was good from the start. I only moved twice during the competition and fished with bait at anchor and had pretty steady action throughout the whole session catching over 15 cod. My biggest came in with only 15 minutes to spare and was just shy of 6lb. Fortunately this was big enough to win the competition. I was over the moon! This is the second year running that I’ve won the competition and cannot quite believe it! What a great way to end the kayak fishing year.
All fish were taken in less than 35ft of water. With the swell on it was clear that you didn’t need to head far out the catch the fish. They were in close. The biggest fish I caught fell to mackerel strip whilst anchored as close as I could safely get to a big shelf that had a good wave breaking over it.
I now have a lovely wooden trophy for the mantel piece and a new Sonik boat rod to try out. Thanks to all those that took part and all organisers.
Now for some pics:
Everyone getting ready:
Small waves on the inside of the sheltered harbour. These were considerably bigger around the point:
Keen to get out there:
First fish of the day:
Most fish I took were around this size:
Almost time to call it a day:
Plenty of swell out there:
A better stamp of fish in the last 15 minutes of the competition:
Myself, Dave, Graeme and Mark met at Church Point in Newbiggin for first light on the 12-12-15. This was the first weekend weather window in weeks so we were all excited. We paddled out past the harbour wall and headed North to a ledge that drops off quickly from 30ft to 50ft.
We all anchored up in close proximity and began bait fishing. It was a slow start so I started ground baiting with my berley bomb and slowly but surely the bites started coming. Cod began to feed but no big ones today. I caught half a dozen in a couple of hours and then the weather started to turn so it was time to head back in. It was great being back out and I loved every minute of it. I hope I don’t have to wait as long for the next weather window.
Here are some pics:
The paddle out:
Anchored up and waiting patiently:
This one slipped the hook just as I was about to grab him. Arrgghhh….does it still count? 🙂
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 🙂 :
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 🙂
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
I put together a video of the session for those interested:
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 🙂 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:
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.
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
Dave and I met at the ‘whole in the wall’ at Blyth at 5am. Our plan was to fish a few spots a mile or so out. Dave led the way (even more so than normal with my broken plotter / fish finder) and what a great guide he was. We paddled out into great conditions but struggled to find fish at the first spot. I had a coaly and a cod and Dave a mackerel but nothing much to shout about.
We moved on. This was a great decision. We had a good stamp of fish from the off. A dozen or so cod with most around the 4lb mark and a couple of nice Pollock plus a pb Ling for me which was weighed on shore and was a touch over 10lb. Happy Days! A very enjoyable morning out and back on shore for 10am.
Video (It would have been much better if it weren’t for the bloomin drop of water on the lens!):
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 “Grippan”) 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.
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.
Fishing was slow but I did get 5 species which I was happy with. First of was a cod in deeper water.
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.
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.
A shoal of mackerel showed up on the finder so a quick drop of a toby lure and species 4 was under my belt.
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.
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 🙂 )
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…..
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 🙂
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:
I’ve been experimenting with the best ways for me to target Pollock (and now red kelp cod) from the thickest and extremely snaggy kelp beds found on most shorelines but in my case Whitley Bay, Cambois, Newbiggin, Embleton and most recently Eyemouth in Scotland.
This experimentation started at the beginning of last year after wanting to catch more and more pollock and losing more and more rigs to the kelp forests. With conventional shads and jig heads with exposed hooks it seemed it was only a matter of time before I lost the rig much to my frustration.
In addition, I was having a lot of success trolling deep diving lures. At approx 1.5 – 2 knots paddle speed the lure was diving to around 10ft which got regular hits in 20-25 ft of water with kelp beds. However, a sudden shallowing in terrain would result in one of the 2 sets of trebles getting snagged. A lot of the time these were lost.
Deep Diving Lures:
Firstly I removed the trebles for single hooks. These are in line single hooks so they are presented correctly. The decoy plugin ones work well (https://www.veals.co.uk/acatalog/decoy-pluggin-singles-3537.html). These have micro barbs and reduce snagging significantly and are so much kinder to the fish. Before, treble hooks could leave the fish in a right mess with front hooks in the mouth and rear in the body. This is far less likely with the single hooks and they are so much easier to remove. I have not noticed less hook ups and the pros far out weight the cons in my opinion.
