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Jimmy Willis Fishing Blog

22 Oct 2017

I’ve been away for the last 7 days, sunning myself in Majorca, but as I have been sunbathing in the 26° mid October Spanish heat, I’ve been reading lots of big Cod reports coming in from my favourite sea fishing spot, Worthing Pier - and I was getting jealous!


Now on my 1st day back in the UK, we had a massive storms, with 50 mph winds. I have been known to fish in some stupid conditions, but even this was too much for me. But as I woke up this morning (Sunday 22nd Oct), things were looking better. We still had 18 - 20 mph winds, but the sun was out and I was desperate to get some baits in the water. As this was not a planned trip, I had a dig around in the freezer to see what I had in the way of bait. I had 10 black lugs, a few squid and a large fillet of mackerel, so I was good to go!


High tide was at 1:40pm, so I decided to get down to the Pier at around 10:30am. I always find Worthing Pier fishes well 3 hours up and then three hours down. When I arrived I was surprised to see how many fishermen were there. I'm guessing this was because of 2 reasons: there have been a lot of photos on social media of 10lb plus Cod being caught from this mark over the last few weeks, also because of the high winds the day before, everyone was getting their weekend fishing fix in today. 



I was fishing 2 rods today, one with my homemade pulley pennel rig, trying some new hooks out (3/0 Sakuma 545 Manta Extra) with frozen black lug, tipped off with strips of squid. The other rod I was using my two hook flapper rig, also with new hooks (1/0 Sakuma 545 Manta Extras), with mackerel strips, once again tipped off with squid. I often use different hooks and baits at the same time off Worthing Pier, as different things seem to work on different days. Originally my idea was that the smaller hooks would attract bites from the smaller fish, when things were quiet. But this year, I have actually caught my biggest fish (Undulate Ray 15lb 2oz)  using the smaller hooks, and some of my smallest fish using the larger hooks, which I can never quite work out.



My 1st bite came within 30 minutes, producing a small dogfish, not exactly my targeted species, but very welcome nevertheless, as it did give me some confidence.


The water looked nice and coloured, and to me, it looked fishy. When I say it looks fishy, you know what I mean, when you get that feeling that today could be your day!


Unfortunately, an hour into my session, the safety warden came over and told me they were shutting the bottom bit of the pier due to it being a bit choppy. I was slightly annoyed as I felt I had a good spot, but in fairness, the waves had already started coming over and I could see that it could be dangerous in an hours time when it was high tide. You know what us fisherman are like, we will stand out there in all weathers, if we think we have half a chance of catching a large fish; so it's probably a good idea that someone is there having a look at the conditions, just to make sure we all get home for our Sunday dinner in one piece. Also, I should say the safety warden was a lovely bloke and seemed genuinely apologetic for having to move us.


The warden did say there was plenty of room up on the main part the Pier, so it shouldn't be a problem to find somewhere to slot in. I have been fishing Worthing Pier once a week for the last year,  but had never fished up on the decking, so it was a good excuse to go and check it out. Nearly all the big fish seem to come on the lower part, at the end, but the main Pier is a lot more sheltered, so could be a good spot in the stormy winter weather.  Now the problem was, I was a bit slow packing up my stuff to move, so everyone on the lower deck had got to the main upper deck a lot quicker than me. So I got a bit of a rubbish spot on the decking near the beach on the right hand side (as your looking at the Pier from the road). As four hours passed without a bite, things weren't looking good. I then managed to catch a seagull which had got tangled around my line (I managed to bring it in and untangle it and it flew off unharmed). I could see everyone around me packing up, and to be honest I was thinking it was time to go and get some Sunday dinner in me. But being a fisherman, I said to myself “one more cast”, which of course meant at least 6 casts. Then, my pulley pennel rod almost went in the water with a massive bite. I was convinced it -


was a Codling, around the 3 - 4lb mark. Even as I was pulling it up the side the Pier, I still thought it was a Codling. But when I got it up, I realised it was a massive Pouting. Looking back, I wish I had weighed and measured it, as it was the biggest one I’ve ever had. I did have a few up to 1lb a few weeks ago, but this was double the size. For the next 4 casts, I was catching Pouting between 1 and 2lbs. I have no idea where they all came from, but they were very much welcomed!

By the time it got to 4:15pm I was running out of bait and it had started to rain, but I was happy enough for this session, so decide to go home.


And as for my new Sakuma hooks, I absolutely love them. I think they could be the strongest and sharpest hooks I've ever used, but I will save this for a separate blog.


I'm still searching for my double figure Cod, but I know it’s coming soon!


Tight lines people,


Jimmy Willis




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