Downings 4th May 2014

First outing of the year for the club, and an early visit to Mulroy Bay near Downings, with Skipper Trevor Ryder and his boat Bonito.

7 members and 3 visitors attended.


Steven Montgomery

Paul Campbell

Dennis Stevens

Daniel McMahon

Bill Bannon

Glen Murphy

Alan Buchanan

Martin Buchanan (guest)

Al Marsden (guest)

Jordan Marsden (guest)


We were lucky with the early season weather on this trip, with a gap in the low pressure troughs giving us light winds and calm seas. This allowed Trevor to steam 16 miles out to the First World War wreck of the battleship “Audacious”, a favourite mark in this part of the country. A few stops on the way out for mackerel proved pretty fruitless, with only 1 solitary fish to show for our efforts. This wasn’t surprising so early in the year, and we had come prepared with frozen baits and ragworms to compensate.


After close to an hours sailing, the wreck showed on the sounder, with an encouraging cloud showing on the screen over the sunken ship. Trevor set up our first drift and the guys sent down a variety of lures and rigs to tempt the waiting predators.


First to show were small coalfish, which hit our lures on the drop. Everyone caught their share of these nuisance fish, which can be a plague on wrecks, taking everything before you get to the better specimens. But luckily they weren’t too bad on this occasion.

Pollock soon started to appear in numbers, and first into these were Bill Bannon and guest angler Martin Buchanan, whose lures accounted for some decent fish to 5lb. Martin, using a “flying collar” rig armed with a bright orange Redgill eel, also took a better Coalfish around the 4lb mark.


Alan Buchanan, with nothing worthwhile to show so far on his heavy gear, switched to spinning tackle, and soon hit into a lovely Pollock that initially stripped yards of line from his reel, before being skilfully netted by the skipper. This fish pulled the scales to 9lb 3oz, and would prove to be the best fish of the day. Guest angler Al Marsden also took another lovely Pollock of 8lb 8oz a short time later.


Other species taken on the wreck were a 3lb codling for Glen Murphy and 4lb ling for Alan Buchanan. Ling would usually show up in numbers on this wreck, but were very scarce on the day.

As the tide slackened, the fishing died off somewhat, and Trevor suggest a move to the “Lime Burner” a mark closer to shore. Fishing was patchy to say the least, but we added some whiting, a haddock, gurnards, and a dogfish to our species tally.


Our final move into Mulroy bay was next, and once again fishing was a bit slow. However we took a few small thornback rays, and a small turbot. Dan McMahon reeled in the last fish of the day at “lines up”, with a bonus plaice, a rare catch here.


Overall, a pretty good first day of the season, 13 species in total. If we had taken some fresh mackerel for bait, we would surely have taken more fish, but we did well enough without it.


1st place    Alan Buchanan    9lb 3oz Pollock      15 points


2nd place      Glen Murphy     5lb 6oz  Pollock     10 points


3rd place      Bill Bannon       4lb 12 oz Pollock     5 points


Photos of Downings trip

Mariner Sea Angling Club


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