Government Issues Warning: Angling In
THIS autumn the Guernsey Tourist Board, together with industry partners in transport and accommodation and leading tackle suppliers Daiwa, is making you an offer you can’t refuse.
A small investment of your time could see you share in prizes worth well over a total of £15,000.
The Bailiwick Autumn Angling Challenge is an angling promotion for visiting anglers only. Prizes include holiday breaks to the islands and massive amounts of top-quality tackle, courtesy of Daiwa. There is also the lure of a £10,000 cash prize for any entrant lucky enough to beat a current local record during the event.
Visit the islands during October, November or December 2003, enter the competition, and get fishing. There is good access by air or sea and many accommodation establishments are participating by offering angler-friendly facilities and special packages.
Wrasse like the one on the left are commonplace around
Located at the mouth of the
Why Go All That Way To Fish?
It’s not just the fishing either, the islands of
Every year literally millions of satisfied visitors return on their annual pilgrimages in search of those vital ingredients for a great holiday: sand, sea and …some fishing!
Sandy inshore marks provide great sports with flatties and smoothhounds, while rockier marks can be baited up for maximum action
Anything is possible around these islands. The local shore-caught record list confirms the obvious – this destination is for anglers who want to spice up their lives with a bit of variety.
Autumn is prime angling time – warm seas, albeit occasionally a little wet (the weather that is), generally mild, often windy and lots of tide – fish just love it.
If you’re not in it, you can’t win it. So for more details on how to take part in the competition, on the prizes and the rules, get online to: www.guernseytouristboard.com/angling .
Here you can find details of transport and accommodation and lots of information about the fishing. If you don’t have access to a website phone 01481 726611 and we will post you the information.
The warm seas around
Accessibility to the islands and to the fishing on them is key to enjoying their piscatorial delights.
Where else can you fish a total of 60 or so miles of coastline without ever having to drive, cycleor walk more than a couple of miles?
Where else could you find such a wide variety of marks in such a small area, ranging from deep tidal races to shallow sandy bays; rocky outcrops made for spinning to quiet coves full of wrasse and mullet; steep craggy cliffs ideal for conger to acres of weed-filled gullies beloved of bass? Pick one – or try to fish all of these in the same day!
The variety of different marks allows many methods to be used, often at the same time. The huge tidal range encourages a mobile approach to angling, frequently resulting in the use of relatively light tackle.
What price would you put on a mixed bag of pollack, garfish, mackerel and grey mullet taken on float or spinner, with a smattering of wrasse, bass, bream and red mullet on the bottom – just to add a little interest between bites? That’s just the daytime catch of course. As night falls you might reasonably expect to add pouting, dogfish, scad and even squid to the mix, with the possibility of a conger or sole to keep up your concentration.
Float fishing and spinning are immensely popular. If you have never tried these methods before this is the place to practice. A light spinning rod of about 10ft, capable of casting up to 50g on 10lb line, is essential for both methods, and/or something a bit lighter and longer if you intend to specialise in mullet or garfish.
Distance casting is not normally required. A standard beach rod is often necessary to cope with conditions or the bigger target species, especially after dark, but in the daytime a bass rod is just as effective and a lot more fun. Add reels to suit and you’re away.
What About Bait?
Live, fresh and frozen baits are sold locally, except on Herm, although you may want to bring your own favourites to the smaller islands. You can gather bait between sessions (on the beach or at one of the many watering holes to be found within easy reach of the best marks). Low spring tide is generally the best time for this sort of activity – digging for lug in 10 metres of water is not easy!
The usual suspects are found here, plus one or two notable local specialities. These include verm (the worm from hell – at least it seems that you have to dig half-way there to find it), cuttlefish, which is like an upmarket version of squid, and scallop frills. These are not recommended to the squeamish or sensitive of nose but are a big turn-on for many fish, notably the bream. The only main line bait not readily available is black lug, but the above are effective substitutes. Peeler crab is not always available at the local tackle emporiums, so if you cannot do without it bring your own.
The huge variety in rise and fall of tide has a profound effect on the fishing but it is difficult to predict exactly what that effect will be, and some cracking catches are made over neap tides. Generally, the locals favour 8.5 to 9.5 metre spring tides because the really big springs in excess of 10 metres can be a little difficult to fish effectively, especially over the high water.
Yes, you heard right – in old money that’s about 32 feet of vertical movement, translating to many hundreds of metres up and down the beaches and rocks – so please treat it with respect and fish safely.
For more information on the fishing, the competition, travel and places to stay, visit www.guernseytouristboard.com/angling or call 01481 726611. The website carries the full rules of the competition, plus you can download an entry form. The site also carries breakdowns of some of the best marks, and a list of angler friendly hotels and is well worth a visit.