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1 year ago

THE ULTIMATE ANGLING BUCKET LIST

7DoHoXxkA

Noted for its big blonde

Noted for its big blonde rays, I decided to try out a rod I had been asked to put through its paces for a magazine review. I won't say what make it was. What I will say though is that having fought a very good blonde ray to the point where we could see it in the water coming up, the combined pressures mentioned earlier were just too much for the rods tip which broke, parting the line in the process. Needless to say, I didn't bother with the write up. A lot of good blonde rays are caught out of venues such as Weymouth, Salcombe, Dartmouth and the like. A friend of mine, Wayne Comben, targets them regularly out from Langstone to the east of the Isle of Wight, where he can, if he puts his mind to it, catch five different species of ray all in the same day, including his favourite blondes, though not all from the same spot. The Channel Islands are another very good area. I've seen quite a few brought in to Guernsey by the local commercial boats, and have been out rod and line fishing from Jersey over the Corbiere Bank where we had a few. Banks formed in some of the narrower outlets from Cork Harbour in south east Ireland are yet another renowned area, as are some of the Bristol Channel banks, particularly along the South Wales side. Brian Swinbank has even taken them around Caliach Point operating out of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. So potentially quite a widespread species which should not prove too difficult to locate from a boat, though less so from the shore, the main ingredient being to pick the right boat, book a suitable set of tides in terms of size and seasonal timing which the skipper should be able to advise on, then get some baits down there with the boat lying at anchor. As for shore fishing, I know an odd one has been taken from rock marks around the Holyhead area of Anglesey, including Rhoscolyn which I know well. But the safest bet would again have to be the Channel Islands, both from the rocks and from St. Catherines Breakwater on Jersey, fishing a heavy monofilament pulley rig. Associated audio interview numbers: 81. SPOTTED RAY Raja montagui Bucket List status – result Also known in Ireland as the homelyn ray, the spotted ray has a potential range taking in the whole of the British Isles, though it is less abundant along North Sea coasts. A fish similar in general appearance to the blonde ray, which is also covered in dark spots, but without the blonde ray's very much bigger growth range. So anything with spots weighing in at ten pounds or more is very unlikely to be a spotted ray, even a record spotted ray. To confirm the identity as being that of a spotted ray it will have dark spots which tend to vary in size scattered over a golden brown background, all of which will fail to reach the edges of the wings, leaving a narrow unmarked margin. Some spots may well group together to form a small tight clump known as an ocellus or eye spot in the middle of each wing, though this isn't always going to be the case. 82

Spotted Rays also lack rough prickles over the back half of their upper body, leaving it smooth to the touch. Blonde rays on the other hand are prickly all over, have fairly uniform sized dark spots over their entire upper body right through to their wing edges, and are generally a paler sandy brown. One of the smallest, and supposedly in the past, most abundant inshore rays after the thornback. Certainly so when I first started fishing Luce Bay and Loch Ryan in south west Scotland where we would see them on a reasonably regular basis. Ireland, the Solent, and many venues to the east of the Isle of Wight also regularly produced them, as did some of the rock marks along the South coast of Devon and Cornwall. I even recall seeing a few around Anglesey in North Wales, occasionally in South Wales, and while out bottom fishing around the Scilly Isles. Then, suddenly, it all went sour. Not only for the spotted ray, but for inshore rays generally, as their numbers plummeted everywhere. Some say it was due to an increase in anchored tangle nets. Others put it down to rays being taken as bye-catch by the spurdog longliners. Very likely it was a combination of both those activities and more, coupled to their slow reproductive replacement rate, a set of 'problems' all cartilaginous species unfortunately share. Ray numbers generally right throughout home waters plummeted into decline, and while they are now showing some signs of making a measured comeback, that isn't everywhere. Nor is it always back to the locations they previously liked to frequent. Spotted rays however are to some extent sticking to the old game plan. So if an area had them before, chances are it could well see them again, albeit in perhaps smaller numbers than was previously the case. Two areas which immediately spring to mind are the Hampshire and Sussex coast to the east of the Isle of Wight, and the area I am more familiar with, which is south west Scotland where some of the inshore marks previously known for their populations of rays lay barren in that regard for many years. Around 2005, a few started trickling back, and by 2008 I am reliably informed that under the right conditions, you could more or less pick up a few spotted rays almost to order around Ardwell in Luce Bay, with others scattered throughout the bay around to Whithorn and possibly beyond, which is great news. Wayne Comben tells me a similar story for his stamping ground out of Langstone. I personally haven't fished for rays in that area so I can't comment from my own experience, though we used to pick up a few on ragworm baits in the Solent in years gone by. We also had a few in other parts of Luce Bay way back while fishing for rays generally, which used to be prolific out from Drummore. But I suppose my most cherished memory of the species is one of fishing mackerel strip on a typical fifty pounds bs monofilament flowing trace in Loch Ryan, where I caught my then Scottish, British and European record in 1973. Keith Philbin, Spotted Ray The Scottish shore record for the species also comes from the loch down at Cairnryan. Associated audio interview numbers: 81. 83

