This was the clubs 3rd visit this season to Ballycastle, on board Sean McKay’s boat Keltic Lady, 6 members attended.
Our forecast for the day was for a South-Easterly wind of 15 to 20 knots, which was fishable, but not ideal. We arrived promptly for our charter, and Sean wasted no time in getting us out of the harbour, and onto the fishing grounds. According to Sean, mackerel had been in short supply of late, and we had taken the precaution of bringing some frozen baits, squid and mackerel, as a stand-by. This proved to be wise, as we caught only a few fresh mackerel to supplement our frozen baits.
Sean took us to a sandbank, where we targeted flatfish, dogfish and rays. The fish were thin on the ground, and after 2 fruitless hours, in a very strong tide and freshening wind, Sean advised a short move to a nearby reef beside a local landmark, Norton point. Here we would target our usual alternative species, pollock, who never cease to save the day when fishing is difficult on the clean ground.
Setting up with spinning tackle, and light boat rods sporting flying collar rigs armed with sidewinder and shad type lures, we set about tempting the pollock amongst the kelp covered rocks. Sean set the anchor, and it didn’t take long before our spinning rods bent into the first fish to show, and of course the ever obliging pollock were there. Alan Buchanan was first into the fish, with 3 nice pollock between 4 and 5 pounds hitting his orange sidewinder lure on spinning tackle, giving a great account for themselves in the shallow (25-35 ft) water.
However, he was well outdone by his son Mark Buchanan, who soon hit some beautifully conditioned fish on both spinning rod and flying collar tackle, the best of which were 3 cracking pollock of 6lb 6oz, 7lb, and 8lb 4oz, which, for most of the trip led the day’s club competition scores. As the tide changed, so did the days leader, with a very black coloured Bull Huss, falling to the ledger tackle presented by Bill Bannon. Bill had persevered with his flowing trace rig, hoping for such a catch, and his persistence certainly paid off, as the fish pulled the scales to a whopping 13lb 8oz, the biggest Huss of the year, and probably the biggest in club history.
With our fill of pollock, and a decreasing wind, Sean suggested another short move, back to the sand, and we spent our last hour of fishing time using bottom rigs trying for a whiting or cod. The highlights of this move were taken by Bill Bannon, who took a very nice whiting of around 1lb 8oz, and a decent dab, and Alan Buchanan had a codling double, very rare these days.
1st place Bill Bannon 13lb 8oz Bull Huss 15 points
2nd place Mark Buchanan 8lb 4oz Pollock 10 points
3rd place Mark Buchanan 7lb Pollock 5 points
New Trip Schedule 2020
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A.G.M and Presentation Night 2020
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