Sunday, 18 November 2012


Well the plan was hatched over the last couple of days and I was to head over to the island of Bryher to meet up and fish with Neil. The tides were perfect to target the big pollack from Shipman Head. Well that was the plan but as has been the way for the last few attempted sorties to Bryher, the weather decides to throw a spanner in the works and cock it all up!!!!!!!!!!!!! Northwest winds picked up on Saturday night meaning when Neil went to have a look Sunday morning, the gullies and headland that we planned to fish were underwater and sea was pummeling in - ARSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After sulking for a fair while I simply had to get out of the house, and the good thing about living in the islands is that you can find shelter somewhere! It was still ok down here on the south side of St. Mary's but the forecast was to swing round southerly and freshen as the day went on with 25-30mph winds by 4 o'clock meaning I wouldn't get long to fish the mark I had as a backup plan. Still you don't catch anything sat at home and considering I was on a high after my beloved Arsenal thrashing the Spuds I had to at least give it a go!!!!

The ledges were showing up well in front of me as I got to the mark, it's not terribly deep here, in contrast to some other marks that we fish for pollack with depths up to 40 feet in places compared to 140 feet at Outer Head. But this spot coupled with a bit of tide can throw up some monster pollack. I reckon I have had more doubles from here than anywhere else in Scilly so you just never know. The wind had already started to freshen and was blowing straight into my face when I rigged up the Sakura Shinjin with a Savage Gear Slug Sandeel onto a jig head. The first few casts produced nowt and I was starting to wish I hadnt bothered as the wind was getting worse and making it pretty uncomfortable. I decided to give it an hour before the lure of a cup of tea and some cake called!! The tide was now just starting to turn and usually that means the pollack switch on to feed - pollack love tide and water movement!! The next couple of casts and the pollack started to appear, not big fish of up to 2.5lbs but at least I hadnt blanked!! Just one problem, the wind by now was blowing hard and waves were starting to get up, not ideal when you are fishing on your own!! I changed over to one of the new ''in lures'' the Fiish Black Minnow, this lure has been getting awesome reviews wherever it has been used slaying huge numbers of bass and pollack. My good mate Henry Gilbey has been telling me to try them for pollack as he has just come back from lle D’Ouessant where he fished with the French guys who designed them and said they would be mental for pollack from the shore! Now was as good a time as any!! The lures that Nick Roberts at Bass Lures had kindly sent me ranged up 25g meaning I would be able to cast into the strong headwind as they weighed a lot more than the jig head I was using. I was now able to cast out past the two pinnacles that the pollack love to run between and it wasnt long before lure got smacked using a slow sink and draw method!! The pollack made several dives to start with before slow pumping brought it towards me then all hell broke loose as the pollack realised that it was hooked!!!!!!!!!!  After several more dives I got to see the golden flank of an enormous pollack for the first time and then disaster struck, she dived again but this time I couldnt stop her even with a really tight drag and she went straight into the thick kelp busting me off in the process - BUGGER I was gutted!!!!!!!!!! Just how big was she, I will never know but I've had them to over 13lbs from the shore and this was every part that size!!!! 

After turning the air blue I had to fish on, despite the lost fish there had to be more out there and I wasnt wrong! Two casts later when another pollack hit the lure on the drop. This was another good fish that made several crash dives before I got her to the rock and then I had to jump down to the ledge below grabbing the net as I went (easier said than done) using one of the many waves I managed to slip the net under a stonking pollack!!

She pulled the digital scales down to 9lbs and after several quick photos using a big rock pool to keep her alive and kicking in the process, was returned to where she came from!!! What a stunning fish caught on light balanced tackle and I have to agree with Henry and Nick, these Fiish Black Minnows are the mutts nuts for pollack!! If only I had managed to land the one that got away but maybe next time hey, it's what keeps us all fishing!!!!!


  1. What a beauty! The weather ruined my Sunday plans too but luckily went up Shipman Head on the Saturday after receiving the Crostage as an early xmas present, was a good day but nothing like your monster. Read the review on those Black minnows, seem to be the bomb might have to get a few in, oh p.s it wasn't a red card haha Tight lines!

  2. Absolute beauty lad! I have to get those Black Minnows out for Pollack myself. I have had Bass on them before .... Some size of a fish. Keep up good work. Sadly things have slowed down for me here but you just never know what you might throw up if you get out and wet a line!

    Steve N