Lee-on-the-Solent angler Darron Phillips recorded an early-season plaice of around the 1lb mark in his match- winning mixed bag in the first round of the Allan’s Marine Super League.
Held at Stokes Bay in Gosport, sixteen anglers took part in the catch-and-release competition and recorded bass, flounders, whiting, pouting and rockling, all to small worm baits fished on three hook flapper rigs.
Elsewhere, late January and early February in and around the Solent area has traditionally been the quietest time of year for catches of plate-sized fish.
Now, with almost all of the local charter fleet out of the water for their winter refits, busy getting their vessels ready for the arrival of spring, the next couple of weeks are going to be patchy.
Only the odd skate and dogfish, with small whiting and pout, are likely to put in an appearance inshore.
But there are still some fish being caught on our beaches, with one or two plaice now showing.
Eastney and Southsea beach are by far the most productive venues for these spotty flatfish with specimens in the three-to-4lb bracket landed most years.
Many of these early fish tend to be on the thin side as they return from spawning but as we progress into next month and early April, they fatten up rapidly.
n The next Rovers Tackle Open beach match will be held tomorrow, February 17 at Stokes Bay, Gosport, from 8pm-11.30pm.
This is a pre-book only competition.
To reserve a peg, give Paul Roberts a call on (01329) 220354.
With the recent freezing conditions hopefully well behind us, the local waters are starting to produce good catches of silver fish to those anglers who have not put their tackle away until the summer.
Water temperatures will still be low and with very little colour in them.
But with the help of a few sunny days, the carp will start foraging for food just before they start spawning in early spring.
It means that with a stealthy approach, light lines and small hooks, there’s plenty of action still to be had with the shoals of roach and perch that inhabit the ponds and lakes in our area, along with the chance of the odd carp or bream thrown in for good measure. They will all feed on a variety of baits like bread and maggot and the good old worm.
Grayshot angler Sarah Patton has been in good form again, landing some nice-sized fish from her favourite venue, MBK’s Barrons Pond at Rake, which is close to her home.
Patton fished the waggler with a size-18 hook to land plenty of roach to a pound, along with a few perch and a surprise tench of 2.5lb on red maggot and worm baits.