Secondly I’ve become much better at monitoring the fish finder whilst trolling. With practice I’ve managed to control my speed to bring the lure up closer to the surface whilst travelling over shallower ground.
Thirdly, I’ve found adding a ‘teaser’ fly approximately 2ft before the deep diving lure deadly. More often that not the Pollock have grabed the teaser rather than the larger lure.
Picture of the set up:
Weedless Jelly Worm Rig:
This has become my go to rig for Pollock and it will take the occasional cod. I’e had a lot of success with this rig and I can fish it right through the deepest of kelp beds and rarely get snagged. If it does snag a little it almost always pulls through when tugging from a few different directions. I have a bullet lead on a short sliding trace of about 1-1.5ft. I vary the bullet weight depending on what depth I’m wanting to fish at. I then have a flowing trace of 3-4ft with a weedless hook which I attach to a jelly worm. Normally I just a 5g cone weight near the weedless hook just to help the jelly worm sink with the bullet weight but in the photo below I’m using a savage gear dart hook. This isn’t necessary but I had some lying around.
Weedless shads (Black Fiiish Minnow, Delande Swat Shads, Savage Gear Weedless Sandeel)
These are brilliant but not cheap. However, I’ve invested in quite a few different sizes and weights and really rate them. In addition, loses are small so whilst it is expensive up front you should have them a while. My favourite for waters less than 20ft is the Black Fiiish Minnow 120 (12g). For water between 20-30ft I switch to the 120 25g model. For deeper water the 140 40g works well as does the Delande Swat Shad 50g. The white version of the swat shad has been great for me when hunting the kelpie cod off the bottom. I’ve only just started using the Savage Gear Sandeels on weedless hooks so time will tell.
For Pollock in deeper waters I drop straight to the bottom and then fast retrieve to about 10ft below the kayak and then drop down again. I’ve had hits right up in the shallows which is a real rush so keep winding and don’t assume nothing is chasing it. In shallow waters I opt for a cast, sink and fast retrieve. I sweep the area whilst drifting to find the fish.
For cod, my method is really simple. I drop to the bottom and just bounce and twitch it so it goes approximately 1ft from the bottom and back down again. If there are cod there, it isn’t usually long before you get a tug followed by a nice bend in the rod 🙂
Below shows the mixture of lures I’ve been trying out:
Greedy one this one:
Drop Shot Jigging Cod Rig:
This is a relatively new rig which I’ve been experimenting with after reading about it here: http://seakayakfishing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/weedless-jigging-rigs-for-cod-and.html
In short, it works a treat. I’ve tried this on the last 3 kayak trips and I’m still using the same rig. I bought some 6oz in line weights from EBay and have plastic shad rigged weedlessly attached to the bottom ring with a split ring. About a foot above the in line weight I have a 4″ sandeel imitation rigged up using a drop shot knot. I use this for fishing waters deeper than 40ft and use the method as per the shads for cod (i.e. bouncing off the bottom with small twitches). I’ve yet to have a cod take the bottom shad but had a lot of hits on the sandeel.
Rapala Weedless Shad 80 – The verdict is still out on these
I’ve just bought a couple of these to use on my light 8-25g lure rod. The finish on them is great. I’ve only had a couple of casts with them to date to observe their action and they have a great wobble. I’ll have to update you on how I get on with these.
Well, there you have it. These are my rigs that I use throughout the summer when fishing for Pollock and Cod. I very rarely lose a rig giving me much more time to fish and they work. I’m really keen to hear what works for you or how my rigs can be improved further so please reply with any feedback.
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:
And a few more:
It was then time to head in:
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.
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.
Nathan and I had a go at night fishing at Tynemouth on Tuesday. We bought the lights and other bits a while back with a plan to head out early morning or late evening in the summer. However, we have really struggled to get out up this way for a long time due to wind and swell so saw a light wind and small swell forecast on Tuesday night and just went for it. We got to Tynemouth for 7:30pm. Pics are quite poor quality. I need to work out how to take effective night shots as I’m pretty sure I had it on the wrong settings.