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    THE ACTUAL BUCKET LIST 100 species

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    Colin Penny: skipper of the Weymout

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS Page The Actual B

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    Long Rough Dab 153 Turbot 154 Brill

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    Introduction to the Gobies 251 Blac

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    Bitterling 322 Gudgeon 323 Bleak 32

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    Spain 479 Thailand 479 Tunisia 484

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    As always, with any sort of ambitio

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    Working in conjunction with these i

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    viviparous reproduction, and the me

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    possible, use a landing net, and th

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    Only when a world record claim was

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    pectorals, with the second dorsal d

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    The harbour itself completely dries

  • Page 31 and 32: Nor can weights be estimated by usi
  • Page 33 and 34: shark and porbeagle exploits, all o
  • Page 35 and 36: Mincing also makes demands on the m
  • Page 37 and 38: Plymouth and some of the surroundin
  • Page 39 and 40: That however isn't the entire story
  • Page 41 and 42: Mark Ward, 71 pound Norfolk Tope I
  • Page 43 and 44: off around Shell Wharf to the south
  • Page 45 and 46: Network (SSACN), and it was on thes
  • Page 47 and 48: COMMON SMOOTHHOUND Mustelus mustelu
  • Page 49 and 50: But you would be wrong. Because exp
  • Page 51 and 52: There are lots of good smoothhound
  • Page 53 and 54: But it was a long hard fought campa
  • Page 55 and 56: The object of the exercise was to c
  • Page 57 and 58: LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISH Scyliorhinus
  • Page 59 and 60: One of the few occasions when I can
  • Page 61 and 62: When they were more numerous than t
  • Page 63 and 64: With its recent history, can there
  • Page 65 and 66: Getting back to the history of thos
  • Page 67 and 68: Ross Johnson, skate from the shore
  • Page 69 and 70: From the shore, obviously, it won't
  • Page 71 and 72: I remember one particular fish that
  • Page 73 and 74: have a lot to do with numbers, dist
  • Page 75 and 76: That said, I have on occasion been
  • Page 77 and 78: I once took a bucket full of live m
  • Page 79 and 80: With fast tides, a profusion of ban
  • Page 81: igger than ten pounds, then it's a
  • Page 85 and 86: A strikingly beautiful fish which e
  • Page 87 and 88: An occasional specimen might even t
  • Page 89 and 90: Most of the time we spent fishing i
  • Page 91 and 92: Another of those at best rarely rep
  • Page 93 and 94: A much smaller fish of more souther
  • Page 95 and 96: As with all species, and for a rang
  • Page 97 and 98: Our first trips didn't exactly ligh
  • Page 99 and 100: etween Christmas and the last big t
  • Page 101 and 102: The Fylde would fish best after a b
  • Page 103 and 104: Muppets too began to appear in a ra
  • Page 105 and 106: own boat over there to fish the rou
  • Page 107 and 108: Colouration and lateral line are tw
  • Page 109 and 110: Deep diving plugs too, providing th
  • Page 111 and 112: pollack have a protruding lower jaw
  • Page 113 and 114: The upper flanks and back have been
  • Page 115 and 116: From my own experience, certainly f
  • Page 117 and 118: photograph of a whiting he'd caught
  • Page 119 and 120: s monofilament to help eliminate se
  • Page 121 and 122: fishermen, presented as a flapper,
  • Page 123 and 124: mouth is noticeably dark. There can
  • Page 125 and 126: LING Molva molva Bucket List status
  • Page 127 and 128: Mac McAllister, Whitby Ling Now, th
  • Page 129 and 130: GREATER FORKBEARD Phycis blennoides
  • Page 131 and 132: In common with all the rocklings, t
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    SHORE ROCKLING Gaidropsarus mediter

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    I used to tag along to collect dise

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    As with the more familiar flounder

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    fish, little realising that they we

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    Though it was still very early in t

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    A fish with a distribution potentia

