A week in Galloway – instalment 2!

Tope Closeup

Trevor arrived early on Wednesday morning after a long drive from Aberdeen and we launched from Port William again, with high hopes of bettering yesterdays total of 28 tope. Luce Bay was flat calm as we headed out the short distance to our chosen mark and dropped the anchor in around 45 feet of water.

Port William

Trevor had first blood within a few minutes of dropping a bait in the water, and we fairly quickly built up a score of 8 tope between us before things went pretty quiet for a while.

Trevor and tope

The fish did eventually come back on the feed, but not to the same extent or with the same enthusiasm as on Tuesday, and we only gradually worked our way up to a very respectable 22 over the day.

Underwater tope
Underwater tope

The jury was out a bit for Thursday, but in the end we decided to have another pop at Port William, with a view to changing marks if the tope didn’t play ball.

I dropped the GoPro over the side for a look at the sea bed – no fish at all were showing in the time it was over, and it wasn’t quite as stony as I’d expected from the feel of baits rolling around in the tide.

Port William seabed

A couple of hours on the tope resulted in only one or two fish, with a few more dropped runs, and we decided to head down the coast a bit to try an inshore reef.

Trevor and tope
Trevor and tope

We gave it a couple of hours but this was largely fruitless apart from a steady stream of dogfish. A drop down with the camera again showed it was clearly rougher ground.

Shallow reef in Luce Bay
Shallow reef in Luce Bay

We headed back to the tope grounds again for the latter part of the afternoon, but it was becoming baking now in the sunshine and I popped up the Alcatraz’s pram hood for the first time in several years, and for the only time we’ve needed shelter from the sun!

Too hot to fish?
Too hot to fish?

The tope were still playing hard to get, with very few runs and many of them dropping the bait, but we gradually added to the fish total and ended the day with seven – ordinarily I’d be pleased enough with that total, but it was a little anti-climactic after the previous couple of days.

Ian looking happier than the tope
Ian looking happier than the tope
Ian with a lively Bull Huss
Ian with a lively Bull Huss

There were still some little fish playing, including this pretty little tub gurnard for Ian

Pretty Tub gurnard
Pretty Tub gurnard

and a nice grey one as well

Well armoured Grey gurnard
Well armoured Grey gurnard

Launce and a gazillion whiting put in an appearance as well, but no herring today.

After our roasting and relative drubbing on Thursday we were up for a change from Luce Bay on Friday and elected for an earlier start at Port Logan. The forecast was fine through to mid-afternoon after which the wind was rising from the NW and would probably cut things short.

Aside from a quick drift at the entrance to the bay, which produced very little, we headed out to the banks pretty much immediately to try for both haddock and something a little larger.

Ian soon hit a modest haddock in amongst the droves of whiting, and we also picked up one or two codling before anchoring in the tide run. I’d hoped for some fresh mackerel but these proved elusive and we only had modest numbers all day.

The fishing was very poor with only dogfish and a handful of codling and haddock appearing alongside the whiting. Nothing larger even hinted at being out to play despite fishing most of the ebb tide into increasing windy conditions.

A good sea running at Port Logan pier
A good sea running at Port Logan pier

Given the forecast was for a rising wind I headed back inshore to Logan Bay a little after slack water and we spent an hour or two wasting bait inside the bay before heading back to the beach.

A summerhouse at Port Logan?
A summerhouse at Port Logan?

It proved a busy day on the VHF as well, with Hamish Currie’s Predator 2 coming to the rescue of a local boat with engine failure near Portpatrick, and Belfast coastguard calling out the lifeboat for a yacht aground somewhere on the Irish coastline – nothing like a little reminder of how easily things can go wrong in these waters.

Next morning saw us packing up in near perfect conditions, although a week was probably enough tbh – the collective battering does take a toll and you need a day or two to recover. Ian was pretty much held together by sticky tape by this point 🙂

No-one seemed in a hurry to leave
No-one seemed in a hurry to leave

 

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