A GRAND DAY OUT
Both Merit 1 and Kirsty 111 met at the Battery pier in Douglas, Isle of Man on 20/07/14 at just after 8.15 am with the intention of going out to a couple of wrecks for a spot of Pollock fishing. This was to be a friendly comp (if there is such a thing between these two) between the two boats, each with a crew of four and a friendly £5 each in the pot for the winner to take all.
First thing on the agenda for Kirsty 111 was bacon and egg baps duly cooked by me before setting off for the days’ fishing, first port of call was Douglas Head for Launce and Mackerel which were easily found with another stop off at Santon- Head just to make sure. The weather on leaving Douglas was a bit misty so the radar was on for that added safety, the sea was though flat as a pancake.
The first wreck we were heading for is some 20 miles off Douglas and so on route I was busy getting everybody set up with the rigs of their choice. Two had mainline to a 14” boom with a 5ft snood running of this to a Sakuma 5/0 hook and a lip hooked Launce for bait. Four time World Marlin champion Edwin Jones Said he would prefer a large set of Feathers on with two strips of Mackie on the top two hooks and a live Eel on the bottom. I chose to have some fun and fish with firstly a Eddystone- Eels Bubble-gum lure and then I switched to an orange Eddystone lure, both fishing with some good results.
Merit 1 were fishing with the same tackle more or less and neither boat were having great success at capturing a decent Pollock. With each drift over the wreck fish kept on being caught but nothing spectacular. The highlight here for me was a half decent pouting caught on the orange Eddystone. Both boats came together and the conversation suggested a move outwards but back in the general direction of Douglas to another wreck to see if our luck would change and a big Pollock could be caught.
Both boats set off and with the weather improving all the time the sun was breaking up the clouds and the mist giving us a glorious afternoon. Rigs at this wreck were kept the same although for a period Michael Emery switched to baited “PINK DEALY’S” rig to try and temp a big Pollock without success it has to be noted. Merit 1 were not doing any better although the lure of the PUB got the better of them and so with a nautical weigh-in it was Merit 1 who took the money and ran back to Douglas.
Kirsty 111 carried on fishing this wreck and with slightly different tactics quite a few decent Ling were caught. Michael started claiming that “IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LING COMP “rang out everywhere and must have been heard back in Douglas. There were a few different species caught here as well including a very nice Tub Gurnard and a new P/B for me with a ling of 12lb 6ozs caught on the orange Eddystone Eel. Pouting were also caught along with several Dog Fish.
The boat made one final move that would take us back to with-in 7 miles of Douglas and would be our final call of the day. This mark is normally very good for a veriety of fish from Tope and Spur-Dogs to all 3 Gurnards along with Cod and Whiting. On this occasion though it was not the Tope that turned up but the Bull Huss with several running well into double figures.
However I know that Manx Boat Fishing encourages catch and release but we do like to get them into the boat for a picture before releasing them into the depths, but Paul Surgeon got four Huss to the side of the boat before all of them spat the bait out and disappeared into the depths, he was not having a good day catching only five species all day, he did eventually catch another Huss which was safely brought on board for a picture to be taken.
Michael and Edwin were at each other like an old couple as who had the most species and Edwin at the death had to concede when Michael brought in a treble of a Whiting, Dab and a Bull Huss on the bottom to take victory by one fish. The time was now approaching 6.15pm and with none of the big boys coming out to play although we left that much chum there I would not be surprised if “BLUES” turned up, we decided to call it a day and head for home.
The day had not fully turned out as we had hoped but in the bigger picture Kirsty 11 had caught a total of 14 species and had some very good fishing along the way, the company had been 1st rate and the banter between both boats had as usual been great. My thanks to Skip Emery for inviting me and to Edwin and Paul for their great company.
Here is a list of the species that was caught: Bull Huss, Pollock, Cod, Dab, Grey, Red and Tub Gurnards, Haddock, Launce, Dogfish, Ling, Mackerel, Pouting and Whiting, so not a bad total at the end of the day although a big Pollock would have been nice.
Here are some pictures from Kirsty 111