TEL: 01243 785 496 or 07767 820 268

October Newsletter 2011

To all those caught by the fly...

Well, as the season draws to a close, I thought I'd summarize my thoughts for the year... wind, wind and more wind!... in fact the only clement, hot, still and conducive weather for taking Bass off the coast this season arrived the day I left for my second client trip to Connecticut USA on the 26th September and then duly evaporated the day I arrived home on the 6th October, Sod's Law and Murphy's Law all rolled into one!

Although we have managed to land over 1000 fish from April through until October, this year has been the hardest I have experienced in almost 10 years, although it is difficult to gauge whether the drop in catch is due to the inclement conditions and higher wind speeds which effect the drifting conditions when mobile on the boats, as a shorter cast will find that the vessels speed towards the fly, impacts its presentation by coming in too vertically - certainly the wading from the shore has been extremely testing as many marks were simply just not holding the Bass in their usual numbers. Whether this had anything to do with the early season offshore winds from the North and North West pushing plankton and bait off shore we will never know but the worry is that the 10 meter commercial fleet and inshore netters have also seen a fall in catch off the South Coast - their explanation is cyclic and tends to occur over a 7 to 8 year period from boom to bust, thus this season could be the low point.

The percentage of mature fish to Schooling Bass is very high, probably somewhere between 50-60% and this is a reflection that we are specifically targeting a better quality fish on the drift offshore, so although numbers have dropped, the time we spend pursuing the larger fish is also up - more larger fish, less smaller fish.

Andy Simpson with a P/Best UK Sea Bass for 2011

The good news is that when we met fish off the coast they were the largest shoals I have ever experienced and certainly in the June period and early July, I witnessed very large numbers indeed, the biggest extending for over a mile long. These shoals when present gave us great sport but all too infrequently, as in previous seasons the shoals stay around for a period over the neap cycle, due to the tidal flow being slower and this allows the bait to hold together much better, keeping the predator local to the marks. This has been the problem all season as the inconsistency of the numbers of Bass has been highly apparent - one day you get 70 fish, then the next they are gone and you hook up to a dozen or so with little sight nor sign of any top water action.

The harbour has returned some nice fish in the early part of the year but lack of Chinese weed which holds a lot of crab and shrimp has seen the amount of forage food reduced, I put this down to the very cold winters we are experiencing which has killed a lot of the root systems and the consequence is that food has sheltered elsewhere - as we all know, where you find food, a Bass will be fairly close behind and even as we speak the harbour is still around 14 degrees and warm enough for Labrax but the larder is short on easy pickings.

Both trips to CT USA were very successful and the September trip yielded good sized Bass, False Albacore and monster Bluefish. The weather was moody and overcast and the Bass migration not really on as the water temperatures were way too high but the upside of that was the number of False Albacore which were present in the water gave good sport to all - what Bass were taken were all doubles and some up there in the 20lbs plus range - if interested in the June trip or September trip please see Fact File ( and email me accordingly - dates will be scheduled in the December/New Year but will more than likely be from the 19th June and the 25th Sept 2012.

Pat Muir with a Monster Bluefish

Jeremy Bowden with a P/Best Striper

Sandy Lyon with a good F/Albacore

Paul Drake with a good Fly caught Albacore

Kit sales have been good and we have bucked the retail trend which I hope is a reflection of being able to offer good quality kit and competitive prices, so if you're looking for anything for Christmas please see the shop ( or call me direct - sales of used guiding kit is also available so call for details on 01243 785496 / 07767 820 268.

Finally, the dates for next season 2012 are already on the website and bookings have been rapid, all those clients who wish to roll-over please contact me asap and those of you who may want to book again, please take a look at the suggested dates and email me accordingly, I will advise on the tides, methods and times in due course - for now, many thanks for battling the British weather and hooking up as you did - it has been a record year but technically very testing for even the best D/Haulers.

Tip down and tight lines.

Kind Regards

Game Fishing Logo

Justin Anwyl

IGFA Captain/Guide UK/USA


Tel: 07767 820268 or Tel: 01243 785496