Sea Fishing Off Dunbar

I’ve not had a day out sea fishing off Dunbar for 10 months, so I was well out of touch. To try and rectify this I slipped the Longliner into the harbour on a quiet Monday morning a couple of weeks ago.

Edging out of the harbour my first target was to catch a few mackerel for bait. I managed a few close in to the Yetts and quite a few more out over Siccar Rock, together with a couple of small codling.

Trundling down the coast a bit produced pollack, codling and more mackerel from the River Garry wreck. I alternated between a simple mackerel strip on a flowing trace and a muppet rig, and most fish came to the mackerel strip. By this point in the season the wreck is a bit over-fished so I wasn’t too surprised by the lacklustre result. Best fish was a pollack just over 6 1/2 lbs.

6lbs 10oz Pollack

Droning On…

I’d taken along a drone to try and get some aerial video, so spent a wee while with it off Torness. Take off and landing is a little hairy from a small boat, especially one that’s drifting!

After a fair bit of buzzing about (both boat and drone) I managed to get a few half decent shots. It’s more difficult than it looks when you’re trying to pilot both the boat and a wee speck in the sky!

Flying excitement over with, Torness continued the same theme, turning up decent numbers of smallish pollack and codling. All on light gear, so good fun.

Later in the morning I headed a few miles along the coast to another area that holds a few fish. With cliffs rather than a nuclear power station in the background it’s a bit easier on the eye too.

Siccar Point

A slow drift in windless conditions continued the pollack and codling theme. I’d hoped for a ling or two, but nothing showed.

Lazy seas meant lazy fishing, so I parked myself in a camping chair for a while and had a bite to eat. I just managed to avoid snoozing off in the sunshine!

I’d thieved Trev’s remaining ragworm from our St. Andrews trip and put some of these to use. They didn’t do brilliantly, but added more codling and pollack plus a poor cod. A nice wrasse made it feel worthwhile, although this was a dark green colour rather than gold of its St. Andrews cousins.

With no wind it was getting hot in the hazy sunshine so I set up the drone again and tempted fate for another 30 minutes.

I need plenty more practice with flying and shooting video from the drone, but it certainly adds a completely new perspective. It’s good fun too! At least DJI’s finest didn’t join the River Garry at the bottom of the North Sea on its first trip out!

Heading Out

By early afternoon my drift was slowing to a 0.3 mph crawl so I decided to try a reef a few miles offshore. This rises about 50 feet from the surrounding mud and holds a few oddities, such as Norway Haddock.

Today it produced only a few codling and a ling. I’d imagine it held many more in decades gone by, but these reefs have emptied as stocks have been obliterated.

Out here the haar came in with a vengeance. It’s always a summer hazard and can be quite nerve wracking when it’s really thick. With the engine running you can’t hear any other boats heading your direction. Fortunately, apart from one or two patches, visibility was around 100 metres most of the time.

Offshore seemed fishless so I edged back in to fillet the mackerel and a codling or two. I also picked up a few more mackerel for the bait freezer before heading back to Dunbar. Of course, the sun broke through about 500 metres from shore and I arrived back in brilliant sunshine!

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  1. really enjoyed that video.
    been going up that way,possibly 35years.
    only fish from the show mind,around st.abbs area.
    ps,can you remember that {old man},used to there all the time ,i fished Dumbar,aswell as did worms top of harbour.
    he was always sitting next to ruin,at entrance to harbour.
    anyway,thanks again for taking time to put video up.

    1. Same here – about 35 years. Ancient mariners and all that! I’ve heard about the guy you mention but I don’t think I ever met him – I dug my own worms in those days 🙂 To be honest it’s mainly mackerel and artificials I use nowadays, although I wasn’t going to turn down the offer of Trev’s ragworm.

  2. Another great feature….
    You make watching your videos such a pleasure.
    I am looking for places to launch and Dunbar looks like it would do me fine. Looks like it also yields some decent fish.
    Fishcakes??? That ling would have tasted great in a tempura batter lol.

    1. Hi Charlie – Dunbar is OK for launching if there are 2 of you, but trickier on your own. You need to park your car and trailer across the lifting bridge and through the storm barrier on the outer wall of the harbour. That means leaving your boat for a few minutes, which isn’t great. It can also get quite complicated just with the number of people and boats in the middle of summer. If you can, go for a launch around mid-tide as there’s usually some sand or softer stuff to leave your boat on whilst you park. Towards HW it’s pretty much rock everywhere and you’d need to tie up somewhere. I always launch as early as I can in the morning, just to avoid the crowds!

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