19th April 2009 – Dunbar

Weather: Cloudy at first, but rapidly becoming sunny and warm. No wind to speak of.
Sea Conditions: Underlying 3 foot NE swell. Clear Water
Time Spent: 0700-1100 – 4 hours
Tides: HW 10:45 V small tide

Launched just before 7 after digging a few lug at Longniddry. Forgot to screw in the bung – Duh! – but got away with it before the boat sank too low in the water. I headed directly for the River Garry wreck as I reckoned any early fish would show up on it first, and so it proved. After a slow start with a couple of fruitless drifts I picked up a little ling, followed by a small codling. The next hour produced a few more codling, to around 3.5 lbs, plus a wrasse. All of these came to lug or fish bait fished fairly hard on the bottom and mainly from the boiler area. The tide had been very slow but virtually stopped, as did the fishing, with only a final codling and a poor code showing up.

I finished up with a 20 minute drift in deeper water, looking for flatties, but with no success. Coming into Dunbar the harbour was absolutely alive with zooplankton, with the surface of the water literally bubbling with millions of little creatures skittering about. Hopefully a good sign…

One of the cod had a mess of crabs and squat lobster in its gut, together with several stones and a couple of shells – goodness knows what it thought it was eating. Final total was 6 codling, plus a single ling, wrasse, pout and poor cod – ok’ish for mid April I guess.

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12th April 2009 – St Andrews

Weather: Bright and sunny, but a very chilly E wind which gradually
Sea Conditions: Underlying 2-3 foot swell. Clear water
Time Spent: 1400-1900 – 5 hours
Tides: HW Approx 16:30 Large tide

Ian holding a nice spring codling
Nice spring codling

Fished with Ian from his boat. I dug bait beforehand and collected a fair amount of lug and rag, plus a bucket of mussels which I shelled whilst waiting for Ian. We initially tried for flatties on some soft ground and picked up a couple of dabs but no plaice (not a huge surprise to be honest), and then headed out towards Belshie where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

The fish were fairly patchy, but we gradually picked up around 14 codling between us, including a fine 5lb+ fish for Ian. I also made him a present of a SS sea scorpian for the ABR, which is my first for a couple of years.

I later vacuum packed the remaining mussels using my new toy – and it seemed to work quite well.

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18th March 2009 – Loch Sunart

Weather: Calm or light W/NW wind. Dry and mainly sunny. Lovely day
Sea Conditions: Calm
Time Spent: 0750-1830 – 11 hours
Tides: HW 0930 – small tide

Launched at Strontian and set creels before starting to fish.

I tried 5 marks during the day but the results were very poor, with only doggies and a lonely poor cod – no sign of spurs at all. I did hook a small skate on a spur bait, but it eventually threw the hook about 100 feet above the bottom. The fish farm at Laga Bay was being harvested by a large boat making a lot of noise, which didn’t help either.

The sonar was also performing very badly for much of the day, losing bottom lock far too easily (subsequently fixed by adjusting the transducer position on the transom a little – obviously got knocked during a launch/retrieval).

My creels produced 3 squat lobster (tiny but very sweet and tasty meat) and several hermit crabs, plus masses of brittle star in one particular creel. However it probably has to rank as my worst day on the loch, without a single spur at all.

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