I was a single angler for the day following a few late call-offs. I set out with no real game plan for the day since there were reports that fish had began to disperse from Gateside Bay as the weather cooled (and following another good spell of rain). Fish were apparently moving higher in the water column and dries were mentioned more than once in the car park as the go-to method. Malling Shore, Gateside, and Lochend had all been mentioned in dispatches, so I decided to speculate initially down the Road Shore into Kate’s Brae. There were a lot of small coarse fish moving in Hotel Bay at the start of the day, I think probably roach, but there was the odd trout among them. Once again, not a great deal of insect life around, but conditions were promising, with overcast conditions and a light south westerly wind.
As I motored past International Bay there were a few fish showing out into the open water. I could not resist a quick cast. I had set-up with washing line on a 3ft midge-tip, with a small black booby on the point, olive cruncher and black Diawl Bach. The wind had now almost totally disappeared and I could not cover the areas where fish were showing that easily. A couple of half-hearted pulls either turned out to be perch (of which there were many caught during the day- they loved the flash back Diawl and there were some nice specimens among them), roach and a couple of jack pike. I worked along the road shore but with no success and to be honest there was not a lot happening to keep me interested.
I dropped into Lochend where there were a couple of boats working in front of the chalets. I bumped into Jimmy and Peter, who were working the shallower areas into the reed beds. Peter picked up a couple of good fish in this area. I eventually landed a trout to the cruncher, drifting into Tod’s Hole. Once again, I was not convinced, so motored up towards Chicken Leg bay and set-up a drift from the deeper water onto the point. Once again, I was being pestered with perch. No wonder the pike are doing as well! From there, I popped round the corner into Sandy Bay where I bumped into Trevor and John and they were also struggling at this point. From here you could see the armada working down from Dog Isle towards the Malling Shore, with one or two boats working the Plantation to Silage Pits.
I worked along the shore in front of the Plantation, and finally began to enjoy a bit of sport. Fish were bow-waving after the flies, but not really locking-on. There were a few full-blooded pulls before I managed to land a trout. This was more like it. There were fish around, but still not quite enough wind to cover them properly ,so it was a case of working away and being patient. I hooked and dropped a few more in this area before landing another couple. By this time, John and Trevor decided to cover the same area in front of the Plantation and they both started to enjoy a bit of sport. From here, I popped along to the Rookery, by-passing the cages where there were still a lot of boats. I changed over to the dries (grunters, yellow owls, foam beetles and half-hogs) for the next hour or so, but to no avail. I never managed to interest a single fish. Bob and Dougie were also on the dries. Dougie had managed one on the dap, which was no mean feat, but to be honest we did not get the sense the fish were really turned on to our dries at this stage.
I continued along past Sam’s Point, into Reedy Bay with no further success, so it was back onto the midge-tip and washing line but it was tough going. I eventually managed to land a final trout at Sam’s, which fell to the olive cruncher.
The club’s nine rods ended with a total of 31 fish, with the top boat being Jimmy and Peter with a total of 9 between them.