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Hi,

So a brand new summer month and the Danglers had a rare trip east out of the haven yesterday. It was a Sunday so no firing on the ranges and we were clear to turn to port as we steamed out on a calm morning with the promise of sunshine to come. As if the excitement of trying a few new marks wasn't enough, we were also on a new charter boat for us - Atlantic Blue, skippered by Paul Martin.

First up, we drifted a few isolated rock marks on the way down, the plan being to bag up with mackerel for use as bait later and to see what else was around. We had coley, pollack, codling etc.

Then we fished some of the offshore banks hoping for a bass or two as the tide built. We had plenty of codling and pollack, a launce, sandeel and even a gurnard and a wrasse.

Eventually the bites died off so we headed to our tope mark - glad for a sit down for a while after being tossed around in the offshore swells.

This mark had done well for us a few weeks ago, our tope session only hampered by the complete lack of mackerel to use as bait. So, lesson learnt, here we were bagged up with a grand total of.....no fresh mackerel. Again. It is surreal - and worrying. Fortunately we had all brought frozen this time for just such an emergency. Think about it - having to use frozen mackerel off Pembrokeshire in August. It's not right.

Nothing much happened for a while apart from the inevitable doggies until the tide slackened and turned, the wind pushed us around and someone said "we're almost out of bait so maybe head back and do some more drifts on the way". That was the usual cue for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as Pennar's ratchet screamed off with a tope on the run. Sadly, a few hours of inactivity and theorising had left him as unlike a coiled spring as a damp paper bag and sadly the tope dropped the bait (probably from the surprise of actually finding a bit of mackerel in the water).

Then a minute later, Malcolm's reel went zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. He seemed to have it under control but then the fish spat the hook.

Another minute later and James showed us how to do it and landed this approx 20lber



Good work fella.

Then Pennar had another run and used 75 years of exerience and nerves of steel to land this approx 30lber



Well done Greg - you deserved that one.

So with no mackerel left (again) we used last hour of the trip to drift the stunningly beautiful coast really close in, admiring the climbers gripping the granite cliffs hundreds of feet up. The scenery is just spectacular






The fish had gone off the feed completely by now but at our last mark, we did have 1 mackerel - the single specimen of the day. That is just so so worrying.

So back in to Milford for tea and medals at a little after 6.

So a day of sniffing around and trying a good few marks and different fishing techniques. A massive thank you to Skipper Paul and his deckie on Atlantic Blue. A lovely spacious and fast boat and Paul did everything he could to make our day out an enjoyable one.

We had a reasonable variety of species and a good mixed day. The Danglers are out bassing next, then some Swansea breaming and then we're off on another sharker.

Cheers

Ian
 

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Glad your "new" charter boat was up to standard always good to have that sort of information handy;) It is strange about the mackerel though, we are witnessing the same up here in one spot you will get them string after string & half a mile away not a fish.
Of course it cant possibly be that they are no longer about in the numbers that they used to be, & that what we are witnessing is less shoals so more sporadic catches.
If I was to suggest that, I would be accused of "trawlers, netters, overfishing, anglers just not good enough to catch, whinge, whinge, whinge" so what is the answer to so few mackerel off Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan in August! :huh:
 

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Great report Dai, no real mystery to the mackerel, they are like every other fish in the sea being trawled out of existence, don't be shy Vic spit it out as it is. :laugh:
 

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Great report Ian . And your observations and comments regarding the lack of mackerel are worrying to say the least.
 

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may have sumin to do with the british trawler scooping up 500+ton of mackie in 1 haul :hammer::hammer: some nice tope there m8,awsome :fishing1: :thumbs::thumbs:
 

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Maybe theres so many small codling about that the macky cant get through them:fish: And the reason they dont come back in the winter is because the tope dolphins and gannets have munched them all in the summer:whistling:oops:

Good to see some nice tope caught though mate:clap: And guess what..........I'm on the wrekcing trip with you and the english guys down weymouth next june:wub: Hope your ready to blank!! lol
 
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