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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well,that was the winter that wasnt.mild weather ,constant wind with west in it,and no steady big rolling seas for a decent amount of time and most of the silt knocked out of it by the turn of the year made it a winter of poor conditions for the better didnt seem to affect numbers,in fact it was the opposite,but the quality certainly went down the pan.

from year to year various areas will fish better than others, so it does pay to mix them up,but i would take any results based on this years weather with caution for subsequent winters.its unlikely you will see another like this in the next twenty years,if not longer.

so,onto january fishing.after not managing a double in either november or december for the first time in a few years i decided to up the ante,and instead of targeted fishing at specific times on particular marks i decided to just plough through the fish on whatever mark i was on for the session,and fish more often (missus was well impressed with that idea,lol !) which resulted in 16 trips,though two were blanks,one short session,and one of around 5 hours local in decent conditions ,but not much colour and only one fish hooked just into darkness which hung me up.

the first session was an early morning local session,darkness into dawn,resulting in 16 for 4 hours ,best fish being 3 between 5 and 5lb 9oz and a bag of 54lb 14oz.a typical good bag for this winter local with decent fish,but nothing great size wise.

a few days later another local trip in a big sea was poor ,with only 3 fish,two 3lbers and a smaller one.

the sea had dropped two days later and a trip to the cliffs produced 21 for 65lb 13 oz ,but again nothing over 6lb,unheard of for the mark.
five days later another arbroath area trip with a mate resulted in 11 to just under 7lb and a few dropped,including another about 7 or 8lb just as i slid it up the rock and went to grab it.mate george had 9 i think,up to around 5lb,so a decent session. a couple of poor sessions of 5 fish and 3 fish followed ,best fish in those trips 6lb 7oz then another local trip producing 13 for 45lb 14oz and nowt over 6lb again. by now it was quite apparent that there just werent any number of 7lb plus fish around,and the odd 8lb plus fish were appearing as singles in bags of smaller fish.

then followed one of the blanks ,but the very next day highlighted how quick it can change when between myself and mate george we had 39 fish,me 27 (though i had 3 or 4 before he arrived after finishing his work early ) the majority being between 3 and 4.5lb,think george had one 5lber,i had one and one at 6lb 6oz.the theme of my winter has been something going wrong every trip and losing lots of gear.i had lost a rig and load of line fished at distance,and it had snapped at the rod cast i hooked a good fish,and let george know i finally had a lump on.about 15 yards out it caught up in the previously lost line.not worrying as i was now back on the 110lb braid i kept it thing line went slack,and i retrieved the rig to find the lost line must have caught on the 60lb snood,and had sliced clean through it,thats what went through my head anyway,as i launched the rod about 40 feet behind me and went on a rage for about 10 mins.
if you ever find me lying deid on the rocks you know what will have happened,decent fish lost followed by apoplexy then heart attack or stroke (wouldnt have it any other way either,lol ).

george actually had a nightmare as well,it was a really big sea running,and i think he was just landing on a clean patch which allowed the fish to slackline him without the lead hanging up.he had a bite virtually every cast for the 6 hour session and must have had at least 8 or 10 fish come off on the way in,so getting a dozen out in the circumstances was good going.

the next week saw 3 trips for a further 29 fish,but nothing over about 4lb 8oz.

as the end of january approached i decided to have a session on a local mark that in normal winter seas would produce decent fish and has done in the recent past,but rarely sees a bag of more than 6 or 7 fish for a two up,two down session. the first few chucks on braid produced fish that never registered a bite so i fished a tight line and the next 3 casts produced another 3 fish,again all without showing a bite,a first for braid for me.
there were a few small fish ,but i ended up with 15,one of 6lb 2oz and finally a half decent local fish of 8lb 5 bag weight was 56lb 2oz.

the last few days of january i had 3 trips resulting in 17 fish,but all sub 4lb.

the final tally for january was was actually more fish and weight than i managed from the entire winter of 2009/10,highlighting the increase in numbers of fish,but i have to admit,i wouldnt want to be fishing another winter with such a lack of decent fish.

january stats.

trips : 16
blanks : 2
fish: 160 size cod
average fish per trip : 10
average weight of fish : 2lb 14 oz
average bag weight: 29lb.

