Sharks in The Solent!?

After about ten days of not getting the opportunity there was finally the chance to get out on the yak … if only for a short session. Recently there has been an annoying spell of stiffer south westerly winds which coupled with other commitments have curtailed my fishing opportunities so Saturday morning it was nice to wet a line in lovely calm conditions.

My pal Nobby was going to join me but let’s just say he may have been on the sauce a little longer than intended on Friday night and missed the starters gun completely!

Still, unperturbed, I was up with the larks again down to my now local haunt at Lee-on-Solent. I was set-up and ready to launch at around 4:30am with the first signs of light showing on the horizon – more predominately was one of the large ocean going liners destined for Southampton.


I got to my spot and cracked on with the fishing  – a crab bait down on one rod, a bream rig on the other and a cheeky hand line loaded with feathers for the mackies just under the surface. Again, similar to last time, it was quite quiet to start with but then the old saying of “no buses for ages then two come at once” kicked in and let’s just say I had one of those ‘calamity moments’……

First of all the hand line which I had tucked under my leg, not leashed down I hasten to add, starts to go berserk so bringing that up I could see two mackies on, at this point the rod with the crab bait starts going for it so I grab that and the hand line gently slips from under my leg, mackerel and all attached, into the water …… I just managed to grab it whilst holding on to the other rod. Decision time…..I decide to get the hand line in as the mackies were just under the surface and I safely get them aboard the yak and despatch them into the cool bag. At this point the hand line is now on my lap, still unattached, and I attend to the other rod that is still going for it with what I suspect to be a smoothie pup …… and so it is. I get the feisty pup on the yak, nothing big, and it does what a smoothie does best – beats the hell out of everything on board and yes, you guessed it, it knocks the bloody hand line into the water! This time I can’t get to it – all I can do is look on as it unravels, floating away in the current. You really do need to leash everything down! Anyway, here’s the innocent looking culprit……


Still, I managed a chuckle and carried on but that was the one and only smoothie which was a shame. After all that excitement the bream then started to come on the feed – nailed 4 or 5 in total all on squid strips……




It was only a short session as I say so for the last hour I switched the bream rig for feathers and managed three more mackies, two of which I experimented with live baiting for bass but to no avail. I was nearing the end of my session and decided to chuck down a whole squid while I de-rigged the feathers and just as I’d finished doing that I had a cracking bite which I connected with and what felt like a smoothie snatch and grab but I was wrong…….




…… a small Solent tope! Not exactly Jaws at around the 3lb – 4lb mark but a first for me so I was well chuffed. Then to top my morning off, as the tide had turned, what came floating right towards me – yep the hand line – fully intact! Picked it out of the water and paddled in after that as I had to be back by 11 a.m. When I got to the shore I got chatting with a chap who I’d seen out there in his boat and he’d also had a tope in the same weight bracket so the smaller ones must be about at this time of the year.

A pleasant session again and a few mackerel smoked for tea – delicious!


Happy days… until next time……

Dawn raid lands bream

Some people enjoy their fishing in the evenings as the sun is heading down but for me the best time to fish is at the opposite end of the day watching the light change before the sun appears above the horizon. This is the sunrise I experienced on the water this Friday just gone – a real corker of a dawn with mist just lifting from the coast:



I had a welcome few hours to try and stock up on some mackerel which I know were now showing and, buoyed by my last trip down to Lee-on-Solent, to try for some black bream… on one count I was successful but on the other strangely disappointed… and it’s not necessarily the way round you would think. As usual I was fishing two rods, one was set up initially with feathers and the other with a baited hokkai rig. Despite near perfect conditions and being on the water by 4:30 a.m. it was strangely quiet out there and it wasn’t for a good hour before the welcome rat-a-tat-tat bite of a bream was felt on the hokkai rig and even that I missed! Eventually I managed to hook into one though, nothing big but I had broken my duck for the day:



After a couple more bream came aboard I up anchored and deployed the recently purchased drogue for a slow drift in the current but there was still no sign of mackerel which was strange so I reverted to anchoring up again and switched the feathers on rod two for a Pennell rig a with a whole squid on to see if there was anything a bit more decent down there that could be tempted. Within minutes I had a nice knock and connected with something a bit better which turned out to be a feisty smoothie pup that had greedily gobbled up the whole squid.


