Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 1903
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Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 3rd January 1903
The Pier and Fishing
The present week has not yielded good results; the scarcity of both lug and sprat for bait, partially accounted for this.
Our Christmas visitors also witnessed but little sport, the water during most of their stay being very bright, and but few codlings or dabs being in evidence.
Several visiting and local anglers have been kept fairly busy with codling during evening and night hours, Mr Chapman, Mr Browne and Mr Glen doing better than any others.
Sport on the 28th proved very disappointing, though many experienced anglers, including Messrs Minchin, Woodhead, Dryden, Clark, Chapman, Head and Wild fished patiently for several hours. The main feature of the day consisted of a few very large dabs, almost invariably taken upon lugworm.
Monday, 29th, saw a fairly large accession to the ranks, the new arrivals including Messrs Bursill, Harding, Morewood, Curtis, Bryen and Walters, also Master Cyril and Miss Queenie Steele-Perkins, Master Taylor and Miss Ives. The lack of sport proved somewhat trying to the juveniles, but they plied their rods with great patience, and one and all made fairly good bags.
Tuesday, 30th, witnessed a few fresh arrivals, including Mr Colley, Mr Gilbert and Mr and Mrs Hopper. Had bait been more obtainable, matters would have ruled very different; and taking all things into consideration, the returns for the day were a little above recent averages.
The catch of whiting from the pier on Wednesday, 31st, upon the slack of the flood tide, was a remarkable one, really good bags all round being the order of the day. Many youngsters at present enjoying their Yuletide holiday here seemed to thoroughly enjoy the excellent sport afforded them. The evening yield did not prove heavy, though two gentlemen were very successful.
Very little was done on the morning of Thursday, 1st, but the latter part of the day found a small army of anglers doing well. The largest whiting taken this week, a fine fish scaling close on two pounds, fell to the rod of Master Lowe, but this weight has been far exceeded by fish taken in boats. Sprats would seem to have all but disappeared from the locality, successive trials having yielded the most meagre returns, the only decent catches coming to land on Wednesday evenings. The best catches of whiting, on the other hand, have proved fairly good, and large numbers of dabs have also been caught, the highest catch of mixed fish totalling over twelve score.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 31st January 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Nothing worthy of record was taken last week by the half-dozen anglers who at various times tried their skill in dab fishing, but the present week has witnessed material improvements in sport, though circumstances of wind and weather have left much to be desired.
A few local anglers fished for several hours on the morning of the 25th, but their respective catches were small and the size of the fish also small. The afternoon's attempt by two persons also proved abortive.
Master Harding secured 16 sizeable dabs on Monday, 26th, by sheer hard fishing, and his fellow sportsman, Mr. Crane, met with little less success. Two or three rods were in evidence during evening hours, but the results were very different.
A strong wind from the south-west, with exceptionally clear water, gave scant promise of sport on Tuesday, 27th, yet the day's catch proved far in excess of anything recently witnessed, Master Harding heading the list with about a score, including several very fine ones. Mr. Hatton and Mr. Crane also did satisfactorily.
The water on Wednesday, 28th, was in perfect condition and results again proved extremely good, the general run of the dabs taken leaving nothing to be desired.
Thursday, 29th, again witnessed fair sport, though only some two or three anglers were present to enjoy it.
Sprats have recently been conspicuous by their absence though it is the general opinion of local experts that they have not yet left the locality, and strong hopes are entertained that good catches may be again general just after the top of the present spring tides. Lugworm is again the essential bait, though a few fish have fallen victim to a small piece of sprat.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 7th February 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Local fishing has proved remarkably poor during the past week, the weather having been very unsettled, and the water at times very thick.
On Saturday, 31st January, Master Harding took two codling and a whiting after sunset, but nothing else came to hand during the evening.
Mr. Baker had one codling on the following day, and Mr. Gray a decent bag of dabs, all of small size.
Monday, 2nd, was ushered in by a strong north-west wind, and the total day's catch only amounted to six small dabs.
The wind on Tuesday ranged from west to west-north-west and sport somewhat improved, but Messrs. Crane, Harding and Norman only totalled about a score of fish between them.
