From Ian and Gordon on Orca :
We set out from Sparkes Marina last Friday after a long, frustrating spell in June of not matching free time with good sea conditions. It was a beautiful day with a reasonable tide so we were keen to get going.
First stop was Dean Tail for Mackerel, but three drifts produced a measly three fish. So, we headed for New Grounds to pick up whatever was about. Ian fished whole squid and I fished a smaller bait – squid head and strip. We didn’t have long to wait long for some action, starting with a good Undulate Ray of 13lb 2oz followed by a Bass of 3.5lb for Ian (which went back with one day to go before the one fish limit comes in !!). There followed three hours of good fishing (on the flood tide) which yielded eight species of fish – Undulate, Thornback, Spotted Ray, Bass, Smooth Hound, Black Bream, Mackerel and, inevitably, Dogfish. Nothing huge but great fun fishing. It was an equal score between the big bait and small bait. We ended up trying to guess the species from the bite and fight – we were right 80% of the time. After the tide slackened, the bites dropped off, so it was back to Dean Tail to try again for the Mackerel (still the best eating fish for both of us). This time we hit some good shoals and bagged up in no time – nice to get a few “full houses”.
New Grounds is a bit featureless but it produces good catches on a regular basis. Maybe it’s a bit of fish transit highway.
By the way, we were using barbless circle hooks all day. We hooked all but one dogfish neatly in the lip, didn’t lose a fish and with easy unhooking it made fish handling a doddle. So, with the introduction of MCZ’s and catch & release this type of hook and using unhooking mats should help us all to play our part in fish conservation.
We headed back with enough Mackerel and Bream for a good supper and fish pate. The boat needed a good wash down when we arrived at the Marina – amazing how bits of squid get everywhere – so we deserved our pint at The Ship on the way home.