Meanwhile, on the other rod the bream were beginning to hit the baited hokkais again at a regular rate of knots, so quick in fact were their bites that I was probably only connecting with one in three – next time I’ll try with an even smaller hooked hokkai rig I think! Still, I did manage one keeper of about 1.5lb in the end out of the ten that came aboard the yak.


The wind got up around 10 a.m. and chopped the water up so I decided to have another few drifts with the feathers before heading in and bingo………at last I broke my mackerel duck for the day with a  solitary fish which was destined for the smoker when I got home (sorry no picture!).

My final picture on this report is of the recently acquired fishing drogue in action, and it’s something I will definitely be making good use of – really did help slow down the drift in the current – great bit of kit that I need to play with a bit more yet to get the best out of it.


Another pleasant few hours on the water in smashing early morning conditions and good sport on light gear with the bream. The lone mackerel aside the other surprise was the lack of dogfish which made a pleasant change if I’m honest – I’ve certainly had my quota of these in the last couple of months so I can’t say I missed them on this trip.  I later learned where all the mackerel were when I got a call from my pal Nobby on his way to work who kindly informed me there were birds working huge shoals of them in close to the shore – typical eh?! Oh well…….

Might have to have a local evening session for the mackies after work this week (weather permitting) and hopefully a trip to a different venue could be on the cards in the next week or so.

Until next time……

More riggin’

Well, I had hoped to get out on Saturday afternoon for a spot of local mackerel fishing but it wasn’t to be…… a combination of domestic duties and more so the increasing strength of the wind put pay to any chance of getting out on the kayak. A shame as I had the kayak and kit all ready to go but there you have it … these things happen. Nevertheless, whilst all the kit was out I thought I’d take the opportunity to take a few more pictures for the blog of my kayak rigged up (in the garden assisted by my son Billy and less so by the dog who you’ll see if you look carefully enough!).

A recent addition you’ll see to the rigging is the dry box in my rear tank well. This is an adaptation of a cracking idea by Rob Appleby ( The Salterwateryakfisherman) where he uses the same water tight container to create a dry box which can be  converted to a live bait tank. I have unashamedly used Rob’s idea to create my dry box but without going as far as the live bait tank. Maybe something for the future but certainly thanks to Rob for sharing his idea for all to see. The big plus with the dry box is anything in their shouldn’t suffer from the affects of salt water and means less kit cleaning on your return…… that’s the thought process anyway!

As for fishing, it looks like next weekend if the weather permits.

Anyhow, here are some of the pictures of the rigging on my Trident as promised:

Firstly, here’s the new dry box in the main tankwell – it has a screw in lid which is attached to the inside of the box to avoid any potential mishap which might see it going overboard:


Moving forward here’s the Trident’s RodPod. I’ve installed a further hatch to it for easy access for when you just want to grab a small item from inside the yak without un-strapping the whole of the RodPod hatch – I’ve found this very handy. Also you’ll see the GPS unit mounted at the front of the Pod attached to power lead running to a 12v battery situated inside the yak:


In front of the GPS unit you can see the fishfinder with the Trident’s sonar shield – you may think the position of the GPS obscures your view of the fishfinder but it’s not an issue at all given your line of vision from your seated position:


At the front of the kayak is the cross-lock hatch where I have the battery housed and is also where I stow away the C-Tug trolley when on the water:


Here is the battery housing inside the front hatch of the kayak securely fastened inside a watertight container, inserted into a foam housing and held in place with heavy duty Velcro:


Here is one of the adjustable rod holders I use – there is another mounted in a similar position on the opposite side of the kayak:


The rudder is invaluable on the water and makes such a difference when the paddling gets a bit tougher:


For night fishing the navigation light is there for safety and fishing purposes alike – again it’s wired into the 12v battery at the front of the kayak:


And, finally here are a few of snaps of the kayak rigged out in all it’s glory:


So, there you have it…… I just hope next time the yak is rigged up it’ll be to get on the water with her.

Until next time….