LOCOMOTION SEA ANGLING CLUB
BOAT TRIP REPORTS 2002
On board Gordon Cubbin, we headed east again and stopped some miles out for a spot of 'macky-bashing' - mackerel fishing. Unfortunately for us, the mackerel were in short supply. Those who had brought some frozen fish were glad they had it for bait. We quickly moved on east and south until we were north of Staithes. Whiting were quite plentiful and their easily recognisable tugging bites left us thinking "Oh no - not again.".
During the morning, apart from the whiting, sport was slow. A few ling were taken, but no cod.
After lunch the tide began to flow more strongly and the fish started to feed. One by one our baits or pirks were taken and bending rods showed who was 'in'.
Reg persisited with jigging when most on board had switched to bait fishing. His reward was a fine cod which tipped the scales at about 8lb 8oz. After gutting it weighed 7lb 1oz and was the heaviest cod of the day.
The highlight of the day, at least for Tim, was a ling of about 13lb. At the weigh-in on shore, this ling proved to be the heaviest fish of the day at 11lb 8oz after gutting. It was Tim's first double-figure fish.
This ling gave two large fillets which were split into 8 generous portions. Ling, despite its elongated shape, is a member of the cod family. It makes fine eating and can be cooked using any method suitable for white fish.
As we headed back to port, Eddie felt the need for 'forty winks'. It had been along day for all of us.
The totals for the day were 7 cod, 30 ling, 1 red gurnard, numerous whiting and a few mackerel. We had a short stop, waiting for the tide to rise, a short distance off the headland. Several anglers tried, in vain, for mackerel. Two weaver fish were caught and one tiny whiting.
We headed several miles east before trying our luck on some wrecks. Unexpectedly, some mackerel were caught during the first few drops. This was not expected because skippers had reported very few mackerel caught in the previous week. On one of the first few marks, John caught his first ever ling - a fine fish of well over 10lb.
We then headed for the 'Bad Square' - an area several miles off the North Yorkshire coast, within sight of the Boulby Potash Mine buildings. This was not as productive as in the past, and sport was rather slow. Those using bait, then began to be pestered by whiting - not a good sign.
We also started being pestered, on the surface, by a gull-like birds called a fulmars. Fulmars are members of the bird families known as shearwaters and petrels.
We have noticed that fulmars are by far the bravest of the many sea birds looking for us to provide an easy meal. As reported on 30 June 2002, they will often approach the boat and try to grab our bait as it is dropped or retrieved.
Fulmars, and other similar birds, have nostrils which extend down tubes along the top of the bill. The birds are sometimes referred to as tube-noses.
Cod were few; only 4 were caught during the day. The other totals were ling - 7, haddock - 1, whiting - more than 40, mackerel - more than 20. Two similar fish were described as bream but they were not positively identified.
John's ling, caught early in the day, proved to be the heaviest fish of the day. It weighed in at 8lb 5oz after gutting.
As soon as we left the marina, on the Gordon Cubbin, the wind dropped and the Sun changed our coolness to warm, and then to very hot. Almost as soon as we cleared the Heugh breakwater, the skipper stopped to allow us to go after mackerel - vital bait for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, few were caught and those who had bought frozen mackerel were fortunate.
Whiting were, as often happens in the Summer months, plentiful. So plentiful that they continually took bait and hooks intended for much larger fish. Even using 6/0 and 7/0 hooks didn't seem to deter them.
John's hopes really rose when he began to haul up what, even for him, was a heavy load. He anticipated his heaviest fish ever. As his catch broke the surface there was disappointment and elation. On one baited hook was a really good ling, which turned out to be the heaviest fish of the day, but on his pirk treble was a large lump of Teesmouth!
The wind rose as the day went on and, coupled with a strong tide, caused us to drift rapidly during the afternoon. We found it increasingly difficult to hold the bottom.
Our total for the day was 7 cod, 6 ling, more than 130 whiting and a few mackerel.
In the competition John had the Heaviest Fish (ling - 7lb 2oz) and the Second Heaviest Fish (ling 6lb 7oz).
Gordon had the Heaviest Catch (16lb 7oz) and Reg had the Second Heaviest Catch (16lb 5oz).
The skipper took us north, up the Durham coast and several miles off, to fish a number of wrecks. The morning gave us few fish to raise our spirits and it wasn't until well into the falling tide that most anglers began to make catches.
