Sporting Fish logo

Four sessions, three venues

Written by Jake Wadey

Now where to start, Thursday saw me digging 6LB of ragworm for the weekend ahead, but looking at the weather forecast I was unsure whether I would need it or not.

Saturday came around, the weather wasn’t looking great but I decided to fish anyway. when I arrived at the beach the wind and weed in the surf didn’t fill me with much hope. By 10am, both rods where armed with up and over rigs with 2/0 on 50lb hook lengths, casted out looking for my second big fish fix of the year (the first being Norway). Well the session didn’t go to plan, with the weed being the main obstacle over high. Apart from having a screaming take from a bird on hightide  which got the adrenaline running, I only caught 2 dogfish. Packed up at 6pm (8 hours in).

Sunday, the weather was looking better and still having plenty of rag left I had to have another go. Well it was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday even down to the bird taking my line out. The only bonus was catching a gurnard. Thinking that my chance was slipping away (14 hours in).

Monday morning the rain clouds worked in my favour and work was called off. This could only mean one thing…... firstly check the left over ragworm and see what bait was in the freezer. Well the fish gods were looking down on me, the rag was fine and fortunately there were 2x packs of sandeels, which provided enough bait for another trip out. 

Secondly, I looked at the weather and it was not looking promising, with 30mhp winds and heavy rain, not the best of condition for my target species. At that moment, my old man said, “well you have bait and a free pass from work, you might as well fish” that was it, gear ready and out the door. 

As I turned up at the beach I was shocked at how little wind there was but the swell was still bigger than I would have liked. I rapidly got the rods out and send my baits seawards. I sat back and watched the rods, first casts were uneventful so I rebaited and cast back out. At this moment for some unknown reason I set the camera and tripod up. I glanced up at my rods and noticed the right-hand rod had moved down tide by 10 or 15 yards then stopped, I put this down to the current picking up over high tide. I gave the baits ten more minutes to see if it was weed, spider crabs or a fish? 0nce I got the spare rig baited and ready,

I started to reel in.


As soon as I picked up the rod and tightened up the line, the rod steadily pulled round, at this moment I realised that whatever it was had awoken and was in a foul mood – so the game begins…. An at this moment I realised this S**ts real!! The rod lurched over and the fish glided in an arch down tide, applying pressure I gradually gained line back, all the time knowing this could be a Pb fish. The only problem I could see now was the surf and having to land it on my own. First attempt saw the fish rolling in the surf, trapping the line underneath itself, with every second of the surf pushing backward and forward and now see a certain “tail” pointing skywards I knew this wasn’t going to be a simple and normal fish landing exercise ….caution with this one was needed. As the fish seemed to use every wave to its advantage it knew what the game was but also  she had her own plans, starting by giving me a “one finger tail salute”. I glance seawards and notice a suitable rolling wave coming in and waited for the surf to give me a helping hand to push the fish onto the beach, which luckily it did – unlucky the next wave reclaimed the fish and back in she went……..arrahhhh!!!. 

Let’s start all over again, thinking about the knots, line and hook hold all the time. Thankfully a couple of waves later the fish was safely landed and moved carefully away from the water’s edge.  

49lb stingray

Looking at the creature I zeroed the scales and using the trace to manoeuvre the fish into the sling. Gingerly raising the fish the scales swung around passed 20, 30, 40 and settled on 49lb………… what a magnificent stinger and new pb – happy days. After the fun of returning the fish I could have happily packed up and gone home and did so after a couple more casts. After 20hrs of fishing it was worthwhile……but could it get better ??????

Six days later saw me chancing my luck again. This time the old man (taxi driver, fish handler and camera man) joined me. The same tactics were used as mentioned before only difference was a calmer day with less surf.  Which allowed me to play and us land another stinger a lot easier this time due to having no tail. With the scale and sling ready we hoisted the fish off the ground and watched as the scales settled at 49lb 7oz…….another one.

49lb 7oz stingray


Now if this stinger had its tail the 50lb barrier may have been broken…

Still, I’m not complaining, always next time. 


Pollack on the fly

I know  good place...where the rocks are gradually exposed on the ebbing tide and it's possible to hop from rock to rock until you are able to get far enough from the shore to cast a fly into water beween twelve and twenty feet deep even at low tide. There's location in particular where there are two jagged fingers of barnacle encrusted rock that rise up steeply from the crystal clear water and the fronds of kelp growing over the submerged reef.Between these two outcrops lies a bay where pollack heard together shoals of bait fish and they set about them with great ferocity as dusk begins to fall. This, of course, is a great time to be casting a fly or using a light spinning rod.

In other places within this cove they lie in ambush on the down tide edge of the rocks waiting to pick off the small fish as they are swept along with the tide. Pollack will very often sweep upwards through a shoal of bait fish, taking as many as possible before crash diving back to the bottom.

If a fly or lure is fished too high in the water they will totally ignore it so you have to be prepared to risk losing tackle by fishing as close to the kelp as possible. But as the light fades they move closer to the surface and this presents the best opportunity for some exciting action.

When a pollack hits your fly it will dive for the bottom at speed

Back to previous page

© Sporting Fish 2010-2016