After retiring and moving back to the North-East of England, I noticed a plea in the Newton News for new members to join the local Locomotion Sea Angling Club.
Within a couple of weeks I was in a boat, out of Hartlepool, fishing in the club’s annual competition. I was made very welcome and using a combination of loaned rod and reel, and with generous gifts of sinkers and rigs, I was able to land about 5lb of fish; mainly whiting.
Within two months I had set up a website for the club and, within a year, became Secretary.
The Committee and Members are friendly and helpful, and every trip is an opportunity for good company, trading insults and (sometimes) catching some fish.
My godson, Connor, asked his Mum, “Why does uncle Tim go fishing when he gets seasick?”. Not surprisingly, she was lost for an answer. I expect that I must find that the pleasure outweighs the suffering.
A TRIP TO IRELAND
May and June 2002 were very busy with sea fishing.
Five Club members visited Cahersiveen in County Kerry, Ireland where we spent a week fishing with some real enthusiasts including many international competitors.
The weather was good – mild and often sunny. The fishing was great. On the first mark we were all into pollack, and the rest of the trip was similarly good. By the end of the day all the eight anglers on the boat had caught over 30 fish above the appropriate minimum size. the commonest being pollack and coalfish.
The picture above shows two pollack which I caught on the same trace. At the time I was using a very flexible 20 – 30 lb class rod and a lightweight reel so it was quite a task hauling up these two. They were estimated at about 5 – 6 lb each.
Pollack is not a popular fish for eating in the UK or Ireland. I understand that this is because the flesh has a very short keeping period. Irene and I tried it, fried in breadcrumbs, and thought it very good. I brought back several pounds of pollack and coalfish, frozen for me by the proprietor of the B & B where we stayed.
A full report is available on the Locomotion Sea Angling Club website.
MY FIRST COD
On the first Sunday in June 2002, on a boat trip out of Tynemouth, I caught my first cod since joining the club.
It tipped the scales at about 7 lb and was followed by a second, not as large, but just as welcome. This trip was cut short due to bad weather. A report and other pictures can be found here.
A 36 HOUR TRIP ON CHIEFTAIN
Early in June 2002, I joined a 36 hour trip out of Whitby on the 80ft long Chieftain. Chieftain and her Skipper, John Brennan, are licenced to operate up to 150 miles from any safe port or haven – that covers most of the North Sea. We spent much of Saturday fishing wrecks about 110 miles off the coast, level with Berwick.
Our party of ten, including members of the Locomotion Sea Angling Club, took home some 25 to 30 lb of filleted fish per person. The catch was mostly cod with some ling and coalfish (coley).
A full report, with photographs, is available on the Locomotion Sea Angling Club website.
MY FIRST DOUBLE-FIGURE FISH
During our September 2002 trip, aboard Gordon Cubbin out of Hartlepool, I boated my first double-figure fish; a ling weighing about 13lb when caught. After gutting it weighed 11lb 8oz, was the heaviest fish of the day and also the heaviest fish of the Summer season caught on a rough ground trip. This outing was a bumper one for everyone with 30 ling, 7 cod, 1 red gurnard, numerous whiting and a few mackerel being caught.
A COMPETITION WIN
Autumn 2002 was obviously a lucky time for me. I entered a competion in the October issue of Boat Fishing Monthly magazine, and won. The prize was a trip for two aboard Stewart Smalley’s Aldeburgh Angler out of Orford, Suffolk. My report on a really great trip (catching bass and cod) is here.