Donegal Bay 23-May-2018, A Red Tub full of Spotty Dogs

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Donegal Bay 23-May-2018, A Red Tub full of Spotty Dogs

Postby johnwest » Thu May 24, 2018 9:20 pm

Met Eireann were doing their best to compensate for the pretty poor weather this spring and it seemed churlish not to acknowledge their efforts so with a spell of sunshine and light winds forecast (the Mayfly will have to wait) and the boat ready, it was time for the first tow of the year. I arrived and got launched without incident and underway for barely 5 mins, a shoal of fish appeared on the sounder. Down went the feathers and up came the first mackerel of 2018. If Robert Duvall went fishing he would have loved the smell of mackerel in the morning! I was lucky to get a couple so quickly but unlucky not to get a couple more; then again I’ve had more than a few days when 1 mackerel was plenty of bait…..Off to the fishing grounds and the first two drifts over one of my favourite marks produced not a bite. Sometimes I wonder how these marks gain “Favourite” status. Out to deeper water and after 20 mins the first nod of the rod tip indicated some interest in the bait. I tightened into something which felt quite weighty and a spotty ray soon came into view. It seemed a strange shape until I realised it was two spotty rays, a female which had sunk her teeth into the bait and a smaller male which had sunk his teeth into the female. His idea of courtship no doubt but in my day it was customary to let her finish her meal before getting too amorous. It may just have been Donegal Tourist Board’s new policy of COGOF! (Catch One, Get One Free) paying dividends. While the female at 4lb 2oz was a nice fish, (male at 3lb), a single spotty of 7lb 2oz would have been an excellent one. Next up 5 mins later was a small tub gurnard followed by another not-so-spotty spotty at 3lb 8oz. The inevitable dogfish weighed in next and barely 5 mins later a second dog accompanied by another tub gurnard paid a visit to the boat. All went quiet for an hour which prompted a change of mark and heading around a headland I was surprised by the swell coming in. In the space of 15 mins, three spotty rays put in an appearance, each one smaller than the last and then another lean spell broken by a small dab. I shifted off the sand to try a rocky area but only one pollack showed any interest. It took baited feathers on the light rod and at 5lbs weight, gave a good account of itself. I then tried the first mark again which gave up another dogfish and gurnard, this time a red one. After 6 spottys, 3 dogs, a few gurnards, a nice pollack and a dab, things were slowing down so I headed for home and having tied up to the slip, I was heading for the car and trailer when I noticed fish swimming alongside the boat; mackerel! Unusually, I hadn’t dismantled the rods yet so a quick cast with the feathers and I added another mackerel to the tally. After all the excitement, he is now chilling out in the freezer. Do I need to file a Shore Report also?
Attachments
P5237154.JPG
1st Mackerel of 2018
ilovethesmell.jpg
P5237156.JPG
Love-struck Spotty Rays
P5231813.JPG
1 of 2 Tub Gurnards
P5231816.JPG
3lb 8oz spotty
Last edited by johnwest on Thu May 24, 2018 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 species; 31

2014 species; 27

2015 species; 28

2016 species; 32

2017 species;28

2018 species; 33

2019 species; ballan wrasse, coalfish, cuckoo wrasse, dab, dogfish, flounder, goldsinny wrasse, mackerel, plaice, pollack, poorcod, pouting, scad, sea scorpion, spotty ray, spurdog, thornback, tub gurnard, turbot, whiting.

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birdseye (Thu May 31, 2018 11:36 pm), chuckaroo (Mon May 28, 2018 11:28 am), mickser (Fri May 25, 2018 10:10 am)
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Re: Donegal Bay 23-May-2018, A Red Tub full of Spotty Dogs

Postby johnwest » Thu May 24, 2018 9:24 pm

Just a couple more pics;
Attachments
P5231825.JPG
Not-So-Spotty Spotty
P5231840.JPG
Red Gurnard
P5231831.JPG
Only Dab of the Day
P5237168.JPG
5lb Pollack
2013 species; 31

2014 species; 27

2015 species; 28

2016 species; 32

2017 species;28

2018 species; 33

2019 species; ballan wrasse, coalfish, cuckoo wrasse, dab, dogfish, flounder, goldsinny wrasse, mackerel, plaice, pollack, poorcod, pouting, scad, sea scorpion, spotty ray, spurdog, thornback, tub gurnard, turbot, whiting.

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mickser (Fri May 25, 2018 10:12 am)
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Re: Donegal Bay 23-May-2018, A Red Tub full of Spotty Dogs

Postby Sweetwrasse » Fri May 25, 2018 7:15 am

Well done JW. An entertaining report as always, even working in a movie reference and a spotty ray love story!
It ain't easy but it sure is simple!

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johnwest (Sun May 27, 2018 1:09 pm)
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Re: Donegal Bay 23-May-2018, A Red Tub full of Spotty Dogs

Postby chuckaroo » Sun May 27, 2018 11:39 pm

Very nice Paddy. Nice weather and plenty of decent fishing. Looked great 8)
Charlie

2019 targets:
a specimen flounder (2.5lb+ or 40cm+), first tope, first bluefin tuna
First wolffish, a 35lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb+ shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley, a 4lb+ plaice (Norway)
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