This was the clubs second visit of the year to fish on board Paul McGonagall’s boat “Caitlin Marie”. 7 members and 1 guest took part.
Stephen McCrindle (guest)
A phone call to Paul the previous evening set the agenda for this trip. Plenty of Cod, Pollock and Ling were showing on his recent trips, and a few Blue Sharks had also been caught. We decided to at least try for a shark, whilst we would be very content to wind in any Cod showing on the ground.
The weather was kind to us, with blue skies greeting our arrival at the pier. There was only a moderate Northerly wind blowing and we would definitely get out to the productive ground past the “Stag” rocks.
We started off fishing for bait. Unfortunately, Mackerel were very scarce, we tried for 45 minutes, but only 3 or 4 were taken, along with a few launce. We had some frozen Mackerel and squid as a back-up, and Paul had kept us a dozen or so “Joeys” caught the previous day, but the lack of fresh bait was a concern.
On out then to the chosen fishing ground we went. Our plan was to fish for Cod and Ling, but to set a heavy rod up for the Shark, and draw lots for whose “half hour turn” it would be to watch it. Guest angler Stephen McCrindle decided to forget about the mixed fishing and set his gear up for Shark only. A “rubby-dubby” bag was prepared by skipper Paul using the frozen Mackerel, with added fish oil and bran. This was left to dangle and dip into the water, to send a slick of fishy odours along the path of our long drift.
The rest of our rods were set up for general bottom fishing, and it wasn’t long before the first fish of the day were being hooked and landed. As predicted by Paul, Cod, Ling and Pollock were plentiful, most being in the 2lb to 4lb size range. Glen Murphy had an early bonus, when he took a beautifully marked Tub Gurnard, weighing 3lb 10oz. Fish were taken on almost any set-up of rig, but the better fish were taken using the “flying collar” type of rig, with a nice Pollock of 4lb 12oz for Mark Buchanan being an early leader for the day’s club competition. This was topped a short time later with a 6lb Codling, caught by Marks dad Alan.
The best was still to come however. After a few false alarms on the 2 shark rods caused by seabirds flying into and tangling the lines, there was a tell-tale “screech” from the Shimano 20a reel on the communal rod. As it was Stevie Montgomery’s turn to be on the rod at this time, he had the luck and responsibility for landing and claiming the catch.
The fish made some powerful runs, taking yards of line from the reel, but after 5 minutes or so, Stevie managed to bring it to the back of the boat, and we got our first look at it. This was most of the guy’s first look at a Blue Shark in the flesh so to speak, and we were very impressed by its size and power in the water. The fish made one more dive for freedom, thrashing the water beside the boat and diving once again, but guest angler Steven McCrindle was on hand to expertly lasso her, and she was unceremoniously pulled through the open hatch and onto the boat. Much back slapping and congratulations then followed, as Stephen Montgomery had just caught the first Blue Shark caught by a club member on a club outing. The fish was measured at 6ft 3inches from tip of tail to snout, and so was estimated as 65lb’s in weight. After a few photographs she was released to fight another day.
Anything after this was an anti-climax really, and although we took a few more white fish, no other Sharks showed up. We would probably have taken more sharks if the baitfish had been plentiful, but overall, another very successful day afloat with Skipper Paul, and we can’t wait to return next year.
1st place Stephen Montgomery 65lb Blue Shark 15 points
2nd place Alan Buchanan 6lb Cod 10 points
3rd place Mark Buchanan 4lb 12oz Pollock 5 points
New Trip Schedule 2019
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A.G.M and Presentation Night 2018
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