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    aits, and a tiny sliver of squid or

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    e enough to push them right out wit

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    Hooks obviously can be bigger where

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    He also uses this description for t

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    I spent some time chatting to Paul

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    fin extending right around to the h

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    Whatever the reason, it did actuall

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    From the shore it's slightly differ

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    161 And if you are not holding your

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    MEGRIM Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis B

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    Colouration is brown with some dark

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    Dan Burrows, Fleetwood Because of m

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    Where there are still a few bass le

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    ecruitment in the face of imminent

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    As ever, there was always the dange

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    The EU is relying on existing enfor

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    The total reduction in fishing mort

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    south, as it is a common enough fis

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    A fish with a large mouth and power

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    weaning these otherwise algae graze

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    spots, and put in the time both swi

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    Ollie Stenning, 8.7.4 Thin Lip reco

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    Despite living nearby in Hampshire,

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    Simply fold the pectoral fin forwar

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    Otherwise, a family of fishes of vi

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    epeated off the Yorkshire coast. Ye

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    were forced to remove their fightin

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    So far as I can ascertain, this is

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    different scales starting at the gi

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    everywhere as was once the case. Wi

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    Quite an unusual visitor to our pat

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    Four of us we were drift fishing a

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    Physically, the almaco is a slightl

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    Already we are seeing that, not onl

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    the end of the trip, still with no

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    I've had it happen to me on more th

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    What clinched that line of thinking

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    much stronger sharper hooks, and bu

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    Mike Thrussell, Gilthead Bream I ha

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    BOGUE Boops boops Bucket List statu

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    AXILLARY BREAM Pagellus acarne Buck

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    Caught out, instead of reversing th

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    The biggest of the four was put at

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    So there I am winding in, certain I

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    CUCKOO WRASSE Labrus mixtus Bucket

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    For deliberately targeting them, th

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    The scientific wisdom suggests it t

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    As is the trend with most of the gu

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    In this particular case however, re

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    Although I've never caught one myse

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    So you can expect to see them in mo

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    The knock on effect would also sign

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    Phill Williams, Shad on fly Unusual

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    THE GOBIES Potentially quite a larg

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    Colouration varies between reddish

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    TOMPOT BLENNY Parablennius gattorug

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    BLACK FACED BLENNY Tripterygion del

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    A very dark blue-grey fish over its

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    If it's a conger, the eye will be l

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    Yes, conger can be a handful. Dange

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    to make a short flowing 10/0 hook t

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    Anyway, a good hour went by without

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    More recently, that trend has given

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    A fish well capable of weights well

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    eam covered in a mosaic of heavy sc

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    Trigger fish are not overly demandi

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    Distribution extends throughout all

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    exaggerated long filaments stretchi

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    sometimes lighter vertical bars on

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    GREATER WEEVER Trachinus draco Buck

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    SHORT SPINED SEA SCORPION Myoxoceph

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    The anal fin follows a similar patt

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    Colouration is sandy brown with a s

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    By far the biggest numbers I have e

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    RED BAND FISH Cepola rubescens Buck

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    FIFTEEN SPINED STICKLEBACK Spinchia

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    After spawning, the adults drop bac

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    So not a likely repeat prospect for

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    As for mirrors, commons, leathers a

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    That was it. We would film a demons

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    Granted, Richard Walker was from a

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    Anglers however tend to have mixed

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    It took us some searching to locate

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    RUDD Scardinius erythrophthalmus Bu

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    Match anglers love them too, as all

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    ait on their heads and immediately

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    BARBEL Barbus barbus Bucket List st

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    In addition to that, Mike also had

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    More towards the back-end however,

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    Looking at recent reports of catch

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    Let's start with the feel of the fi

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    distances on a regular basis to fis

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    I'd never been to East Anglia befor

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    Phill Williams, small Zander locati

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    Not exactly a fish to set the world

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    Dave and Paul went straight for the

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    For a whole range of reasons you co

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    Let's also not lose sight of the fa

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    You only have to look at the wider

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    villa I stayed in. Using worms boug

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    THREE SPINED STICKLEBACK Gasteroste

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    Included in the adipose finned spec

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    Other boats also came ashore with s

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    Theoretically, a very straight forw

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    particular tenkara fly fishing come

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    A scale count from the adipose fin

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    Living in a three dimensional world

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    the hook inside a small ball of the

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    Colouration is typically dark green

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    In Grayling circles, I have to say

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    around one hundred and forty or so

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    across the lake, and would therefor

