artificial lite.

silver lite.

beach bum.

Archive .

Re-inventing the wheel.

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me  at;
 Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.
Please be aware that none of the contact forms on this site work any longer as the software company have withdrawn support for them. I am sorry for any inconvenience but removing them would involve far too much time and work and I would rather be fishing.

beach bum.

artificial lite.



Staring into the night, straining to see the tips, was like living in, rather than with, a migraine. Shiny, steel needles drove themselves in through the beam of my head torch, stinging my face which was both painful and disorientating, and the tips just kept pulling down slowly and springing back fast. Not bites of course, but bite hiders for sure.

It was dark, very dark, the first time in fact that I had ever sea fished at night. I was there for four a.m. Trying to set up by the light of my head torch which was a lot easier than finding my favoured spot had been. In fact I had missed it by about fifty yards and was fishing much tighter to the gravel spit than I wanted to. The head torch throws ample light up to about twenty yards, but that light was greedily swallowed up by the empty space in front of my land mark a hundred yards away.

I've not been sea fishing all winter, in fact all of my fishing, like everybody else's, has been hampered by the unremittingly crap weather. Wave after wave of storms and rain and snow have conspired to screw everything up.

Now, at long last, I was back on the South coast, with plenty of frozen lug and squid to use up. Even so, the weather just wasn't going to let up with 15 - 20 mph easterlies driving wave after wave of cold, hard showers before it.



The tides had it in for me as well. Three up and three down is the best one can hope for around here as low tide marks seem hard to find in Sussex. High tides today were 7.30 am and 8.30 pm. Family commitments left me with a choice get there at 4am or go without my fix. It was no sort of a contest really but with two hours to go until dawn, it already felt like a mistake.

I did have a plan though, as well as things to try out. I would fish one big, whole squid bait on an up and over pennell rig on the off-chance of a bass or an undulate. Two more rods would fish a two hook flapper and an up and over rig armed with size 2 hooks and various sized baits of frozen lug.

Three ounce leads were going to be enough, so I had two bass rods and an old, somewhat lighter, pike rod with me. After all it's only three ounces and that more sensitive pike rod should be the better tool for the job than the still pretty stiff bass rods shouldn't it?

Actually it wasn't at all. It was flapping about too much and the single, deeply-hooked flounder that I caught on it was a surprise in every respect. I guess that in sea fishing more than almost any other kind, it is more important to choose tackle that can cope with the conditions. Carp fishermen use gear that suits the methods and both disciplines tend to relegate the sporting qualities of their quarries below the practicalities of presentation. Sometimes it just has to be that way and while we are all looking to make our fishing more effective and enjoyable, re-inventing the wheel is not always worth the effort.


There are more and more saltwater resistant baitrunner reels now being produced and sold in the UK than ever before, and about time. Recasting every ten to thirty minutes can be necessary to overcome the problem of bait-robbing crabs or just to keep a strong scent around fresh, and more effective, bait. Tightening the clutch to avoid slippage on the cast and then re-adjusting it to allow a fish to take line without pulling the rods over while resisting the pull of the tide is a time consuming and annoying waste of time. Going through that every time you cast out or wind in is extremely tedious, how much better to just flick on the free-spool facility.

With this in mind, I dug out a set of my old carp reels to test the practicalities. It worked just fine and saltwater versions will be on order asap. Not everything worked as effectively. Although the up and over rig worked extremely well with the big bait and 60 lbs snood, it tangled too often on the rod using 15 lbs and the small hook.

The lighter of those rigs was intended to fish a bait tighter to the bottom than my usual two hook flapper. In fact that is the whole point of the up and over rig altogether. By having the lead above the bait, the current will push it down onto the sea bed, rather than sweeping it up and away from it as is likely to happen with paternoster rigs with the hooks further up the line and the lead below them.

That appears to be such an obvious improvement that I am at a loss to understand why in practice it appears no better than either the flapper rig on light gear for flounders or the pulley rig for bigger fish like rays, conger and doggies. It is also more prone to tangle than the pulley rig at least. I suspect it is something to do with the distances I'm fishing at making the angle of the line so shallow, but I will persevere a bit longer.

Hopefully, I will have made my mind up soon as I have wasted more line making different rigs up than I have lost to snags and only carrying one heavy type and one light one would be a big step forward.

In rubbish weather today I caught only my second flounder ever and that took the bottom hook of the flapper rig, but I never saw the bite. Something of a disappointing day catch-wise, but was I glad to be back on the shore. I enjoyed every minute, tucked in my little shelter, snug as a bug, watching the world go by.


artificial lite