Although it’s a quiet time of year for visiting anglers bass are prolific at the moment around the Island with local rods double figure bags of fish. As January disappears and February progresses the average size of the fish drops away, as an example twenty-three fish to four pounds were landed by one angler a few days ago. Last month most of these would have been a couple of pound heavier on average. Worms are your best choice for bait; legered on pulley rigs or up and over rigs. Squid baits will test your patience knowing there are plenty of bass swimming by but it will pick out the bigger specimens and it will also tempt the odd smoothie around at this time of year. Plugging for bass though has died a thousand deaths much to the annoyance of the purists with blank sessions the norm. The locals are finding that soft lures are working better than hard plugs just now. Pearl colour Storm shads, Savage Gear sandeels and Sidewinders are all productive. Having said all that the best bass since my last report was a beauty of 12lb 14oz which fell to local angler Frank Cusado on a plug! Frank is known for his big fish exploits but even this shore caught fish was a tremendous surprise.
Elsewhere there have been sole caught throughout the month for the angler who can suffer the attentions of the small bream, pout, pollack and poor cod. A few red mullet and codling have also been landed and a marauding tope smashed up one angler fishing squid off the Breakwater. It may be worth targeting the tope as the busy summer pegs on the Breakwater lie dormant during the winter months; worth a session for the hardy shore angler. Small eyed rays are well worth targeting at this time of year too as are double figure bull huss. Alderney is renowned for its mullet fishing in the winter but they really are down on usual numbers, and it’s very hard to spot fish at the moment.
Next month hopefully we’ll see one or two outings by the boat anglers; weather permitting. There may well be some early turbot on the banks and there will be tope on the usual marks. The other option is to get on to the wrecks close to the island for some excellent inshore winter pollacking.
The Alderney Angling Festival will be held from the 2nd to 9th October this year; with a £2000 prize to anyone who breaks a British record during the event. Details are available through the shop on 01481 824884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Up to date information about the Festival is always available on the Alderney Angling website.