Lough Swilly Reports - 2005

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Lough Swilly Reports - 2005

Postby arthurg » Fri May 06, 2005 8:47 am

Well folks ............... here we go again. Clean out the boxes, dust down the rods, we're off and hooking, and a fine band of hookers we are!


Rather than have a heap of Swilly reports, I thought I'd keep them all to this thread. The first trip on the Enterprise and the 'just out of the wrapper' Swilly Explorer took place on Sunday, 1st May from Rathmullan. A total of 20 anglers from the Lough Swilly S.A.C. headed out to sea on a showery and blustery day. The first trip is traditionally the poorest of the year as the warmer water species tend not to arrive in numbers until later in the month, however I have to say this was a very positive start.

Niall decided that we should drift for only 15 minutes to try and pick up some Mackerel - I wasn't too hopeful, thinking that it was a bit early to hit them in any numbers, but I was wrong. Fifteen minutes later and we had about 25 Mackerel despatched into the bait boxes. I believe that those on the Explorer done much the same.

The traditional day tends to be two and a half hours 'inside' (the mouth of) the lough and two and a half hours drifting over the Laurentic wreck. We did it in that order.

Inside the lough, or 'on the 16' (reference to longitude or latitude or something), or 'on the sand' (denoting the largely featureless bottom), was quite hard work. Fish were hard to come by and the total 'counters' from the two boats were 7 Dogs, 5 Grey Gurnards, 10 Red Gurnards, 3 Tub Gurnards, 1 Haddock, 1 Plaice and 1 Dab.

Action at the wreck was much more frantic due to the abundance of Coalfish - and somewhat frustrating when trying to get past them! A total of 148 Coalfish above minimum size were counted, with almost every angler getting at least their quota of 5 fish. (Note - every one was put back to fight (or pester) another day.

When we did get past them, we managed to record 37 Pollock, 1 Ling, and 5 Pouting.

Not a bad start to the 2005 league and the coalies got everyones scores well off the mark ....................... apart from JohnJoe who shouted for Hughie all day! Sorry JohnJoe.

For anyone that is interested, Pat McGinty won the day with 152 points, Angela Crerand next on 137, Hugo McLaughlin on 120, Charlie Devlin on 118. New member and complete novice Chris Lyons had a commendable 113 and is now completely addicted - welcome to fishin' Chris. Pascal Keeve got 103 and some novice called 'Arthur' came home in a lowly 7th position on 98 with a report-card saying "Must try harder". Ah well, at least we're out again this week, so I've not got long to try and redeem myself!

Typical of the Lough Swilly club, we all headed straight for the pub when we got ashore to 'catch them all again'. You cannae beat a 'Swally on the Swilly!'

A final word for Michael Vambeck who gets jealous and annoyed if he's left out of these reports ...................... Michael, you were pish. Only 89 scored - even worse than me! You're verging on a lost cause. Why don't you take up golf? :wink:
arthurg
 

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Lough Swilly S.A.C. League trip - 8th May '05

Postby arthurg » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:34 pm

Second trip this year and boy it was rough. Nor'Westerly blowing straight down the lough with endless rollers making it damned uncomfortable and any hopes of getting out of the lough to the wrecks or reef impossible.

Seventeen fishermen and Angela boldly set sail from Rathmullan to get the wind in their hair and the spray on their faces ................... well actually we didn't set sail - we're more advanced nowadays in Rathmullan, we've two fine boats with great big engines. I have to say that the Swilly Explorer handles these rough days very well indeed, cutting through rather than riding the rollers and throwing the spray well to the side rather than slapping it right on my barnet!

We only got just north of Portsalon and initially fished in about 50' of water, about 150yds off the shore. It was poor. Some small Gurnard, most of them Grey, and nowt much else.

After a while our boat moved south of Portsalon / Warden beach to try off the rocks whilst the other boat headed a bit further out. We got one Coalie but little else.

