Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Tales from the Flounder King 2

Tuesday, 2 January 2018 at 14:06

Dab Now this, I think, was a (pretty anaemic-looking) dab - which felt rough-skinned when stroked from tail to head, with those pronounced eyes and a bulge in the lateral line just behind the pectoral fin. The last dab I caught was in Ireland (2010), on a bar-spoon intended for sea-trout; the spoon was bigger than the dab.

Tales from the Flounder King 3

Tuesday, 2 January 2018 at 14:04

Whiting This was one of a double-header (of which I had two). The other whiting was bigger...but then I would say that. I don't suppose any of the whiting were more than 27cm but it was good fun.

60

Tuesday, 2 January 2018 at 09:07

1966 Plus ├ža change.... I have curiously mixed feelings about turning 60. What is it about that dimension - you might almost say, that property - time, that means it seems to speed up so radically as you get older? If I'd told this young chap about the life he would go on to lead, what would he have said and done? ('Stay here and fish some more,' he would have said - and who's to say he would have been wrong?)

Henry's whiting

Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 12:51

Henry's whiting We saw the Old Year out in style, with a whiting session from a local pier. Squalls blew in from the West. Our lugworms and/or sandeels, so winningly presented in the two hours around the top of the tide, lay untouched.... until they weren't. A rattle on Henry's rod brought this splendid whiting to hand and meanwhile, I caught and released a flounder (below). This represented huge success. Two adults; two hours; two small fishes: it was grand.

Flounder

Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 12:45

Flounder Flounders are fascinating fish. They're born with eyes in the correct position, but the God of Flounders ordained that once born, their eyes would swivel right and thereafter peer upwards from the right side of their skulls. They're migratory, too, after a fashion, spawning in deeper water in the late winter and early spring before migrating back shorewards. I was delighted to catch this one, building on the gigantic success I had among flounders at Bundoran several years ago, where I was known as The Flounder King and even had an annual festival named after me.

That last sentence is not true.

This flounder took a lugworm threaded onto a size 1 hook.

  That last sentence is true.


Boxing Day pike

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 at 15:03

A mince pie ...that is, a Boxing Day pike. A solitary pike. It's simply a minor tradition of sorts, to get out there on Boxing Day, irrespective of the weather, and to try and catch a pike. And so I did, though it was a day distinguished by the almost total refusal of the pike to look at any moving lure whatsoever. I had one hit from a little jack....and that was it. Strange, because in the bitter weather and coloured water of last week we released five, and I'd have backed today - clear water, touch of sunshine - over last week. But that's pike fishing for you. I'm almost certain that today they'd have taken static deadbaits better, but as it was I had a walk with the fishing rod in the open air, and that was good enough.

Lure box: c/o Rozemeijer. Shads: c/o Mann's and a tackle shop in Holland. Mince pie: c/o M&S - and excellent it was.

The shortest day

Thursday, 21 December 2017 at 08:46

Reflections 'Tis the yeares midnight,' wrote John Donne, 'and it is the dayes,/ Lucies, who scarce seaven houres herself unmaskes./  The Sunne is spent...' ('A Nocturnall upon St. Lucies Day', c.1627). Yet the shortest day of the year is also, for anglers, an important one - far more important than Christmas or even New Year. If I look around, in the garden or along the river banks, there are indications of new growth: the stems of at least some shrubs are beginning to bud and a couple of days ago in a sheltered spot I saw some tentative but vivid green: the first spring bulbs. The other things that give me enormous interest in the winter months - all year round, actually - are the bird feeders. And so far from being some final nadir, the shortest day can also be re-imagined as a beckoning.

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