After years thinking about it, I’ve finally taken the plunge and set up my own website. Yes, I may question my sanity in doing so at some point in the future, but there are things I want to write, and say, that are not always practical space wise through normal media outlets. Having my own website gives me that little bit more freedom to write about the world of angling as I see it.
My aim is to keep the website in the “here and now” with regular updates, some news items, observations, unusual fish captures and much more. Expect it to cover a wide range of topics too. Emphasis will be on the UK and Ireland, but we will also look worldwide. Saltwater will predominate, but I am an angler and do not have overall allegiance just to saltwater. We will be covering freshwater and game fishing too.
I’ve included a section called Features. These will not be features and articles that I’ve already had published in fishing magazines. These will be fresh and with relevance to what this site is about, anglers and angling.
Angling is changing fast, and never more so than in the last couple of years. I’m expecting future change to be faster paced than we’ve ever seen before over the next decade. This website will also evolve and adapt with time to meet and greet the future head on. I will endeavor to make it informative, fact filled, and interesting! Welcome to mikethrussell.com!
The smoothhound season so far, has been a great one! The south and southeast coast has done well, as usual, but the fishing inside the Bristol Channel, off North Wales, on the Lincolnshire beaches, off the southwest tip of Scotland, and from Wicklow in Ireland, some say has been exceptional.
What is encouraging is the percentage of big smoothhound approaching 20lbs. Their numbers seem to be at an all time high looking at the overall picture. I was recently out with Gethyn Owen who runs My Way out from Holyhead in North Wales. Chatting to Gethyn he tells me that he’s finding that the smoothies come in 2-year cycles with this year, and 2016, likely to be years where big fish are more common. As of the third week of July, he’d netted nine fish of 20lbs or better already this year. That’s some going, and with August still to come!
Friends fishing the beaches around Skegness have also done well with smoothhound to close on 17lbs. The Morecambe coast has seen smuts to 13lbs, with 14lb fish off the shore near Kirkcudbright in Scotland.
Skipper Kit Dunne from Wicklow in Ireland has also had a great season so far breaking the Irish record with a string of fish to 19lbs. As a result we may see the Irish specimen size for smoothhound needing to be increased if this run of big fish carries on. I also feel that the new record is already vulnerable and that Kit will soon be reporting his first 20lber aboard his boat Lisin.
Also check out the news item on smoothhound in my news section. It gives an indication of what smoothhound numbers have been like in some areas.
My lad, Mike Jr, and I hopped aboard My Way a couple of times towards the end of June to sample some smoothhound mania with Jr bagging a cracking 20lber, and me picking up a couple of 14lbers, plus loads of smaller fish. We used very light tackle, Tipster type rods of 9ft and 11ft matched to small 5000 sized fixed spool reels and 20lb braid with 2oz leads. This tackle maximises the fight qualities of what is, pound for pound, one of our hardest fighting fish.
The supple tip sections on these rods also help you define bites, as smoothhound, even in fast tides, can be notoriously “fussy” when feeding. Some might give an obvious double knock and a full pull round of the rod tip, which is easy to hit. All too often though, they only give a couple of gentle “taps” on the rod tip with the fish nicking the crab while you sit expectantly waiting for the rod tip to hammer round, which doesn’t materialise.
What is very noticeable is the upsurge in interest in smoothhound due to the good run of fish this year. Everyone seems to be talking about smoothound currently, trying to book extra trips, refining tackle to get the best from them, and talking general tactics. It’s been a good year and you’ve still got time to bag your share over the next few weeks. If not this year, then start planning for 2016.