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Catch Report: Sunday, 15th January 2017 Deal tackle dealer Fred Leach's 2.750 kg thornback ray helped him to win the Deal 1919 AC evening roving beach match. His decision to fish large baits paid off with a total weight of 5.280 kg, which included five dogfish along with the ray. This ray is the first to be reported, caught locally from the beach or Pier this year so far. Joe Smith plumped for Kingsdown and caught 2.920 kg of mixed to claim second place beating Louie Smith into third with his 1.490 kg. The heaviest flatfish in the match was won by Dave Andrews' 0.130kg dab.
First of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association's members-only beach match of the year, which was fished from north Deal, attracted 19 anglers. Conditions were ideal with a light wind, calm sea and high water just before 8pm. Target species in the evening comp were whiting, with dogs making up the weight. As the sea temperature had not cooled enough to put the fish off the feed, triple shots of whiting were the name of the game - although getting sizable fish was hard. Dabs made a good show and were caught in equal numbers to sizable whiting. A few dogs made up the weights for the winners, with Sam Collier's total of 3.670 kg - which included the heaviest dog of 0.880 kg. Second and third were Steve Swan's 2.990 kg and Brian Smith's 2.290 kg. Heaviest flat was 30 cm dab caught by Steve Hackett which weighed in at 0.260 kg. Deal Pier's lower deck was damaged by the predicted tidal surge in the early hours of Saturday and has been closed off to the general public until repairs. However, the top deck/stem is open to anglers.
On the fresh water scene, the cold spell has not put the carp off the feed with Dean Holman landing a 31 lber from Lake Christine, in the Cottington Lake Fishery complex.
Current local sea temperatures: inshore (beach and Pier) 8.3°C, offshore (Downs) 6.8°C.
Catch Report: Monday, 8th January 2017 The fishing from Deal Pier has been hectic with small whiting and dabs; unfortunately most of these fish are undersize and need to be returned. December's fish-of-the-month almost never happened; however, Michael Kent from Faversham managed to win it with a 2.550 kg thornback ray on Christmas Eve. His fish was caught from the recently reopened bottom deck of the Pier on a combination of squid and lugworm. Three days later, Shane Bradford just missed out with another ray which was half a kilo short of Michael Kent's fish.
An impromptu dab match attracted a good entry of 32 anglers fishing the groynes at north Deal. The weather was not great, with continuous rain and a fresh southerly wind colouring up the sea, which were not the best conditions for catching these flatties. Only 18 dabs were caught with the winners, Kate Withington and Brian Smith tying for first place. Alan Fuller and Mick Carter came second and third, with Dave Andrews in fourth place.
January is the time of year to join or renew membership fees to the local angling clubs. They have already published their 2017 fixture lists (view the D&WAA matches here) so the angler can plan for the 2017 campaign. Planning is essential to the match angler and preparation on bait and rigs help in winning these events.
When the weather is suitable for the fishing boats to get afloat from their moorings on the beachfront south of Deal Pier, they are netting plenty of sprats which, when either dusted whole in flour with seasoning and fried or put under the grill au naturel, are an excellent feed. They also make great pike and ray bait and can be frozen down for future use. A good tip is to pack and freeze only enough for each session, therefore, none are wasted.
The first D&WAA beach match of the year fished from north Deal and attracted 19 anglers. Conditions were good with a light wind and high water just before 8pm. Target species were whiting with dogs to make up the weight. The sea temperature has not cooled enough to put the fish on the feed and triple shots were the name of the game, although getting sizable fish was hard. Dabs made a good show and were in equal numbers to sizable whiting. A few dogs made up the weights for the winners with Sam Collier's total of 3.670 kg, which included the heaviest dog of 0.880 kg, taking first place. In second and third place, respectively, were Steve Swan with 2.990 kg and Brian Smith with 2.290 kg. The heaviest flat was a 30 cm dab caught by Steve Hackett which weighed 0.260 kg.
View the detailed match results and updated leaderboard here.
The second of the D&WAA members-only 2017 competitions takes place at Chequers (51.251010, 1.39189) on Sunday, 5th February (3pm to 7pm). Please remember that all competitors must be present at the Chequers venue no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled start time i.e. by 2:30pm.
Current local sea temperatures: inshore (beach and Pier) 8.9°C, offshore (Downs) 7.4°C.