Guiding Diary by Craig Butler

With the winter Cod fishing guiding season here, I always like to get out and test the waters and get a bit of action in and freshen up on the motions of cod fishing and possibly find a new gulley to target before taking out my clients to many of my sacred Cod holes.

 

Recently, I suspected the autumn Codling were in at one of my favourite local beaches, the golf links beach at Minehead. So I just had to get out and see if I could tempt a few.

Joining me was a friend and fellow club member Derek Hamsford. Derek lives in Coventry and often visits and stays locally, but it’s not alway possible for the two of us to get our pleasure fishing.

 

So it was a nice change to get out with him, plus it was my birthday too, so there was no better way to spend it than fishing a favourite spot on a stunning early autumn evening. 

I met Derek on the beach at our chosen spot after a quick 15 minute yomp through a farm down a lane then scuttling across the edge of a golf course dodging golf balls being pinged in my direction.

 

Derek had a couple of rods already out when I arrived two hours before high water. In no time I had a fresh lug bait out, and with in 5 minutes the first codling came in. Nothing big just the standard autumn run of the mill Codling of about 2lb. This was quickly followed by a 2nd and a 3rd, then Derek was into them! In a brief 90 minute spell we had several Codling and dropped and missed a few. With 3 kept for the table because they were deep hooked the rest were released to hopefully grow into doubles.

It was a pleasant evening catching our target species and strangely all we caught were Codling. Normally a few Whiting and odd bass join the party, but no bother it was the Codling we wanted. 

 

Techniques were simple with up and over rigs with 200g leads to hold bottom in the strong tide. Bait was simply fresh lugworm on a pair of Cox and Rawle 2/0 Uptide Hooks attached to 30lb Snoods.

 

This was my first session using the Cox & Rawle Uptide Hook in the UK after my Norway trip and I’m totally sold on them! Strong enough to land my Halibut in Norway that I hooked while dab fishing. They are so sharp they should come with a safety warning and they stay sharper for longer than most hooks I’ve encountered over the years and one of the important things I look for in a hook when fishing mixed or rough ground is they bend out of any stone, rock or reef crevices they get hung up onto when retrieving. What is the point of using a rotten bottom weak link to the lead so it can break free only to have a hook stuck fast and then pull for a break and leave an extra snag out there. That’s the beauty of these hooks maximum effectiveness with minimal trouble. Since this session I’ve also found the longer Shank Surf and uptide hooks work in the same way and I will be using these in a 3/0 & 4/0 sizes for winter Cod using whole squid. Both amazing hooks that I wouldn’t be with out in my guiding and pleasure sessions for years to come.

 

  

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