Seven members of Wakefield MAG and three members of Wakefield region Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain made the trip up to Hartlepool on Saturday 2nd October for the 1st of our sea fishing expeditions.
It was with some trepidation that we set off up the M1 in the early hours of Saturday morning as the weather over the previous few days had been abysmal and we were expecting to get very wet. However that proved not to be the case as we all met up in Hartlepool marina car park after an easy run up the A1 and A19 and found the sun shining and the wind abated. Some of the crew had already had breakfast after calling in at one of the many famous fast food establishments and were raring to go. However on meeting our Skipper he advised we first call at the local tackle shop to purchase some lug and ragworm to tip our ockeye hooks !
So having purchased our bait we made our way down the gang plank onto the floating pontoon and clambered aboard the Flamer2 as our Captain manoeuvred into the sea lock at the entrance to the marina. A certain very blond female crew member was heard to exclaim "Ooh I thought they only had locks on canals" as the rest of the crew looked skywards before falling about laughing.
The lock gates opened after dropping us about 10 feet and the open sea stretched before us. What a relief for us all as we noted the very gentle swell and not huge waves that we had all feared. Our skipper took us out of the harbour on impulse power then engaged warp drive which lifted the bow and sent us skimming over the waves, had we been brave or stupid enough we could have actually water-skied behind the boat.
On reaching the fishing grounds which we estimated must be approaching Norway! we stopped and gathered round awaiting orders. Our fishing rods were already tackled up and we handed them round the boat, after a brief instruction on how to operate a multiplier reel and a demonstration on how to thread on a worm we all eagerly lowered our line over the side. About 30 seconds later Ian was reeling his up again with 3 mackerel dangling off the hooks this feat of angling skill was rewarded with all sorts of highly complementary comments from the rest of the crew but it wasnít long before everyone had a bend in their rod as fish of all sorts of shapes and sizes started coming aboard thick and fast.
For many of the crew this was their first time sea fishing and for the rest it was only a vary occasional experience but there was a genuine buzz of excitement as we all wondered what monsters of the deep were underneath us shortly to pay a visit. We didnít have to wait long to find out as Vicky gave a girlie shriek and pleaded for help as her rod arched over we all shouted encouragement as she struggled to wind in her line† and then cheered as a ling of gigantic proportions was hauled over the side.
This was followed by cod, whiting, pouting and even more mackerel although some of the fish were undersize and put back to grow on for another day.
We did a fair bit of moving around throughout the day trying a mixture of wrecks, rough ground and banks in order to search out the fish. There was plenty of good natured banter aboard even when lines were crossed and the inevitable tangles occurred.
There were incidents of being bashed round the head with wet fish and unplanned worm tasting wasnít there Lorna Yuk!
But glad to say no ground baiting as we all had our sea legs and were far too busy to be feeling sick. All too soon we had to weigh the anchor and make our way back to port but all agreed we had thoroughly enjoyed the day and hoped it would become an annual event in the Wakefield MAG calendar.