LOCOMOTION SEA ANGLING CLUB
BOAT TRIP REPORTS
Sadly, a major storm was forecast to pass right over the North-East on this particular Sunday. The Skipper called off the trip with winds approaching gale force being expected. The day itself dawned bright and calm but it was just a brief respite and before midday those stormy conditions arrived in our area - we can be thankful we weren't out at sea at that time!
Following the very good catches on Competition Day, seven Club anglers boarded Ocean Explorer with the anticipation of a good day.
We began to have our doubts soon after we cleared the lock and breakwaters - the wind was stronger than had been forecast and there was quite a swell running. Conditions for fishing, and comfort, remained poor throughout the day. The boat was moving very fast with the wind and it was almost impossible to keep our gear on the bottom. The swell meant that it was a struggle to stay standing or seated. Not a pleasant trip.
Had fish been plentiful, we might have gained something from the day but, apart from small whiting, catches were few and far between. Only 8 cod and 2 ling were size for keeping - the heaviest, caught by Chris, was a 4 lb 6 oz ling.
Hopes were high for this wrecking trip. The weather was fine and sunny all day and the sea was quite calm. With summer holidays at a peak, only 6 members boarded Ocean Explorer for this our second trip in July.
Sadly fish were nowhere near as plentiful as two weeks earlier although sizes were generally better.
The final totals were 12 cod, 8 coley, 5 ling and 1 pollock. A cod of 6 lb 11 oz, caught by Alan, was the heaviest. He also boated a 5 lb cod and a 5 lb ling - as Phil would put it 'jammy bugger'. Reg had a 4 lb pollock which was recorded as a contender for the specimen fish of the year.
We boarded Ocean Explorer full of hope for our annual Competition Day. What happened was a total surprise for us all - a bumper day which exceeded our best hopes and our catches for many years. By the end of the day more than 100 sizeable fish had been boated with every angler taking home a decent bag. The large majority were cod of a modest size.
Our arrival at Hartlepool Marina was blessed by excellent conditions - warm sunshine and little wind. As we left the lock and headed out across Tees Bay we found a very calm sea and Ocean Explorer made good time on the run south-east to areas of rough ground off Skinningrove.
Fishing was quite slow through the morning but a variety of species were boated. As we moved past midday a moderate breeze developed, we began to drift at a modest pace and catches began to improve. Beginning our journey back to port, our group of 7 anglers had managed a decent total of sizeable fish - 34 cod, 1 ling, 1 Dogfish and 1 Pouting. The heaviest fish was the one decent ling of 4 lb 5 oz, caught by Alan.
The start of our summer season brought welcome changes to our fortune - the weather being the first of those. The forecast suggested that we would get damp, perhaps very wet. Most of the asnglers left home to gentle drizzle but, as we approached Hartlepool Marina, we left the rain behind. The rest of the day was dry and very pleasant; neither too hot nor too cold but just right (no sign of porridge).
The Club charters the same boat throughout the summer season Ocean Explorer out of Hartlepool.
The fishing was our main change of fortune. Sport was steady throughout the day with 50 sizeable fish being boated by our group of 8 anglers; 48 cod and two ling. Reg had the heaviest fish, a cod of 3 lb 2 oz. Most of the cod were in the 2 to 3 lb range but were gratefully received after many lean months
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!