Gone fishin’: SJA is taking to the waves on June 26

KEITH ELLIOTT, for more than 20 years the fishing columnist for The Independent and now chairman of the Angling Writers’ Association, is organising a sea fishing expedition for Sports Journalists’ Association members off the Essex coast in June. This is your chance to sign-up

You should have seen the one that got away: this is the sort of catch the SJA's fishing trip can expect
You should have seen the one that got away: this is the sort of catch the SJA’s fishing trip can expect

There’s the chance to turn hunter-gatherer on June 26, when the SJA is running its first fishing trip.

It takes place off Bradwell in Essex, and we will be fishing for bass, skate, smooth-hounds, a type of small shark, and possibly tope.

Everyone will catch fish. You don’t need to worry about tackle and bait either, because all that is supplied.

The boat’s skipper, John Rawle, is arguably the best in the country. He has held several British records, ran his own tackle company and pioneered a method called uptiding, which revolutionised shallow-water fishing.

Our doughty fishers will be on board the 33-foot boat Daphne Carole, a custom-built catamaran with a cruising speed of nearly 20 knots and powered by two 315hp turbo Yanmar diesel engines. It is moored at Bradwell Marina, 45 minutes from junction 29 of the M25, about 75 minutes from London (on a good day…).

You don’t need to be a gnarled old sea-dog to take part – just an SJA member – full or associate status – or guest for a great day’s sport and socialising.

Novices and first-timers will be most welcome. No special equipment required, just dress warm (you can always take it off, but you can’t put in on if you ain’t got it).

John does a safety rundown before we leave. Otherwise it’s commonsense really: if you see a great white, don’t dangle your hand over the side and say: “Here, kitty kitty.”

There are just 10 places available, so get it quick. It costs £60 for a trip lasting about eight hours.

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE SJA: Benefit from a recognised press card, priority entry to key events and significant discounts and members’ offers on a range of activities – click here now