No, not a blues gig, just dirty water, presumably as a result of recent heavy rainfall emptying in from the rivers. Tuesday 15th
. A long-awaited 2 good days in a row presented so I went west along the road, boat in tow. Some lengthy delays due to road works held me up a bit but I was soon launched and ready to go. Crew today was MartinC from the site, he served some time as working crew on Pat Robinson’s charter boat, The Cricket operating out of Port na Blagh some years ago, so no pressure on me then! First stop was to gather some mackerel for bait but all we could get was mini-macks. Beggars can’t be choosers so off we went to our first mark where I was hoping for ray, gurnard, turbot and dab. I soon had a small tub gurnard which had a large wound on one flank but it seemed to be healing well. Martin had a rattle next and reeled in a turbot, his best to date so happy days. The boat was barely moving with no breeze at all so we weren’t covering much ground; even so I would have hoped for more action. With not even bites or chewed baits, we moved to a second mark and had several drifts in different depths but only a single doggie came to Martin’s rod. Another boat fishing nearby didn’t seem to be busy either and moved elsewhere. I followed suit and headed for a deepwater reef mark; the sand was not producing so why not try the rock. Fortunately there were no marker buoys festooning the mark like last time I visited. We got a nice drift along the mark and got bites straight away. Fishing a two boom paternoster rig, I managed a couple of small ling and several doubles of pouting, poorcod and a single pollack of about 2.5lbs. Martin was fishing a spreader bar bedecked with countless red and yellow beads which produced plenty of cuckoo wrasse as well as pouting and poorcod and a doggie, interesting that the different rigs gave different results. As soon as we drifted off the rough onto the sand, the bites stopped. Unfortunately some of the fish were not going back well due to “the bends” so rather than leave a trail of dead fish floating off downtide, we tried one last shake of the dice, a pollack mark. Last time I tried to fish this mark, the strengthening wind blew us along too quickly but today there wasn’t a breath. While Martin wasn’t complaining I did feel under some pressure to try and get a few decent fish and happily, the sounder was showing plenty of fish tight to the bottom and we were soon into them. Martin fished a leadhead and soft plastic to winkle out some nice pollack and a bonus cod. There are analogue scales and digital scales but Martin uses visual scales, he estimated his best pollack at a “good 6lb 8oz”, I weighed it at 6lb 10oz and who is to say my scales were more accurate? My Killer Lure was a hot orange weighted Stormshad which attracted a 5lb 8oz pollack and minutes later a bigger one at “7lb or more”. I took the “or more” before Martin, like some Minister for Finance, revised his estimate downwards! A quick pic and back it went, I forgot to take a digital measure for confirmation as it was probably a pb for me. I also got a smaller cod which went back too. Sadly, next drop I lost the shad in a good fish, my last one in this size and colour; I don’t know if you can still get them. After a slow enough day we had finished on a flourish so we headed for home. At the slip, while I was getting the car and trailer, a large rib came in at high speed creating a lot of wash which would have buffeted the boat against the slip. Fortunately Martin was able to hold her off and prevent any damage; it might have been a different story had I been alone like usual with the boat briefly unattended. Fair play to Martin, he “suggested” to the driver that next time he approaches a busy slip he has a bit of manners. In my naivety I expect boat owners to respect other boatowners, I don’t know why; just look at how other car owners behave!Wednesday 16th
. Back to Billy-no-Mates today as I launched from a different slip to fish different marks. The water was clearer today but still not the usual crystal clear. First drop of the feathers produced 3 fine, chunky mackerel and a couple more drops had me in bait for the day. Off to the sand then for the first drift in hope of a ray. The slight breeze helped cover the ground at a nice rate but bar 2 dogfish, the fish proved elusive. The sounder was showing plenty of mid-water fish which the feathers showed to be small mackerel. This was confirmed when I dropped down my underwater camera with feathers attached, if I get time I’ll post a video clip. Eventually I had a proper bite as the rod arched over and the ratchet sang its song, a nicely marbled thornback of 6lbs. A couple more drifts in different areas and depths produced only a small dab so it was time to try a deeper reef mark, well it worked yesterday! This was a new mark to try but unfortunately the breeze picked up a bit and was blowing me off the mark too quickly. I did get a few cuckoo wrasse, pouting and poorcod so it has potential but that will require a calmer day. Off then to another rough ground mark which the sounder showed to be carpeted with fish; these seemed to be mostly cuckoo wrasse, small pouting and poorcod so I upped the ante by trying a large muppet baited with a good slice of mackerel. This usually sorts out the bigger fish though the nuisance small fry will still “worry” the bait. The best I managed was a small pollack of about 2.5lbs. Sharp eyed observers will notice how the evenings are drawing in so with my nav. lights glowing I headed in. That evening, She Who Doesn’t Make Sandwiches was able to tell me where I had been fishing as a friend had sent her a picture taken from her holiday home showing me in my boat; you can go nowhere….This morning I was out shopping for new trailer tyres, can anyone explain to me how it is cheaper to buy a pair of new wheels with tyres ready fitted than just a pair of tyres? Further expense; I lost my new(ish) landing net on the run back to port, something else to replace. Who said "If you want to hurt your enemy, buy him a boat"?
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Last edited by johnwest on Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.