Here’s a few shots from our 2012 Skate Hunt, featuring some neat wee beasties caught by Steve Ashton, Dave Dillon, Kieth Armishaw, Patrick Lawlor and Allan Dillon. See our Skate Report for more details about the trip. We are now back ‘down south’ in The Rhins of Galloway ready for the Tope season.
I know a few folk have been disappointed that I didn’t manage to update the facebook page on a daily basis. I had problems with the laptop dongles and our local pub hadn’t paid his Wifi bill so getting online was nigh impossible.
To summarise the trip I would say it was the hardest Crinan trip we have done with the average number of fish per day being well below normal. This can only put down to the absence of Males and smaller fish. We discovered late in the trip that the males were further south than our normal fishing marks but the area holding the males can only be fished in the smallest tides
Matty on Onyer Marks Too had 5 fish over 200 pound with a 205 for John Smith and a 207 for first timer Brendan McAndrew. Fish of 201 and 205 came on the same day for Darlington angler’s Dave Morton and friends. Dave Nightingale was delighted with his 202. My biggest fish was a 209 for Steve Ashton.
Apart from Graham Boardman’s and Jonathon’s trip with 6 fish in the two days all over 174 pounds, my most memorable trip was with lone angler Patrick Lawler. Patrick landed 5 fish (all over 182lb) in one day. On two occasions he was playing a fish with another one hooked on the bottom. We released one fish and quickly harnessed him to the next. Patrick ended up with 7 over the 2 days.
Matty had a great day with Jim and Dan Ashman with 5 fish; two of these were just a pound off the magical 200 lb
Skate Virgins Keith and Lee Armishaw shared a fish a piece during the only bad spell of weather we had during the whole trip: suffering from the Mal de Mare, Keith was delighted with his 195. Keith put an article on his book and vintage tackle website which you may find interesting
We decided to head south on the small tides during the SSTP tagathon and Matty hit the jackpot with 6 fish for regulars, Dermot Cavanagh, Sharpie, Guy and Gordon Stewart. Matty fished the mark during the next few days and had a 2 fish day then a four fish day. This was during a slow period with many boats on the tagathon blanking. Matty ended up with nearly half of all the fish caught during the three day event.
The trip was definitely a emotional roller coaster ride for Matty and me, we both had periods of good fishing and periods of struggling but the inconsistency meant you were never confident of a good day
Looking back at this trip it will be memorable for me, as it was the first trip that Matty managed to stuff me. We had been neck and neck with just 6 trips to go but he basically out thought me during the last week and ended up well clear. I can only say a big well done to him; he made some great decisions, thinking outside the box during the last week and thoroughly deserved his victory. ~Ian