LOCOMOTION SEA ANGLING CLUB
BOAT TRIP REPORTS
This, the last trip of our winter season, was like the Curate's egg - good in parts. The wind was almost non-existent and was never more that a gentle breeze. As we travelled to Hartlepool, most of the wind turbines were stationary or barely moving. The sun broke through the clouds from time to time giving a little warmth but, as so often at this time of year, the air temperature remained low.
Derek, Skipper of Bacchanalian, tried several marks and drifts but our party had little success with catches. By the end of our trip, only 5 whiting were size and, moreover, all were under 2 lb. Tim had 4 of them but lost out to Chris whose one sizeable whiting was fractionally heavier. He took the cash for the heaviest fish of the day and will, I believe, win the trophy for the heaviest fish of the winter season.
Phil, as always, brought his wit to bear in his report on the day -
Well the first fishing expedition of 2018 turned out to be an eye watering non event. With 8 enthusiastic hopeful anglers staring wistfully into the North Sea the fish were not forthcoming. Only Tim and Chris managed to entice edible sized whiting on to their hooks which were big enough to make a supper. There were some suggestions that they had smuggled them from home and put them on the hook before gently lowering them into the water. Such a scurrilous thought against honest anglers who would never sink so low. However the end result was that 6 of us were left gazing moist eyed into the unforgiving water. Personally I blame Derek for forgetting to tell the fish that we were coming. Roll on next month lads.
On behalf of Chris and I, we deny the defamatory suggestion and point out that the discovery of a discarded Mac Fisheries bag was only circumstantial evidence!
Yet again we were hit by the forecast of severe weather - Force 8 (gale force). This left our skipper and boatman no choice but to cancel the trip.
Our last trip of the summer season and the first of the winter season had to be called off due to strong winds. Our Boatman made a tentative booking for a trip in December but there were insufficient members available to make the trip viable.
The Skipper had little choice but to call this trip off on the Saturday with a Met Office inshore forecast of winds between Force 5 and 7 (near gale force). In fact the weather systems moved much more slowly than expected, and Sunday morning was almost dead calm, but no one could have predicted that on Saturday afternoon.
Our Treasurer made the decision to protect the Club's finances by cancelling this trip because only 6 members had booked a place. Alan contacted each of the those booked and arranged a private trip - each angler paying his own fare. All 6 accepted and we had a reasonable trip, although it is treated as a non-club one.
Phil saw it this way -
To say that this weekend fishing trip was a dogs dinner is a bit of an understatement. First it was on, then off, then thanks to Alan's intervention we finally got out. Then the Met Office really cocked up the weather report, and a wind speed of 13/15mph became a constant 18/20, the slight to moderate sea conditions became so bloody lumpy that walking was an art nobody quite achieved and a couple of hardy souls were catapulted from their seats. But, we stayed out till 3ish and even managed to catch a few fish in between untying tangled lines and giving accusing looks and profanities. The horror of horrors occurred when a complete rod, reel and traces went overboard never too be seen again. The look of terror on PGs face was enough to make men cry. No spectacular fish were landed suffice to say that most of us took a few home for the freezer, (except T. who was last seen crying on the carpark). To say that we are hardy souls would be exaggerating, we're just bloody daft.
Finally, after a multitude of problems, Bacchanalian was back in the water and we enjoyed a day's fishing. Eight members had booked places but one was able to attend so we enjoyed plenty of 'elbow-room'. Catches, however, were very modest - with 6 cod, 11 ling and 3 pollock being boated, together with mackerel and whiting. Whiting, as often happens, caused a nuisance by taking large baits intended for much bigger fish.
Paul had the heaviest fish, a ling of 9 lb 13 oz. Paul also had a pollock of 3 lb 4 oz recorded to submit as the annual specimen fish.
Our postponed Competition Day arrived with a forecast of sunshine and showers, and that is what we got. The first half of the day was mainly sunny but then the wind strengthened and we had a few showers, one really heavy.