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    There were certainly less fish abou

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    One day, Bob Fitchie and I decided

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    Inspired by Wally's catch, John and

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    PART TWO BEYOND HOME WATERS THE CAT

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    Cape Cod is a venue where bass in t

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    The obvious problem was that Dave,

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    FLORIDA - BISCAYNE CANAL When I fis

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    So why go to the trouble of fishing

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    It's just a pity that the hundred o

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    This is controlled by a single lock

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    idea was that as the light faded, t

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    You could drop a live mullet or blu

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    Having fished there on a number of

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    getting access to big fish too for

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    and reels supplied on-board, which

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    Paul Bennett hooked up a huge snapp

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    As one local party boat angler put

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    The entrance can get quite busy wit

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    Each morning at breakfast we would

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    407 What we had not expected was ei

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    cameras, this went into a rucksack

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    The fishing itself was straight for

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    ottom. It was all bait fishing with

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    Smaller asp on the other hand tend

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    also run this river in their millio

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    Surprisingly, for the size of these

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    Eventually it appeared within reach

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    On one occasion, as soon as I touch

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    shark, which, along with a fish I h

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    fixed spool reels. Fortunately we h

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    As it would turn out, this was the

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    A stretch of land separated from th

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    The food was very nice. Fresh lobst

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    What you needed to do was cast as f

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    He in turn blamed the local lads on

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    against the concrete above us and h

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    The one remaining option was to go

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    More important still, so too were t

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    Our problem was catching the necess

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    Unfortunately, everything seemed to

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    was emptied, carried to us by scant

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    me there from Calangute where I was

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    In less than half an hour it was mi

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    said, as I'm not one for aimlessly

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    This happened a couple more times b

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    inside edge of the reef. As the sto

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    limited time, we were satisfied, an

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    Phill Williams, Puerto Vallarta Jac

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    Some days he would even walk into t

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    Were it not for the many bite-offs,

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    Gurnards very similar to our tub gu

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    Cod though were always the number o

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    up into the jungle. So late in fact

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    As was often the case, the chat wen

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    things turned out, it was nothing o

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    SPAIN I've only ever been to mainla

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    These eventually turned out to be f

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    In terms of approach, we used a ver

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    PART THREE INDIVIDUAL TARGETS THE C

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    Dove-tailing very nicely into this

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    I suggested in my representations,

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    Fortunately, most of the recorded s

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    not mentioned in this section of th

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    Opportunities to realistically and

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    Hamish Currie is the only home wate

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    through holes in bushes, around sub

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    to adjust the working depth, depend

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    One of the recorded audio interview

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    Wels Catfish - now excluded from th

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    Okay, so you can access much of it

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    With this mind we motored off down

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    As a sort of prediction as well as

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    Phill Williams & Johan Burger with

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    Let's look at the pro's and con's o

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    It may surprise some people here wh

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    kayaks tied up to some of the buoys

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    Because of the geography involved,

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    I even tried bottom fishing with sm

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    PART FOUR OTHER STUFF PERIFERAL & H

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    magnetometer behind the boat as the

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    Luckily, Pete had installed a bilge

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    But endless pages of print unfortun

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    And now here we are with the bucket

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    with no relevant qualifications, I

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    Deformed surviving Tope Most other

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    you dip the sampling can in at the

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    acteria feeding on it, or other inp

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    separate bucket for reintroduction

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    RESIDS 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.10 2 3

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    An asteroid impact 66 million years

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    As a point of balance, I should als

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    a vested financial interest in mopp

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    Podcast Interview 8: Graeme Pullen,

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    Podcast Interview 33: Zyg Gregorek,

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    Podcast Interview 55: Dave Beecham,

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    Podcast Interview 74: Justin Anwyl

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    Podcast Interview 95: Sven Hille, B

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    shore, and a 1000 pound fish from a

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    Podcast Interview 134: Mike Heylin,

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    Podcast Interview 155: Ally Gowans,

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    Podcast Interview 176: Terry Mosele

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    his job had to fish with many of th

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    Smoothhound at surface: Photo Phill

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    Dave Devine Haddock trio: Photo Phi

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    Gibraltar harbour: Photo Phill Will

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    Anchovy: Photo Phill Williams. Phil

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    Grass Carp: Photo Bill Rushmer. Vir

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    Char in breeding livery: Photo Phil

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    Danny Cove 200 pound Stingray: Phot

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    My angling hero & mentor, Davy Agne

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    The Lesser Spotted curse: Photo Phi