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Jonty

Beach Fishing

I thnk it was Lottie who expressed an interest in a 'how to' for beach fishing.  Well, I'm going to try and instigate one....

I've done plenty of spinning from the rocks, stacks of boat fishing and a small amount of pier fishing in my time.  But I've never tried beach casting.  

In august we're heading over to Aberdaron for a week with the entire family and I'd like to combine our trips to the each with a spot of fishing.  Buggering off spinning from the rocks all day would be frowned upon by SWMBO so I thought a spot of beach casting might be possible as if the weather is good, we'll be camped out on the beach all day, and that type of fishing isn't too time consuming, I can cast out then tend to my parental resposibilities whilst keeping one eye on the rod tip.

So, I'll not be using the kit more than once or twice a year, so I don't want to break the bank on equipment.  any advice on kit, traces, configuration, bait and tactics all welcomed
lottie

C'mon you beach fishers---That's 2 of us who are interested  and I bet there are more--how about some tips from someone who knows how. I nearly bought a beach fishing kit that was on offer in Lidl last year but thought it might just be rubbish and I'd be wasting my money
Gareth

I am not going to recommend a brand of rod, but my preference for beach fishing is a 12 foot long one (mine is a 10 year old Daiwa Vulcan X beach rod BTW). I also prefer to use a large fixed spool reel (although I have and can use Multipliers). The fixed spool has the advantage of far fewer tangles: a necessity when entertaining the kids as you can always guarantee an over-run/birds nest just when the kids start to play up, have that smelly dead sea gull, got sand on the ice cream etc..

Keep the end tackle simple: a breakaway lead, a running trace to a stop knot with a bead, and I also like to use a bait shield. A springy bell on a clip fixed to the rod tip also makes a good bite indicator, especially for drop back bite (fish runs towards you). A tripod beach rod rest is a must in my opinion, and is well worth the slight weight penalty over the plain stick it in the sand rod rests.

Contrary to popular myth; you do not have to cast to the horizon and beyond. Most flatties, legal size Sea bass and the majority of the other species will be feeding in the trough of the 3rd swell, and here in East Anglia this is usually no more than 40 metres out. This is where the undertow from the beach break running out and under the incoming waves is at its strongest, and this is where most of the worms, small crabs, shrimps and shellfish that have been uncovered or lost hold will be swirling about.

I like to fish 2 hours up to the high tide and 2 hours down from the high tide, and so a recce of the beach at low tide will pay dividends as you can spot and mark where likely dips, troughs, channels and food sources will be.

Many sea anglers hurl a bait out and leave it alone for hours, but the tide goes both in and out, so the feeding areas will be constantly changing. I normally leave a bait out for 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes before re-casting to another area. The sea and the beaches are very dynamic environments with everything in a constant state of flux, and if you try to keep up with these changes you will stand a better chance of catching a fish or two.
Gareth

There are many sites around the web that show how make up rigs for sea fishing.

But I think that these are a good start for any beginner.

The Pennel rig http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/rig-section/sea-rigs/pennel-rig.html

The Plaice (or flatfish) rig  http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/rig-section/sea-rigs/plaice-rigs.html

The wish bone rig http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/rig-section/sea-rigs/wishbone-rig.html


Don't worry about the line crimps on the monofiliment mainlines that are shown in the above links; I never use them except on steel traces for Pike fishing. They are easily replaced with a 3 or 4 times length standard stop knot and a drop or two of superglue. http://www.big-fishing-tips.com/stop-knot.html
lottie

Thanks Gareth that's really helpful
Gareth

I mentioned Impact shields in the above post. I find these to be an absolute god send when casting the 4oz and heavier weights required for beach casting, and especially for casting large deadbaits when fishing in freshwater for Pike, as they keep the bait close to the lead weight during the airborne part of the cast. Making everything stay in line until hitting the surface of the water and minimising the possibility of tangles.

Impact shields only cost a few pennies to buy, but I think they are an essential item for beach fishing, especially for the beginner.