Partly due to holidays, only eight members were on board. Plenty of small fish, mainly whiting were caught but few reached the Club's retention size (for Competition Day only) of 14 inches. Mackerel were patchy but everyone, with a bit of help from the Skipper, had enough for bait. A few small pouting and 1 pollock, in addition to 7 cod and 14 ling, completed out catches.
The heaviest fish was a ling of 7 lb 14 oz for Chris, closely followed by Simon, also with a ling, of 7 lb 13 oz. The heaviest catch was by Danny with a total of 23 lb 9 oz. After removing his heaviest fish, Chris still had the second heaviest catch of 16 lb 7½ oz.
Tim had a Pollock of 3 lb 2½ oz weighed in to be considered for the the annual specimen fish award.
Phil gave us his take on the trip -
Sunday's fishing trip was better than the previous one with decent fish still hard to come by. With 8 of us on the new boat we chartered there was plenty of room and as it is a fast boat we got to the fishing area in under an hour which is around 15/20 miles from the marina. It was definitely a ling day with 16 decent sized fish from 4 to 8 lbs,10 cod from around the 3lb mark. The usual bucket of mackerel and dozens of nuisance whiting, most of which went back. The usual oddities came in with pouting and Pollack. The weather and the sea were pretty good for most of the day with one really meaty downpour, which exposed the leaks in my waterproof gear, and made for a distinctly uncomfortable hour after that. The only downside to the new boat is the amount of spray across the boat when the skipper opens the throttle on the way back. The end result is that I have had to order a new set of waterproof gear for the next trip. As Confusious once said,"nothing quite like a wet arse to make you spend your pocket money". Roll on the next trip.
We had yet another big disappointment when Bacchanalian's engine was still giving problems. Our annual Competition Day had to be called off - postponed by 3 weeks, to our next booked trip on Ocean Explorer.
Although she was back in the water, there was still a problem with Bacchanalian and we had to miss another trip.
This was our first wrecking trip of the year and our first on Ocean Explorer. The weather was quite kind to us and were were able to catch enough mackerel for bait and most anglers also had some for eating although they were somewhat 'patchy'.
Fishing was rather slow but several species figured in the catches. A few tub gurnard were caught but were returned to the sea. Other catches included 6 cod, 3 ling, 2 coalfish, 1 pollock and several whiting. The heaviest fish was a 5 lb 1½ oz ling for Lewis.
The Skipper had to cancel these trips when he discovered a leak in the boat.
A reasonable day in terms of weather but a poor one for fishing. Very few fish were boated and even fewer were worth keeping. The heaviest was a 2 lb cod caught by Alan.
This was yet another week when we seemed unlikely to get out on our trip. However a frosty and misty day gave way to quite a bit of sunshine and a hint of warmth - at least, compared to January. The sea state started with a long swell, presumably the result of strong winds the day before, but that dropped off to leave us with calm conditions for much of the day.
Our Skipper, Derek, was able to give us a variety of drifts over rough ground in his charter boat, Bacchanalian. Unfortunately fish of an acceptable size were either not present or not feeding. Small whiting were the main catch, no matter what bait was used. During the afternoon, things picked up a little with two sizeable cod being boated and a small number of better whiting. The biggest of the two cod, and the heaviest fish of the day (at 1 lb 11 oz) was caught by Phil Garbutt.
Although in doubt until 2 days before, we were able to get out on Bacchanalian for our first trip of 2017.
The morning dawned bright and crisp, there having been a hard frost overnight. Skipper, Derek, decided to try a few drifts and then anchor up later if conditions made it necessary. In fact were were able to make several long drifts. Despite sunshine throughout most of the day the breeze made for very cold conditions.
Only whiting were caught and many of these were returned to swim another day. No count of catches was kept and there was no official weigh-in. At least we got our lines wet and were in good company!