Setting up ready for launch (a little apprehensive at this point):
We headed out to a mark that was good to me a couple of months ago. It isn’t far which was a good call for our first night outing. There was a little more swell than I was expecting but nothing to cause any problem. The only thing was you couldn’t see the lines until they were underneath you. That took a bit of getting use to.
We were fishing with blacks and squid. I ground baited a bit and soon had the first bite.
First rattle of the rod tip led to this little coal fish. That was the blank prevented.
We then had a long gap between bites so a bit more ground baiting.
A few more little rattles missed and then a nice familiar clonk. A small cod came up:
By this point we had been out for a couple of hours. The fishing was very slow and the temperature had dropped considerably. The sky was clear but did make for excellent star gazing. The frequent blast of light from the Tynemouth lighthouse glittering across the water was also pretty cool.
By 10pm we decided it was time to head in. The fishing was poor but the experience was thoroughly enjoyable and something I will definitely do again. It has been the only way I’ve been able to get out over the last 6 weeks so needs must and I feel like I’ve had my fix to get me through.
Posing after landing:
Nathan looked pretty cold by this point:
Hopefully I’ll be reporting bigger and better catches soon.
I managed to get out for a couple of hours this morning at Tynemouth. I just anchored up over rough ground close in at the North end and had cod a plenty. Approx a dozen overall. Most were small but a couple of better fish were found towards the end.
I’ve gone for a video for a change. This is my first attempt using footage from my Garmin Virb and Olympus Tough. This was also the first time I’d had a go at mounting the garmin behind me (less selfies!). I need to keep working at it so hopefully they will get a bit more interesting over time…..
Sorry in advance for all the selfies (particularly to DT1 🙂 ). I’m loving the Garmin Virb camera with remote but I only have a mount at the front at present. I need to get one sorted for the back so you can just look at the fish!
I really enjoyed today’s comp so big thanks again to Jeff and Janet and all others that were involved in the organisation of a really good event. The turnout was good despite the freezing temperatures and it was a really good call to run the comp given how few weather windows we have had of late. It was also great to meet a few new faces.
We paddled out bang on 10am and all headed past the protection of the breakwater to be greeted with a canny swell. I thought this was bigger than the forecast 3ft on magicseaweed. There were some really ridable waves breaking on the reef just past the breakwater. I paddle surfed here years ago but have got lazy and just head to Tynemouth on my door step so will have to give it another go.
I followed the crowd initially to see them turnaround and head back in a bit. I soon realised why. The tide mixed with Northerly swell left a pretty confused sea state. A bit further in shore in around 40ft of water and it was just the rolling swell to contend with.
I got a Olympus Tough for Chrimbo so this was a chance for me to test it out. I’m more than happy with it so far. Nathan tethered to me keeping an eye out on the approaching swell. Now you see the kayaks out back….
Now you don’t.
Down went the first of the free tronix rigs Jeff provided (lost shortly afterwards!). The first cod of the session:
I then proceeded to get 4 small cod over about an hour and a half. Nathan was fairing much the same so we decided to move further in to shore to 30ft. At this point Nathan and I hit a great run of cod. They were about in numbers and feeding and they were a much better stamp than in the previous spot. I was using frozen blacks and lost a really nice hit.
I then switched to razor on the 1 up 1 down tronix rig and got another great hit (possibly the same fish). This ended up being the cod that won it for me at 7lb 3oz. This is also a PB for me so I was over the moon 🙂 🙂
It has been a weird (but great) couple of sessions for me. I went out last week at Tynemouth and beat my PB cod twice. I then fished the comp today and caught 2 even bigger code. Below is my 2nd big cod which went back to fight another day being slightly smaller than the one previous (again, caught on razor):
I caught a lovely red kelp cod at the end of the session:
Back it goes:
Nathan with his fishing rod prize 🙂 Trying to look cool (trying… :D)
The trophy shot 🙂 I’m really liking the trophy. Very smart 🙂
Still buzzing 🙂 I’m getting seriously hooked on this kayak fishing malarky. Thanks again to the organisers and hope to see loads of you out on the water early on in the New Year.