Friday, January 28, 2011

Specimen Ling....

Members of Cobh SAC took advantage of the recent settled weather and what a day they had!!! Skipper, Donie Geary, takes up the story....'on Friday last, a group of local anglers hired the John-Boy to fish an offshore wreck. The weather had been settled for the best part of a week and the tides were suitable with a midday low water. We left Cobh at 9:30am with 7 very eager anglers, to fish a wreck about 20 miles from Roches Point. We started our first drift in 250 feet of water shortly after 11 o'clock. Things were very slow at first, only picking up several cod, but to 6lb nonetheless. We also had some fine whiting and a couple of nice ling in the first half dozen drifts. As the tide turned I decided to anchor in the hope of better fishing. Almost immediately, Ruud Boulhower (our local Dutchman) struck into a fine fish. However, he also got caught on the dreaded net that has been lost on the wreck. After about 10 minutes trying to coax it clear, the net eventually won and Ruud lost everything. Almost at the same time, Tony Maguire struck and landed a fine ling to 17lb despite having a major struggle with his reel. Tony also landed the next two ling of about 12lb. However, at that stage his reel had had enough. Fishing was steady with everyone landing some nice ling, conger and whiting. Gerard Richardson had at this stage the best with a hefty ling of 20lb. Ruud, though, wasn't to be outdone and struck into a good fish. We first thought it was a conger. Ruud had to gingerally reel the fish in as he was wary that the relatively light line on his hokkai rig would part. Eventually, he landed a fine ling weighing in at 25lb 2oz....a specimen, and Ruud's first at that!!! This is also the first specimen aboard John-Boy for 2011. Well done Ruud! We left for home at 4:30pm, with everyone in good form after an enjoyable day's fishing. With 10 miles left for port, Martin Perryman called out that he had seen a spout of water about 50 yards astern. I immediately swung around and headed for the disturbance on the surface. As I did this giant of a fin whale breached the surface 20 meters away. From the boat everybody just looked on in amazement at this monster, estimated at about 60 feet. It was the size of a small island and just as quick as it appeared it disappeared under the water again. We waited with cameras at the ready but that was the last we saw of him. On arrival back at Cobh and with Ruud's specimen ling confirmed, all the talk was about our encounter with this monster. How lucky we were to have the pleasure of being so close to such a creature as he swam in the open sea. In nearly 50 years of charter angling, I have never, or doubt I will ever again, witness such a fantastic sight.'

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