At this point I digress for a minute. I'm always very slow at buying my Christmas presents so after the usual rush last year I've decided to get prepared early this year. The first one I have decided to get this year is for Niall. Don't tell him as it should be a surprise, but I'm getting him a sense of direction and a clean pair of drawers as both were badly needed. Ten out of ten for entertainment value Niall! :wink:

We decided to head a bit further out, kinda worried that the other boat might be catching when we weren't - we passed them coming in to do the same with us!

We tried to fish near the Swilly Rock, but with the weather we couldn't really get near enough. The very odd Dog along with the rare Gurnard was about all that we could muster.

The other boat found a hole and drifted over it again and again and were lucky enough (if I wasn't jealous I'd have said skillful enough) to lift Grey Gurnard with reasonable regularity.

When the scores were counted, we had caught 46 Grey and a single Red Gurnard, one Plaice, a Dab, 2 Dogs, a Coalie and a Whiting. About as poor a day as you will ever get on the Swilly and marginal as to whether we should have went out at all.

In the league, Pat and Angela are still blazing a trail with the usual suspects queuing up behind ready to make a challenge. (I like to call it pacing myself).

A Final word for 'Tangle' Vambeck who gets jealous and annoyed if he's left out of these reports..................

'Tangle', you were pish. Again bear with me while I digress for a second time. I was reading in a Scottish paper about "Old Firm Anglers in Beauty-Spot Brawl." The story went as follows:

"A gang of masked men stabbed and slashed anglers at a beauty spot hours after a mass brawl among Old Firm fans. They stormed into a tent where Celtic fans Stephen Stewart, David Crawford and a 15-year-old boy were sleeping at 1a.m. The trio needed 100 stitches in their injuries between them. The attack came several hours after trouble erupted between rival groups during a fishing trip to Loch Earn, Perthshire.

Rangers fans Steven and David Wright of Glasgow - who arrived at the loch with another man, William Rough [note: an appropriate name under the circumstances] - began blasting out club songs on a music player after an argument with the Celtic party over tangled fishing lines. ............. Both parties were lifting rocks and hitting each other on the head with them. The fight escalated and threats of violence were heard [second note: surely hitting each other on the head with rocks supercedes mere threats of violence?]. The 15 year-old boy, who cannot be named [perhaps because their tongues got cut in the melee] pulled out a saw and hacked it down Steven Wright's back. The solicitor said this seemed to stop the fight and the two groups moved back to their tents. Later the Wright brothers and Rough came back and attacked the others in their tents. The Wrights were charged with attempted murder and Rough later commited suicide [final note; an altogether extreme method of avoiding court methinks and not a way out to be tried with any regularity.]."

Now the relevance of this story is that it all started with an innocent tangle. I'm just glad that 'Tangle' Vambeck doesn't support any football teams or it could get bloody out there of a Sunday. You can just see the headlines of the Tyrconnell Tribune ............... strange weekly drifts of rubby dubby making the Swilly the shark centre of Ireland.

In fairness now, Michael asked me to say something more positive about him and his fishing this week so here goes ....................................... err ......................... emm .................................... err .......................................

Aye, I know ............................ Michael, .......................... you've got a lovely Jeep. :wink:
arthurg
 

Sunday, 12th June 2005 (Father's Day)

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:26 pm

Warning PG Rating

This article has been deemed classified as requiring parental guidance and is unfit for viewing by minors, the elderly, the infirm, my wife, my partner, my girlfriend or Michael Vambeck's wife Mary. (There you go Mary, you asked for a wee mention in the next issue and I've mentioned you twice already and I haven't really started yet!). Don't ask me why it is unsuitable for minors - I'd have thought that those big gruff Welshmen who used to spend most of their days underground would have been OK with it, but apparently not.

A wee note to the administrator who has denoted a prescribed format for boat reports: I'm a wee bit of a rebel without applause, so, in my best Christie impersonation, "Hey Kieran 'Reagan', I'm black and I'm pagan, I'm gay and I'm left and I'm free, I'm an unfundamentalist environmentalist, don't impose your rules upon me." ........................... please! If anyone wants a more succinct report on the Swilly then please PM or phone me and if you catch me in a moment of sobriety (so that rules out the times I'm fishing or working) I'll do my best to help.

