Fishing the Haar

Inshore ling of 9lbs

Anyone fishing the east of Scotland gets very familiar with the summer haar, or thick mist that rolls in from the sea after a few days of fine, settled weather. Often it burns off by late morning, but it can last for days as a thick blanket limiting visibility to a few 10s of metres.

It was thick today, but not impossibly so, and there seemed a good chance of it disappearing after a few hours so I took advantage of the light winds to try Dunbar again. Despite a struggle to launch Alcatraz as the last of the tide raced out the inner harbour I was soon heading eastwards down the coast and hopeful of adding a decent number of codling to my total for the year. The sea was fairly calm and it was quite warm, but the haar was thick enough to start dripping off me as I ploughed on through it and a weird white rainbow formed as the sun above shone through the cloud.

A half-formed rainbow in the haar
A half-formed rainbow in the haar

I set up shop at the River Garry and quickly picked up mackerel for bait, but found there was no tidal drift and hence very little else showing interest. Giving it a while to see if the tide picked up proved to be a waste of time so I headed over to Torness and started picking away with both bait and artificial eels. There were good numbers of small fish around despite the lack of tide, but quality was pretty much absent.

Thick mist or haar off Dunbar
Thick mist or haar off Dunbar

I persevered for a large part of the morning and the total of codling, ling and Pollack continued to grow, but with only a few takers and a lovely cod of around 8lbs lost alongside the boat. Eventually I popped back out to the wreck to see if anything was coming out to play in the stronger tide run, and was rewarded with a few more fish, including a fine ling of 9lbs – not bad for an inshore ling around here. I lost another even larger fish (probably a ling as well) which threw the hook about half way up.

Good ling from Dunbar
Good ling from Dunbar

That left time for a quick filleting session before heading back to harbour before HW. By now the mist was largely gone and I’d a good view of the Red Arrows performing their routine at the airshow at East Fortune airfield, as well as a number of boats out fishing the local sea angling comp. My final total was 35 cod, Pollack and ling – mainly small codling – so a decent morning but not quite a red-letter day.

The haar lifts
The haar lifts
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