Mackerel were back in good numbers, and fine condition, for the first time since last year. Although exact numbers were not recorded, at least 40 were kept for bait or food. There are few fish tastier when really fresh.
Reg decided to take 'forty winks' during a trip between wrecks and whilst there was brief dry spell.
Seven cod were caught by the eight club members but none were particularly impressive, the heaviest being about 5½ lb.
Three ling and two coley (coalfish) completed the day's catch (of fish, that is). Barry managed to catch a fulmar - a type of gull. Around the boat, fulmars seem to be the bravest and will often approach the boat under our rod tips. The one that Barry caught, made a grab for his bait and became hooked. Tim managed to hold the bird still whilst Barry removed the hook - fortunately it didn't appear to have caused any damage. After it was released, the fulmar seemed fine, after much feather shaking and preening.
Gutting the catch seemed to attract even more birds than usual including herring gulls, fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets and even one skua; the first that I have seen on a club trip. Has the cool, wet weather, or perhaps over-fishing, led to a shortage of natural food?
Gutting the catch attracts many hopeful beaks.
A herring gull swoops low over the boat, shadowed by a kittiwake .
Despite the rain, at least the sea was quite calm. Only mackerel were plentiful but after a slow start, all anglers made a number of catches.
The weather forecasts rarely agree but all were predicting 15 to 20 mph winds throughout the day - at this sort of wind strength a fishing trip can be quite uncomfortable. As we left the harbour there was a brisk wind but it soon began to fall in strength. By lunchtime the wind had all but disappeared and the sea continued to fall until it was almost flat calm.
This was a rough ground trip but several of the group started out by jigging. In the first hour only a few fish had been caught - mostly undersize - and they were all taken on bait or muppets etc..
The rest of the day was mainly given over to bait fishing and, due to the very rough nature of most of the areas we fished, losses of lead were quite high.
Some of the members might actually have been on the trip today to avoid the World Cup. However, as we were fishing several miles off the coast, this reminder floated past.
By midday the fishing had improved, catches were steady and all members were into sizeable fish; mainly cod. Most were in the 2 to 4 lb range but those undersize fish continued to pester us. By the end of the day about 39 fish had been taken - mainly cod, a couple of ling and a pouting. The biggest was a cod of just over 5 lb, caught by Barry, and the second biggest was a ling, a few ounces under 5 lb.
We returned to harbour, just before the rain began, after 9 hours of enjoyable sport.
After a bright and fairly calm start, the wind freshened and the cloud built throughout the morning.
It wasn't long before the fish on one of the wrecks began to respond to our jiggers. As usual, Reg was soon into cod and, greedy to the last, managed to fetch up two together.
Barry, John, Eddie and Tim were not to be left out, and all were soon into fish.
For Tim, this was a special day - his first cod caught since joining the club almost a year ago. This one weighed about 7 lb and was followed by a smaller one about half an hour later.
Sadly, by lunchtime the wind was pushing us across the wrecks far too quickly and lines began to tangle quite regularly. Soon after this, the skipper suggested cutting the day short since there was little chance of further catches. We were disappointed not to have a good afternoon to follow the productive morning but, with 18 good fish between the five of us, we were content to head for home. The final tally was 16 cod, 1 ling and 1 coalfish (coley).
Fishing was slow but most members on board caught at least one sizeable fish. There were several undersize whiting taken but these were returned alive. Several ling, one pollack, one pouting and a number of pan-sized cod were taken. The pollack was the first caught by Reg (or even seen caught) in North-East waters. Tim was pleased to catch his first two ling, although both were slightly undersize and not kept.
The heaviest fish was a 6 lb ling caught by an angler not of our club. Peter and Eddie both had ling of over 5 lb.
There was very little tidal movement and only a light wind causing little drift. During the afternoon the wind freshened and was quite a challenge for the skipper when we re-entered the marina.
Unfortunately the fishing did not match the mood of the anglers. The water was highly coloured and it was well after midday before Tim broke the duck with a 9 oz whiting.
For quite a while it looked like this diminutive catch might take the £12 pot for the heaviest (only!) fish. However, about an hour later, Barry topped it with a dab which tipped the scales at about 12 oz. A second dab was caught but it was undersize and was quickly returned to fight another day.