Right, without further ado, on to the report:

I knew when I got home from work on Friday it was going to be a strange weekend. When I walked into the house the moll was grinning from ear to ear. When I asked her what she was so happy about, she informed me that she had been complimented on her driving. Now this is astonishing as her driving ability lies somewhere between my 18-month old grandson and the blind boys of Alabama (more of them later). It turns out that she had been down town shopping again - no surprise there then - and when she got back to the car she tells me someone had left a not saying "Parking ................................. Fine." See wimmin ......................... I didn't have the heart to tell her. On her renowned shopping escapades all I can say is that she got her credit card stolen out of her purse two months ago and I haven't reported it missing yet as they're spending a damned sight less than her!

Anyway, the strange weekend. We pride ourselves in being a friendly club whose members go out of their way to make visitors welcome. Anyone who has read the Swilly Whitefish & Tope Festival report will know that we stayed late into the night to celebrate with the winners and share in their success. In fact, some of us were so friendly, we stayed long after the competitors had reached home to all four corners of the world - you know; North America, Australia, Hong Kong, and Gweedore - and never reached home ourselves until the next day! Hugo was told in no uncertain terms that, as they say in Scotland, "His jaikit was on a shoogly peg." Now, if Attilla the hun (he must have played in the '50's because I can't remember him) and his gang were attacking you then Hugo would be the person you'd choose to have at your side ........... but up against Sharon, there's only one winner. So, on Sunday, when we were all out fishing, Hugo was spending 'Quality Time' with the family at the outlaws in Kildare. Even Tommy McCallion could count using the fingers on one hand the number of times I've been fishing without Hugo, so you'll understand why I describe it as a strange weekend.

Right, the fishing. Two boats out to sea again. It was rough - Day Jah Voo. I don't actually know what Day Jah Voo means, but Charlie told me to write it as it would make me look interesting and knowledgeable. All I know is that it has been far too rough every time we've went out this year. Do any of you remember the wee sayings that you used at school? You know, like blind as a bat or cunning as a fox? Well, I remember one that describes the sea conditions to a tee. It was rough as a badgers arse. Being curious in nature, I wondered how this one came about. I mean - it's easy to see where blind as a bat came from (that reminds me - I must remember the bit about the Alabama boys). And if you've ever tried to snare a fox it's easy to see how cunning they are. But a Badgers rear end - where did that come from? We used the description at school when referring to girls who were not the most photogenic ..................... well, I didn't because I was much too polite for all that nonsense. Either that or I wasn't too fussy. Anyway, I digress, suffice to say it was choppy with a north westerly buffeting in to us all day.

The 'Explorer' was skippered for the day by Cecil because the usual skipper 'You Jean' had chosen to take a business trip to Denmark instead of carrying out his weekend duties for us. Now I don't know about you's, but I think he's got a strange name - 'You Jean' - but that is what his adoptive mother called him when she picked him at the orphanage. I believe that the true story involves her having a drop too much of the sherry when she arrived and blearily pointing at a nice wee girl Jean that she wanted. The nuns, grasping opportunity with both hands, saw the chance to get rid of the runt and dressed 'You Jean' in a pink shawl and handed him/her over to his new, and somewhat innebriated mother. You can't really blame them - they were tortured with his constant wailing of 'Nobody's Child'. ....................................................... wee side note to 'You Jean' - that'll teach you to go on fancy trips instead of skippering us! Aboard the Explorer were the motley crew comprising of Johnny McCormack and his son Stephen, Clayton Morrison, Richard and Leslie Hamilton, and the cabin boy Angela. Why am I thinking of Captain Pugwash and 'Roger the Cabin Boy' at this point? Look, it's Monday morning, I'm hungover, and the brain is not yet functioning properly!

