For a lot of anglers, fishing a neap tide is not the ideal time. Many beaches fish much better when the tide is really running, pushing food along in the currents to the fish, but on some beaches like Monmouth beach in Lyme Regis, a neap tide can still fish really well.
Because of the lack of strong currents Crabs, Prawns, and small fish can venture out of their hiding places in search of their own food. Fish such as Smoothounds, Bull Huss, Wrasse, and Bass will take advantage of these wandering creatures, moving in around the ledges and rocks searching them out.
A neap tide also gives you much more time to fish this beach than a big spring tide, as there is always water over the ledges. A bit of colour in the water also helps when bait fishing, as it gives the fish more confidence to move into the shallower areas of the beach during daylight hours.
The start of June normally sees the bigger Bull Huss starting to move inshore along Monmouth beach and Pinhay bay (sometimes in Pinhay bay there can be so many Bull Huss, nothing else gets a chance to get to the bait). Pictured here is Mark Cleaver with a couple of Bull Huss caught yesterday during a neap tide at low water. If you want to have some fun and put a bend in the rod fish a big bait (whole Calamari Squid works great, has plenty of scent, and is cheap) on a Pulley rig with a rotten bottom between 20 yards and 60 yards out. In the last few years I have opted for single hook rigs opposed to pennel rigs, as Bull Huss, Bass, and Smoothounds all have the tendency to wolf down the bait, making them hard to unhook if there is more than one hook. If you are worried that without a second hook a big squid bait will ball up even with bait elastic, try using a couple of half hitches in the hook snood over the tail end of the squid.
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“I like to remove the head when using Squid for bait, as i feel the head can make certain species cautious about attacking it. In the past when I left the head on I had a lot of fish drop off on the retrieve, I think they had avoided the head of the squid in favor of taking it down tail first. Another advantage of removing the head is that it helps release the scent from the innards of the Squid.”
Here at the Tackle Box we recently started stocking the Japanese Sasame hooks and in the range there is a very nice circle hook which I will now be using on my rigs when using whole squid.
I don’t keep any of the Bull Huss or Smoothounds I catch, and because these hooks will normally set in the scissors of the fishes mouth it makes unhooking much easier.
There is no need to “strike” to set these hooks, just tighten the line into the fish and the hook will turn into position.
Tight lines if you are heading out in the next few days, Darren.