Here is a short video of how an impact shield works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbhZhwYbT2w&feature=related
Bazzer

First tip. Forget the third breaker, it's an Urban Myth.
Keep it simple and don't try multi hook rigs for a while. They can result in tangles. Wait till your casting begins to get smoother, it wont take long.
Don't worry about tying your own rigs as the outlay for buying Trace Line, Snood Line, Swivels, Beads, Links, Hooks etc. It can work out to miles more than buying ready made rigs.
For buying Rods and Reels most shops will do Rod/Reel Combos at a reasonable price or try Mail Order, someone like www.fishtec.co.uk or www.veals.co.uk Avoid the "Budget Price" gear as some of it is no better than toys.
Local Tackle Dealers will prove to be a mine of information for Species in the area, Bait and where best to to try as beginners. Midweek is normally a good time for a chat as Friday/Saturday can be manic.
Try to walk where you are going to fish at Low Tide as you will get a good idea of what's under High Tide and most important of all, talk to other anglers fishing there. Every area fishes different  at various states of the tide, wind direction, hour of the day or night. There are no generalisations.

Lottie. Aber Tackle, Upstairs in the Bag Shop, Terrace Road opposite the Bus Station is really good for all the above. Also the ones in Aberaeron and Newquay will be able to help.
Don't forget that lots of "Gear" catch more anglers than fish.
Bazzer

Jonty. Nearest I can find in Sea Angler Magazine that could help are all Anglesey area but worth a contact.

www.telboystackle.co.uk

www.winniesworms.co.uk

YES Winnies Worms. It's not a porn site. (I think, I hope, God forbid it isn't)    
Jonty

Thanks all for the advice
Gareth

I am going to disagree with Bazzer regarding the trough of the 3rd swell. The vast majority of the sea fish I have caught from the beach; lure or bait fishing have come from the trough of the 3rd swell. Most of the others have come from between 2 and 3 metres behind the beach breaker or even in the beach breaker: often on the Norfolk beaches after a stiff on-shore wind if you look carefully enough you can observe sea bass chasing shrimp and fry in the rolling base part of the beach breaker.

Now the fishing company that I keep is amongst some of the most enlightened anglers in the country, and this borne out by their adaptability, their catch rates, and their willingness to support their fellow angler within this tight knit group. About 8 years ago we had a very lengthy discussion regarding lure fishing from the beach, and there were several prominent points common to all of us; Shallow beaches with a long tidal range, features within the sand; be it a dip, gully, mussel or razor bed, bank of stones or gravel, even old WW2 concrete sea defenses, etc. the 3rd swell, and the 9th wave.

Yes, that is correct the ninth wave is the best one to catch a fish on. Here in East Anglia the waves hit the beach in sets of nine, the ninth being the largest and strongest, in South Wales it is the 7th wave ..... don't believe me?

Next time you are out on the beach take a few minutes to watch the waves running up the beach. In South Wales the 7th wave will run further up the beach, and in Norfolk the 9th wave will run further up the beach. The under tow from these waves on the run out causes the most turbulence when the next 7th ot 9th wave is at the 3rd trough position ... check it out for yourself.

Good beach lure anglers, and I count myself in this category can synchronize the cast and retrieve to maximise the effects of the 3rd trough and 9th wave, and we are much more successful than the lob it out for chance brigade.

Why not try float fishing a Launce or sand-eel bait on 7 or 8 feet long flowing trace set at about 5 feet deep into the 3rd trough and see for yourself.
Bazzer

Lottie and Jonty were talking about West/North Wales.  Set a flowing trace at 5ft under a float on the third breaker  on this coast and you wouldn't be in water deeper than your knees.  Local knowledge not generalisations will be a help not a hinderance to beginners.

Experts??????????? How does Southern Television Area Finalist, News of the World Finalist, Southend on Sea Three Day Sea Fishing Festival when out of 36 prizes, we as a club took 27. Write ups in Angling Times, Local Paper etc. sound ok.  This is the first time in many years I've blown my own trumpet but I have never decried other peoples opinions because no man can be wise at all times.  

We as a club took our fishing very seriously and even to the point of being in regular contact with Alwyn Wheeler, Natural History Museum, London.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?so...a1f185d76&biw=994&bih=510

Take your pick  

Also, Edinburgh University Marine Biology Department to look into the possibility of shy Bass bites being caused by electric current flowing between a lead and hook on short traces.  They  set up test tanks and proved our theory right.  So we coated our hooks in clear nail varnish and started  fishing Peeler Crab on Hair Rigs, catch rate increased.  Lets not also forget where Uptide Boat Casting was developed.
There are no hard and fast rules in fishing, just experimentation and knowledge gathered over years, plus chatting to  and  watching the locals.

