Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A life on the Ocean Wave

7th Oct, Belfast lough
After a miserable week of showers and gales a small break in the weather was predicted for this morning, Da had mentioned that he was taking his boat Mufti for a spin so I jumped on board to experience a spot of sea fishing.
Soon after setting sail, my level of optimism was high, this may have been due to the fact Da had installed a new fish finder or that he was serving Irish coffee at half ten in the morning.

Da playing with his new toys

After a quick dash across the shipping lane in Belfast Lough we arrived at the first mark just off Bangor Bay. Da was soon into his first mackerel of the day

First fish of the day
The first fish I managed to stick into was a very sorry looking herring, somehow the suicidal fishy had managed to impale himself onto the hook by his eyes. Upon removal of the hook both his eyes remained on the trace and he was left with a gaping hole right through his head. This was one fish that wasn't going to get put back in. After some more herring I finally caught up with Da in catching mackerel.
We were doing so well, I decided to handicap myself by using a fly rod with a fast sinking line, this proved to be near impossible as the boat drift didn't allow the line to sink, so I soon switched back to a heavy spinning outfit coupled with feathers. After a productive couple of hours we decided to head home. Whilst making our way back across the channel my galley slave Da prepared his speciality fried mackerel and a cup of tomato soup.
Lunch - before and after We managed to time our exit well, a mist came down and the winds, which had been absent for most of the day, re-appeared. Below, if you squint you can just about make out Carrickfergus Castle.Carrickfergus CastleSince the last time I was afloat Da's boat handling skills has improved a great deal, we managed to berth her again without even touching another boat, jetty or tender.
Da exiting MuftiHopefully after such a successful trip I can get out again soon, next time, though I'll have to make sure I make the coffee.

Did you ever wonder why you were standing in a gale waving a stick about

2nd Oct, Killylane Reservoir

After two very tough days, I figured the weather couldn't get any worse. My mate Andrew and I had planned to reward ourselves for our hard dissertation slog with an extended trip fishing. I had been out the past two days and I knew it was going to be an uphill struggle. So we decided to head to Killylane, as we thought we might get a bit of shelter from the strong winds. We've fished here before but today everything had changed, mainly due to the hurricane blowing straight through the reservoir.
Most of the day was spent tramping around the water to find a sheltered spot, this soon became impossible. At the end we were desperate, I chose to try the deep water in front of the dam wall, with a sinking line and boobies and Andrew chose an inlet that you could probably jump over. I managed about twenty minutes without being blown into the water and walked back to join the slacker sitting alongside the inlet. This tactic paid off for him though as amongst the eddies in the inlet Andrew had managed to catch the only trout of the day.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Bad days

30Sept,01Oct Marshalstown and Woodburn Reservoirs

When i started blogging, one of the aims was to record all the times i had fished. Recently this has changed to writing about only the days I did well on. This has had the side-effect of letting me think i am a better angler than i actually am. Thought I'd better even the balance. The last two days I've been presented with a bit of free time so I used it wisely and went fishing.

Admittedly the weather has been pish, but i still thought I'd do OK, damn over-confidence. Yesterday my getaway was obstructed by my five year old nephew who had decided that he was coming with me. I knew this wasn't going to be a great days fishing but his optimism was contagious, he wanted to see me catch a fish, the thought that i might blank hadn't even occurred to him. So off we went.

I opted for Marshallstown reservoir as it has some good platforms so as to not let the child fall in or get covered in mud. My expert adequate control of the flyline was enough to entertain him for about ten minutes. There-after his enquiries of "when are you going to catch a fish?" got him through another ten minutes. After which he tried to take matters into his own hands by throwing rocks into the water to drive the fish closer to me. Bless his cotton socks, he's ever so thoughtful.

Although no fish were caught, we all returned with the same amount of eyes we left with and no-one had been in the water for a swim.

Today I though I'd make up for the lack of fish and really put some effort in. I even managed to get to the water before noon. I begun at the wild fishery at the top of the three reservoirs at South Woodburn, there is rumoured to be wild trout in here so I thought I'd check it out. I've fished here before a couple of times but had only ever caught fingerlings in a spot we call the nursery. I would have started my day here apart from the fact that there was no water in it.
I took the opportunity to walk around the reservoir as the circumference is less with less water in it. I'm quite a lazy bugger. The wind had unfortunately decided to follow me about and no matter where I stood it blew into my face at about 20 knots. All in all, it turned out to be quite a nice walk despite not seeing any evidence of the mythical wild brownies and for once i actually arrived home before the time demanded suggested by wifey.