Different species of fish have different ‘bites’. But as with other forms of fishing, it is not necessarily the biggest fish which give the strongest bites. Some large cod will give tentative pulls at first, but this fish has a very large mouth, so a hurried snatch by the angler may well pull the bait out of its mouth. Wait. Let the take develop, and strike when the cod has taken the bait, turned, and is swimming away. The hook will then be set properly and the fish can be played to the boat.
Before setting out, whether in your own boat or not, be sure to have enough food and drink for the trip, a thick pullover and some weatherproof clothing. The day may be fine and the forecast good, but things can change in the long periods that sea anglers stay out – especially if the day’s fishing is good.
Remember not to anchor in a busy sea lane; watch for the onset of a sea-mist; keep an eye on the sky. Squalls can blow up in minutes and the time taken to up-anchor may be just enough for real trouble to develop as the wind rises and turns a calm sea into a heaving and dangerous place for a small boat.
Once you have fallen to the lure of sea fishing you may want to own a boat. But the sea does not allow many mistakes and before setting out in a boat of your own be careful to make sure you have a lifejacket. The Seaway Code is a useful little booklet giving helpful advice on safety for sea anglers,