Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A "shoal" thing...

3 bearded Rockling

Anna age 5 with fish!

photo of me taken by Anna

Usually I’m writing a fishing trip up within 24 hours of getting home… Time just hasn’t been on my side!

Last weekend we met up with our friends Clare and Nick together with their daughter Anna on Anglesey. Packing the car for a weekend away is usually met with comments relating to the excessive amounts of fishing gear that I ram in every conceivable free space in the car. In reality the number of items is probably no more excessive than the pairs of shoes that I imagine Imelda Marcos takes on hols… fishing gear is just more visible!

Anyway, Janet and Clare had booked a spa treatment day at a local hotel leaving us boys to entertain Anna. How do you entertain a 5 year old girl? Easy… a 21 foot RIB, loads of fishing gear and picnic!

Saturday’s weather looked good with broken cloud and a reasonable amount of sun with little wind. The wind freshened as we got everything ready and as we launched I thought to myself that it could be a short trip out. Yes it was lumpy with wind over tide and getting traces on rods out at sea was a great test of stomach control. I’ve never been sea sick thankfully and I know how to calm the feeling if it arises (a result of many hours spent reading medical papers on the subject during my time spent yacht racing). We were soon fishing… I’d armed Nick and Anna with a 6ft lure rod with multiplier (anything goes when you are after mackerel!) and I had two rods set up one for the bass and a heavier spinning rod with multiplier reel for the mackerel.

Until recently I’d always had fixed spool reels but multipliers do have their place and having got over the hurdle of over runs I actually quite enjoy using them and they are a doddle to use when boat fishing.

There were quite a few folk out in all manner of craft; I was surprised to see a loan kayaker fishing on a quite anonymous dark green “sit on top” and a chap on a small inflatable. Why surprised? Well we were fishing a good way off the land and technically inshore BUT in that chop and fishing alone – questionable decisions and all that!

Observing the other craft there was one interesting common denominator – no one was catching any fish!

Nick really only used his fish finder as a depth sounder until recently. However, we used it and his GPS linked charting system to find interesting structure to fish over. I think more by good luck than good measure I hit into two good mackerel – sadly these were to be the only fish of the day.

We moved from mark to mark utilising some of the 150 horses driving the boat, all the time scanning for sea bird activity and shoals of fish on the sounder. Nothing!

We retired to a sheltered cove for lunch – I promptly got the bass rod out to see if I could conjure up a bass or two, even a pollack would have been welcome. We had a great lunch!

Lunch out of the way we headed back. Nick asked whether we should have one last go across the area we fished pre-lunch. So we did! Anna was armed with a rod and with little instruction proceeded to jig her trace and 2 oz lead continuously for the remainder of the trip without faltering once. I would have dearly loved for her to have landed a fish for all the effort she put in. Back at the beach Anna and I sat waiting for Nick to arrive with the trailer to recover the boat, when a small voice said “Can we do some more fishing?” What a star!

Back at the cottage I did the necessary with the fish as they were to be our starter later on…

With Clare and Janet back and the main course simmering we went to have a look at the falling tide in a nearby bay… a bit of advanced rock pooling! The catch of the day there was a 3 bearded Rockling – what a fantastic looking little fish!

Half a grilled mackerel each with a little salad including home grown “moon squirters” (tomatoes to grown ups!) followed by Scouse (Irish stew is a close description) and pickled red cabbage with a dessert of chilled mango with a passion fruit, cranberry and raspberry sauce… not to mention a glass of wine or two in good company! Who could ask for more?

1 comment:

tuffty said...

I see you are stocking up on bait for your fenland safari!!!