March Pollacking

A calm evening in March
A calm evening in March

After 5 months away from the east coast boating scene I ventured forth with Ian on his Raider 18 from St Andrews on Sunday. I don’t think either of us harboured any delusions as to the likely quality of fishing in mid-March, but it was a fine day and worth a try.

Some quality ragworm encouraged me a little, as I find them a good general bait and particularly tempting for early season fish.

King ragworm - over 2 feet long when relaxed
King Ragworm, an excellent early season bait

Ian spent a good part of the day assiduously spinning for pollack alongside trying for any bottom dwellers. His lack of success just underlined the fact there weren’t many fish about, as he can normally be relied upon to smoke out any hungry predators.

Optimistic fishing session in March - Ian spinning for pollack
Optimistic fishing session in March – Ian spinning for Pollack

Well along the coast we encountered a group of three kayakers who seemed even more optimistic than us, to be out that early in the season. Despite having been fishing for several hours they were yet to find some fish.

Not to be too down-hearted we anchored up and plugged away with bottom baits and more spinning. It was a big tide and there was a good surge of water flowing past the Raider, but it didn’t seem to do much for use other than to push Ian’s lures into yet more snags.

In the event it was my rag baited sabikis that drew first blood, with this nice little ballan wrasse – probably the earliest I’ve had from the east coast.

Early season wrasse from the east coast at St Andrews
Early season wrasse

It was safely popped back, and it was back to trying to defeat the odds as we tried a range of tactics both on the drifted and at anchor. Ian did eventually manage to catch the only cod in the North Sea, but that was it.

By way of consolation what little wind there was died away to nothing and we headed home over calm seas into a stunning sunset over St Andrews.

Late evening on a calm March day as we head home on Ian's Raider
Late evening on a calm March day
St Andrews Sunset
St Andrews Sunset
Dusk falls over St Andrews as we head back to harbour
Dusk falls over St Andrews

So not much luck on the day, but no regrets for giving it a go. Back to the west coast for next time, I think. (And thanks to Ian for about half the photos in this entry!)

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