Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Dog eat dog in the marine world

What a picture this is from Marlin Magazine's selection of the best pictures of the year...awesome

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hurricane Bawbag

Thursday....what a day, apart from being a great day for kite flying..... Scotland

1.Only country in the world to name a hurricane after human genitally

2.Religious war... during and after football games ?

3.The Krankies ?

4. Nicola Sturgeon's hairdo , seriously WTF ???

Sunday, 4 December 2011

SW club match

Cant say I had much notion for the match but with the bait sorted and not getting out last weekend off I went. Shane and I arrived to be met with a decent sea running and nice chocolate brown water. Ten anglers started the match and were spread out across two points on quite a wide area. I opted to fish the inside of one of the points with a nice bay, decent stance and a rising tide. As it happens it proved to be a mistake but at the end of the day I took the easy option to fish with the wind as opposed to against it and it worked against me. Eight fish, 1 Flounder, 1 Coalie and 6 Whiting. Willie won the match with a cracking catch of 42 assorted fish and there were ten decent Cod caught including Stuart's fish which took the sweep money at a nice 4.13oz

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Scottish Species caught 2011 - 45

No fishing for me this weekend. I've officially wrapped up my challenge and gave up on my target of 50 Scottish species for 2011, still 45 ain't too shabby. Sometime ridiculous and definitely obsessive I've enjoyed it. Back to normal for 2012, 7 pound Mullet and 20 pound Eel from the shore being the next set of objectives as well as resuming lure fishing for Bass.With the exception of my trip to Wexord in July this was non existent this year so it will be a long wait till June.

2011 Scottish Species- Cod, Coalie, LSD, SSSS, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Spurdog, Thornback, Plaice, Dab, Common Blenny,Corkwing, Smut, Flounder, Ballan, Common Eel, Herring, Mack, Whiting, Tub Gurnard, Goldsinny, Turbo, Bass,Pollack,Scad, Tope, TL Mullet, Rock Goby, Common Goby,Sea Trout,Launce,Haddock,Cuckoo Wrasse,Bull Huss,Poor Cod,Rock Cook, Dragonet,Black Goby, Conger, Ling, Sand Goby,LSSS,Shore Rockling,Weaver,Black Mouth Dog

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Something or nothing

Nice weather, too much optimism given the forecast and a long day. If you put all the variables into the mix time, money, tackle losses, number of hours fished and distance travelled you wouldn't leave the house... and some people/anglers don't.

But it's not a business it's fishing and as fisherman you just deal with it. Its what we do.

That aside it pays to be sensible when it comes to what your instincts tell you.... most of the time it pays to listen.

The other side to this is watching the X Factor, cleaning the house or catching up with Internet banking on a Saturday and listening to the general gash that's going on in the world . This makes it easy for me to sometimes make a wrong decision.

One sizable fish for a long days efforts between three anglers.....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Loch Sunart

I joined Gordon today for a trip north to Sunart. The spurs were hard to locate but we tagged six fish, three each with the best being this 10pound+ fish for Gordon. The weather was smashing, great sunset.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Newton shore Saturday night

Motivated by Gordon’s Newton trip on Friday night I decided to give myself a push to get out and catch a 5 Beard to get my species tally back on track for 50 for the year. I’ve let this slip in the last 6 weeks and it looks like it’s not going to happen but Jamie was daft enough to join me and we met up just before midnight. The wind was blowing from the SW and it was dry which good news was. The lads including Jamie had done well on Wednesday night on the east coast and we were under no illusion that whatever happened we knew it wasn’t going to be a 50 pound bag of fish that was the chat at the end of the session. I had some lug left from the club match last weekend, don’t know why these were still alive as the water was coffee coloured not having been changed for a week. The balance of my bait was made up of refrozen crab again from last week and some squid. The fishing was basically non stop for 3 ½ hours with Jamie not having a blank cast. Small Whiting, small Cod to about 10 inches, Coalies and a stray Cluggie for Jamie. He lost count but I kept mine and had 32 fish the best of which were 8 of my 9 Coalies that were ok sized fish providing decent bites at no more than 30 yards. Still no 5 Beard….. I had been to the 8pm session of Paranormal Activity with Lynn and I thought that this might help me spook the beast with 5 beards but it seems I had more chance of spotting Casper the ghost walking his dug down the beach.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Loch Etive, would have been drier in the sea!

Fished the club match today/tonight at Etive started at a point with deep water. 6 casts produced 4 fish a missed bite and a good fish lost on the ledge...good start.

Some of the guys were struggling with terrain at this area so we walked back the way we came and set up shop. A few fish started to appear here and there but the weather was shocking. My new brolly bought today is in four pieces and will be stored in the green bin till its picked up by the council next Friday.

