Fishless and Frozen at St. Andrews

An exaggeration on both counts, but it was a tough day afloat when I paid a visit to Ian last week… – and a short report!

The numbers of fish around St. Andrews dwindle as winter sets in but their quality normally tends to improve. Therefore, when Ian suggested a cod hunting session in the aftermath of storm Barra, I was happy to tag along. The swell had settled down and the forecast was decent enough, so I dug out a few muppets and prepared to lose some gear.

A Losing Battle

Leaving the pontoons things looked good. Not too windy, reasonably calm, and even dry rather than the heavy showers we had forecast. Sadly, our high hopes were gradually dashed over the next few hours. We were steadily chilled by the relentless, raw wind and beaten down by fishy indifference. Nothing we did could induce a bite 🙁

No-one could fault our efforts, even extending as far as groundbaiting at anchor, but there was simply nothing there. As Ian said, it felt more like the emptiness of a typical March session. Conditions were pretty good, with decent water clarity and not too much swell. Perhaps fishing after two good storms had swept through in quick succession meant our plump targets had already eaten too much, but this seems a little unlikely.

A rather grim looking angler…

Ian picked up a few coalies but I landed the only cod of the trip, in our last hour. No skill involved, as I nearly fluffed hooking the thing, but a decent enough fish and very welcome. I then followed it up shortly afterwards with a small ling from the same spot (you can see the same lobster pot marker in the background). That was it though, and not long afterwards we crept into harbour at dusk as the tide rose just enough to avoid running aground.

I’d the heater on full blast all the way home, and still didn’t thaw out until the next morning!

(Both pics are, of course, courtesy of Ian. I think he’s using the ling one as some sort of revenge for my pics of him in silly hats 🙂 )

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