After many attempts to go boat fishing, John and I finally had a trip aboard “White Maiden”. The only drawbacks were that it was February and I had Mann flu. This was all John’s idea.

Due to a strong NE wind, we headed to an inshore mark on Milford Shingles to target rays and plaice and no doubt encounter dogfish. Starting the day with a rising tide meant it was a little brisk but nothing a fresh cup of tea couldn’t fix.

To begin with, the fishing was a little slow with only a couple of pouting and a dogfish being caught prompting a move slightly east. It wasn’t long before we were into plaice with neither John nor I catching it initially, this anglers plaice was caught on a 2 hook rig using ragworm with no attractor beads, although John didn’t have to wait long before bringing one on board. I, on the other hand, had continued to catch the occasional dogfish, sigh! In the meantime, Fletch had caught a spotted ray which is always nice to see as they are not as common as other ray species and Ken had managed to break his rod in half if I am to be completely honest it wasn’t his fault it just snapped; on reflection he didn’t get that much stick with skipper Les to the rescue lending him one of his own rods.

As the tide slackened off we were contemplating a move when two more plaice were landed in quick succession one of which was caught by Ken something to take his mind of his broken rod, enticing us to stay put which also lead to a starfish being hooked, something I’d never seen before. Fletch then managed to catch a plaice and a starfish in the same drop, which made a total of 5 plaice for the boat. Shortly afterwards, the tide was beginning to pick back up so we moved further out in an attempt to catch some rays before heading back.

We had to wait a while for anything to happen with all of us on an all out assault for rays. John was the first to land anything which was a target fish, a reasonably sized small eyed ray. John was using a 4/0 hook with a Squid, sandeel and prawn cocktail as bait. I had become a little impatient by now so I decided to change to a 3 hook rig with smaller hooks and smaller baits to catch something, leaving myself the opportunity of catching a ray by using sections of sandeel on 2 of the hooks. Plagued by another one or two dogfish, eventually my rod pulled round after a slight taping bite and I was in to a ray! Finally, I had caught something other than a dogfish. It wasn’t the biggest but a small eyed ray.

Tally for the day: 5 plaice, 3 rays, roughly 12 dogfish and a few pout.

The plaice were caught on worm baits mostly ragworm, the angler who caught the largest and most plaice didn’t have any coloured beads by his hooks whereas the other anglers were using rigs with coloured beads on either black/green or red/yellow. All of us used Aberdeen hooks when targeting the plaice.

John was using his trusted Abu suveran 20lb class boat rod were as I used a tip rod that was longer a lot like the Colmic calibre allowing me to have maximum fun when playing the fish considering I didn’t have the largest of fish.

It is safe to say that John had the better day; he caught a plaice, a small eyed ray along with pout and dogfish. But the adventures continue and the game is on so watch this space…..

See you on the waters edge.