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……

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