East Coast Haddock


Normally icy winds blow across the steppes north of Peterhead but today was an exception. Sunshine and light winds promised a fine day afloat and the thermals were left behind.

Cosy cabin

Ian and I were up visiting Trevor to pinch some of his local haddock and top up our freezers. Trev was reporting good numbers from around 45-55 metres depth so we were optimistic about our chances.

Boarding Trev’s Icelander 18 we sorted ourselves out and made enough space for three to fish comfortably. First stop was a short distance from harbour to pick up mackerel for bait. They’d only just arrived but we quite quickly caught a good supply for bait.

Tasty Targets

A bit further out and we started to drift fish the open ground for our target. Haddock are a favourite of mine so I was keen to pick up a few for dinner. Our rigs were anything fairly bright and cheerful, baited with fresh mackerel strip. I don’t think the haddock really cared, and we soon started picking up fish in around 50 metres.

Most were single fish, although Ian did manage a threesome or two. Small fish predominated but we started to fill Trev’s fish bucket with more edible specimens.

We managed a few different species although haddock were by far the most numerous – codling, ling, dab, mackerel, whiting and a couple of small plaice.

Our spare rods stayed safely out the way for the duration. I don’t think I lost so much as a hook all day.

It’s a novelty for me to fish a boat with a proper cabin. Wonderful in winter (i.e. all year round in Scotland!) but not so easy to tow around the country.

Keeping the skipper happy!

Fishing was fairly steady most of the day, except perhaps over slack water. Trevor had the biggest fish of the day, with one a little over 2lbs, so it was quantity rather than quality. That said, he’s seen them to 3lb 12oz, which is a good size for east coast haddock.

Nice haddock for Trevor

By the end of the day we’d caught around 250, most of which went back. We still had plenty to fillet once we got home too! I think that’s about as many as I’ve had in the past two decades combined. I’ve probably doubled my lifetime total of east coast haddock too, as it’s years since I caught any except on Trev’s home turf.

A lot of filleting required!

It’s been a couple of years since we last fished up here but I think Trevor might get another knock on the door fairly soon!

For once the trailer isn’t my problem…
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  1. What a great success ! Nice looking boat too. I’d not heard of this place, despite taking my photo in the Penna phone box as usual. Well done all of you.

  2. Hi Ash,
    There are loads of small villages along this coastline but it’s not an area I know well at all. The slip here is pretty good but the harbour approach and entrance is a little tricky unless it’s pretty calm. I was a bit surprised we did as well with the haddock but they seem to come inshore for a while and then split up as the summer progresses. I think Trevor got his timing right and the weather just came good on the day – grab it whilst you can.

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