Sheepshead Rocks

I've had three sessions from the rocks on the north side of Sheepshead over the past couple of weeks, using large fish baits such as mackerel heads and mackerel/squid cocktails, usually popped up off the bottom by wrapping on a small piece of polystyrene with bait elastic..


To be honest it's been pretty slow; I get the impression that things are only just starting to get going as we come out of winter.


First time out I caught only an LSD, and lost a load of gear on a mark that's been fairly kind to me in the past. I missed my one chance at a bigger fish when I failed to connect with a good run. The mackerel head came back completely crushed but the fish had missed the hook.


I did better second time out at a mark where I've not taken the bottom rods before - it faces straight out into the Atlantic and there are not that many occasions when the swell  allows it to be fished safely. The ground seemed remarkably clear and I only lost one lead. After a slow start I had a good run on mackerel head and struck into a strong fish that turned out to be a personal best bullhuss of around 13lbs ...

After that, a couple of rattly bites on the cocktail baits yielded LSDs, and after high water another run on a mackerel head produced a smaller huss.


I fished on well down the tide but couldn't get another touch.


Then this morning I was out again early for what proved to be a pretty bleak session under a leaden sky with a strong south-east wind swirling around at the base of the cliff. It was cold and the fishing was desperately slow, just one little nodding bite that seemed to have come to nothing. Then when I decided to wind in to rebait, everything was stuck. After a bit of heaving the "snag" gave way and turned out to be a conger eel - only a small one of about 8lbs but my first of the year and perhaps a sign of better to come as the water warms up.

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