Well, what a season we have been having! It’s been great to see some healthy numbers of codling around with both shore and boat anglers enjoying great sport of late. The traditional ‘Spring Run’ of codling now seems to be underway with good reports of fish showing up around the Upper Reaches of the Bristol Channel within the last few weeks as well as the rock marks found more locally to Portishead. The mud flats of Avonmouth, Severn beach etc went a bit quite for a while during the hard frosts a month or two ago but as codling return in search of the first moult of crab and abundance of brown shrimp, the fishing should continue to improve over coming weeks.

A typical cod caught locally to Portishead

The average stamp of fish during the last few months has been great considering the numbers of ‘codlets’ we would traditionally see at this time of year, usually about in plague proportions and a bit of a nuisance when targeting a larger fish. We have been blessed with 2-4lb fish on a regular occurrence which is great if you wish to take a fish or two home to enjoy with the family. Doubles have been few and far between but there have been some very large fish from some of the boats over on the Welsh side, including reports of a handful in the 20lb+ bracket.

As the months move on, expect the fishing to continue to improve. Whilst lug and squid will continue to work, baits like peeler crab and cart are well worth a try as the weather warms too. Here at Reel Fun Fishing we do our best to have fresh peeler crab in stock where possible but it is sporadic and a difficult bait to get at times when in high demand. Continuing to improve our range of baits and service we now offer ‘Cart’ blocks and pre-made Cart and squid wraps, ideal for those impulsive sessions when time is at the essence! We even had Mr Ace making them, some would say they now have the Midas touch!

Cart/Squid + Sandeel/Squid Wraps

For those who haven’t heard of Cart before, it’s the insides of a female edible crab. Once a well-kept secret this top bait is a fantastic alternative to peeler crab and has a scent and colour mistaken by none. Developed in the North, predominately for fishing over kelp beds for cod, this bait has really taken off in recent years and is a worthy contender when targeting species like cod and bass when peeler is in short supply.

Whilst codling will continue to be the mainstay for many anglers over coming weeks, it won’t be long before the smooothhounds start to show too. These fish are a great sporting fish to target and we are fortunate to have a thriving smoothound fishery here on the shores of the Bristol Channel. The low water reef marks will be the main areas to target as the hounds swoop in to devour any crab on site. Hounds are a pack fish and won’t hang around marks long, feeding heavily of shore and hermit crabs. Once one area has been stripped bare of its crab bounty, the fish will move on to find more fruitful ground. In recent years we have seen the smoothhounds move further and further up channel and fortunately for us, they seem to be of a good size with the bulk of the catches being double figure fish. If you are looking for a fish that will give you a real run around, look no further than a fighting fit smoothound!

A typical Bristol Channel Smoothhound for Mr Ace

We’ve many months of great fishing to look forward to so if you are finding it a little challenging at present with this mixed weather hampering efforts, don’t be dismayed, we’ve some exciting sport ahead!

The team at Reel Fun Fishing are always willing to offer advice and guidance, never be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling or need a helping hand. As anglers ourselves, we know how tough it can be at times! We’ve a great range of fishing equipment in store so whether you are looking to start, upgrade or simply treat yourself, drop by and give us a call or visit. We look forward to welcoming you to our shop.

The Reel Fun Team.

We can be found at:

Reel Fun Fishing,
Newfoundland Way,
Portishead Quays Marina,
BS20 7DF

Tel 01275 848652