A slight improvement took place on Wednesday, each rod accounting for about half a score, though not one large fish was taken.
Thursday proved almost devoid of sport, the day's total catch only amounting to some dozen dabs, nearly all of small size.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 14th February 1903
The Pier and Fishing
The present week has provided poor sport for pier anglers, though one or two decent catches have been made. A few small poutings and a stray plaice or two have also been included in the week's captures.
Mr. Gray experienced some very fair sport on the morning of the 8th, Mr. Glen and Mr. Snowdon also doing fairly well, the last named gentleman including a magnificent dab among his catch.
Monday, 9th, proved fairly successful upon the flood tide, everyone doing very well, but the ebb tide was quite devoid of fish.
On Tuesday, 10th, Messrs. Norman, Stanley, Snowdon, Bushell and Harding, together with Mrs. Philp, put in an appearance, but the only catch of any importance was made by Master Harding, who carried off fourteen dabs, most of them small in size, and Mr. Stanley's bag of a score of small dabs.
Miss Curtiss was the only newcomer on Wednesday, 11th, but matters ruled very slow throughout the day.
Thursday witnessed no material improvement in sport, though several very fine specimens of dabs were landed but, strange to say, not a single pouting.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 21st February 1903
The Pier and Fishing
The water has been unusually clear throughout the past week and sport has proved rather slow with one or two notable exceptions.
On Saturday, 14th, one rod accounted for a score of fine dabs, one of which was of exceptional size - probably the largest ever seen in this locality.
Messrs. Gray, Glen, Stanley and Norman fished for several hours on the 15th, and were fairly successful, though the size of their respective catches left much to be desired.
Additional anglers on Monday, 16th, comprised Messrs. Marden-Smith, Ashby and Bushnell, but the prevailing north-east wind rendered fishing anything but enjoyable, and the day's catch proved a very meagre one.
Tuesday, 17th, proved a charming day, but the catches were very poor, one catch of a dozen fish being the highest total. Three or four fair-sized fish were taken, but no round fish of any sort.
Wednesday, 18th, witnessed no improvement whatever, the water being as clear as gin, and only three anglers plying their rods during the day.
Thursday, 19th, proved even a worse fishing day, and most of the usual pier patrons wended their way to Sandown to tempt sport in that neighbourhood, where some good catches have recently been made.
Our National Fisheries
The Globe says:
"At the Fly Fishers' Club dinner there was virtual unanimity of opinion that some effectual measures should be adopted to protect and develop British fisheries, both maritime and inland … Sport is promoted, both inland and on the coast, sea angling having latterly come into great vogue at Deal and elsewhere, and at some of the local fishing competitions there are sometimes between 2,000 and 3,000 entries … It is full time to bring into being a powerful central organisation capable of exercising pressure on the Government, should such be required, to secure any needed legislation."
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 28th February 1903
The Pier and Fishing
A few local anglers, together with several visitors, have recently patronised the pier with a fair amount of success, dabs and a few plaice having come to hand daily throughout the present week.
On Saturday, 21st, a south-west gale prevailed, yet the water remained particularly clear, and for the first time for many months not a fish was taken throughout the entire day.
Only two rods were in evidence on the 22nd, but both rendered yeoman service, Mr. Snowdon and Mr. Stanley both making a fine catch of dabs, the general run of them leaving nothing to be desired.
On Monday, 23rd, Messrs. Bushnell, Morewood and Hannan fished for several hours with considerable success, their catches consisting of dabs and a host of small pouting together with one codling.
Fresh arrivals on Tuesday comprised Mr. Morris and Mr. St (?) but the day's catch did not pan out well, though it included about a score of dabs and also two whiting, one of the latter in splendid condition. Two of the same species were taken in a boat the same day, and one in a sprat net.
The next gale which sprang up on Tuesday night so thickened the water that little chance for angling obtained on Wednesday, 25th.
Mr. Meadway joined forces with three local gentlemen on holiday, but the day's take was not worthy of recording until afternoon hours when some very nice dabs came to hand. Mr. Meadway took three codling of about a pound and a half each and several poutings. Mr. Bushnell, Mr. Harding and Mr. Macleay were the only anglers on Thursday morning when a considerable number of dabs and one very large flounder constituted the morning bag.
