Saturday, 25 July 2015

Hound Hunt! Skegness July 2015: Pt 1 Chapel Point

We were booked up for a week in Skegness this week for a holiday with the kids.  I was reluctant to say the least as I am not one for a week of solid "kiddy" fun.

When I researched the fishing down that area I was pleased to find a few beaches that really produced some great bags of Smoothhound at this time of year......a fish I had yet to catch.
That was me convinced!

Chapel Point (Chapel St Leonards) and Trunch Lane were the marks I had tagged to visit on the trip.

I did my research and called ahead to some local shops about getting fresh crab.  None of the 3 in the region did any live baits.  Fortunately I managed to snag a few dozen peeler from my dad on the morning we left so I was looking forward to a few sessions out.

Jump ahead to the Tuesday after we arrived at Skegness.  The forecast was sun, sun, sun and a light wind.  I was taking my brother-in-law (Billy) out for his first sea fishing session today.  As always in such situations the pressure is on to get fish.  We pack up the rods and head to Chapel Point for about 3hrs before HW (around 1100ish)

On arrival the conditions were damn near perfect.

We hurried onto the beach and I set our rods up, baited up and got cast out.  We opted for single-hook pulleys with a decent crab bait on 3/0 hooks.
I had chose the 6500 as the reel of choice so that I could get the distance I needed.  As it happens I realised a few casts in that this reel did not have a ratchet....which was a slight issue later on in the session.  If you ever fish for Smoothhound you will find out that you need to use the ratchet/drag.

I cast out for the brother-in-law (showing him how to do it) and set his drag on the fixed spool before putting the rod into the rest.  I cast out my own rod and as I lifted his rod to put mine under it the line from his reel screamed off nearly taking my fingers with it.  I quickly tightened the drag and struck into a fish.  I hand him the rod and he fought and landed his first ever Common Smoothhound of about 4-5lb.

I have never seen one up close but now that I stunning creatures they are.  They fight like demons too.

A few pictures were taken and then the hound was released.  Hearts still racing we fished on.  A half hour later my rod was nearly ripped out of the stand by a take.  Once I caught it I struck into a good fish.  My god do these fish fight....

A few minutes later and I was holding my first ever Starry Smoothhound!  Also around 4-5lb.

I had a common of around the same weight an hour later.

Another half-hour after that I cast out and went to chat to a few locals who were fishing 100yds up the beach.  Two words into the conversation one of them mentions that my mate wanted me and I turned to see him hanging onto my rod for dear life.
A good take had almost taken the rod in (due to the lack of a ratchet) and fortunately he caught it in time.  I sprinted down the beach (a good feat in wellies) and took the rod.  After a few minutes of heart-pounding fighting I landed a cracking Common of around 9lb.  Even Billy wanted a pic taken with this fish.

Two new species in the same session!  Good specimens too!

The fishing quietened after this fish and so we conserved the crab we had left to return the next day.
I was grinning from ear to ear on the way home.  No other species I had caught has ever provided so much excitement as the hounds.

I couldnt wait to return.....

All 4 hounds were caught at close range (<50yds) and took fresh crab baits.  All were returned safely.