Alderney Report, September /October 2011
A short report this time but Alderney fishing can be superb at this time of year with many different species to target afloat and ashore.
Ashore, the black bream have arrived, fish to 3lb 8oz in regular bags of up to 12 fish. Most anglers use squid on the bottom for bream, however these early bream have a tendency to feed higher in the water, taking the softer weed which has grown on the rocks during summer.
Later autumn bream are better targeted on the bottom. Light float gear similar to that used for mullet is best at this time – match rods, 6lb line on a 2500-size reel and a float weighted with shot. Trace line should be stepped to around 12lb to guard against rock abrasion or bite offs. Once the weed is gone they then switch largely to bottom feeding.
Bass is the other main target fish at present, with news of a 5lb 2oz and a 6lb 11oz lure-caught brace coming to me as I type this report. Soft plastic lures have been prolific this summer but these two fish fell to plugs. There have been bass to 8lb 15oz caught, with two anglers sharing 40 bass one night and a further 27 fish the following night.
Elsewhere there’s been sprinkling of red mullet and sole. Matt Smith landed the best sole so far at 2lb 8oz. Huss, conger to 30lb and small-eyed rays to 8lb have been landed, with the Breakwater best.
Boat sport severely hindered by the weather, however those getting out have faired well enough. Double figure fish are a regular now. Expect to take fish drifting the ebb tide in the race or on the South Banks. My experience is that the best bass tend to come on the end of the tide when most other boats have moved on and missed out.
There’s till a few turbot and brill around. And indeed there has been a good number these last three years. Plenty of black bream reported also, with the best of these pushing 4lb. These are easily caught at slack tide around the reef ground on light tackle. Bream baits are often unexpectedly nobbled by a stray eel or even tope. I fluked an angry 30lb eel the other night on the top hook of a 3 hook flapper rig and a size 1 Kamasan hook. I’ve also managed small eyed and blonde rays in the boat, plus a mix of sole, plaice and some couches sea bream.
Some of you have been following my crazy mad Species Hunt Challenge for 2011, whereby I am trying to achieve 50 species from Alderney’s small coastline in this calendar year. Well my last trip afloat I did manage 12 species but none to add to my standing total of 48. To stay abreast of the species chase please visit our Facebook page and check out the photos section. With just two knew species needed to break 50 I am praying for a little decent weather.
Talking of species, Langstone boat Valkyrie managed two rarities in our waters… an angler fish and a saury pike! Skipper, Glen Cairns’ 10-year old son Buddy was the real star on that trip however, landing a stunning 12lb 4oz bass.
Alderney Fishery Management Consultation is nearing its conclusion. We are now on the White Paper which can still be amended if parties aren’t entirely satisfied so long as those amendments are deemed acceptable and with justification. When it is concluded which could be a matter of weeks I will ask the editor of PSF to publish the full paper. You have an option to reply and add your view even at this late stage.
Alderney Fishing Festival is around the corner, 22nd October till 29th. Can I ask that all bait orders are placed soon. In the meantime many thanks to those of you that visit the island to experience the excellent fishing, your coppers in our coffers are much appreciated.