Apologies for digressing here for a minute, but Donegal Garda have had a hard time recently but credit where credit is due. The local Garda, Garda Paddy Battle, rules the region with a firm but fair hand. Not for him the stifling beauracy of the court system that generally lets offenders off with a slap on the wrist. No, much more pragmatic is Gda Battle. On Saturday night he caught two guys breaking in to the lifeboat station. One was stealing the battery and the other was thieving the flare. Gda Battle charged one and let the other off. Another example of his summary justice was the case of the two Hamilton's. Gda Battle had arranged for the two to be taken out to sea for the day. We did our public duty and to sea they did go. Eight hours of violent sickness later and I'm sure they were cured. Whatever crime they had committed, I'm sure won't be seen in Rathmullen for years to come.

The Enterprise, skippered by Niall 'Tyson' Doherty ably assisted by Teddy ...................................... well, that bit is pure exaggeration. Teddy was useless. Still drunk from the day before when he was at a Christening! You just can't get the staff these days. Also aboard were Michael 'Kevin McBride' Vambeck, Charlie Devlin, Pat McGinty, Eunan Quinn, Stephen Devlin, Martin McGuigan, Dermott Gildea, Gerry Murphy and myself.

Bait - we stopped for Mackerel. Thoosan's of them, but every one of them the size of sardines .................. but that's OK. (Note - that was a very concise, accurate, and helpful bit of reporting there even if I do say so myself!)

Out to the wreck of the Laurentic. No more than five minutes into the first drift and Michael 'Its a Specimen' Vambeck was calling Niall for the net as he was bringing in a likely specimen Pollock. Ever the helpful skipper - he's the best skipper in the world you know - Niall came to Michael's aid and duly netted the fish. Michael, forever the artisan, pirouetted with all the grace of one of Chipperfield's elephants and clocked his 8oz weight off Niall's napper. Dazed and concussed, Niall was helped back to his stool and refused to come out for the next round. Later, as he came round, he was heard mumbling barely coherently about running the Enterprise aground near the tip of Mount Errigal in a terrible flood and rescuing all God's creatures two by two. He was definitely heard counting "Sheep - two - check, Goats - two - check, Coo's - two - check, Snakes - two - check, St Patrick and Mother Theresa - two - check, Michael Vambeck's - two - check" ...................... Jesus, that concussion is a frightening thing! Incidently, the Pollock was a counter at 380.5mm.

Back to the fishing - Pouting by the bucketload, a Cuckoo Wrasse, some but not many Coalies, and all bar the novices and Vambeck got their quota of Pollock. I must tell you about the most inspired bit of fishing by one of the anglers. Despite a heavy swell, and despite a fast drift, Arthur (aye, that's me in case you missed it reader) used skill rarely seen in these isles to send down a beautifully presented bait to lure a good Ling. He teased the fish to the bait and plucked the hook into the corner of the fishes mouth. With the poise of an olympic athlete and the grace of a ballerina he fought the fish from the mangled superstructure of the wreck and caoxed it to the surface where astonishingly he landed the fish without need of a net. A truly remarkable example of fishing at its finest. Oh aye, and Charlie was dead lucky and caught a Ling. Meanwhile the other boat had a similar fare.

On the way from the wreck to 'The Sixteen' I got a strange phone call from Pat's partner, Frances. Now over the years I have become the 'Wise Man' of the club. I don't know why, but if anyone has any problems, it is usually to me they come. Now generally I don't mind and have actually become quite adept at some of the gynacological interventions - that reminds me, Michael, stop being so miserable and give Mary some more dig money. DIY with candle wax is leaving her with a helluva rash - but some guys are just nuisances. Michael, I don't know if viagra will help, and no, I don't know if it is the combination of Guinness and Vindaloo's that are causing the holes in your colostomy bag. Anyway, Frances phoned me in a bit of concern. I had to be discrete as Pat was nearby, but I managed OK. Frances said she was really concerned because Pat apparently can't stop singing The Green Green Grass of Home. I told her it sounded like Tom Jones syndrome. She asked me if it was common and I told her "It's not unusual." Hopefully that will reassure her.

