Live crab, especially Peeler and Hermit crab are by far the best bait for the Smoothounds and boy are we getting a good run of hounds at the moment. The reason they are here is for the huge number of crabs that are close to shore. Abbotsbury and Cogden are plagued with Spider crab at the moment as you can see from this picture sent in by Pete Jolliffe.
The crabs are capable of cutting through most mono and even some braid, but they do have more of a problem with the braid. I have tried using floating beads, but they even seem to be able to stretch up with their long claws and grab them. I have also tried using braid snoods, but found that they tangle very easily. However I think I have found the solution and I will have a diagram to show you next week to help illustrate the tip. The Crabs normally cut the snoods off around an inch above the hook. What I have done is use a normal snood length of Amnesia, normally 15-20lb then instead of tying a hook on the end, I tie a swivel with a 3 inch length of 40lb braid, which is then tied to the hook. This stands up to most attempts to cut it off by the crabs and is not too long for them to get tangled.
I had a recent report from Gary Beasley who lives in Plymouth. Gary traveled to Chesil to target the Smoothounds. This is Garys report: Great days fishing with the target species achieved! Arrived at Chesil a little later than planned, then first cast I have a crack off followed by a birdie! Respool the reel and I’m off!! First fish of the day was a new PB with a cracking Smoothound which went 9lb 14oz so not quite the double that it looked!! During the rest of the day I hooked into another 7 fish, with two going 8lb 8oz and 7lb 2oz. The rest were just pups around the 2 – 4lb mark! All fish safely returned to fight another day and taken on fresh and frozen peeler. As always top bait supplied by South West Sea Baits, Plymouth. All fish hooked nicely on Varivas BMX, but because of the massive population of spider crabs on Chesil I shall be on the phone to the guys at VMO to order more hooks over the weekend.
So with all these hounds around, I bet you are thinking I will be out after them this weekend. Well I would be, but I can’t get any live crab. I never waste my money on frozen Peeler, as I think they are rubbish. I am sure many of you are now jumping up and down saying how you have caught loads of frozen. I have never caught on frozen, so I have no faith in them and in fishing faith is a huge factor. My local tackle shops that I use don’t have any in stock and by the time I had messed around looking for some online, the deadline for a Saturday delivery had passed. Lesson for the future, make sure you book your bait in advance. I should know better.
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Chesil Beach: calm with lightly coloured water
Portland: calm with lightly coloured water.
Portland harbour: calm and clear water
Weymouth Bay: Calm with clear water
Chesil Beach forecast: It looks like a great bank holiday of fishing ahead. Chesil should fish well for Mackerel, Plaice, Smoothound and Rays. Night tides will be good for Pout and Dogfish, if you don’t mind fishing for them. I probably don’t catch many Ray because I rarely fish at night and they do tend to come closer in at night.
Portland:I had a fish for Wrasse one evening this week and after half an hour I had landed 8. Nothing of any great size, but it shows that there are lots around. The Pollock fishing will not be so great, as ow water coincides with dawn and dusk. i much prefer it when they coincide with high water. I am not saying you wont get any but your marks are more limited. Church Ope Cove is one good location for them.
Portland Harbour: I had a walk down the harbour on Thursday and chatted to a number of anglers. The only fish t report were a number of good sized Garfish.
Weymouth Bay: I expect the piers to busy this weekend, specially as the kids are on half term holiday. Having said that, the pier is a reat place to take them and introduce them to fishing. Pleny of Wrasse, Pollock Garfish and Mackerel can be caught there at any time of day and most tide states.
Guiding: The new guiding season is underway once again. Although we can’t keep any Bass at the moment, we can certainly catch them. I am hoping that the winter fishing ban and the new commercial quotas, combined with an increase in the minimum landing size, will make for some great Bass fishing. I specialize in lure fishing and I am offering Fly fishing this year as well. I am still more than happy to go after the multitude of species in this area with bait, whether that is big Wrasse, explosive Smoothound fishing or targeting the tastier fish such as Plaice and Bream. If you want to book a session or find out more information drop me an email at email@example.com