3rd June: I hadn't been fishing since the bass ban came into force so with warm calm weather forecast for the weekend it was time to get out and wet a line. I planned to mostly lure fish but I took along some rag too. I headed to a deepish water mark that I reckoned should throw up some pollock and maybe wrasse too.
I arrived at the mark at about 7.00 pm (high tide at 7.30 pm). It was a warm sunny evening and the sea was dead calm, like a lake. I put on an Xlayer and lobbed it out a short distance. On about the third cast I had a pollock of approximately 2 lb. I had a few more casts without a bite so decided to try some rag. I freelined a large king ragworm, letting it drift down over a ledge. I was hoping some wrasse would be lurking under there. Almost immediately I was getting tugs on the bait, and then hooked a pollock, again about 2 lb. This was followed by another three pollock in the 1-2 lb range. But no wrasse.
I was fishing an area of deep water just to the east of a shallow bay. The bay is a good mark for bass but once the water depth increases they dont seem to move any further east. However, I could see an angler fishing close to the western end of the bay. In that area he could only be targeting bass - despite the ban!!!
I switched back to an Xlayer and after a few casts landed another pollock. I had another three pollock on the Xlayer, all in close but small, nothing above 1.5 lbs. I found a stop/start method of retrieve worked best, reel in at a slow pace for a few seconds, stop and let the lure drop, most of the fish then struck. I switched to a small metal spinner so that I could cast out further. I did pick up a few pollock 30-40 m or so out. As the sun began to set the pollock began to feed more ferociously. I could feel them hitting the lure on every cast, hooked some and lost some. Most of the fish were small but a few were about 2 lbs.
I packed up at 10 pm so that I could make my way a back up the cliff while there was still some light. It was a good session with a total of 14 pollock.
4th June: After the success of the previous session I headed to the same mark on Saturday but got there earlier at about 5.30 pm. I had a few casts with an Xlayer but nothing was biting. I then tried some float fishing with rag. However, unlike the previous day there was no interest. Then I spotted a disturbance in the bay to my right - a basking shark was crusing around very close to the shore. I stopped fishing and watched it for a while. It then swam out of the bay, at first it was moving westwards, but then turned and swam towards me, passing only 10 from the rock where I was fishing, before turning again and swiming diagonally away from the shore out to sea.
After that interruption it was back to fishing. I put an Xlayer back on and after a few casts had the first pollock, it was about 2 lbs. This was followed a little later by a second of approximately the same size.
It was then quite for a while so I switched to the metal spinner that had been successful the previous day and picked up another 2lb pollock.
I alternated between this lure, an Xlayer and various jelly worms for a while after that, but the bites were slow. At one stage when my lure hit the surface a fish lept out of the water close by. It looked long and slender, like a garfish but I wasn't sure as I only had a momentary glance at it. I had a few more pollock after that mostly on the spinner. Then suddenly I hooked something that was putting up a strong fight and not diving to the depths like the pollock tend to do. As I got it in close I could see it was a silvery fish but long and eel-like. I hauled it onto the rocks - it was a garfish!!!!
I foul hooked a baby garfish last year but this was the first time I have caught an adult garfish.
As the sun began to set the pollock came on the feed. They were hitting the lure on almost every cast and in amongst them all I caught a small coalfish.
However, the pollock were generally small, mostly in the 1 lb range. I was intending to pack up at 10 pm so at about 9.50 pm I put on a wave worm hoping that it might produce a bigger fish. Second cast I had a pollock of just over 2 lb, shortly followed by a second of about the same size.
I packed up just after 10 pm. So another successful session with a total of 17 pollock, 1 garfish and 1 coalfish.