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July 2012 Sea Fishing Report


Once again the weather has done us no favours. Whilst I can’t complain too much because we have made it out to sea on a number of occasions during July, each one has been less than comfy. In fact other than the week towards the end of March we’ve not had a single settled day where you would be confident of heading out to sea and coming back in the same conditions as what you went. Obviously then this has limited our range and scope a bit but we’ve still had some nice fish coming over the side.

The most pleasant surprise during the month of July was the arrival of the rock cod. It wasn’t until late August last year that we started to pick these up on the inshore reef marks but this year we’ve been blessed by Cod much earlier on. No real size to talk about but they are still a nice surprise when they do turn up on the Sidewinders. We do use other lures as well but the Sidewinders deserve a special mention of their own, not once have I fished and not found a Sidewinder that would catch in the conditions. What we discovered was that the white colour tends to work best on the flatter, slower drift days when there’s not a lot of colour in the water. When things are a little more “disturbed” the Mackerel ones have been nailing fish on a regular basis. Fishing these on their own on light spinning rods in up to 50 feet of water really is great fun and we’ve had Pollack up to double figures doing this on a fairly regular basis. 2012 might not have brought us the weather but in terms of loading the inshore marks around here with fish I can’t complain one bit. You do need the right tactics though, at times we’ve been out with 4 or 5 other boats with the usual feather fishers and all they’ve managed is small Pollack and Mackerel. Drifting over the same spots where we are pulling in double figure Pollack. If that’s not endorsement enough for the Sidewinders (as well as the Cod) then I’ve also heard rumours of lads pulling in Ling using the Orange Sidewinders in slighlty deeper water on the other side of the island. Either way they are a must have for fishing inshore rock marks.

Other than that the boat fishing has actually been a little quiet. We tried half a dozen times for Tope in July without much success. The flatfish are almost none existent and whilst a couple of the deeper marks are producing large numbers of small Red Gurnard it’s hardly the sort of fishing to get your pulse racing. (Spoiler, read the Tope report to see how things took off in August :))

Shore fishing was again not the best in July this year. There are a few Plaice about but you have to be sneaky, local divers are reporting them sticking very close to the rocks and kelp beds so if you’re throwing your bait towards the horizon you may be going way over them. I had my first Plaice of the season in July, it’s always nice to get the first one out of the way. I know people are still struggling to connect with Tope from the shore, even from the much hailed north west beaches but seeing as how they are not exactly jumping in the boat either it’s no real surprise. One final bit of news concerns the Bass. Very late July saw the first fish starting to appear so unless the sea holds on to it’s temperature longer than usual we could be in for a short Bass season. This doesn’t bode well for my plans to catch a 5 pounder from the shore and the boat but we’ll sea.


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