Great White II - Winter Cod Fishing

Cod Fishing East of Wight, East Solent, Nab Tower

Fishing East of Wight (Isle of Wight) or East Solent area around the famous Nab Tower has to be one of the most consistently productive Big Cod (mud pig) marks in the UK. Why not join us on Great White II this winter for some great sport. With Charters from only £47 per person you can afford to fish in a bit of comfort aboard Great White II.

Nab Tower, the Balloon & 'Mud Pigs'

Winter Cod fishing around the Nab Tower has to be the highlight of many UK Boat Anglers season, and on Great White II you've got a skipper who's been successfully fishing the grounds as an Angler and Skipper for over 30 years. Take this skippers advice and a pinch of luck and you could be in for a fish of a lifetime.

So you want to catch a 20lb+ Cod?

Down tide:

Big Cuttle Baits & Multi Squid Baits are the order of the day.

In most conditions a Rod and Reel combination capable of fishing a 1lb of lead down with Big baits that's as likely to be snaffled by Conger as it is that lifetime Cod of 20lb+ is a necessity for Big Winter Cod. Accordingly, a forgiving 30lb Class Rod with an Abu 7500+ or Saltist 30/40 sized reel is ideal. Braided lines will reduce the need for extra lead but you need on 50lb mainlines with 80lb Rig Bodies and 100/150lb snoods with 6/0, 8/0 and even 10/0 pennels. Winter Cod fishing for the 'Big Mud Pigs' isn't for the faint hearted.

(normal more conservative approach would be triple squid baits presented on 6/0 pennels, 100lb snood, 60/80lb Rig body and 30lb Braid to a 20/30lb Rod, but who wants to catch 10lb Cod?)

Winter Cod Fishing for Mud PigsRigs

Quite simple, a running ledger. Snoods can be quite specialised though. Many anglers 'in the know' will use huge baits with up to 8-10 squid considered an average bait, bigger baits require the use of Double Pennel Snoods with 4 hooks of 8/0's or 10/0's harpooned into a overgrown bait the size of a large salami sausage, or bigger.

There's a few anglers that will present a smaller bait above the main bait, or indeed a live whiting can be productive for that bonus Mud Pig, but there's counter arguments that the efforts of waiting out a big bait are countered when a smaller fish is able to take the smaller bait and thus reduce the chance of the Big Cod, and indeed you can over complicate what in its crudest form fishing one huge scent leaking bait to draw the fish!

You're going to need a bigger balloon.

One of the most effective ways of getting a big bait back of the boat is to drift it back with the use of a balloon. It can be important some days to get away from the noise of the boat (those big Cod didn't get big by being stupid!) and whilst float systems have been used to some effect, a simple balloon attached to the bait with 4lb mono can be 'struck' off as a rotten bottom when the bait and weight are the required distance from the back of the boat is in keeping with the 'keep it simple' approach.

Don't forget you'll also be making the day of little child on the shore when he finds your balloon! only kidding, please, please only use 100% latex balloons for this method. Latex is biodegradable in both water and light and breaks down at the same rate as an oak leaf (enviomental conditions can cause huge variables but I'm quoting published research).


For years many anglers have used tidy Single Squid and Black Lug / Lug combinations, and to good affect too. However, in recent seasons the use of Cuttle is no longer the best kept secret - nearly all 30lb fish that fell last year could be accredited to BIG cuttle baits.

The 30lb Mud Pig!

Don't get the wrong impression, you're not likely to catch a 20lb Cod on your first cast, or indeed maybe not your first trip, you may well do but it's not that likely. It's a case of putting in the hours and fishing the method. It does produce, and it gets the headlings all the time. Howerver, if your fishing for a fish of a life time you should expect to catch one every day! it wouldn't be a fish of a lift time then would it. Tone the 'Method' down a bit and think about what's happing on the Boat when it's your turn out there.

It's not beyond the realms of the impossible that a 30lb fish is on the cards, but set your sights on a Double and you shouldn't be dissapointed. Year on Year the Cod fishing is coming back, let's all hope it continues.

A Modern Traditional Approach

Fish for what's there, some days the Big Cod are simply not about, and or, fishing Huge baits and waiting around isn't your idea of fun. NO Problem. Get back to doing some Traditional Winter Cod Fishing.

Using an 8oz/10 cannon ball and Double Squid or single cuttle presented on 6/0 8/0 pennels presented on a running ledger is a good starting point. Simply bounced backward in the tide for as far as you are comfortable will produce as many big fish as 'Sitting it out' with the Huge baits (and keep you warmer). The key is keep working and keep baits fresh.

Keeping a good scent trail going down is the most import thing you can do. Frequently changing to fresh baits can be the difference of a good bag of decent Cod and no Cod at all. Quite often you'll see someone take a Cod on the boat and as luck would have it, he's the next one to get a Cod too . . right place right time or the fresh bait found quicker in the murky winter water? I'll let you decide.

<-- Page under Build, We're still developing these pages, last updated 15 Nov 2012, call again soon to see more images and more detail with rig drawings and maybe the chance of some video etc -->