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Isle of Man Sea Fishing Report, Jan-Apr 2016


Well barring any other major disasters work is just about back on an even keel. Fortunately for me the weather has been shit so I’ve not missed a lot the early part of the year and what chances the weather did give us we got out and caught plenty of fish. From May onward we should be back to monthly updates but in the meantime that is what has happened since the turn of the year.

Pollack and Coalfish, or if you’re Manx, Callig and Bloghan (Shitty). There are literally thousands of them out there and they’ve hung around all winter. I know they are not everybody’s cup of tea and to be honest I get fed up catching them as well, even though they are fantastic sport on light gear. But when you are used to your winter fishing being mini species, Dogfish or nothing, having the ability to go out and catch them year around is a nice bonus. I did hear through friends of friends that there were a few boats that did fail to catch, even a certain well known skipper around the Calf but when you dig a bit deeper you find out they’re fishing with feathers. I don’t know any other way of saying this but to get the most out of these fish you need to use single hook rubber/plastic eels on light spinning tackle. Be that Savage Sandeels (expensive), Sidewinders (Slightly less expensive) or any number of other combinations. You basically want something with a decent tail that looks like it is swimming, try a variety of colours and you will catch. It annoys the hell out of me that there are still old timers out there moaning about how crap the fishing is yet they won’t change their tackle. A moment of honesty here, and one that will get me in trouble with all the people who have wanted fish of me over the years. There isn’t a single time we’ve gone out, when the fish are about, that we haven’t caught at least 40-50 Callig in a 2-3 hour trip. Not once. Often it’s well in to 3 figures. It’s just we return over 95% of what we catch. We have been surrounded by other boats hardly catching a fish, the rod being pumped up and down as they work sets of feathers on broom handle rods. It is not 1973.

What else has been happening? Well they were still catching the odd Mackerel of Peel breakwater, extra large winter specials as well. Port Erin breakwater has been hot with Coalies. Further offshore the pin Whiting have been around all winter in plague proportions. If you want to find a use for your feathers then there you go. We did take a trip even further offshore earlier this month, a 12 mile run in all and we were rewarded with plenty of Codling and some much better Whiting as well as a small Ling picked up over a sandy bottom. We were hoping for some monster Cod seeing as how one of the commercial lads had picked up a 10lb+ plus fish in a pot, that’s the biggest Cod I’ve seen around here in more than 20 years. From what I hear the east of the island is delivering pretty much similar results. I haven’t heard any tales of Tope yet and it’s usually the east coast that you hear off first.

That’s been about it really. May would normally bring with it the start of our better reef fishing but seen as how it’s hardly gone quiet we can always hope for some much better fish, double figure Callig are a lot of fun on a spinning rod! The Tope will arrive, the harbours will start to see Mullet and Flounders and if we’re really lucky rumours of Bass might even start. Fingers crossed anyway.


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