I added another three fish and ended up with 2 Spurs, 2 Doggies, 2 Thornbacks and a Cod. We agreed to end the match early by unanimous decision as this was the probably the wettest session I have ever fished which is saying something

Monday, 17 October 2011

Congers and a Black Mouth Dog at a Wild Crinan

The drive up was interesting, loads of surface water and traffic. Anyway I met up with Gordon who is currently up there for five days and as we left the confines of the sheltered harbour we were met with a lots of white water and more rain. The pram hood was up in the boat so when it swung round to anchor we picked up some shelter. An hour in and we thought about pulling the plug on it due to the wind. We stuck it out and although we didn't get any Skate( maybe a blessing given the waves) we picked up Whiting, Doggie's, Conger and my first Black Mouth Dogfish for species number 45. The wind dropped away nicely as was forecast but by this time we had had enough and it was time to call it a day. Thanks again to Gordon and I hope the weather gets better for the rest of his trip.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Off Skate fishing in the morning

My first Skate trip of the year is planned for Monday. It would also be good to get a Black Mouth Dogfish as this would take my Scottish Sea fish species caught for 2011 to 46 which is still some way short of my target of 50 and time is running out. I have not contributed anything for October so far and will need to score on both to close the gap. This will leave me with Red Gurnard, Vipi Blenny and my nemesis the elusive 5 beard or 3 bearded Rockling and possibly an officially verified Golden Grey Mullet. Still doable but time is running away.....

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Baked Bass Catalonian style

Cooked a fish tonight,caught it a couple of weeks back. We were expecting McG's mum round for dinner as Phil was in hospital...he got out and we had to have the Bass to ourselves.

Bass and romesco sauce. Anybody that says Bass don't eat well just don't like Bass ,Bass anglers, cant cook or prefer their fish with batter and chips( nothing wrong with the latter BTW) Or a bit like myself possible paying over the odds for fish farmed reared crap. When you can catch and cook it yourself its excellent ....bottle of Pinot and its all good in the hood.

Been ill for a week so its been good to have some good food and a glass of wine...must be on the mend and as you can see McG approves !

Friday, 7 October 2011

Observations of the week

1. Its time to put away the garden furniture

2. Conrad Murrays going to the big house and his silicon bird will be looking for a new doctor

3. Liam Fox will probably be looking for a new job

4. Peeler crabs seem to more agressive at this time of year. Just put 45 in the fridge to cool down for Jamie and me ahead of the weekend as they seem to be going "tonto" A night in the cooler should keep them calm as they are intent on attacking me and each other

This might be my last Bass session of the year on Sunday or maybe second last before my attention is switched to travelling east in search of decent Cod.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Mako Portugal

I found this old video clip, Portimao Portugal I think it was 2008. Out on Natusha with Clayton the guy on the right. It was a tourist type of a boat, bit of a tug really and long like a barge top speed about 1o knots fishing about 15 anglers. I fished with him for 3 years each time I went I had 1 or 2 sessions. He did well with the blue sharks and a few went about 80 pounds but mostly 10-20 pound fish each time I was on his boat seemed to be the norm. In addition there were always a few Dorado and Polmeta on the float rigs to keep me happy. Anyway in the last 5 minutes of the day the deckie wound the rods in...close to the boat so that they were easier to take out. This seemed to trigger a take on one of the rods, deckie strikes fish, fish tears off , handle comes off the reel, line breaks , fish gone. I had my own rods with me Exage travel rods 20/30's and my baits were still about 20 yards from the boat so I wound mine in a little closer, fish takes bait, fish runs, I strike, fish runs and as I tighten further into the fish with massive bow in the line a Mako appears ten feet in the air off my right hand shoulder behind me up on the bow of the boat....holy fuck its a on. I kid you not Clayton had the Jaws music on over the tannoy system normally reserved for the radio. Numerous jumps and around the boat twice I get the fish to the side of the boat and he handballs it in, luckily it stays on. Not the most fish friendly picture but the blood on the fish is the deckies and they were both keen that I didn't get hurt, the fish went back but could have been handled better.

That night I walked into a restaurant with Lynn and a family shouts up Mako Marty! I got the video clip blue toothed to me in the bar. So I found this little video today, a memory from a few years back down the line. I've had Blue Marlin 500+ pounds, Amberjacks, GT's, Stiped Marlin and Sailfish and a few more... this fish was special caught on £40 day trip on my own tackle in Eurpean waters ....Mako madness right enough. As you can hear at the end of the clip I was a happy chap in happy times!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Dunure / Heads of Ayr boat trip

Thanks to Willie for the invite to join him, Jamie and Michelle on Reel Deal for a day afloat. The rain was horrendous and while down south were enjoying a heatwave there was enough water up here to put out the sun. There was not a great deal of wind but a nice drift saw us covering some of the reefs in the area which produced plenty of fish albeit not big and we had small Cod, Whiting, Cuckoo Wrasse, Haddock, Dabs, Mackerel and Poor Cod. Michelle had never fished before and managed do well and took to it easily. After fishing last night I was knackered and it did catch up with me as the rain fell I got pretty cold. Anyway I managed to freeze down some Mackerel for the winter and have a laugh at the same time so its all good.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Wet night on the Bass in the SW