Deal Promenade Pier
We congratulate Mr. Geo. Rivers on his promotion to the post of Pier Master of Deal Pier, in the place of Mr. J. E. Lawrence, who had held that position for so many years, and who now retires on superannuation. The change takes place on the 1st of March, and we understand that Mr. T. Marsh has been appointed Collector in the place of Mr. Rivers, who has held that position now for the past twenty years.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 21st March 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Pier fishing has offered little sporting action to anglers during the past week, the unsettled weather, no doubt, causing all fish to "lie low". Though the boats have recorded some remarkably good catches of codling during the evening and early morning hours, yet but few
(fell) to the lot of pier fishers.
Mrs. (Macleay) met with fair success on Saturday, 14th, while all others drew a complete blank.
The weather proved wet and unpleasant on Sunday, 15th, and Messrs. Gray, Baker and Bowles, who fished in the morning, took nothing but a few dabs, some of them very small. Mr. Gray had another turn in the evening and was rewarded with a few codling though the variety bit very shyly and needed a lot of catching.
Monday, 16th, opened bright and fair and these improved conditions of weather brought out one lady and six gentlemen, but all were victims of disappointment as the entire day's catch was unworthy of record. Seventeen boats went codding just after sunset, and some heavy catches were landed between nine and ten o'clock, twenty four being the highest number for any individual boat.
A Strong southerly wind ushered in the morning of Tuesday, 17th, and a rough sea prevailed in consequence, the angling pier patrons on this day comprising Mrs. Macleay, Mr. Spicer, Mr. Carey, Mr. Philp, Mr. Curtiss, Mr. Fancourt and Mr. Harding. Little sport was, however, obtained, the total from seven rods amounting to less than a dozen fish.
Wednesday, 18th, witnessed but little improvement, although conditions of weather and water left little to be desired. Mr. Curtiss was fortunate in landing one fine dab and a few codlings, and Mr. Fancourt and Mr. Philp also met with some success, while several others failed to make any show whatever.
A strong south-west wind prevailed on Thursday, 19th, and no one put in an early appearance, the three who tried later in the morning plying their rods in vain.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 28th March 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Strong westerly winds have prevailed with slight intermittence for the past six weeks, and the water during the majority of that time has remained unusually bright, rendering all fishing operations in the vicinity somewhat precarious. Yet, despite these drawbacks, pier anglers have had little to complain of during the last few days. Mr Curtiss and Mr Fancourt fished throughout the day on Saturday, 21st, and were rewarded with a very fair mixed bag.
Mr Gray and Mr Snowdon put in an early appearance on the morning of the 22nd, the resultant catch of their two rods being just half a score of flat-fish. One visiting angler elected to fish the whole night through, but his total only reached half a dozen, chiefly small poutings.
Monday, 23rd, brought out a goodly array of anglers, including Messrs Fancourt, Curtiss, Philp, Bushnell, H. Zachnadorf, Hannan and Jennings. The day's catch, however, did not pan out well, probably on account of the extreme clearness of the water, but evening hours witnessed material improvement, Mr Jennings taking a nice lot of poutings, and Mr Fancourt securing premier honours with a few fair-sized codling.
Mr Harding was the sole representative early on the morning of Tuesday, 24th, and he then met with fair success, but the heavy squalls which prevailed at frequent intervals later in the day marred all sport till evening hours, when three rods accounted for some welcome dabs; two nurse-dogs also came to hand - the first of these species taken this spring from the pier (Scyliorhinus stellaris, also known as the large-spotted dogfish, greater spotted dogfish, or bull huss - Ed).
Only three rods were plied on the morning of Wednesday, 25th, and neither made any appreciable return. Matters brightened up somewhat later on, though the catch of the day was not at all heavy.
Thursday, 26th, opened bright and fair, a heavy south-west wind prevailing, but no one put in an early appearance, and four rods plied during forenoon hours yielded scarcely any return.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 4th April 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Very little sport has been experienced during the present week, and anglers have been comparatively few, conditions of weather and water not proving encouraging. Calm has at last succeeded some six weeks after some six weeks of strong winds, and the water should soon assume its wonted degree of clearness.