part 2 ,feb/march

i didnt fish at the start of february,it was a sad time and i didnt really have any desire to go,so it was a week or so before
the first trip of february ,which was again up the cliffs .nice sea running and enough colour. a 3 up ,3 down session resulting in a bite every cast,a few lost in snags and a few dropped fish.i ended up with 19 ,only two over 5lb ,the best going 8lb 5oz.for me this was a lot of fish from a mark where a dozen would be a good haul,but you would be expecting more than half to be over 5lb when it does fish,so a continuation of the lack of quality bar one fish,here we go again i thought.

a few poor sessions followed ,the best being a local session with 11 fish for 30lb ,only one over 5lb,though all were nice clean fish before a visit from parish1973. the forecast looked ,and with sam not having fished for cod since he moved down south i was hoping we would get a decent session.some hope,it was hard going at both marks we fished,one that can produce decent fish,the other odd decent fish but usually consistent for a bag.
i made sure sam was on the "recognised" best stance at each mark,but sods law intervened as usual and we only had 5 fish out,with me gettiing the only half decent one just under 8lb ,casting to a spot ive never cast before when fishing the mark.i was hopeful the second mark would produce,but when our first casts sat for 20 mins before a bite,it wasnt looking good.i had one just under 5lb and a smaller one before sam hooked into a decent fish,by the look of his rod i thought it might be a double,he was sure it wasnt,but knew it wasnt a decent one.we never found out as right at the edge it hung up,and when sam dropped the rod to let it move back down off the ledge it was on the bait popped out the water,arghhh ! he managed one around 3.5lb before we packed up and headed home.

3 days later it was back up the cliffs in what looked a decent sea from the top,but gradually built with some huge groundswells turning the first hundred yards to white foam every 40 mins or so.i had met up with pete bauld who had a fish just before i got there,and when i had 3 out on the first 3 casts it was looking good, we got pushed off the rock we were on and moved to the next stance where i had a fish on for the next 3 or 4 casts,including one which felt half decent,but never landed one.

it was slow going and the increasing inconsistency in the sea ,with odd huge waves,and mounting lost gear was quite frankly getting right on my tits ,and i was going to pack up,i broke the rod down and sat and blethered to pete for a this time the wind started dropping,and the sea started looking a bit steadier.i set the rod back up and managed one of 6lb 12oz and a 5lber before we packed up and headed up the cliff. we had around a dozen between us,which was a bit disappointing. when we got to the top of the cliff the wind really had dropped,and i thought it would be worth another mark on the way home.pete couldnt manage it as he was working so i headed off on my own.
by the time i got to the mark it was spot on,no wind ,lovely set of rollers and thick cloud moving over,probably the best sea i had seen all winter.
i was straight into fish,but the bites were hit and miss affairs and i missed as many as i hooked,i had a few 3 and 4 lbers out before i got a proper bite and hooked into what i knew was the best fish i had felt for a good while. after having dropped a few it was a nervous minute or so before i got a hold of it,as soon as i saw it i knew i had got my double for the season,TFFT as they say ! double number 25 ,and not before time this winter.the third week in february,as late as i have ever had one i think.

after that trip the fishing kind of petered out for me,i only had one fish over 3 lb out of the 46 i had over the 7 outings,which was the poorest fishing ive experienced in march ever. i didnt fish march last year as there were so many small fish around , but you can usually expect the odd one or two over 6lb with the odd 7and 8lbers,and theres been a few doubles out the last few years in march by other folk.
so finally managed a double in the weirdest winter for weather ive ever seen,and around double the fish ive ever landed in a winter,though i did do around a dozen to 15 trips more than i usually do. the most disappointing stat was the lack of fish over 7lb for me this year. i ended up with 8.last year i had 15 from half the amount of fish caught.i can only put it down to the warmer water keeping the better fish on the bait fish a lot of the time,and an increase in gill nets in some areas that will definitely thin the better fish out.
so that was the winter that wasnt,lets hope the next one sees a few more better fish.

