Saturday, 24 June 2017

SW Road Trip day 1

Life’s been a bit hectic recently so I took two days off mid-week. The plan was simple, just fish my nuts off. I watched my days off approaching, the forecast held in advance of my road trip, a surprise in itself. With perfect conditions for a day at sea I launched at HT 9am on Tuesday to a nice smooth sea. First stop was a shot for Bass on a spot I’ve had some nice fish from the shore. Not much happening so I didn’t waste too much time, this would be a 12 hour shift afloat and the same time slot in the evening might provide better odds.

I had some frozen bait with me but I trolled some feathers while checking out some reefs but the Lowrance was picking up nothing so after about 40 mins I decided to put the anchor down. Making do with frozen mackerel I dropped a trace over the side with a FBM on the bottom instead of a weight.
There must have been a stack of fish coming past me in the tide as the rod was buckled for about 6 consecutive drops with multiple hook ups of Cod, Pollack and two solitary mackerel. On the bait rod it was rather monotonous with a dogfish a drop, time for a move.
After checking my bearings I was now about 1.5 miles out from my launch spot when I set the pick for the second time. It was action from the outset and my half mackerel bait produced a nice Huss first drop, typically, as they do, it let the bait go at the side of the yak. I put a smaller fillet on and dropped this back down and the first Huss was aboard a few minutes later.
After another one and two letting go at the side I wondered about a move to some different ground looking for Tope.
The tide was fairly pushing past by now and the ratchet screamed off with a fish on.
I had the fish alongside and checked it out, nice little Tope I thought, another first off the yak.
As it happens it was a Smoothhound, unusual thing is that it took half a Pollack. It was also about twice the size of my previous best. It really caught me out taking the fish bait, had no spots like the others I’ve caught and was that kind of bronze colour Tope can sometimes be over a certain type of ground. At somewhere between 13-15 pounds that’s a pretty big Scottish smut. From there it was a dog and Hussfest and I ended with six of them, with the doggies chewing through my bait on an ongoing basis I decided on another move.
Even the Cod were on the Pollack baits

Just when you think things are going well something usually brings you back down to earth. In this case, it was my anchor line snapping at the carabiner? This was only the third time the new 2kg Bruce had been to the sea bed and along with ten foot of chain and 150ft of cord it proved to be a right pain in the arse….

Inshore with the light changing it was pure Pollack mayhem. I tried a reef that came up from 20ft to about 10ft over a fair size area with a nice bit of tide running over the top. If there were any Bass around they didn’t get a look in. I switched to a popper and still caught Pollack, great fun.

As I was drifting I saw a big solid red return on the sounder in about 12ft of water. I dropped the lure in and looked over the side; saw the flash of bronze flanks as the fish took and the others scattered, the white lure disappeared and I felt the line zip off the reel. Just a great way to end a good day.
With no anchor it was plan B on day two. I arrived at the loch at midnight, knackered but sated.


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