Five anglers put in an appearance on Saturday, 28th, and faced the strong wind and driving rain all day, but with most indifferent results.
The 29th found three local anglers somewhat busy, and Messrs Stanley, Gray and Snowdon each took away between twenty and thirty fish, nearly all small dabs and pouting.
Monday, 30th, proved wet and stormy, and no one put in an appearance in the morning, but improved conditions of weather later in the day brought out Messrs Morewood, Carey, Harding and Bushnell, together with one lady, Mrs Morris, but the day's catch proved disappointing, the best fish of the day, a shapely codling, falling to the rod of the lady, who in addition captured a few poutings.
Mr Curtiss and Mr Chapman fished for a few hours on Tuesday, 31st, but the very high tide of that day submerged the fishing deck, and only some few small poutings came to hand.
Three visiting anglers spent several hours with their rods on Wednesday morning, April 1st, but the water was thick, and their catch unworthy of record. Mr Harding's cod of 3½ lbs, taken in the evening, scaled heavier than any recent pier capture.
Given a few days of calm settled weather, and material improvement in all local fishing should take place.
Mr Chapman was the only angler on Thursday morning, when the water was very much discoloured, and results proved very poor.
Several local boatmen have recently tried for codling, but their efforts have not been very successful, the heaviest catch amounting to a dozen small codlings, and one boat returning to shore with one solitary fish.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 11th April 1903
The Pier and Fishing
The Pier has yielded very poor returns for the past five or six days, and anglers have been but few. The water has remained of good colour, but the general run of the fish taken has been very small indeed, most of the flat-fish having to be returned to their native element by virtue of their immature growth.
Mr Chapman and Mr Holmes fished for several hours on Saturday, the 4th, with very indifferent results, and on the following day only one rod was in evidence, its wielder meeting with no better success, the water on the ebb tide being very discoloured.
No one put in an early appearance on Monday, 6th, but later in the day Mr Holmes made a fair mixed bag, including one fine sole-dab, and he also hooked, but failed to land, a large nurse-dog. Mr Bushnell's catch consisted of a few small dabs, and Mr Chapman's best fish was a handsome sole, taken during evening hours.
Mr T. Sexton, Mr Philp and Mr J. Sexton joined the pier ranks on Tuesday, 7th, the water on that day being particularly bright. Six nurse-dogs of an average size were taken upon white bait, but all other species were very scarce.
Mr Philp and Mr T. Sexton tempted sport for several hours on Wednesday morning, but the strong northerly wind that set in early on that date proved disastrous to their efforts, nothing whatever being taken.
Easter visitors must not anticipate a great amount of sport unless conditions of weather improve. Bait of all kinds is easily procurable.
Pier and fishing reports missing from the following 1903 issues of the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury:
- 10th January
- 17th January
- 24th January
- 7th March
- 14th March
- 18th April
- 25th April
- 2nd May
- 9th May
- 16th May
- 23rd May
- 30th May
- 6 June
- 13 June
- 20 June
- 27 June
- 4 July
- 11 July
- 18 July
- 25 July
- 1 August
- 8 August
- 15 August
- 22 August
- 29 August
- 5 September
- 12 September
- 19 September
resume at 10th October
The Deal Mercury, Saturday, 26th September 1903
FISHING - Fish have been more plentiful during the last few days, and on Wednesday several boats fishing in the Downs made fairly large catches, mostly of pouting and codlings. On Thursday the upper and lower decks of the Pier were lined with anglers, but boat-fishing was again more successful, as many as fifty boats being anchored to the south of the Pier during the afternoon.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 3rd October 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Recent pier catches have proved nothing like so good as was generally anticipated, though evidences are not wanting that fish of various kinds are in the locality, the past week having yielded pollack, codling, dogfish, conger, and silver eels, plaice, dabs, pouting and wrasse, though all in very indifferent numbers.
