April was a good month, the weather was pretty much what you’d expect for an April on the Isle of Man (crappy) but the kayak really helped to open up a lot of options and so I got out a few more times than I normally would. The fishing has been really good and all our usual spots have burst into life. I haven’t heard from anybody who has been out and not caught something which is hopefully a good sign for great things ahead.
The month started with what was supposed to be a quiet trip out with the Mrs, which turned out to be a proper family day out as the daughter and her friend tagged along. After the bacon butties we headed from Peel in to a south westerly 3-4, I was a bit worried about how everybody would get on especially seeing as it was rapidly turning in to a booze cruise, but everybody was fine, helped by a slow cruise and not travelling too far. Once on the mark south of Peel the girls were happy to take turns spinning for Pollock and whilst the fishing wasn’t out of this world our guests first ever fish happened to be a 2-3 pounder which was greeted with much excitement and LOTS of pictures for Facebook and Instagram. The fish continued to come over the side on a regular enough basis to stop anybody getting bored and when the wine ran out we started a very sow cruise back close in to the cliffs to give views that anybody without a boat/kayak would never get to see. Not exactly a day for the hardcore angler but everybody had a brilliant time. On a side note I can’t understand how a boat could take paying guests out in our waters and not catch? Makes no sense.
We had to wait until the 8th for another trip out, a stiff southerly breeze just being off the shore enough to allow us to venture out in to some deep water and try again after the dismal failure of last month. This time armed with some frozen Mackerel and Squid as a backup. Good job really because no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t feather up any sort of bait. Also in a slight change of plan we didn’t head north like last time and I stuck to an area just inside where the scallop boats “should” be fishing. Results this trip and the next in the same area were brilliant, a new record Grey Gurnard for the boat and more Haddock than we’ve ever caught in a day. The majority of which were bordering on what you’d consider keeping for the pan but as is usually the case we returned everything. Besides that Codling, Spurdogs and the usual pin Whiting all made an appearance, all in all a much much better trips than the one which ended March.
That’s when the wind switched and with it mostly in the west for the rest of the month I decided to break out the kayak from its winter storage and give it a go. Seeing as how Port Soderick was so close and after checking to see how sheltered it was in various conditions that’s where I started…having never wet a line there before. The first trip ended up with some nice Callig (Pollock) and losing a much better fish that never finished its initial dive, straight in to the bottom and lost (I blame a sticking drag). I was only out for an hour just to give everything a once over which turned out to be a good move as one of the scupper bungs needed replacing and something had shorted on the sounder blowing the fuse. On the 28th when I got to try again everything was setup correctly and I had a very pleasant 4 hours paddling around up and down the coast. This time with a working sounder I was able to map out features, was amazed out how quick it got so deep, and was well in to lots of Callig, a few Coalfish and even my first Mackerel of the year. This all on a day when the north west wind made it impossible to even think about leaving Peel harbour. I honestly now look forward to the kayak trips as much as the boat and I still haven’t ventured further than Port Soderick and Port Grennaugh. I’ve still got Laxey, Castletown and Port St Mary to try yet before I even look at the other side of the island.
As you can probably gather from all that the fishing is really good at the moment, there shouldn’t be any excuses for not catching. I know on the east coast that the Mackerel are here so surely it won’t be too long until the Tope start to show and things get really interesting. I might….might have a crack at one from the kayak. In personal news I’ve took the decision to slowly wind down my business over the summer, and by wind down I mean do as little work as possible and as much fishing as the weather allows!