Summer Fishing off Dunbar

I’d a nice day out of Dunbar earlier this week – nothing exceptional in fishing terms, but a fine, relaxed time afloat on a sunny summer day. I even allowed myself to sleep in until shortly before 6 before hitching up the boat.

First up were a few mackerel for bait. There weren’t huge numbers, and they were small, but I soon picked up enough for bait just off the harbour.

I worked my way eastwards during the morning, trying a few different spots. The wind and tide ran against each other most of the time, so the drift was generally slow. It wasn’t too uncomfortable though, and whitecaps were scarce.

I found plenty pollack on both lures and thin slivers of silver mackerel belly. All on the small side but still able to heel the rod right over!

A couple swallowed the hook and joined the filleting queue in the coolbox, but most went back.

I picked up fair numbers of codling too, on both the bait and the spinning rods. Again, most were on the small side and only a few got knocked on the head for dinner.

I eventually added a lonely ling to my species count. Slippery and wriggly, hence the rather upside down photo below, taken just before it jumped out my hands!

The codling kept coming and there seemed to be more around the Torness area. Only the one double shot though, taken on mackerel baited hokkais.

I managed to forget my sunscreen on my sunniest day afloat this year, hence the hat and gloves. Just trying to avoid a beetroot red face and a lecture when I got home!

I picked up another couple of pollack as I filleted the days catch, but again they were small.

I finally packed in around 90 minutes before high water, despite being tempted to hand around until later in the evening. My phone was out of battery and I’d said I’d be back late afternoon, so I didn’t fancy a 999 call when no-one could contact me!

The harbour itself was anything but relaxing on my return, with a large cabin rib and a yacht planning to launch near the top of the tide. Hordes of visitors too, wandering around the road oblivious to a reversing trailer. If only the Skateraw slip was back in action, it would be easier and safer all round!

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  1. Hi Doug, Why the new Simrad? I use raymarine dragonfly & I’ve noticed your Lowrance before. Has the Lowrance packed in?

    1. Hi Ash,
      I’ve had problems off and on with the GPS head unit for 2 or 3 years and it was getting worse. Not a big issue in areas I know well, but more of an problem if I’m 50 miles away round the west of Mull. I also had to replace the transducer (stupidity on my part, not a Lowrance fault) and the new one wasn’t as good. I could’ve replaced the GPS unit, but the system was 11 years old and it didn’t cost a whole lot more to replace it with the Simrad, albeit with a smaller screen.

      I’ve had the Simrad for about 18 months now, and it’s also set up to use on my kayak (using the old Lowrance replacement transducer bonded to the hull). The only downside is the smaller screen when you want GPS and sonar side by side, but I’ve added a 10″ Galaxy tablet and the Navionics boating app. That pretty much solves the problem and also gives me 2 chartplotters in case of failure. Potentially some entertainment on a winters night via Netflix too!

      I was a bit sceptical of the sidescan sonar and wary of the size of the transducer (it is huge), but it’s actually performed really well down to around 250 feet. It’ll handle a modest chop, but gets more distorted as the waves increase.

      1. Hi Doug,
        Thanks again for your input. I was looking at them the other day in case I do change the boat. Lowrance are generally cheaper than Raymarine, which would help pay for a bigger screen on the combo units used nowadays. We can only assume each generation gets better as they claim. Ageing eyesight means larger screens are no bad thing either. I don’t quite get the whole Chirp thing, it looks the same to me !
        I did get my new PLB & register it online, along with my long overdue VHF licence.
        All the best.

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