Mr. G. R. Clark, Mr. Philp and Mr. Glen have had but meagre success among the pollack, though some good fish up to three pounds in weight were included in their catches. On the 24th, 25th and 26th the principal catches consisted of small pouting, but matters improved somewhat on the 27th, when Mr. and Mrs. Hutchings made a fair mixed bag, including a fine plaice and a lobster, Mr. Treacher a heavy catch of codlings and dogfish, Mr. Manico a few pouts and a small cod of 5¼ lbs, and Mr. Glen a small mixed bag.
On Monday, 28th, Messrs. Chapman, Newcombe, Whitehead, Marsden-Smith and Denning did but little, though Mr. Bradshaw included a 3¾ lb codling in his day's catch, Mr. Purkiss one of 3½ lbs and Mr. H. D. Cheshire a lobster of 4½ lbs.
Fresh arrivals on Tuesday, 29th, included Mr. A. R. Matthews and Mr. Eaton, but the water had settled down to a high degree of clearness, and sport was exceptionally poor, though a few plaice and a large silver eel came to hand, together with a few fine pollack, which were nearly all taken by Mr. G. R. Clark upon rockworms.
Mr. Goldsmith's 7¼ lb cod on Wednesday, 30th, was the heaviest fish landed on the pier this year, and Mr. Northfield had a splendid two-pound plaice on the same day. The evening's fishing proved fairly productive, several codling being taken, ranging in size from one to four pounds.
Thursday, 1st October, found the water extremely clear, resultant catches consisting almost entirely of small pouting, most of which were returned by their captors into their native element. Several pollack anglers were in evidence, but the run of luck fell to Mr. Philp, who captured seven upon the early draw of the ebb tide. Mrs. Morris took a codling of two pounds, and a few smaller ones also came to hand during the evening. Mr. Clark made a good bag of pollack on Friday morning, and a few dabs were taken later in the day.
Boat fishing has proved very spotty of late, some parties returning to shore with splendid catches of codling, whiting and pouting, while others returned with scarcely anything. The next spring tides should witness a material improvement in sport, especially if the water should assume a slightly thicker colour.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 28th November 1903
Mayor's Banquet, Deal, Tuesday, 24th November 1903
The suggestion in regard to the institution of a fishermen's feast, to be to Deal what the famed oyster banquet is to the Essex town, is well worthy of consideration. Year by year Deal increases in popularity as a fishing resort, and the hospitable entertainment of our angling visitors in this way would tend to cement the ties which attach them to our town, and would, as Mr. Russell urged, be a good advertisement for our Borough. We hope we have not heard the last of this proposal, and we would commend it to the attention of the powers that be.
Saturday Night's High Tide
During Saturday night, the sea swept the parades, and boats had to be hurriedly hauled up into the roadway at the last minute, for the wind, during the early part of the evening, had not been blowing heavily enough to render the precaution necessary. Much shingle was thrown on to the parades, and men were employed the following morning sweeping it back. Very little damage, however, seems to have been done.
The Pier and Fishing
The general class of visiting and local anglers experienced a like measure of lack of sport as did their competing brethren on Saturday, Sunday and Monday last, but the following day witnessed a grand improvement, and the whiting were fairly on the feed for the greater part of the afternoon on that day. All anglers on the pier head, including several ladies, were fortunate in securing heavy bags of whiting, and one lady, Mrs. Brooks, also secured a splendid codling of four and three-quarter pounds.
Some good catches were also made during evening hours, Mr. Akenhurst securing a shapely little cod of 8 lbs, the largest of its species caught upon the Pier this season.
Wednesday's sport proved far less brisk, although some of the more persistent rodsters accounted for a goodly number of fish.
Thursday morning yielded practically nothing, and the very inclement weather rendered fishing operations extremely unpleasant, while the afternoon did not witness much improvement.
Cod-fish have been more plentiful in deep water this week than at any other period of the season, and a number have daily been brought ashore varying in weight between five and sixteen pounds.
A splendid eleven pound turbot was caught on a handline by George Baker, junr., on Wednesday and was much admired by the large number of persons who witnessed its landing.
