Well June has started off with a final crack at catching a double figure Thornback so with my cousin John in toe we headed back to Cumbria, arriving at our preferred low water mark we fished two hours down and
two up, but the fish didn’t read the script and I had the only fish of the day, a nice fat ……….. flounder that fell to a crab bait presented on a 1/0 manta hook. It seems that’s the ray had vacated the area over the two weeks since our last visit and little had been caught in that
Morecambe bay adventures with Matty Preston
One of the perks of job so to speak is meeting and making new friends , Matty Preston whom I met last September invited me to down to Morecambe and have a go for a Smoothie as the beaches in the area had been fishing very well. I arrived at our first mark and armed with the T900 and 6500 C3CT reel and off i sent a crab bait secured to a clipped down single hook rig .Then I promptly wound in our target for the day, a small but welcome smoothie. The tide then started to ebb so we moved out of the rip , Matty found a small schoolie bass which was duly returned, with that we decided to end the session .
Before heading to our next mark we paid a visit to Gerry’s to say hi to the Guys and eat all the chocolate biscuits before a trip off to low water.
Once again third cast another smoothie, fishing at distance with the
t900 and 7ht combo seemed to be effective as the tide still had a good way to drop.
Then at low water Matty used his local knowledge (skill/lack of distance ) and dropped a bait a little closer in and bagged a lovely smoothie, just goes to show you can not beat local knowledge, as Matty was dealing with his fish the tip of my rod nodded twice and the line slackened I was in again with my third Smoothie of the day.
Matty unfortunately had to leave early ,second cast after he had gone my rod tip went over and didn’t come back up, away again but this time a different fight as I pulled the fish up and over every sand bank that was between me and my very angry unseen fish , then the dreaded weed jam in the tip ring so I had to walk back to bring the fish to the edge of the water it was a lovely marked angry male thornback, at that it flapped it’s wings and dug it self into the soft sand, talk about never giving up I’m sure it left a trench in the sand all the way in about a foot wide and 6” deep.
With that fish it was time to pack up get off the beach and face the long drive home.
Having a free weekend saw me and my regular fishing partner Paul Stewart heading up to the North West Highlands to Loch Etive to target Spurdog, we arrived couple of hours before low water and got set up I opted for the T1000 and T1200 teamed with a pair of SLOSH 20’s loaded with 20lb line and long 80lb leaders, strong tackle but we are in fishing deep water with a ledge at about 20m this calls for a reasonably strong set up.
First cast again and I hooked a nice spur about 3lbs on a sandeel / mackerel cocktail bait on a 4/0 manta hook, so a great start to our day. The fishing was steady all day long with waves of fish hitting our baits on a regular basis, it was not hectic fishing but steady with a final tally of fish for us both of 7 spur each and a thornback ray each. Baits ranged from crab to sand-eel mackerel and squid in various combinations mounted on hooks from 1/0 to 4/0 sizes, it’s worth noting that a short wire biting sections to the hook are essential, Spurs are armed with a good set of very sharp teeth that chomp mono hook links with ease.
However just before dark Paul’s Kompresor SS tip went over and his ratchet on his Penn Fathom started ticking, he tightened into the fish and off it went a great battle ensued until the fish found the ledge Paul gave it a couple of pulls but it was not for coming out, give it some line I advised, So he gave it two or three meters of line and off it went straight away so with one last good pull the fish finally headed for the surface and slid onto the grassy bank, it was a great fish a real lump, the lie detector said 10lbs 2oz, what a result and Paul’s first double figure spur, to say we were both over the moon would be an understatement. Photos taken the fish made its way out into deep water none the worse for its quick visit to the bank. I had a final fish in darkness that hit the surface about 10m out, as i shone my headlight into the water two sets of beady eyes were glowing green back at me ,before one set disappeared back into the black water, another spur had followed the other up, certainly a first for me seeing another spur following the other up in the water right to the surface. We packed up at 01:00 hrs and headed home reaching my house just as the sun was lighting up the sky at 03:00, long days and short nights indeed.
Last trip of the month saw me head up alone to the same mark that had given Paul his first double figure spur (see above photo) to see if it would yield fish on a regular basis, I need not have worried as second cast with the T1000 fishing a loop rig with 1/0 mantas with sandeel mackerel squid cocktails saw the tip nod nicely and the fish gave me some slack line I was away, the spur fight deep to start with then rise into the upper layers of the water, as the leader rose out of the water the fish darted first left then right before breaking to the surface and was landed safely, photo taken and fish returned without harm. It was warm even before 10 o’clock but boy did it get hotter and hotter as the day progressed but it didn’t seem to effect the fishing as a steady stream of fish were successfully landed and returned. I ended the session with 8 fish, 6 spur’s to around 4lb and a couple of thornback ray, one of which was about to drop her eggs as can be seen quite clearly in the photo I’m not sure if that makes me a daddy again.
Some nice fish on a roasting hot day
I also have conclusive proof that fishing really dose make you a red neck
Sometimes the Sun Shines in Scotland.