Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not a big fan?

At the weekend I made a comment on an online messageboard about not really being a big fan of winter cod fishing. My mate Ad, who lives in Aberdeen and does a lot of it, read this, questioned my manliness and invited me up to the North East for an evening clambering up and down its rugged coastline in the dark to target them. I couldn't refuse and drove up to meet Ad on Tuesday afternoon. Having checked the forecast before I left I knew the sea might be a bit rough but due to the direction the wind was forecast to be blowing from I didn't think it would be too bad. When I was almost there and the A90 approached the coast however I could sea that it was pretty rough. When I met Ad we quickly checked out a mark nearby to see how bad it was but it was just to dangerous to fish really.

Bit of a swell running and breaking over the rocks. Ad insisted on going down just to double check.

Undeterred, we headed north and found a slightly more sheltered bay although there was still a fair swell running. Ignoring the notice at the top of the cliffs we carefully made our way down to a comfortable grassy ledge high above the turbulent water below.

The North East coastline is a cod angling Mecca but fishing there is not without its risks. Great care is required even accessing marks.

Setting up a rod each with a pulley rig incorporating a rotten bottom link we had a few casts with black lug, squid and bluey cocktails being the baits of choice. After an hour or so with no interest shown we decided to head to another mark though. By the time we got there it was dark so on went the headlights. The wind had started to die down a bit and the large peeble beach we made our way down to offered us a bit of shelter too. The rain came on for a while and as the ebbing tide started to reveal some rocky skeers off to our left we stared getting a few bites. These were all missed until I connecting with a couple of them and landed two nice cod of about 2lb that I returned to get bigger.

The cavernous mouth of an eating machine.

As the tide turned the bites dried up so we decided to have a break and grabbed a tasty portion of chips before heading to try one final mark. Once there we started fishing from some rocks but as the tide flooded we were forced onto another large peeble beach nearby by waves breaking in front of us sending a lot of spray up almost soaking us a couple of times before we got the hint. There was not much action from the beach until Ad's rod tip violently came to life not long before we were going to call it a night and a cod of about 3lb was soon landed before we packed up.

A nice fish to end the session with for Ad.

It had been a fairly mild night temperature wise, we managed to find some shelter and a hat trick of cod. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was good to catch up with Ad. It's a wonderful stretch of coastline and I can see that whilst fishing it can be dangerous it can also rewarding. Ad, like many other winter cod devotees, is chasing a double figure cod from the North East shoreline and has come pretty close. Big fish are what attracts most anglers who focus their efforts solely on cod over the winter, driving them to fish in tough conditions on dangerous marks and it takes a special type of angler to do it I think. I'm happy to admit that I'm just not one of them. I'll stick to the odd occasional winter cod session in good company when the opportunity arises.

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Not for me these days either, used to do a fair bit could never be arsed with the drive home on a winter night from the east coast. Fair play for getting out there. Very thin those fish..

    1. They were a bit on the slender side. Returned mine to get fatter though. :-)

  2. Pretty easy to get fat at this time of year to be fair.... working for me.