Once inside the sixteen we commenced the second half of the fishing. Eunan and I were drawn in either corner at the back of the boat. Eunan was suffering terribly after the ride in from the wreck and was throwing up over the side in his corner. I was down tide from him and, ever the opportunist, snapped on my doggy gear. It worked a treat with two dogs coming to the boat. Inspired or what? I knew that they had the same predatory instincts as their larger cousins. The usual Gurnards and a couple of Coalies were picked up but really it was hard work until near the end when we hit a decent patch and all-too-soon it was lines up.

When the pitching and tossing was over and the scores were counted, Johnny McCormack had won the day with 145 points. He must have been really embarrassed by the adulation he received as he was as red as ............. well, as red as a really red thing. He certainly coudn't have been sunburned out in that weather. Pat McGinty had 141, I had 136, Charlie Devlin 124, the cabin boy 120, Clayton Morrison 117 and Michael Vambeck significantly less! I must point out that Clayton is actually called Clayton Duncan but for some reason I always call him Clayton, or even Clinton, Morrison. I have no idea why as he isn't black and apparently is quite good at football, so he bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Ireland guy.

I had intended mentioning the Alabama boys, however, due to an urgent need to go and lie down in a darkened room, I'll save it to the next report.

A final word for Michael 'Specimen' Vambeck who gets jealous and annoyed if he's left out of these reports ............................................................ Michael, you were pish.

But fair's fair. I'm not one to single one guy out when he's not alone, and any criticism is always carefully chosen to be constructive. You were not alone this week. Yourself and Hugo really need to put more effort in. You's were both pish.
Guest
 

Lough Swilly League Trip - 10th July

Postby arthurg » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:11 pm

Lough Swilly League Trip – 10th July

Nearly never made it out fishing this week folks. It has been a traumatic time for me. Only a few weeks ago had I convinced them that I should be allowed home and now my troubles were starting again! It all started when I was asked to be a bit more helpful about the house. The moll wanted everything done up, but I’m not that handy and decided to do what I thought would be the simplest job to get on her good side – putting up shelves. Desperate to make a good impression and not have them fall down, I decided to do some reading and get some technical tips. I marched up to the desk in Letterkenny Library and asked the librarian if she had any books on shelves. She must have been in an awful mood as she accused me of trying to be a smart arse and, well, despite me trying to argue my case she eventually called in the Garda who took me away. The Judge wasn’t too helpful or understanding either – he said I should be sent for psychiatric reports. Well, it just went from bad to worse. When they came to the house to take me to St Conals I had not had time to get dressed, so when I was getting ran out of the door, all I could do was to wrap some cling film around my waist. Within seconds of being introduced to the psychiatrist he said “Well, I can clearly see you’re nuts.” Kept in again - lucky white heather anyone?

Once I eventually got a taste of freedom again, I celebrated maybe a bit too much and paid the price on the days fishing! It was a long, long day. Anyway, similar scenario as usual – both boats out, though today the weather was glorious. ‘You Jean’ was skippering the Explorer with Roger the Cabin Boy (aka Angela) offering able assistance. Extending the Captain Pugwash theme, Niall Pugwash Doherty was skippering the Black Pig ………… no sorry, the Enterprise, with Teddy holding the ropes. Crew on the Enterprise included Hugo ‘Seaman Stanes’ McLoughlin, myself – Arthur ‘Master Baits’ Gent, Pat McGinty, Charlie Devlin, Stephen Devlin, Danno from Buncrana and Eunan Quinn. Trouble was rife on the Explorer from the off. You Jean had to adorn ear-muffs (and very fetching they were too) as the crew included the stereophonics – no, not the Welsh rock group, much worse, ‘Tangle’ Vambeck AND his dad who are attempting to make talking drivel an Olympic event. Get your money on them now is all I can say – surefire winners. Also on the Explorer were Clinton Morrison, Martin McGuigan, Patsy Curran, Oisin Barrett & Jack Butler.

