A Mixed Tale

Just catching up with a few mini-reports. January 2022 has been a mixed experience, with some decent fish on the west coast offsetting “nil points” on the east.


On the positive side, I picked up several mackerel on the third of January, which I think is my earliest ever. Ian and I had a good session from my boat, including some nice rays together with a range of small stuff.

Kind of sad to describe cod as small stuff, but the fish below would struggle to make 1lb…

January Camp and Spurdog

So an easy start to the year which I followed up with an overnight camping trip to a new spot for me. Over on the west again, this is a clean deep water mark involving a bit of a hike. It was almost dark by the time I arrived, but at least the chilly drizzle had stopped and the fog lifted. It even seemed to be warming up 🙂

I cast out in the last of the light and then sorted out somewhere to pitch my tent. Not that easy on rocky, tussocky ground when you can’t see very much, but I eventually made myself comfortable.

I’d only taken my little Force 10 Helium 2 tent along, as this was a fairly bare-bones exercise and I wanted to keep weight down. No tent stove keeping me toasty tonight! However, it was a mild night and the sleeping bag and mat would keep me pretty snug.

After a simple boil-in-the-bag style dinner I carried on fishing for another couple of hours but only picked up a couple of fish – a doggie and a modest spur. Hitting the sack fairly early, I had a peaceful night on this deserted stretch of coast.

Spurdog Dawn

It wasn’t quite pitch dark when I awoke next morning – perhaps “nautical twilight” might be the official term. I stumbled out the tent, had a pee, rebaited and cast out – all before my first coffee. Unusually dedicated for me!

The fish were more awake as well, or perhaps I was paying more attention, as a string of small to middling spurdog had a nibble. Another doggie and a foul hooked (little) pollack put in an appearance too.

I doubt if anything went much above 5lbs, maybe 6 if I held them out for the camera 🙂 Good fun though, and an easy enough spot to fish.

You wouldn’t want a big tent here!

St. Andrews

No photos from this one, which tells its own story really! Ian was catching good fish from his Raider and the potential finally tempted me out of my armchair.

We headed out into the North Sea in the brief gap between storm Malik and storm Corrie. It wasn’t uncomfortable really, as the wind was a southerly (offshore) whilst a large swell rolled in from the NE. Water clarity was good though and hopes reasonably high.

In the event our hopes were dashed – we caught absolutely zilch. I’m not sure why, as conditions looked OK, but nothing was interested. Perhaps the storms had put fish off (or close inshore, as there were several positive reports from shore anglers). Who knows, but a few hours later we up-anchored and headed back to enjoy the warmth of Pat’s cafe at the harbour.

Ian has obviously been raised properly, as was suffering badly from skipper’s guilt over a single duff day. Despite this being our only blank in something like 20 years, even a bacon roll didn’t cure him. I’m pretty sure he’s had worse experiences with me, but no need to dredge up the trauma(s)!

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    1. I don’t know what you mean 🙂 It’s certainly a comfortable mark in the right conditions and I’m sure offers some decent fish at times. A new corner of the world for me, from the shore at least, so I owe you a dram or two!

  1. That was the blankiest St Andrews blank since my old pal Bill persuaded me we’d fill the boat with cod if we anchored a mile out in water like oxtail soup and an eight-foot swell! On the plus side we got in without drowning on either occasion.

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