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July 2013 Sea Fishing Update


Weather, weather, weather! You’ll be getting no complaints from me about the weather we had in July, no doubt July of 2013 will be one of those months that we look back at fondly for many years to come. Shame really, wouldn’t it be nice if all our summers could be like that again? Anyway, the fishing. It was a bumper month, with everything settled we could plan in advance, try new things and generally not feel as if we had to make the most out of every trip out. The result was more species, many lessons learned and a proper Manx tan to go with it.

It’s at this point I’m glad I keep a fishing diary that records everything because we were out so much it’s hard to remember the details of what happened when. I usually use this spreadsheet for planning “where and when” and thanks to this months huge number of hours the data is there in abundance. I’ve got 4 years worth of data in total now but July added more than the whole of 2010 on its own. For example our Tope fishing off the west coast of the Isle of Man is well renowned. But if you want to catch more than just the odd fish then you have to be fishing about 3 hours either side of low water, anything approaching and after high water is a waste of time if you want numbers. Want to know why the boats kept in the harbour and marina struggle (by struggle I mean not catching every 10-15 minutes and sometimes none in a 3 hour session) with the Tope? The 2 hours either side of high water flap gate is your answer. During July I made a promise one day of getting some nice Tope pictures on Instagram and we filled our boots, all thanks to the magic spreadsheet, we even knew when to call it a day because it was easy to predict when the fishing would go off…and it did. The same goes with the size of the tide, a small/medium size tide fishes much better. I’ve found you can catch on the bigger tides but drifting seems to work better than sitting at anchor. As for the wreck fishing around the west coast….total waste of time this early in the year.

The other major lesson from July is that we still have some decent species fishing over this side, you do have to travel but you can have great fun fishing where you just never know what is coming over the side next. You need over 100 foot of water and you need to be inside the 6 mile limit where the seabed hasn’t been totally fucked over. Scratching rigs or small feathers baited with thin bits of Mackerel is all you need, go on a long drift and I can guarantee you’ll be bringing fish over the side every few minutes. As en example in one 1 hour session we had Whiting, Haddock, Dogfish, Mackerel, Coalfish, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard and Spurdog. Yeah I know it’s not going to break any species hunt records* but considering how much Callig dominates the boat fishing on the west coast it’s not a bad effort.

Talking of Callig we had a few nice fish in July, since the Mackerel turned up there were some fat greedy buggers out there, I gutted an 8lb Callig and it had 2 joeys in its belly and another one stuck in its mouth when I caught it! The same spots where the Callig are caught there have also been a few summer Codling about which is always a nice surprise. On one afternoon in the space of half an hour I had 17 little Codling, nothing to write home about and they all went back but there’s always the chance of pulling up a nice 4-5lb one. Another nice surprise in July was the return of the flatfish. It’s been a long time since we could reliably target them but I took the chance late one evening to have a couple of hours and I was straight in amongst them from almost the start. It’s mainly Dab but I’m sure there are Plaice about as well. Lugworm is always best but if you can’t get them then small bits of Herring work very well locally. The main problem is getting the right wind with the tide, once you find a spot where they are sitting it is essential to drift over them the right way and that means either no wind or at the very least it blowing with the tide.

With all the boat fishing that has gone on I’ve not really had much of a chance to fish from the shore so the HRF has had to be put on hold. I did have a crack at the Mullet of which there are some absolute monsters in Peel harbour but they just weren’t in the mood. After 4 hours of trying I couldn’t even get them to feed at all, talk about frustrating I’ve noticed that the breakwaters around the island are packed out, this year more than any other for a long time so there are still plenty of Mackerel and Coalfish getting caught but the one thing that all the serious shore anglers are waiting for hasn’t happened yet and that is the arrival of the Bass! They don’t usually get here in large numbers until mid August anyway so it’s not a problem but I will have to start digging out the plugs.

*Manx Boat Fishing host an annual species hunt in July around the island and the winner this year had 24 species, that’s some good going! If everything aligns properly we might even have a crack at it ourselves next year but I don’t think we’ve caught 24 species from the boat to date!


2 Responses to “July 2013 Sea Fishing Update”

  • Thanks for the mention in your round up of fishing here on the Island in July. In 2014 my 3 day festival will be held on the 5th 6th and 7th of july. You will be most welcome to come and join in the fun.

    Regards
    Jamie Hinchliffe
    Admin @ MBF

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