The Friday night rain was not in the sketch but rain it did. After driving through it for most of my journey I thought I had left it behind me but after about 40 minutes on my chosen mark it didn't stop. The tide was still dropping when I had a fish on my first cast and after banging out 4 fish on 6 casts I had visions of it being a bumper night on the Bass. These 2 fish came home with me as I was looking for a fish around the 3 pound mark to bake whole. The small fish had scoffed the crab bait down and was bleeding badly so unfortunatley and despite it's size it to made the journey home with me. I released 2 fish about a 1 1/2 pounds and despite a few moves it was only a couple of dogfish for me as the tide started to build. Disappointing really as with no wind and a nice surf conditions were fine apart from the rain but at least Sunday's dinner is now sorted. My Olympus has been playing up lately and did again tonight so it looks like I'll be shopping for a new camera soon. Another couple of self timer gem's here and I think I should look happier and stop chewing gum but with nobody there to say cheese this is what happens....

Monday, 26 September 2011

Black Rocks Rockling romp

With better tides and also a rising tide into darkness I had high hopes of a few Bass tonight but I'm afraid they were a no show. I think the last ten days weather has dispersed these fish locally and whatever pattern they've been following has been broken. I will make a few phone calls over the next day or so to see if its worth spending some time on the beaches nearby or more than likely I will be heading south again.

Anyway the beach was strewn with weed and this was a real problem so all I managed were four Shore Rockling. After taking some abuse from the lads chasing these for my species count it was nice to get a few but as it happens not any that mattered as I need a 5 beard and a 3 beard but now I've found the Rockling rythm there only a cast away Mr Kennedy! So these pictures are especially for you Willie ..... :0 )

I found myself surrounded by foxes again tonight so much so I think I need to check my waders for rabbits. At one point I had three within 5 yards and they just kept coming closer and closer. When I get back to the car I loaded up drove home narrowly missing another two.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Another gem in the news today

The NHS in Scotland recently sent a survey to 900 people who had died while in their care asking them how they rated the treatment they received .....WTF!

No doubt if it hadn't come to light the wigs on the board of directors would have taken the lack of response as a positive one and broke out the cigars, port and had a team building event on Necker Island.

The head of client relations/admin pictured above refused to comment on the situation but they did rattle out a cracking tune on the drums.

Rant over for this week although this might now become a weekly feature on my blog dependent on how the sunlamp treatment for SAD goes LOL

Missing the sunshine? Feeling grumpy? Over eating? book yourself a holiday in the sunshine or contact this mob if your skint.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Politicians are ballbags...I'm going fishing

Sick of listening to Nick Clegg, David Cameron and everything coming out of the IMF, Greece and the Arab spring I decided to go fishing while they all talk mince and sort nothing out. It seemed the most reasonable of options and the window in the weather albeit with crap tides and times seemed preferable to buying a new TV after considering launching a wading boot through it just before the forecasted"rogue satellite" potentially crashed into the street or perhaps the nearby primary school.....

Anyway no Bass at Turnberry tonight, the sea had a nice lift and roll to it but all I managed were two Flounders and a match winning bag of kelp when the tide did eventually turn. So two hours of peace was to be had and even if the weed rolling around in the tide caused me a few problems it was better than visiting Dixons or Comet and explaining to my insurer how a wading boot caused the TV to break.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

This time last week...

No fishing for me this weekend I'm afraid and next weekend looks sketchy for opportunity.

Stonehaven Harbour

While working in Aberdeen this week I had a few hours on the harbour wall. Nothing to write home about. I tried for fresh Mackerel and had one within 5 minutes, fished two rods with a mix of worm, crab and Mackerel. Lots of small Coalies, Cod and a few Whiting nothing new to add to the species list and the 3 Bearded Rockling and Vipi Blenny continue to avoid any offering I make. I dropped a small strap Conger of about 4-5 pounds that took a strip of fish bait close in, fishing size 4 fine wire nordic bend hooks ain't good for a lift up a harbour wall! Had a nice chat with an American couple visiting for their 10th wedding anniversary/business trip. We spoke about everything from 9/11 to the laundry bill at the Thistle Hotel Aberdeen ( £170 is excessive BTW) We were freezing our nuts off but the chat was good and the offer of a drink in the bar was cool, nice to meet you and one day I will be over to fish for those Striped Bass on the New England coast.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Weirdo with a Weaver fish

Scottish sea species number 44 for the club count and 45 for my personal list. I believe this to be Scotland's only venomous fish species.....carefully handled considering my shaky record and hospitalisation 20 years ago with Scotland's only venomous snake the Adder


We had our long awaited trip last weekend, good banter, reasonable weather and some decent fishing. Seven species including Bass,Turbot and Weavers!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Mixed Bag

I looked at the beach Jamie and me were supposed to fish last night and just didn't fancy it. Too calm, no wave and the winds forecast for that time just didn't materialise.

