Posts tagged: garfish

Lady of The lake

By , 16 April, 2011 15:18

FrankOne of the wardens from Brighton Marina, Frank was celebrating his birthday by having a trip out on one of the local charter boats, ‘Lady of The Lake‘, skippered by John Barrow. I had been lucky enough to be invited out by him to join his party, consisting of his daughter, sons and friends, along with some indiviuals (sorry, I didn’t catch your names) and two additional crew, Alan and John(2),to make up a full complement. To say I was excited is an understatement, as it was my first trip for quite a few years and I was keen to venture back into the boat fishing scene.

Picture of Lady of The LakeWe met up at The Tackle Box to stock up on any last minute items, after which, we were soon down by the boat loading up, making ready for the 7.30am departure. I have to say, Lady of The lake, a Tremlett 42, is a fantastic, sleek looking boat, is extremely roomy with a well set out deck and ample facilities. While we waited, we set up the rods to save time once at our destination. The basic tackle consisted of what is essentially a single hook paternoster with long flowing trace (sometimes known as a flying collar rig) and artificial lures such as sidewinders and shads.

looking back towards the marinaSoon, engines were fired up and we set off out of the marina and headed to the chosen marks, which were to be deep water wrecks out in the channel. The tactic for the day was to drift and work the lures in front of and over these wrecks in the hunt for the cod and pollack which inhabit these rusting hulks. Frank’s target and a great way to make his birthday better was to get his first cod, in fact he had said that he “Didn’t mind catching chickens for the rest of the day, providing I get my cod”. So, fingers were firmly crossed – and that went for all of us!

Another view of the coastAs we left the marina, we motored out onto a flat calm sea, which was going to make the jouney a lot quicker and a lot more comfortable than you would get on bumpier water – Perfect conditions for a great day out.

Soon, the engines were opened up more to a good cruising speed and we headed for our first wreck which I believe was some 20 odd miles out. I took the opportunity to go over my kit and make sure everything was in order, with all knots nice and secure and extra traces and rigs made up ready in case of losses caused by getting getting caught up in the submerged ironwork.

The anticipation mounted as the engines throttled back and John began positioning the boat over the first wreck. Once the drift was established, the buzzer was sounded which meant we were safe to drop our lures down to the bottom. I felt the lead hit the seabed and then I began the slow retrieve, working the gear up and over the wreck, waiting for the tell-tale pull down on the rod and the weight and power of a fish crash diving after taking the lure. Sadly, the first drift produced nothing – or the next, or the one after that. Hmmm.. disappointment all round.

Another view of the coastWe headed off to another wreck and this produced similar results apart from a couple of pout. I had one tentative take with a fish briefly on before it was lost. We then headed off to another mark, where I had my first proper take and after getting it to the surface, I had my first codling of about 4lbs aboard – thing were looking up at last.

The next drift saw my gear caught up in the wreck, the line was quickly wrapped around a cleat by John and I waited for the drifting boat to break the line – damn, my first loss. I quickly retackled in time to catch the next drift, which produced nothing for me but I believe a couple of pout to the others.

Frank and his codThe next drift saw me blank again but there was a shout from the other side of the boat and Frank’s long awaited cod was soon on the deck… and he was a very happy bunny.

Another couple of blank drifts and John decided to move onto another hulk which again produced zero results. Things were not looking good on the wreck front, so John asked Frank what he wanted to do (it was his day after all) – stick it out with the prospect of similar results, or move inshore and have a go for dabs and mackerel, so that at least some people went home with fish. Decison made, he motored back inshore and drifted over the ground just off the marina.

Tackle was changed – thanks Alan and John(2) for providing the lighter gear that I hadn’t taken with me. A spreader boom with beaded traces and size 2 hooks baited with lugworm were dropped over the side and before long, I had my first dab aboard – pity it fitted in the palm of my hand though! Things went very quiet and apart from a couple more undersize dabs and a couple of pin whiting, I had no more luck. The rest of the crew were bagging up on mackerel and Frank had a couple of lunker garfish. By 5pm, it was evident that we weren’t going to get anything decent, so it was time to had back into the marina and the end of the day.

Despite the lack of quality fish, it was a great day out with excellent company and great weather. Thanks again to Frank for the invite and to John and crew for helping out and making things run smoothly. I’ve now got the taste back for boat fishing, and am looking forward to making my next trip whenever that may be.

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