Herrings and sprats are still very scarce, and grave fears are entertained that the present season will prove an abnormally bad one.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 5th December 1903
The Pier and Fishing
A few large whiting fell to the lot of pier anglers on the afternoon of Friday, 27th, and also a good number of large pouting, though sport proved anything but brisk. Mr. Curtis fished for some time after dark and took two codlings, weighing together just over 8 lbs.
Boat catches of whiting on this day were remarkably good, both for size and numbers, and cod-fish were more plentiful than usual, about a score being landed, the largest, a well-baited fish of 22 lbs, falling to the lot of George Baker, junr.
Saturday, 28th, yielded poor pier returns generally, but Mr. Quennell had a small cod of 7 lbs, and a few other anglers creeled some fine poutings. Some remarkable catches of cod and whiting were landed in the afternoon, Mr. Fisk having nine cod totalling 68½ lbs, three score of large whiting, and four flat-fish. His largest cod turned the scale at 14 lbs. Mr. G. R. Clarke and Dr. Patterson took one 18 lb conger, eight cod and four codlings, together with a heavy catch of whiting, while Mr. Manuelle and his son brought in four cod, the largest 13½ lbs, and a splendid lot of whiting.
Being advised by wire of the above good results, a large number of London anglers put in an appearance on Saturday night, hopeful of like sport on the following day. Unfortunately these hopes were sadly dispelled, in consequence of the strong north-east wind which sprang up during the night, and rendered all boat fishing impracticable. Not to be entirely outdone, many sportsmen tried their skill upon the pier, but meagre catches resulted, only a small number of pouting being taken. Mr. Waddell had one codling in the early morning, but his companions mostly drew a blank.
No boats were able to put off on Monday morning by reason of the inclemency of the weather, and Mr. Onslow was the sole occupant of the pier, his sole reward being one whiting.
Tuesday was ushered in by strong snow squalls and a biting north-east wind, and no one had the temerity to wet a line until the weather had somewhat improved in the afternoon, when five rods were in evidence for a few hours, but without yielding any returns.
Wednesday's weather did not offer much inducement to anglers, and Mrs. Dodd, Mr. Onslow and Mr. Curtiss fished the thickened water for a few hours quite unsuccessfully.
Five anglers did scarcely anything on Thursday, though the change of wind to south-west gave them some hopes of sport. Sprats and herrings are not yet coming to hand in paying quantities.
Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, Saturday, 12th December 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Strong successive gales which have recently prevailed with such persistency have greatly interfered with all local fishing, the sea on several occasions being too rough to enable small boats to launch, and rendering Pier angling anything but an enjoyable pursuit. Ample proofs are daily evidenced that the whiting are still with us, as many have been caught in the sprat nets and upon long lines, and cod and codling are more plentiful in the Downs than they have been doe several previous years. Should the weather settle down for a few days, so as to allow the water to clear, sport among big fish, so dear to the heart of every angler, should speedily ensue.
Pier angling has yielded but meagre returns lately, though some nice fish have fallen to the lot of individual members.
On Saturday, 5th, Mr. W. Thompson hooked and landed a nice cod of 8½ lbs, the heaviest pier fish of the present season. On the same day Mr. A. E. Hills took one of 6¼ lbs and his brother one of 4¼ lbs, Master Eric Ray having a substantial catch of fine poutings, and Mr. W. F. Cobb three codlings of 5, 4¼ and 2¾ pounds respectively. A few whitings were also taken during evening hours, but the number per rod was small.
The biting wind on the following day deterred many from putting in an appearance, and the day's catch was not numerically strong, and proved so very spotty that several patrons of the Pier did not get the satisfaction of a bite throughout the entire day. Mr Glen took premier honours with three codling, the largest scaling five pounds, Mr. Waddell having one of 4 lbs, and Mr. Edwards and Mr. Van Joel a small mixed bag.
Monday's anglers included four gentlemen from Tonbridge who fished throughout the heavy down pour on that day with a singular lack of success, their only reward being a few small codlings taken just previous to their departure. Mr. Stoate, fishing on the same day, had the good fortune to include a cod of 8½ lbs in his afternoon's catch.
A few whiting and pouting were brought up on Tuesday, but large-size fish were conspicuous by their absence.
