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Cod, Cod, Cod & More Cod – Shads Doing The Business by Nige Collis

Just fished a great day out with Paul Kilpatrick on the Sea Otter ll.



As usual Paul was "hot to trot" and if it hadn’t have been for a couple of tortoises in the car park we would have been through the swing bridge and heading out to sea by 7am sharp. As it was we missed the bridge and then spent the next 25 minutes getting tackled up ready for the next opening at 7.30am. We were soon on our way and Paul had a couple of marks in mind that had fished quite well the week before. The weekend blow had kept Sea Otter ll in harbour for the last four days and Paul was hoping that the Northerly winds hadn’t stirred the water up too much. As we steamed out it was easy to see the greeny tinge of the disturbed water, but Paul was still hopeful that the water would be OK at our destination.

The first mark only produced 1 small Cod which, much to the delight of it’s captor Gilbert, won him six quid for being the first fish of the day. After two or three short drifts Paul decided to up sticks and head off for another mark a bit further out. The first drop here saw Paul quickly into a fish on blue shads and the rest of us soon started to follow suit with sometimes all seven rods on the boat being bent into fish at the same time.



Paul worked hard at keeping us in the zone and our shads were up and down like the proverbial you know whats. The fish boxes were soon filling up with some nice fish up to 8 or 9lb with lots of 3 – 4 lb fish as well.



After popping another average sized fish in the fish box we swung around and started another drift. I dropped down and felt the familiar thump of the lead hitting the bottom, a slight lift and then two or three slow turns of the reel handle to swim the shad off the sea bed resulted in a good solid take and then some seriously strong lunges from a good fish. A good steady pace on the jouney up to the boat. with a lot of heroic efforts by the way of the fish trying to get back to the sea bed, resulted in a fine 15lb fish coming into the boat.

All in all we had between 30 and 35 stone of fish to the boat for the day and everyone had a great time.


shads in question are the Berkley Hollow Belly Swimbaits. The ones I used were 5"

White which come three to a pack for around £7.00. They not only have a large paddle tail which gives them a very lifelike swimming action but they are also hollow inside which enables them to swim more naturally and allows for a much better hook set. They are also infused with the famous Berkley Powerbait scent which I am sure must also give them a much greater attraction when fished at these depths. The jig heads that went with them are the Berkley All Round SW Powerjig heads which sell for around £8.00 for four. So a Hollow Belly plus Jighead equates to around £4.00ish – quite expensive, but having said that I didn’t lose any and only had one Hollow Belly damaged by a fish whilst the Jighead was still good to re-use. On the basis of how succesful these lures were they would certainly seem to represent good value for money. The fact they are scented is fairly unique amongst the many Shads that are currently available.

Thanks to Paul for a great day out. It’s always a pleasure to fish on the Sea Otter ll.



Sea Otter 2 is a Lockin 33. Lockin are renowned for their stability and safety, in fact the same hull of these boats are often used in manufacturing lifeboats, so you know when you step aboard Sea Otter 2 you are boarding one of the safest fishing vessels in the country. It’s been proven time and again that these crafts are superb sea boats and can also do speeds in excess of 20 knots giving much more fishing time for your money. Paul Says – "Lockin was my number one choice. The 33 has a proven track record and having been on many vessels I just knew that a Lockin was the one for me". Sea Otter 2 has a caterpillar 420 hp engine giving the power required to cruise long distances in a short time so you can spend less time crusing and more time fishing.

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