Fishy Tales from the Emerald Isle –

Andy’s Specimen Spurdog

Dessy Young with a specimen Spur

I forgot to post this blog, old age setting in! Up to last summer, Andy had never had the opportunity to target Spurdog in search of an Irish specimen over the elusive twelve pound barrier. This had to be put right, and with favourable wind direction and neap tides, we found ourselves en-route to the deep-water Spurdog marks of the north-east coast.

Of course, fresh Mackerel were priority as ever, and luckily enough, we found these reasonably quickly; not always the case for this once abundant species I’m sorry to say. With anchor firmly set, we soon had the predators sniffing round. Dessy found the first double-figure Spur, soon followed by Glenn, as the ravenous pack demolished our mackerel-fillet hook baits.

Dessy is first off the mark.

Glenn joins in on the act.

As is often the case, sometimes you can try too hard, and that elusive target just seems out of reach. I could see Andy’s frustration, with specimens appearing over the gunnels at regular intervals, and even the skipper, namely me, finding a cracking large double.

Terry bends into a good Spur.

A high double

Andy’s rod buckled with a better fish, but this time a decent Bull-Huss broke the surface. These particular Huss are beautifully marked, living over sand and broken reef, and despite not being Andy’s target species, are always a delight to see.

An immaculate Bull-Huss

We were now approaching crisis point, with the tides slowing down towards slack water. Andy took a breather and a bit of a re-think. A change of rig, along with perfectly presented baits and fingers crossed as they dropped down through the depths.
A good pull on the rod-tip and this time there was no mistaking the tell-tale thump of a weighty Spurdog. I reckon we all held our breath until the fish broke the surface, and I slipped the net under an obvious specimen. The cheer went up; Andy’s duck had been broken with a spotless mid-double spur.

Andy finds his specimen

Glenn guides another specimen Spurdog to the surface.

As is often the case, with the barrier broken, there was no stopping Andy. He managed another two specimens before slack water and with the whole crew happy with how the session panned-out, we could lift anchor and head back to harbour.

Satisfying to head for harbour, sun-setting after a successful boat session.

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