Kayak Fishing for Smoothound

June to August saw the hound fishing in full flow, what brilliant fun!. Evening sessions were regularly producing 10-15 hounds, many of which ran into double figures. The sport was constant meaning fishing two rods was paramount to madness!. Bait of choice was Spider peeler crab, tho whole squid picked up a fare share of fish as well.

Hooking a hound of double figures on light tackle has to be experienced, several hard runs followed by a dogged fight right to the edge of the yak where acrobatics often ensue. Getting them into the yak isn't too difficult though they have a tendency to 're-arrange' your cockpit layout if you don't take a firm hand to them.

Smoothound fishing has to be the highlight of the year, nothing compares... roll on 2009
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Review - Stohlquist Fisherman PFD

I purchased this PFD along with the rest of my yak clothing last October. I didn't like what was on offer here in the UK, nothing here seemed particularly functional, nor value for money. My eyes turned to the US market where I eventually, after reading multiple reviews, narrowed my choices down to two, the Stohlquist Fisherman PFD and the Osprey Extrasport. I decided on the first, the quality seemed better, I liked the idea of the pockets as potential work areas.. plus the pockets on the Extrasport all seemed rather small.

I purchased this and my drysuit from KFS in the US. Delivery was quick though I was stung for custom and VAT charges (it was part of a large order). Despite this it still worked out quite reasonably. I'd had some concerns over the pockets making re-entry somewhat difficult, though a multitude of US owners dismissed that concern outright. The foam support at the rear is high on your back so it doesn't foul the kayak seat whilst sitting, this makes it very comfortable to wear whilst fishing or paddling.


The PFD adjusts easily with quite some range of movement. It's very well put together and after 12 months use is proving very durable. There are multiple clips for hanging lanyard equipped accessories to, plus the pockets have smaller netted pockets within suitable to holding a safety knife, whistle, trace line, etc.

In the water is supported my 90kg (much more dressed no doubt) with utter ease, with my shoulders and neck being well clear of the water. I was in the pool practicing capsize drill for 3 hours one evening and it's performance remained the same throughout.

There isn't a hug amount of storage space, no VHF pocket neither. Though for fishing light, or for the fly fisherman it's an excellent piece of kit which I wouldn't hesitate to replace.
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Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes


We found the best way to do these were to :

1/ Smoke 3 mackerel over oak approx 20 mins

2/ Let them go cold... then bone

3/ Make mashed potato and mix in fish and 1 x egg yolk

4/ Make small cakes, wash with beaten egg , cover in bread crumbs, then gently fry

No need to add anything else they are just perfect... trust me

Bait - Keeping Ragworm Fresh

There's nothing worse than not having bait when the weather is just perfect for fishing. Commonly after a strong onshore blow the shops have little or nothing in the way of fresh worm, and in this neck of the woods digging bait is difficult to say the least.


Fresh ragworm direct from the fridge

I've tried over the years to preserve ragworm for long periods of time, the most successful method I'd used was to keep the worm separated in layers of fresh paper whilst keeping them refrigerated. The paper required regular changes, and at best the worms could be kept for up to three weeks.

After much research and question asking, the solution seemed to involve salt water and regular water changes. There are some folk who keep them in aerated tanks, though I had no intention of going to those complicated lengths.

My solution was to utilise a fridge in the garage and four large cat litter trays. The baits needs to be freshly sourced, ideally direct from the bait diggers bucket. A friendly chat with your local tackle shop can normally make this happen, and after being relieved of £20 I had 2lbs of fresh ragworm in my possession.

The worm was spread evenly between the trays with any damaged worms being removed. Fresh cool saltwater is added to the trays so the worms are just covered. For the first week this water will required to be changed on a daily basis. For the next week I change it every other day then every 3-5 days after that.

I keep a couple of 2 litre pop bottles in the fridge containing fresh saltwater, with a 5 gallon container topped up weekly kept in the garage. In the cooler months the water can be used directly from the 5 gallon container, though during summer periods I use the cooled water from the fridge.

So how effective is it?, well from my initial stock I have almost a pound remaining and it's in great condition... it's been in the fridge for 3 months!!!

Fresh worm on tap, perfect!

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