Just a short sea angling blog to keep my hand in! I can hardly believe that we actually managed to get off-shore this weekend. This must be the longest stint that my Red Bay Fast Fisher has had to endure, locked up on her trailer throughout the winter and beyond. It has been over seven months since we last set foot on her due to constant, inclement sea conditions and to be honest, I almost didn’t care whether we caught or not, almost! I just wanted to get out again!
It was a case of getting back into the saddle to see what I had forgotten. Ignition, steering wheel, G.P.S, it’s all coming back to me. In reality, this was an un-expected break in the weather, and so on the previous day, Glenn helped scrub the boat back into something acceptable while I checked the electronics etc and made sure she was ship-shape for her first venture out this year.
The normal deep-water marks proved fruitless, un-surprising really with water temperatures down two degrees on last year. All was not lost however, as some deep-water off-shore reef hot-spots are usually good for a Pollack or two throughout most of the year. The sea-state was flat calm, if only it could be like this all the time and we made the most of this rare opportunity and ventured further out, the Fast Fisher just under full throttle and loving every second of it.
A couple of parallel drifts over the reef and the Pollack obliged. Nothing exceptional, but 5-7lb fish can still give great entertainment, especially when other species are absent. We tried anchoring from a lobster-pot marker buoy that happened to be in the right area in the hope for a stray ling or conger but unfortunately without success.
Persevering with the Pollack put most of the day in, and gave us all a chance to get our sea-legs once again. I reckon all this coarse angling we’ve been doing was starting to soften us up a bit! We ended the day spending a few hours at anchor, but with only dogs below, stealing our frozen mackerel or calamari, we called it quits and headed back to Ballycastle harbour. Not a stunning day by usual Antrim Coast standards, let’s just call it a gentle introduction back to the salt for greater things to come as the year progresses!