I was fortunate to be invited aboard the Sea Gem out of Scrabster by Colin Flint of the South Queensferry club on Saturday. My first day at sea for 19 months promised decent conditions with a moderate south easterly wind although the neep tide would restrict the drifts.
After picking up my mate Carl we arrived to find the visiting anglers preparing to board Gerald’s boat as the sun broke through the clouds. Introductions were made by Colin and the craic commenced before the anglers were settled in their drawn positions.
Despite the relaxation in the Covid rules the Sea Gem has plenty of space for eight anglers to distance themselves from the wheelhouse nooks to the stern. First stop was in the tide just off Holborn Head where the mackerel ensured sufficient bait for the day, for those to lazy to dig worms or collect mussels.
Gerald then steamed west among the rafts of guillemots and pairs of puffins to Spear Point and set up the drift on the edge of the hard.
The majority of Scrabster boat fishing is carried out near to the towering cliffs and these provide a modicum of shelter from any winds from the south. With most of the anglers fishing lures on the first mark codling and pollack were soon bending the rods. Nothing big, but decent sport before the slack passed.
As the wind won over the tide the boat pushed out over the cleaner ground and the first of the haddock came aboard. A move out onto the clean ground soon had a steady stream of haddies coming over the gunwales. Unfortunately, the majority were on the small side but enough were of filleting size to ensure that everyone who wanted one had a fry in their cool boxes. At times the haddock were taking baits not much smaller than themselves.
Variety was provided by decent whiting, dabs and grey gurnards.
With the tide battling against the wind the amount of ground covered on the drift was restricted and the patches of better haddock were difficult to find. In the afternoon showers and the cold south easterly winds produced weather conditions more akin to autumn than summer.
Spurdogs produced the biggest bends in the rods with half a dozen fish into double figures as well as their smaller brethren. On occasions two or three spurs could be seen following hooked codling and haddies up the surface and curses reverberated around the boat as those fishing with lighter rigs were bitten off.
The Ikea weigh bag was put to good use to weigh the bigger fish and I managed to lift the sweep with a 5.1kg spurdog. The best non-spur was Andy’s 3.2kg pollack.
Altogether it was an enjoyable day and great to get back afloat after a long enforced break. Hopefully the next trip will be on a bigger tide with a better wind direction, and my tackle box will be more organised.
Thanks again to the South Queensferry club for allowing me to fill a space.
For Sea Gem bookings Gerald can be contacted on 07733011240.