Anyway Jamie stuck to his guns and caught fish and had great delight in texting and calling me to say so. I wondered if I had made the right decision and despite me getting my first Shore Rockling of the year the prospect of some Bass made me shift for the third time. Not big fish just school Bass but four fish and a Flounder from a mark not normally frequented left me fairly satisfied with my efforts. The wind arrive at midnight and shortly after that I wrapped it for another night. Another highlight of the night was when I went to bait up my other rod and bent down to pick some bait up and a fox had its snout in the trough... nearly shat myself! Chased it up the beach as I was angry I got a fright.

Busy night tonight mixed bag

I'm just checking my emails and then I'm off to bed. I will put a post up later this morning but Scottish species 44 tonight and one that's been proving difficult for me to achieve. After what I thought was a poor decision the plan eventually came together like it seems to more often than not( did I just say that?) That one will probably bite me on the backside a bit like the fox I met tonight....

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I love my Wrasse fishing so I had another try for them today. Worm baits to locate and search for the fish and then switch to hardback crab to sort the larger fish out was the tactic and it worked. I banged out a number of medium weight Ballans but not the 3 pound plus fish I was looking for. True to form the hardbacks did take all the larger specimens and when using worm I picked this nice little Corkwing Wrasse up which is a new PB at 5.5 oz. The Rio hard alloy mono I bought for lure fishing is really good for Wrasse, tough,abrasion resistant and ideal for dropping into the kelp jungle that these fish live in.

Golden Grey

Having been trying to get a Golden Grey for a couple of weeks now I met with and spoke to another angler who reckons like me there are hybrid Mullet around. I have suspected this myself on considering some of the features on the NMC web site and handling a few suspect fish. I will however keep trying. This fish was around 14 oz the same size as the other 3 Mullet I caught from the same area last night which looked very different and were stone wall Thick Lips(This has now confirmed as a GG by someone who has caught them from the area I fished and I will count this on my personal list for 2011)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Long Spined Sea Scorpion

As a result of the daft hours I've been keeping over the last few days my body clock's out of sync. A late evening session resulted due to me not feeling tired. The fishing was grim with only a massive edible crab of about a pound and half to show for my efforts until the last cast produced another first for me and another counter to my 2011 species tally. I need to get a new memory card for my camera as it took me about ten attempts to get a picture to stick without an error message showing a fault with it. Anyway I managed this which clearly shows the difference between this and its larger short spined cousin. By the way...still no Rockling

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More small Bass

With a nice onshore wind last night Jamie and me fished into darkness. We had seven Bass but nothing to write home about in terms of their size. There were apparently a couple of larger fish landed last night and indeed the night before but as luck would have it only small ones for the both of us.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Another one off the list...Sand Goby

One of my better pictures in macro mode where this little fish decided to behave itself for its photo shoot.

Why I hate Rockling...

In my usual feeble efforts to add any type of Rockling to my species tally for the year I tried a local mark in Troon. The mark is scabby broken ground with some sand and the bait was Mackerel strip and 20 Ragworm I scrounged from my mate on the way to the beach. As usual confidence was not sky high to say the least. No Rockling again... but two small Bass in 5 minutes the first on Rag and the other on fish strip as well as another missed bite. I'm on holiday this week so will have a serious attempt at Bass tonight as Jamie found it hilarious that I was trying for a Rockling on a night that was perfect for Bass. I didn't have the bait for Bass but still managed a couple of fish so I will see what damage I can do tonight when I'm geared up for it. Jamie and the guys had 6 Bass the last time we spoke about 12.15am

Dunbar Wrasse, Ling and a few Cod

Dunbar on Saturday after Friday nights Eel session was a bit of a struggle and not to mention a long day. I met up with Gordon at 8am and we headed through to the east coast. The fishing was poor and I actually caught more Wrasse than Cod and my second SSSS of the year.

Solo Conger

Fishing at night yourself is pretty boring to be honest. After three hours of darkness I has about to wrap it but after dozing off I was awakened by the ratchet on the reel and the tell tale sign of some interest from a snotty eel. Not the biggest Conger I've caught and also a pretty bad picture,check the state of me. The self timer worked but the fish was doing its best to wriggle free from my grip.

Black Goby

What cracking looking little fish and another first for me. The dark scales contrast with the iridescent blue make this an unusually marked fish in comparison to the pictures of other fish of this species that I have seen. For comparison here is a picture of a Black Goby I caught from the same place 5 minutes later, pretty boring by comparison