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May 2014 Manx Sea Fishing Update

May was a bit of a mixed month, the weather (wind) killed most of it but with the still higher than average sea temperatures some of the fishing was great…others not so great.

As a famous princess once said, “If Callig is all that interests you then Callig you shall have”. Or something like that. Basically there are only 2 fish that interest the majority of the local boat anglers – Mackerel and Callig (Pollack). Whilst there were very few of the former the sea was alive with Callig during May. All our usual spots were producing fish to a better average size and much earlier in the year than we normally get them. The only thing I’d say is that if you are going out and not catching try ditching the feathers. Yes they do catch but it tends to only be a fraction of the fish you can catch fishing for these fish properly, you also then get to enjoy a real fight on sporting spinning tackle. In short there was no excuse for not catching Callig in May. Even on feathers the missus was catching 3 at a time one day.

But we soon get bored of that, when a “good” fish is 3-4lb and we know that we can go out and catch them hand over fist any day of the week with little chance of anything much bigger there isn’t really any challenge in it? The bit I enjoy most about fishing is the challenge, not so much the catching, and I challenged myself to catch a Plaice from the boat. Trouble is/was that there has been no reports locally that I’ve seen of anybody catching one and I didn’t do any better. I tried 3-4 likely looking spots with a few different techniques but there were just none about. If I remember right from the good old days the best flatty fishing locally was around Tynwald Day so I’ll have another go late June and early July when things have warmed up a bit.

Having given up with the Plaice for now I moved on to finally bagging a Wrasse on soft plastics. I’ve been trying this LRF from the shore since last summer and have caught just about everything except a nice Ballan Wrasse. So whilst we were fishing one of our regular spots for some Callig on what turned out to be the only slow drift flat calm day of the month I had a go from the boat. Patience paid off and I finally bagged one, shortly followed by several more (pictures are on Instagram). Now I’ve got the technique down I’ll be trying from the shore again.

Elsewhere around the island things are slowly picking up but there doesn’t seem to be as many people fishing this year so it’s a little hard to judge. As you’d expect there are lots of good sized Callig down south, especially around Castletown and Port St Mary. There are Mackerel to be caught of Douglas Head which is more than can be said about Peel (update – they are just starting to show in small number 12th of June). That and the pack Tope have arrived around Ramsey and Laxey. The shore fishing is still a little slow with fishing of the rocks for Callig and Wrasse being the best bet. Peel breakwater has Mackerel and Coalfish and the Coalfish and Wrasse can be found at Port St Mary breakwater. I haven’t heard any tales of Bass or Tope from the beaches yet but no doubt that will happen as soon as the main run of Mackerel arrive.

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