25th July 2009 – Dunbar

Weather: Initially cool, with a F2-3 NW breeze (F2-3) until early pm, but warmed up a lot in the sunshine.
Sea Conditions: Wind against tide, but clear. Underlying 3-4 foot swell from N
Time Spent: 0700-1530 – 8.5 hours
Tides: LW 1144 – Large tide

I took Bonnie with me today, as she’d be home alone for rather a long time otherwise, and launched around 7. There was a fairly cool breeze from the NW, but the forecast was for things to stay dry and the wind to die away, so I was fairly hopeful of a decent day.

First stop was the River Garry wreck to pick up some mackerel, which duly obliged on the first drop. The tide was running quite strongly over the wreck, showing almost 2 mph drift speed, so I decided not to bother fishing it for cod and headed inshore to Torness. The first couple of drifts produced 7 codling and a ling, but after that it slowed down and I picked away for a while adding a few more cod and a ling, plus several more mackerel. Around 0900-0930 there was a noticeable change in the tide, as it switched from E to NW in direction, about 2.5 hours before LW.

I was up to 20 codling and a pollack by one o’clock, but it was quite slow going, and I decided to move up the coast a little to the lighthouse. Here the tide was almost static and there was even less interest, but I notched up a few more mackerel, couple of pollack, couple more codling and a surprise launce before heading back.

Ashore at Dunbar, the whole of the harbour area was a traffic jam, with several boats queued up to launch and several cars double parked in front of the trailers. All in all it took over 40 minutes to clear the harbour area.

Share this:

5th July 2009 – Dunbar

Weather: Calm or light E/SE wind. Dry and fairly sunny. Thunderstorm just after I landed which soaked me as I was sorting out the trailer.
Sea Conditions: Fairly calm, with only a 2-3 foot swell
Time Spent: 0530-1230 – 7 hours
Tides: LW 0930 – moderate tide

Kicked off at the River Garry, but the fishing here was very slow, with only a handful of mackerel, a codling and a ling to show for my drifts. Given the weather was holding OK I headed out to the redfish mark and spent an hour and a half drifting the peaks, again with little to show for my efforts apart from a couple of codling, a ling and some poor cod. Back to the River Garry and there was still nothing showing so I headed over to Torness and fished my usual patch of ground to pick up decent numbers of codling (at last) and a few more mackerel.

Final score was just under 30 codling, to around 4.5lbs, so respectable enough. Kept a few for the freezer but most are still out there.

Share this:

24th May 2009 – Dunbar

Weather: dry, sunny, variable SW to S wind force 2-4
Sea Conditions: Calm and clear
Time Spent: 0615-1115 – 5 hours
Tides: LW 0853. Moderate tide

I started off at the River Garry, but a series of drifts proved very unproductive and only a single small codling appeared. Part of the problem seemed to be wind against tide, but there was very little activity on the sounder either.

I moved inshore to an area I hadn’t really tried before, a little west of Torness, and picked up a ling and a scorpian fish but nothing else in a very slow drift. Moving over to a regular mark off Torness started to produce a handful of codling and a ballan wrasse, but sport was pretty lacklustre. Most of the fish actually came when a dropped a small pirk straight on top of fish showing on the sounder, with only 2 codling coming to bait. A final fish came to the spinning rod with mackerel strip – a nice enough little pollock of 3.5 lbs.

The final total was 6 species – respectable enough for Dunbar – but only 7 codling, which isn’t great for lateish May. No monsters either!

Share this:

2nd May 2009 – Dunbar

Weather: F2-3 westerly which backed F2 easterly for a little while. Mainly sunny with some cloud. Fairly cool.
Sea Conditions: Small chop but nothing substantial. Clear
Time Spent: 1800-2130 – 3.5 hours
Tides: HW 2100 – small tides

Started off at the River Garry and tried to tie up to the divers shot line, but this proved to be a little off the mark so I reverted to drifting again. The drift was very slow and quite unproductive and an hour and a half produced only a small codling on a set of flasher lures fished well above the wreck.

I elected to try the reef well offshore where I’ve picked up Norway Haddock in previous years. The drift was an easy pace and I could fish it well enough, but there wasn’t a lot of interest apart from a ling about 2lbs and a largish poor cod. I gave up as it became dark and headed inshore again for an easy retrieval just after HW.

Share this:

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.

Share this:

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.

Share this:

1st February 2009 – Aberdeen

Weather: Dry, overcast, with a SE 4-5 blowing. Cold but not too frigid
Sea Conditions: Pretty rough, with a SE swell running 8-12 feet and a fair bit of colour.
Time Fishing: 0700-1330 – 6,5 hours
Tides: LW 10:30 – smallish tide

Armed with some hard won lugworm I decided on an early morning start up at Aberdeen, targetting a few codling. The forecast was for fairly rough conditions but dropping a bit later, so first light looked like my best bet and 6.30 saw me pull up outside Downies farm.

Initially I wandered down across the field (through ankle deep cowshit) towards the Flat Stone, but immediately decided to move towards the Square Stone as it appeared just a bit too rough at the Flat Stone – it was still dark and I didn’t fancy making a mistake!

The Square Stone was fine and I fished here for about 3/4 of an hour until it got light. Looking around I decided that the Flat Stone was perfectly fishable and that it would probably outshine the Square Stone, so it was a 10 minute hike back round again. The move paid off, with three codling in the next hour, best 4lbs 12oz, whilst a couple of guys who came down to the Square Stone just after I left it didn’t seem to catch anything.

However, initial success gradually turned to despair as the next three hours proved fishless and biteless, apart from a chunky velvet crab. A fourth codling turned up a little after noon, but that was my lot until I packed in around 1.30pm. Although I suspect I was still a bit happier than the passengers on the Shetland ferry which had to pound up and down the coast for about three hours waiting to get past Aberdeen harbour bar safely.

Can’t quite fathom the lack of success, given that all the fish looked like they’d been eating lug scoured out from the seabed (one as absolutely stuffed full of ’em); the sea was rough and coloured enough; and there were clearly some fish about. Always next time though…

Share this:

18th January 2009 – Aberdeen

Weather: Dry, with a variable SW wind – anything from 10-25 knots. Sunny for much of the time.
Sea Conditions: Quite rough, with a SSE swell of up to 10 feet, dying slightly during the morning. Some colour, but not a real chocolate appearance.
Time Fishing: 0745 – 1130 – 3.75 hours
Tides: HW approx 0630 – small tide

Rough weather at Aberdeen's cliffs
Fishing a roughish sea

Arrived just as it got light and hit three fish within the first hour, best going just under 5lbs. Thereafter it was quite poor, with only one small fish landed and another couple of bites. Bait was fresh lug, so no complaints there – the water was just not rough enough for long enough to get the fish in and keep them there.

Used the dvice again, and it certainly helped in casting a bait further than normal against the wind.

Share this: