Specimen Red Gurnard - Lough Swilly

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Specimen Red Gurnard - Lough Swilly

Postby arthurg » Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:43 am

Normally I keep the Swiily reports under one heading, however I thought that the good Red deserved a thread of its' own!

We were fishing a league trip on the Enterprise out of Rathmullan. Weather was pathetic for 4th July - wet, windy, choppy, fast drift inside the lough and as it turned out, extremely fast outside. We fished an ebbing tide and over low water. Not ideal conditions ................. an element of deja vu there in my posts this year!

I actually got to Rathmullan pier with my buddy about 45 minutes early. Just mucking about, I dropped a line off the end of the pier with size 1/0 hooks to see if anything was about - 3 flats, 2 Ballan, 1 Pollock, 1 Whiting and what looked like a very small Monkfish entertained me for the half hour! (All were very small though).

I am a great believer in Ragworm. Good rag's give me confidence. We couldn't believe this week's offerings - well we could actually because we could smell them. We can only assume they were 'cooked' on the bus from Belfast. They are far too bloody dear to end up with dead mush. Not a good start!

Anyway, we stopped for Mackerel and after a couple of false starts they duly obliged. Plenty of them, but very small.

Then it was on to two and a half hours inside the lough on sandy / broken ground. First fish of the day came to yours truly and a nice wee Cod it was - maybe three and a half pounds. Couldn't help but smile as Cod are far from plentiful here and they score well in our league. Unfortunately I had trouble getting much else. There were plenty of frustrating tangles and I just couldn't get going. Charlie Devlin was having a good day with a couple of Haddock, Red Gurnard, a few Dogs, Tub Gurnard and at least one Whiting. Hugo McLaughlin was also in touch with the only other Cod, a Haddock, Gurnard, etc. I wasn't doing well - I had my Cod, a solitary Red Gurnard and a couple of Dogs - my worst showing for quite some time! A special mention must go to Michael Vambeck at this stage as he had what looked like a specimen Red Gurnard. It was kept in a bucket of water to be weighed later onshore.

For the second half of the day we moved to the Laurentic. Retrospect is a great thing and perhaps, with the prevailing wind coming from the west giving us relative shelter within the lough, maybe we should have done our rough ground fishing at the Swilly Rock, however we called it wrong and headed to the wreck.

The drift was so fast that we were only over the wrech for about two or three minutes each drift. Pollock were hard to come by though there were a few. Undersize Coalies were a complete torture at times, causing havoc with tangles on an already difficult day. There were plenty of Pouting but many were also undersize. Surprisingly with the speed of the drift we managed a few Ling.

Now to the good Red. Fishing three hooks baited with dead rag (hoping for a high-scoring Ballan) I was consistently picking up Pouting (which actually score as high as Pollock). With the drift being so fast, and with the number of undersized Pouting coming on board, I decided not to bring in immediately I hooked a fish, because if it was undersize, by the time I got back down the wreck was long gone. True to form, I could feel a small Pouting - braid is excellent for registering even small fish in difficult conditions. I decided to leave it on hoping to get it's big brothers on my other hooks. Then I felt a real pull. I didn't strike hard but lifted the gear and reeled in. It was solid for about ten feet then no more. Once aboard it was obvious that a Ling had tried to take the small Pout.

I decided to deliberately go for Ling now and put a whole fillet of Pouting on my bottom hook (below the weight about six feet off a boom). Despite knowing that we had drifted off the wreck I still lowered the rig. I wasn't really expecting anything until we renewed our drift over the wreck, but then I had a good solid bite and solidly hooked it. The Red Gurnard had taken the full side of Pouting and looked great coming up towards the boat.

Once back on dry land it was off to the local butchers to officially weigh potentially two specimen Red Gurnard - not often that happens! Michael's was weighed first. Having sat for about six hours in a bucket if water we were worried that it might have lost a bit of weight. Sure enough - the digital scales read 1.97Lb - 3/100ths of a pound short of the 2Lb specimen weight. Undoubtedly this fish would have been over the 2Lb mark if we had managed to get it ashore earlier.

I must admit I was now feeling confident of registering my first ever specimen as my fish looked a wee bit bigger than Michael's, and lets face it, it wouldn't have to be much bigger to beat 2Lbs! The scales registered 2.19Lbs, comfortably above the limit. I have sneaked the fish into the freezer at home and, so long as Geraldine doesn't find it and throw it out, it'll be on its way to Dublin later in the week once I find greaseproof paper, brown paper, newspaper, and fill in the form with all of the appropriate detail.

Just for the record, Charlie Devlin again fished well and won the day on 157, keeping him out in front in the league. Hugo McLoughlin was second with 128 with Johnny McCormack third on 119. I remain second in the league having scored a round (and rather disappointing) 100. Looking back though, the Red made up for an otherwise poor showing. Oh, and the Cod tasted very good last night!
arthurg
 

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Specimen Red.

Postby JimC » Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:20 pm

Congrats on the specimen!
Reds are a beautiful fish especially big ones. Did you get some snaps? If you did make sure to send in with the specimen form. What better way to crown your first specimen than getting your picture in the report as well!!
Cheers,
Jim.
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Re: Specimen Red.

Postby arthurg » Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:04 pm

Jim from Cork wrote:Congrats on the specimen!
Reds are a beautiful fish especially big ones. Did you get some snaps? If you did make sure to send in with the specimen form. What better way to crown your first specimen than getting your picture in the report as well!!
Cheers,
Jim.


Cheers Jim,

There was a disposable camera on board so we got a couple. I'll send one into Kieran for the gallery if it comes out OK.
arthurg
 

Postby dingbat » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:13 pm

congrats Arthur
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Postby arthurg » Fri Jul 09, 2004 6:12 am

dingbat wrote:congrats Arthur
Dingbat


Cheers D.
arthurg
 


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