Little was done on Wednesday with the exception of a five pounder, which fell to Mr. G. Harvey, and one of 7 lbs to Mr. Johnson.
Mr. Ray had a few pouting on Thursday morning but nothing else came to hand except an occasional whiting.
No one took advantage of the improved conditions of weather early on Friday morning, and the forenoon's catch proved very indifferent.
Herrings have been caught only in very small quantities, but sprats have been so plentiful that it was difficult to find a market for them, and recent prices realised have scarcely been remunerative. Mr. James Edgar has found it impossible to cope with the supply, and has had to refuse to take further consignments for a few days.
Some satisfactory numbers of cod have rewarded the long-liners, but the inclement weather has sadly interfered with their operations.
East Kent Mercury, Saturday, 19th December 1903
The Pier and Fishing
Fishing of all kinds has proved fairly brisk throughout the past week, improved conditions of weather having aided considerably to this end. Pier anglers have had little to complain of in the way of sport, boat fishing has yielded paying results, and drift nets have taken a fair quantity of sprats, though the prices realised for these latter have been unusually low owing to the very limited local demand for them. The neap tides at the end of last week did not prove conducive to successful pier angling, and Saturday's patrons took little else than poutings and a few small whitings.
Few pier fishermen put in an appearance on the morning of the 13th, but these fortunate ones were richly rewarded, Mr. Baker and Mr. Liddiard making excellent bags of whiting and dabs. Many others who arrived later on the scene found matters decidedly slow as the fish had taken into deeper water upon the ebb tide.
The whiting were well on the feed on Monday, the 14th, and some excellent sport was witnessed on that day, Mr. Cobb heading the list with forty-seven fish taken by him previous to his breakfast hour.
This encouraging sport brought out a goodly array of anglers on Tuesday, the 15th, among them being Mrs. Hervey MacLeay, Mrs. Finn, Mrs. Dodd and Messrs. Igglesden, Waddell, Bushnell, Cobb, Bailey, Ray, Hayman, James, Brooks, Stoate, Leakin and Arnold. The early arrivals among these had no cause of complaint, and were fairly successful, but the day's catch did not proved heavy as the strong south-east wind made the fish attack the bait in a very shy manner. Mrs. MacLeay was fortunate in hooking and landing a shapely cod of eight and a half pounds, the heaviest pier fish of the day.
Only a few rods were in evidence on Wednesday, the 16th, and the fish did not then take kindly to sprat bait, so that the few anglers who had possessed themselves of lugworm obtained most patronage and secured the best catches.
Thursday's weather was mild and pleasant, but the water was unusually bright, and whitings were, consequently, only to be found in deep water, pier fishers having to be content with a few fine dabs. Fishing late into the night, nothing whatever was done, and Friday morning's experience was equally bad.
Boat catches, though very spotty, have generally been satisfactory, many of the fish being caught being of almost phenomenal size, as noted below.
Mr. Boydell, fishing with Teddy Hanger on the 12th, had a cod over 20 lbs in weight and a heavy catch of whiting. Dr. Patterson on the same date brought in a 13 lb cod, some dogfish, and some large whiting, and a monster whiting of four pounds and quarter of an ounce was taken upon a long line.
On the 13th, Mr. Wood had a 9 lb cod and three score of whiting, Mr. Nunn and Mr. Marshall 68, and Mr. Boydell and a friend just over four score.
Mr. Zeehnsdorf and Mr. Philp, fishing with J. Cook, on Tuesday 15th, landed 50 beautiful whiting, caught within half a mile from the shore. Mr. T. Finnis was the fortunate captor of a fine cod of 20 lbs on the 15th inst, and some heavy catches have been taken by the long lines.
Mr. C. Walmsley included four large rig in his catch on Thursday, and on Friday, Mr. D. Philpott brought in a huge 19 lb conger, as well as a quantity of very fine whiting.
Fresh sprats are so scarce at present that the boatmen have recently almost invariably had to bait with stale or salted ones, and fish do not readily take to them. Herrings seem to have taken their departure, but sprats have been caught in fair quantities, though, on account of the very limited demand for them, prices realised have proved anything but satsifactory.