stats for feb :
trips :9
fish: 69 size cod
ave fish per trip: 7.66
ave weight of fish: 2lb 14 oz
ave bag weight: 22lb 3oz
total weight of fish landed: 200lb 6oz

trips: 6
ave fish per trip:3.5
ave weight of fish 1lb 10oz
ave bag weight:10lb 7oz
total weight of fish landed: 62lb 10 oz

looks like ive missed a bag weight and a couple of fish out somewhere as the total weight i have from the running total is 403 fish for 1195lb and the totals add up to 406 for 1139lb or something like that,i will go through it again when i can be individual bag was 88lb 1oz,7 bags over 50lb and a best fish of 11lb 2oz.

so thats it for another 7 months on the winter cod front,summers coming !
cheers rab


1,409 Posts
:marinheir once again rab a big well done m8t , i think you need a secretary or at least an eye pad to keep all that info lol just think on the lead /ink you will save lol good read as per usual m8t

624 Posts
You deserve every bend on your rod Rab with the effort put in.
As the old Knorr ads used to say "Thats Devotion" for ye!!!
Pity you didn't encounter more doubles thru the season.

Cheers for taking the time to put up such a detailed report.



507 Posts
:clap: Aye excellent account of your fishing Rab , us mere mortals would be more than happy with a winter like that .
I never ventured down the east coast this season , preferred to go west when the opportunity arose , always next year .:thumbs:

1,026 Posts
Great fishing. Wish I could do a fraction of that.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice report rab... yer a lucky man ...wish a could get out as much as that... Cheers
definetly mate,time on the beach counts for everything.i had as many trips with between one and three fish as i did with more than ten.if i was limited to only getting out at weekends i would have been lucky to do 25% of that. ive never seen so many fish on all the marks,which was weird as the conditions were pretty messy most of the time,what i would call good cod conditions only happened for me on about 3 occasions,and on one of those times the fish hadnt read the book !

i doubt i will ever catch that amount in one winter again,if its the same stamp of fish around next winter i wont fish as much,whether i get an early double or not,but it did show just how much the inshore stocks have improved in recent years.

thanks for the other replies,its a quiet time of year fishing wise on this coast,so instead of posting every trip i thought a season review would go down better while we wait on the summer kicking off.
cheers rab

6,917 Posts
Great report Rab, you made up for quality in numbers mate, you can only catch what's in front of you, shame more of the bigger doubles did not make an appearance, think there was too much feed for them further out with the mild winter we had, and the lack of Easterlies did not help.
What will get your attention next, Bass, plaice ,Turbot no doubt, or maybe the big east coast Pollack, i know you like having a go for them.

699 Posts
Top report and fishing Rab,

Like the idea or keeping numbers caught then averaging out the weights.. hmmm might need to try that one, be interesting to see how the average weight increases/decreases as the year progresses. I noted last year the boat marks i fish seemed to have larger cod early on around the start of august then the sizes seem to reduce a fair bit but still plenty smaller cod about.. where as in 2012 sizes seemed to increase up to the end of november then the number of cod reduced quickly till they had all moved off the marks.

Been toying within the idea of starting a proper fishing diary rather then just a rough mental one... maybe this will be the year i pull the finger out!


851 Posts
great report enjoyed the read what a winter you had was wondering why I didn't catch many
think you caught them all lol. If you can catch that many from the shore what you like from a
boat? The fish must dread anytime you go near the sea......

Turbot Magnet
1,886 Posts
Great report Rab,thanks for sharing it,a bit of a struggle to read it after a 12hour shift,did you hire someone to write it for you?
Never mind what Gus said,i know you only swap all your cod for a turbot...or one of Anne's puddings...
Thanks bud for all the effort you put in to share your experiences and expertize with all of us

2,404 Posts
great report as usual rab thats still some great outings there whatever your thinking of it a lot of fish supper/pies there to keep you going,what brand of braid do you use for shore fishing as av heard this and that from others what they prefer due to the abrasive resistant which none are great cheers rab well done.

Discussion Starter · #20 ·
great report as usual rab thats still some great outings there whatever your thinking of it a lot of fish supper/pies there to keep you going,what brand of braid do you use for shore fishing as av heard this and that from others what they prefer due to the abrasive resistant which none are great cheers rab well done.
power pro rab,cannae beat it for abrasion resistance.i used mono a lot this year though due to messy seas,the braid is awkward to fish across big inconsistent waves.
cheers rab
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