Feeling somewhat ill – it must have been something I ate – I was lying down in the cabin below with Stains for company. He must have ate something as well! It was with shock we looked up to see a huge union flag filling the view and eclipsing the sun from above. Now generally we would not be political at all on the boat, so this outrageous show from Eunan ‘Stand For The Queen’ Quinn had to be challenged. Despite much argument from Eunan in his defence and about his innocence, the offending flag was appropriately covered by some discrete electrical tape – well, actually about three rolls of the stuff. His innocence was soon to be put to the test again when he suggested that instead of fishing the wreck of the Laurentic, perhaps we should try the ‘EMPIRE Heritage’. Bit coincidental that methinks!

Mackerel on the way out were quite easy to get, though they are still very small. Is it my imagination or are they not usually bigger by mid July? Then, both boats on towards the Laurentic. The calm weather had brought a few smaller boats out. Michael McVeigh’s ‘Rossguill’ was also anchored and seemed to be bringing in some Launce – they said they were Conger, but since Michael was shouting over, giving me a hard time about my Tope Festival article, I swear they looked like Launce to me. The drift was slow and the fish even slower, though the dubious sobriety of myself and Stanes didn’t help the fish count. Pat, Danno & Charlie all got their quota of Pollock, with a few other fish coming aboard – Pouting, a Cuckoo, a Ling, and not much else. The Explorer was faring similarly.

Inside the Lough later, it continued slow. Red Gurnard, but now in normal Swilly numbers, a few Grey, a couple of Whiting and a couple of Tub and Dogs. That was about our lot apart from a rare sand-caught Ling by Roger – now how did she do that? A couple of strange things happened to bring life to an otherwise uneventful day. Firstly, Pat, Charlie and Eunan all got caught up with Tangle Vambeck at different times during the day which normally wouldn’t be too surprising, but this time Tangle was on the other boat! In fairness, none of the tangles were his fault ……. allegedly. Secondly, the day was scorching, very warm indeed and it was the first time I had actually heard any of the crew wishing for a refreshing shower of rain to cool them down. Now, I had recently been reading the Kathmandu Post (as you do) and came across an article where more than 100 local women had been dancing naked in a remote mountainous village in Nepal hoping that the Gods would be pleased and give them rain. The Post reports that the women ditched their clothes, smeared their faces with powder and danced at the drought-hit Darbang village about 175 miles from Kathmandu. “People in this area believe the Hindu God Mahadev will be happy and provide rain once women perform such a nude dance” the paper quoted a local teacher as saying. I was just hoping that the crew had not read the article and tried to put it into practice. Can you imagine the hairy arses of Charlie, Pugwash, Tangle and Roger all prancing around the boat? It would be enough to drive you to drink I’d say!

Scores counted, Pat remains well out in front with Angela and Charlie looking the only potential contenders. With the day done, we returned to Rathmullan which was packed to the rafters. Total gridlock ensued - madness I tell you’s …….. and that is good coming from me! We had intended getting straight home, however, after waiting motionless outside Mary’s for some twenty minutes we decided it would be prudent, for medical reasons if nothing else, to rehydrate ourselves while the traffic jam sorted itself out. A word of credit here incidentally. The traffic jam didn’t sort itself out. Of all people, Tangle managed to single-handedly untangle the jam and get the traffic flowing freely again – and no easy task that was Michael! A couple of footnotes: Stanes let the side down by falling asleep outside after only a millilitre of Brandy – just doesn’t know how to pace himself that boy. Meanwhile, McGinty and Baits stood on the doorway of the White Harte and perused the view ahead and started wondering if this rain dance stuff might be worth introducing after all!

A final word for Michael 'Specimen' Vambeck who gets jealous and annoyed if he's left out of these reports ............................................................ Michael, you were pish.

An entire days fishing and only two fish to show for it. Shocking. But despite this we want to encourage and support you. Because, by supporting you during your relaxation, the better you will perform in your business life. And the more aerosols you sell in your business life, the more global warming occurs, and the more global warming occurs, the more visitors to Rathmullan, and the hotter these visitors become, the more likely they will dance to their Gods. See, you have got a purpose in life! Go Michael go; sell, sell, sell.
arthurg
 


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