This was our 1st successful trip this year with Trevor Ryder out of Mulroy Bay near Downings, our earlier trip being cancelled due to bad weather. 7 members and 3 guests attended.
Paul (Soupy) Campbell
Al Marsden ( guest)
Jordan Marsden ( guest)
Paul Campbell (guest)
Our weather forecast for this trip was reasonable given the time of year, with South- Easterly winds of 15 knots to 20 knots. As long as we didn’t venture out too far, we would be comfortable and safe. This put paid to any notion of wreck fishing, for which a 16 mile steam would be required, but Trevor assured us that he would find us a days fishing, and he was certainly right on the money.
We set off at 09.30 from the harbour, and headed straight out to a mark known locally as the Line Burner. Trevor had found good sized mackerel shoals here the previous day, and so this was where we dipped with feathers etc, to see if they were still around. It didn’t take long until a familiar rattle was felt on our rod tips, signifying our lures were being hit by mackerel, and soon we had an ample supply for bait.
A short move and we started fishing in earnest, with the guys setting up with a variety of rigs to see what was around. First to show were red and tub gurnards, which averaged 1 to 2 lbs in weight, and were plentiful on this ground. We took some whiting also, best being a nice fish of around 1lb 12 oz for Soupy Campbell. Other fish to show on this ground were smallish ling, dogfish, coalfish and some small codling.
Around 13.00, the winds and seas increased somewhat, and on advice from Trevor, we headed closer to land into Mulroy Bay, where we would target rays and flatfish. We switched tackle to flowing traces on booms, armed with a variety of spoons, beads and attractors of various types, in the hope of tempting rays and hopefully a turbot or three. Within minutes of our mackerel strips hitting the bottom, we were into fish. First to show were some nice thornback rays, the best of which was a fish of 5lb 6oz for Bill Bannon. Everyone took thornbacks, but the highlights of our day were the turbot. A sea angler could fish a lifetime, and never catch one of these prized flatfish, but believe it or not, a total of 15 turbot were taken this day, with Mark Buchanan, Dan McMahon, Glen Murphy and Gerard Girvan taking 2 each. The average sizes of these fish were 1lb 8oz – 2lb 8oz, but for guest angler Paul Campbell, a much better stamp of fish turned up. Paul took a lovely turbot of 6lb 12oz, which, according too Trevor, was the biggest he had seen from this mark.
Other notable fish were some nice spotted rays from Soupy Campbell and Bill Bannon, a beautiful 1lb 8oz dab for Al Marsden, and a rare cuckoo ray of around 3lb 6oz for Dan McMahon. In total, possibly 40 rays of various species were taken, (all returned), on the day, making it a very productive trip for the club, and also for skipper Trevor, who said that it had been the best days fishing Mulroy bay had seen for years.
Once again, Downings did not disappoint, and we very much look forward to next seasons trips with Trevor.
1st Bill Bannon 5lb 6oz Thornback Ray 15 Points
2nd Glen Murphy 4lb 12oz Thornback Ray 10 Points
3rd Soupy Campbell 4lb 8oz Spotted Ray 5 Points
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