Friday, 25 March 2011

Second time lucky with the Herring!

 A settled spell of high pressure saw herring return to Brighton Marina. I had four days holiday ahead of me and decided to travel to Weymouth via Brighton so that I could fish two or three hours either side of high tide before continuing my journey.

Making my way over to the East Breakwater in glorious sunshine I arrived to find that the sea flat calm and clear. I settled for Peg 20, I had intended to fish a second rod for plaice, however I had neglected to refill my multiplier with fresh line, doh! At least I could concentrate my efforts on the lure fishing.
Herring are usually caught here on small sabikkis known as herring feathers locally or by float fishing a small strip of herring. I set up a carp rod with a string of sabikkis and a two ounce lead.

A chat to the baliff revealed that a few herring had been caught over the previous few days so I was feeling positive that the herring would arrive with the high tide (a big spring tide). Right on high tide I felt a feeble tapping on the rod top and and I assumed I was attached to my first herring. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had caught a sprat, unlike immature herrings sprats have a distinct sharp abdominal keel.

A few minutes later I had an enforced break as a team were surveying the breakwater. The survey boat tied up in front of me whilst the two divers checked out the state of the breakwater wall. Their progress could be tracked by a steady stream of bubbles, a bit like a patrolling crucian carp or tench. Any defects in the breakwater would be repaired later.

Once the survey boat had moved on I resumed my feathering. An hour after high tide I took a break for a late lunch and put out a flapper rig with lugworm for half an hour or so without success.

Throughout the day I had alternated between casting and retrieving the sabikkis and jigging them next to the wall. Eventually my persistance paid off, the carp rod bending over into a healthy curve to mark the arival of a pod of herring. As they came up through the water it was clear that I had four herring on simultaneously, although one fell off.

The window of opportunity was small as the herring disppeared as suddenly as the arrived. I fished on for another half an hour before packing up and continuing my journey. A herring fresh from the sea bears little resemblance to those on the fishmongers slab. The silver sides are tinged with pearlescent blue and purple and the scales are easily dislodged.

The less said about Weymouth the better. The weather was glorious however the fishing was poor despite the best efforts of the skipper. I had one bite in two days boat fishing which was almost certainly from a bait robbing dogfish.