A fair heap of late season wrasse from Findon, on crab left over from smoothie fishing down the Solway earlier in the year. Only a single codling appeared, but it was a lovely day to spend lazing away on the rocks before winter descends properly.
Weather: Very light wind, mainly sunny. Cold once sun set
Sea Conditions: Fairly calm, with little colour
Time Spent: 1200-1800 – 6 hours
Tides: Approx 0930
I’d a day of annual leave to use up, so I decided to give Aberdeen a bash from the shore. Forecasts were for decent weather but only a light swell, and so it proved. Findon was the most obvious mark to fish in calmish conditions and a falling tide, so that’s where I headed first to drown a few frozen peelers (if that’s possible!).
Action was reasonably fast, with several wrasse taking the bait and a good number lost in the kelp. 4 ballans is easily my best tally at this time of year, and they were all a respectable size. I did hope for a few cod, but only one small codling appeared which was a little disappointing. By half three I’d had enough of the wrasse and decided to move to Altens in the hope of more cod.
Unfortunately things were dead quiet here, with only a solitary coalfish turning up, despite pretty good conditions. Overall a relaxing enough day, with a decent amount of sunshine as a bonus.
Weather: S-SW wind 2-4, mainly overcast, a little drizzle. Mild
Sea Conditions: Clear, with a 1-2 foot wave
Time Spent: 1600-2030 – 4.5 hours
First time up in Aberdeen for a few months, and marks like the Red Rock were crowded with mackerel bashers. Altens was empty as usual so I set up a couple of bottom rods with frozen crab and also tried a float fished mackerel strip for a little while. Fishing was fairly slow, but I contrived to miss a couple of bites as well as land 3 codling and a seagull (!). A lot of lobster pot buoys about which restricted options a little.
Highlight of the evening was a very nice fish that took crab about 60 yards out – as soon as it felt the hook it just powered away smoothly against a heavy set drag and managed to pull off a good wadge of line. This happened repeatedly for 2-3 minutes – each time I made progress it turned and ran back. I could feel the line rubbing against kelp and rock all the while, and it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to come in so it was no great surprise when the line finally abraded through. As to what it was – most probably a good cod, possibly a large pollack. I’ve had several fish in the 8-9lb range from this mark and it was substantially better than any of them. Ah well!
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…