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Mike Fox

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Mike Fox last won the day on February 19

Mike Fox had the most liked content!

About Mike Fox

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    Snaddler Twitcher

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    Feisty Fox

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  1. Mike Fox

    Passing the time

    Martin, just remember that the English language doesn't have a word that expresses the true urgency of the Spanish word "Manana"...
  2. Mike Fox

    Propeller antifoul

    After over 30 years of leaving boats in all summer, I've given up on antifouling props. The speed of rotation washes out all toxins and "goodness" and you just get left with a matrix of paint that remains well-attached. The weed, slime, barnacles and bristle-weed absolutely loved it. I scrape, sand back, polish with wet and dry, and the burnished bronze has a fresh layer of toxic copper on the surface that keeps the worst of the wildlife at bay for another year.
  3. Mike Fox

    Recommend me a PLB

    Also consider if it's waterproof and can float (even if it needs a "jacket"), and can be readily attached to a lifejacket in a pouch or similar. Some are designed for mountaineers who are unlikely to be stuck in seawater miles offshore, hoping for a lifeboat to find them.
  4. Mike Fox

    Baby Ray ID please

    Hi Steve, You might like to check cookoo ray as a possibility... I'm away currently, and cant help more at this time. Mike
  5. Mike Fox

    Fish ID help please

    The spot on the dorsal fin is characteristic of the grey gurnard. Mick is right. Mike PS Beautiful pic!
  6. Mike Fox

    Evening sole trip.

    Moral of the story, only go out fishing when the sky is interesting if planning a jigsaw!
  7. Mike Fox

    Fish of the Month - 2019

    Hi Stuie, I've compared the pictures of Chris's fish with online guides and Peter Henderson's "Identification Guide", both at the time and today, and have a few observations that might assist. As you know, I studied and worked as a marine biologist for a time, though didn't specialise in rays and skates. - A fish's scientific identification is based on it's structure, not necessarily it's skin patterns or colour. which can vary with age and size; - Chris is a highly experienced angler, who has probably caught hundreds of blonde ray and quickly realised the fish was NOT a blonde ray, as it's patterns and colour might have initially suggested to most observers; - He took clear, detailed pictures and submitted them for identification from a reputable team of marine biologists, before returning the fish alive; - Based upon pictorial evidence alone, the marine biologists were "pretty sure" that it was a small-eyed ray (regretfully the short Press Release made this sound definitive); - For absolute proof, marine biologists would need the body, as would the British Rod Caught Records Committee, but Chris returned the fish alive. - The criteria to specifically identify a small-eyed ray look at the body structure of the fish and include ratio of eye spacing to eye-to-spiracle gap being at least double (passed), thorns extending from the tail half-way up the body (passed), white line on wing margin (passed), wing margin angle of around 90° (passed), short tail length relative to body length (passed); - The marine biologists also clarified that the "typical" white bands being missing are within the normal range of variation for this species. - Based on the burden of proof normally accepted by the Club, this identification is as good as we can expect without killing the fish. I guess there's two clear ways of moving forward with the media, either drop it and move on, or re-releasing the press release with clarification of how the identification was arrived at. Mike PS I think it was a fabulous fish, and commend Chris for returning it, and the diligent approach he followed. PPS Even if it beat me into second place in Fish of the Month for December
  8. Mike Fox

    A few whiting for the pot

    Whiting for the pot was Greg's idea too, when he dropped me a line yesterday. I jumped at the chance! We made the 8.30 bridge this morning, then pushed out to the Spoil Grounds off Old Harry. Greg dropped the hook in a favoured spot, and we had a steady supply of fish from the off. The first on board was a blonde ray to tangled lines. Greg claimed only one hook was in the fish, and it was his, and who was I to argue....much. The spot produced a couple of decent whiting each, a succession of pout, and a solitary strap conger of 5-10lb to Greg. A move to the tail end of the Dolphin Sands produced more whiting, which were a mix of good keepers and smaller fish. A, few more strap conger appeared (and a couple of better ones lost), a single doggie, a small turbot, and a feisty undulate ray to me, that went 15lb 9oz (lowest steady weight). Conditions weren't bad. A light breeze, a southerly swell and light cloud, and a thoroughly enjoyable day out, back on the 4.30 bridge. Thanks again Greg!
  9. Mike Fox

    New rod and reel recommendations.

    Many fixed spool reels in your price bracket have two typical problems, in my experience. The first is the roller bearing on the bale arm, which is best lubricated as soon as you've bought it, especially if you plan to use braid with the stronger tides and deeper waters round here. The second is the drag; you want something that can be tightened to give many pounds of smooth drag under heavy load, in case you connect with a conger, big ray, or the elusive cod, and the better bearings you have, the better the reel in simple terms. If you rinse the reel well with fresh water after each trip, it will give you a couple of years of use, else you can expect major corrosion issues after just one summer. For a rod, I'd go for something with rod rings compatible with braid. Personally I like a 2-piece rod of 8' with sections of 4' each, for easy transport in the boot of the car and storage. Something 6-12lb class would be fun with bream, plaice, etc, but would probably only hold 6oz of lead maximum, so not suitable for deeper water with big tides. A 20-30lb class rod would handle any cod you're likely to find around here, and have enough backbone for the odd lunking conger or hefty ray, with the downside of not being as much fun for the smaller species. They can handle over a pound of lead comfortably, and if you really wanted to push it, maybe up to 2lb for short periods, but believe me, it's no fun retrieving pouting or doggies with big tides in deep water. Many anglers use a 12-20lb class rod, but I find they lack backbone for bigger fish and tides, and tend to be less fun with the smaller species like bream, so I don't use mine very often. Any rod is also worth rinsing in fresh water after every trip, especially the fishy grips, the reel seat and the ring eyes. The rod might outlast the reel by many years, but my personal preference would be to spend a bit more than half of your budget on the reel, to get the best drag you can find. This might limit the rods available to you. Mike PS The braid, say 300m of 30lb, could set you back £30, so hopefully this is on top!
  10. Mike Fox

    Club Cod Comp November 17th.

    Good luck those that take part ! Mike
  11. Mike Fox

    WIBAC 2019

    For those who might be interested in one of the larger competitions in Club Waters, this write-up might give food for thought. The overall results and positions are accessible from an embedded link. https://www.planetseafishing.com/welsh-success-weymouth-wibac/
  12. Mike Fox

    Where to keep my boat?

    Based on your travel patterns, I think I might try something different. I'd put in solid ground anchors at your new house, and secure your boat there for most of the year - your cheapest option. I'd seek an easy-access option for just July and August while you're around, such as Cobbs dry stack/Rockley ashore or Cobb's Quay F pontoon on a monthly deal (if they'll play). That will give you the most leisure time afloat per day during that key period when using the boat, instead of dragging it around. For the rest of the year, I'd either trail and self-launch at one of the slipways in the area (or multiple slipways to explore other areas), and accept the hassle with waders, day fees, hosing off and towing OR see if Rockley or Cobbs would use their dry storage equipment to lift your boat from the trailer, and launch/retrieve it for you, to save some of the hassles, but at a higher per-trip cost. If you used your boat a couple of times per month when you're around in these quieter times (and with wet/windy weather and shorter day length), it might give you a better boating experience for those days you choose to go out. I have a neighbour with a very similar boat on his drive, and he doesn't use it much due to the hassle of trail/launch/clean, but wants to hang onto it in case the ideal day comes along when he's free.... Mike
  13. Mike Fox

    Heavier spinning rod wanted

    Hi Steve, Have a look at the Berkley Naumad travel rod - heavy spinning travel rod, 4-piece, 80g casting weight. http://www.berkley-fishing.co.uk/berkley-rods-spinning-rods-berkley-naumad/berkley-naumad-casting-travel/1454122-0300.html Can double up as a holiday rod for barracuda, bluefish, trevally, etc. I won a Shimano 8000-sized reel a few years ago that I've struggled to find a use for, and it makes a good pair. Mike
  14. Mike Fox

    Lifraft Servicing

    The implication is, it's cheaper to buy a new liferaft at 10 years than keep servicing the old one. You'd probably break even in about 5 years... It's peace of mind, and there are times when nothing else will save your life. That's why we carry one too.
  15. Mike Fox

    Diesel tank sludge

    Hi Neil, you might not actually have a balance pipe, worth checking! My boat has twin 200l tanks with separate fuel lines and primary filters. I have to change tanks when down to about 25 percent, to avoid the risk of air getting into a pickup pipe when heeling. I have change over levers for fuel supply and return feed, that goes to a single secondary filter. The two tanks are deliberately separate to avoid cross-contamination. You might just have a full tank that side. Mike