Thursday, 24 March 2016

A Spring Ling (Pollock and Barbel too!)

My new personal best ling of 24lb
I ended my last blog post by telling you that I had some boat trips booked and a trip to the River Wye planned for March 14th, the last day of the river season. I've got lucky with two trips aboard Spot On! of Brixham and my day on the Wye all producing some great fishing and on lovely sunny spring days too. The first of my two boat trips was spent wrecking for pollock and to say we caught a lot of fish would be an understatement. Pollock to 16lb were caught in abundance by all on board and there were a lot of aching arms by the end of the trip. My day on the banks of the Wye at Courtfield changed the pace a little and it made a nice change to sit down and wait for a bite instead of winding lures furiously all day. Two barbel of about 5lb a piece were the reward for chancing my luck on a river that can be very unpredictable at this time of year. Great to end the season by catching my favourite species from my favourite river! Trip number two aboard Spot On! and I was keen to try and catch a ling on bait. There would be a window of opportunity to do this during slack water but until then it was a case of working lures to try and tempt other species. I caught a few pouting (that was the ling bait sorted) and a few nice pollock, biggest was about 12lb. Just before "ling o' clock" I got the rod and reel I had intended to use for the ling fishing in an almighty tangle, losing a lot of braid. I had no choice but to set up my lighter outfit, the one I use for "having a bit of fun with the pollock" with my ling end gear. A 12oz lead was soon plummeting to the seabed dragging behind it a pouting head mounted on an 8/0 hook tied to a short length of 70lb line. Of course the inevitable happened and after only a couple of minutes I found myself attached to a ling that had me fooled in to thinking I'd snagged the wreck below. This fish really did feel huge on a rod and reel that had previously only handled cod and pollock to mid doubles. I slowly but surely gained back braid and after a ten minute scrap that I really enjoyed a big ling lay on the deck of the boat. It pulled the scales round to 24lb, beating my previous best by 9lb. I was very happy and even caught a second, smaller ling soon after as well. Visit for all you need to know about trips with Ross aboard Spot On! and for information on the River Wye. I'll be out again soon no doubt so check back here to see how I get on.

One of two Wye barbel caught on March 14th

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