I rest my case.  
Bazzer

I quote from Dr. Mike Ladle:  

Well, if you read the old angling lore (still often repeated in modern magazines and books) you should cast beyond the third breaker. I say that this is BY NO MEANS a rule and in fact it is ALMOST NONSENSE!

http://www.veals.co.uk/content/30233462/another-veals-guide/
Putnamsmif

Gareth, that's an interesting theory. I'm going to put it to the test. I've been tring to catch a bass from the North Norfolk coast for a couple of years without any success. I've had plenty to bait, but not a sniff on a lure. A couple of weeks ago I was at Burnham Overy Staithe and I could see plenty of fish but couldn't make contact. Some of them were mullet I'm sure, but there were definitely some bass there too. I'll keep you posted.
Gareth

Burnham Overy Staithe down to Holkham beach, level with the start of the trees is one of my favourite places to fish. Depending upon how far I have waded out to the sand banks I've caught Mackerel, Flatties and Small Blue Sharks; say up to about 7 or 8 lbs.

I've never had a doggie or others of that type from the beach, although friends have had Spurdogs and Tope about 500-600 metres out from the beach on boats, and lug baits and mussels can guarantee me a weaver or two almost everytime. I have also seen a few thornies caught from less than 50 yds off the beach.
Putnamsmif

Blue sharks? I didn't think they came this way, but you learn something new every day they say. Do you find water clarity makes much difference? It was like the med when I was there last. Does it want a tinge of colour for lure fishing or have you found crystal clear is better?
Gareth

It is usually a little coloured off the beach due to the breakers which is good for the Bass.

As for the small Blue Sharks, I've only caught them on hot days with a little bit of an onshore breeze and hazy cloud.

But how I have gone about it in the past can only put me firmly into the certifiable, call immediately for the straight jacket and big hypodermic syringe, crazy category.

I waded out to between waist and chest deep into the clear water with a carrot sack on a 6ft line attached to my waist, containing various bits of chopped up fish and a balloon for buoyancy. This brings in the fry and shrimp closely followed by the Mackerel. I catch a couple of Mackerel on spinners, pop one into the sack, cut the other one into a head on flapper and when the Blueys come in after the Mackys, I cast it around wobbled deadbait style. I used only 5/0 or 6/0 circle hooks for this style of lunacy and have a Tee bar disgorger. I get the Bluey in, let it wrap itself around my left arm and un-hook it with my right hand; I have even been known to put my fingers in through the gill slits to remove a stubborn hook.
Seabird

Jonty, if you're coming up to Aberdaron take a look at this site. They have a shop in Pwllheli:


http://www.llynangling.net/
Jonty

Seabird wrote:
Jonty, if you're coming up to Aberdaron take a look at this site. They have a shop in Pwllheli:


http://www.llynangling.net/


Thanks seabird, I've just got off the phone with the shop and they'll be kitting me up when I head down there next week.

Cheers
Seabird

Tom's a nice chap - he'll tell you what you need.
If you get chance when you're in Pwllheli, pop your head round our shop door and say hello - we're Lonsdales, the dress shop at the top of Gaol St, round the corner from the fishing shop.
Hope the weather holds for you, but if not, kit the kids out in wetsuits they'll still have great fun in the waves round Aberdaron
Jonty

Seabird wrote:
Tom's a nice chap - he'll tell you what you need.
If you get chance when you're in Pwllheli, pop your head round our shop door and say hello - we're Lonsdales, the dress shop at the top of Gaol St, round the corner from the fishing shop.
Hope the weather holds for you, but if not, kit the kids out in wetsuits they'll still have great fun in the waves round Aberdaron


Will do,

look out for as small bloke with a beard with an even smaller spotty (chicken pox) boy looking very out of place in a frock shop
Woodsmoke

Jonty wrote:
look out for as small bloke with a beard


And the worlds biggest collection of spare lures  

Jonty wrote:
looking very out of place in a frock shop


Only 'cos of the beard, mate. I keep telling you.......................
Seabird

   

We get all sorts in 'ere mate.
Jonty

Woodsmoke wrote:
Jonty wrote:
look out for as small bloke with a beard


And the worlds biggest collection of spare lures  

you.......................



he he he
Jonty

Well I didn't get much beach fishing so to speak done, but I had a cracking time off the rocks. Typical time/family constraints pretty much buggered up any chances of escaping for an extended fishing session but I managed to have a good few sessions on the rocks for mackerel.

We were lucky that the fish were 'in' so we had some good sport on varying tackle from the new beach rod with a string of feathers to smaller spinning gear for some sport.  The best trip was an early morning wander down to the rocks where I landed 4 keepers which went from the sea to our breakfast plates in less than 30 minutes - beautiful!!.

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