Saturday Sea Fishing – Man Shit!

A family barbeque was scheduled however I had other plans arranged – awesome man shit was required. And why the man shit? – because fishing in the Sea is all about big rods and smelly bait (and also checking your nuts for ticks but that comes later).

Block was applied - of the sun variety.

Also I have never been sea fishing before which usually brings people out in incredulous wonder how I have managed to get this far into my life without casting with anger into the salty stuff – sure I have fished the estuary for Sea Trout and caught Mackerel too but not the chuck it and chance it affair that is proper sea fishing – you know casting out with baits and drinking beer, not knowing what strange beast may take hold of your smelly worm – probably what 80% of the anglers do on the Kelvin actually – being beside a river that is a few meters wide does not stop people using beachcasters on the Kelvin.

Alex with "Big Bertha"

Anyway – it was a 0700 start so of course Alex and I stopped in to pick up Allan last (he had slept in) – we were then off to the Mull of Galloway. It was a baking hot day although there was a fresh wind at the first mark with a very short smattering of rain.

We stopped off to buy bait – good grief – £6 for a bunch of worms – plus they caught us bugger all which was annoying – in the end it was the sand eels that done the job bait wise – yes, sand eels with their guts hanging out – yummy!

We fished at two “marks” (that is what Sea Anglers call fishing spots – what we might call beats) the first was merely treacherous to try and get to with sheer drops into the water below and the 2nd involved a walk along what I can only describe as a mountain goats path with a sheer drop on one side and tick infested plants on the other – in one hand I carried my rod and in my other a cool bag with some sausages and some smelly bait – I pretended not to be terrified and did not look down.

Certain Death - half a foot left!

Certain Death - half a foot left!

Alex and Allan both and two spinning rods and I had one with my fly rod. I cast out my spinning rod with a ledgered  sand eel and watched Alex cast “Big Bertha”  – his huge beachcaster.

Big Bertha in Action...

It was Alex that caught the first fish – a Pollack while spinning – by this point I had my BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod – a Pike fly rod that I cunningly modified for the sea by giving it a wash afterwards – casting was a piece of pee – the wind helped  a fair bit and I was damn near putting out the full fly line (I was using a sinker) and out of the blue caught a wee Pollack – listen – it was small right but the significance was pretty big – my first proper sea fishy (other than mackerel) caught on the fly – a quick photo and then the beast was sent back to the depths.

May be small however it was an honest to goodness sea beast caught on the fly!

Of course Alex and Allan then caught two beasts on their spinners…

Bloody Show Off!

….and of course Allan…

Not caught on powerbait!

– at that point I should have changed to the spinner however I just persevered with the fly until eventually the action stopped – we wandered off our rock and drove to our second mark – the one at the bottom of a sheer cliff – lovely – however by mimicking a mountain goat I got there.

Plenty of action!

2nd mark was all about doggy style – after all we were having a day of Man Shit so doggy style was inevitable – at this mark all we caught was dog fish – Allan appeared to be attracting the hounds with their funny blinking eyes and weird noises – when I finally caught one I felt an appropriate ridiculous photo was called for – so I stuck out my tongue – I regret it now as it does not show the gravitas of the moment.

Serious Stuff!

I am also sporting some rather nifty polaroids from….well – Polaroid which I have been told make me look like a gimp – however they were very comfy and the lenses I was using got a very firm thumbs up.

Constant doggy action...

We had a very manly barbeque involving burnt sausages and wanted to stick a mackerel on it however none showed up – we also drank beer – all was right with life.

Rod Bending Things!

Would I do it again?

Damn right I would actually  – it was great fun – even though the dog fish were a bit pesky it was still something totally different – I have still to catch a bigger pollock an also a multitude of other strange beasts – I mean when you cast at a rising fish you know it either going to be a trout or a grayling – when sea fishing it could be any number of strange creatures.

Casting into the abyss!

Looking forward to next time already.


  1. Stu · June 28, 2010

    Great read – all the things about sea fishing that me and my missus though when we started a few years ago. Just getting into fly fishing now (got my first brownie a week ago – RESULT!!!) to try and target Bass on Anglesey with a fly rather than a lure / plug.

    Keep up the banter – it’s very good.


  2. Alistair · June 28, 2010

    Thanks for your kind words Stu – sounds like we are opposites – me just starting out in the Sea and you starting out on the fly with browns – I wonder at what point we will pass each other in the middle with our experience 🙂


  3. Alex · June 28, 2010

    Polaroids are a fine balance between looking like a gimp and looking like a bumble bee. Not that it matters when there’s serious man shit to be done. Well done on your pollack Alistair, there’s not many folks can say they’ve had them on a fly rod. If you think those marks are scary, next time I will take you to ‘the ledge’ and possibly even the ‘leap of faith’! Big balls are a must – just look out for the ticks!

  4. Stuart B · June 28, 2010

    Reminds me of when I used to go down to Port William,and Burrowhead and also further down in Luce Bay on the other side,Drummore etc .

    PS ..Whats that furry thing in Pic No 1?

  5. Andy C · June 28, 2010

    SEA FISHING WTF ally thought u were urban oooooooo lol

  6. alan atkins · June 28, 2010

    It was a blast Alistair, we must go again soon and have a go for the bass and smoothhounds

  7. DavieC · June 28, 2010

    Yeah Stuart i used to fish Luce bay and PortPatrick..and light house at isle of pollack biggest was 26 lb..Did i read right Alistair u ledgered deadbaits lol..knew u would see the light lol..We used to fish for Lounce for live bait for the pollack ..deadly fishing .
    looks like you guys had a good day..that pic of Alan he looks like leo sayer with the wind in his hair lol ..

  8. Alistair · June 28, 2010

    Stuart – that furry thing is in fact a dog 🙂

    Got to admit – all that sun and bait shenanigans made me fancy a glass of wine after my beer – possibly of the fortified variety 😉

  9. scott · June 28, 2010

    Thoroughly enjoyed that post alistair, I’m keen to venture into the salt this year and that was the perfect dose of encouragement. Those pollack look like great fun, How fast a sinker were you using?

    Also, I got my first bite from a tick the other day, quite close to the sack actually! Worst of all I got it in edinburgh :/ what the fuck?

  10. scott · June 28, 2010

    Oh aye, forgot to say, respect to your pal for the iron maiden t-shirt!

  11. Alex Landeen · June 28, 2010

    Big Bertha is truly a mighty stick.

    Good Job!

  12. lee stevenson · June 28, 2010

    Do you think pealer crab are better for bass than rag i never catch bass on rag onliny breme or mackrel. And where would i find some pealer crab thanks

  13. Stuart · June 28, 2010


    It really depends where and when you’re fishing.

    If the crabs are moulting then the Bass will deffo be after them, especially round rocks or estuaries. If it’s a flat storm beach the chances are they’re going to be after what ever the beach has to offer as bait – usually lug or rag.

    I generally go for crab in the ‘peeling’ season, lug on beaches (blow or black) and rag in estuaries when not using crab.

    This time of year I would mainly be using lug on Anglesey or the NW beaches where I live

  14. Pingback: Sea Fishing Gear « The Urban Fly Fisher

Comments are closed.