Starting Back…

A nice St. Andrews cod, making 7lbs 4oz
Fine little cod

Like everyone, I’ve had lots of plans cancelled due to Covid house arrest over the last few months. And, after all these disappointments, it’s good to finally get back on the saddle.

My first trip out was at Skateraw, with the SIB for company. I’ve not used the old Avon for a couple of years now, so it seemed fitting to dust it off at the same time as myself! Unfortunately I had to carry the whole shebang from the car park to the beach as the little slip I used has been blocked off.

Red cod

I’m happy to confirm that there are oodles of fish out there – just very small ones. I found tiny codling everywhere, with a couple of little pollack and a solitary coalie as well. I managed one string of mackerel, which sorted out lunch for next day, but generally hung around close inshore. My 5hp Tohatsu was a bit unhappy, which discouraged me from heading out too far. Spitting petrol ain’t a good sign – probably a blockage somewhere, but easier fixed ashore.

This was just a quick hour or two afloat after work, so I was happy to catch a few fish in exchange for very little effort.

St. Andrews

Yesterday was a bit more full on, with a trip out on Ian’s Raider from a very wet St. Andrews. We cleared the harbour under skies so grey that it looked more like November!

We stopped for mackerel in a couple of spots, but only managed two between us. Heading further east we tossed the grapnel over and started on the local pollack – or Ian did, to be more accurate. His float fished mackerel proved pretty deadly for a bunch of fish in the 2-4lb range, whilst shads and metals struggled to get much interest. I managed a couple of pollack around the 4lb mark and a few small codling, but was well behind.

Inshore codling

We tried anchoring two or three marks for a few hours before switching to drift fishing for cod. Heaps of little kamikazee codling promptly queued up to attack our baits. We picked them up 2 or 3 at a time, but sadly most didn’t make 1lb in weight.

We managed a few more respectable fish though, topped off by this very nice cod of 7lb 4oz. I’ve no idea how many fish we caught, but it was a lot, and it’s nice to see that there are some better ones hidden amongst them.

A nice St. Andrews cod, making 7lbs 4oz
Fine little cod

Next mission is to get my own boat out on the water – it’s only got wet once so far in 2020!

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  1. An excellent start Doug, well done both of you. I hope as many fish are waiting in Northumberland. I did get an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner in LIDL which also does such an easy job with carb jets, it’s worth popping them in there during an annual service. Keep up the good work, all the best.

  2. Hi Ash – I hadn’t thought about ultrasonics at all, so thanks for that. My wife’s into jewellery making, so I could look for a little present for her and get a few brownie points banked! There seems to be loads of small fish up and down the east coast at the moment, so the challenge might be getting past them and into better quality.

  3. lovely to see your back i had lost your reports for a couple of years i always found your diary reports inspiring and got me out the seat and out fishing this has been hard as my life long fishing pals one has died at 58 of the big c the other has had a major stroke at 61 and ended up in care so i need insperation to get my boat out thanks again i really enjoy your reports and are far better quality than most on u tube

  4. Hi Rob,
    I hope you like the latest entry then, although I’m falling behind a bit just now. Just catching up on lost lockdown time I expect, but I’ve been out more in July and August than for a good few years. I’m very sorry about your pals – both quite young really and both in an already bad year. Something like that leaves a void that’s pretty hard to fill and leaves you struggling for motivation, even if you know that your friends would want you to get out there. I do hope you feel the urge to push the boat out again before too long.

    YouTube’s a strange beast, with some terrible quality stuff on it, but also some inspirational videos on it. I don’t mean meaningless pep talks, but ordinary people just going out and doing things that stretch my personal boundaries a little. Not so much on my fishing, but its certainly greatly improved my camping and outdoor experience in the last few years.


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