I managed to get out in the boat for 5 trips this year, every year is different and this year was no different. First day out saw me, as always, feathering for mackerel bait. First drop down produced a launce, a short while later I reeled up a scad which is probably my biggest, at 1lb 1oz it is certainly the heaviest I have weighed. After 20 mins I eventually got the first mackerel, in recent years they have been quite patchy but I needn’t have worried as I soon had enough for the day. The 5 trips didn’t produce anything spectacular but I had 13 species in all. Pollack were scarce this year in comparison to previous years with the best reaching 4lb 8oz. I wonder is Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall Cholmendley Featherstonehaugh, or whatever his name is, correct when he talks about pollack as a sustainable fish? There were lots of codling but a lot smaller than last year at 2.5 to 3.5lbs; red gill eels attracted them in ones, twos and threes. I had a few ling up to 6lb 8oz along with the occasional pouting, coalfish, poorcod and whiting. One species which was conspicuous by its absence was the cuckoo wrasse, not one from 5 trips fishing over rough ground marks which in the past have produced plagues of them. Fishing over clean sandy ground turned up some good dabs with the best reaching 35cm and 1lb 2oz, dogfish, small grey gurnard, 6 thornbacks up to 10lb 8oz and a nice plaice at 35cm, 1lb 1oz. Dogfish numbered about 20 which spread over 5 sessions wasn’t too bad.
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