Sunday, 10 August 2014

Making a Coffee Packet Mackerel Rig

I think I had forgotten how far the Island of Mull is from those other places that seem a little crap by comparison. I am sat on rock, well a stack of rocks wondering if I will ever be able to leave and also sadly realising that when the week is over I will have to. Below is the only point that a good depth of water meets the rocky shore for a few miles of coastline and on either of it shallow reefs extend out. The water, Loch Scridain is a finger of the North Atlantic that cuts deep into the side of Mull. On its northern shore the cliffs of the Berg stand guard over its entrance; its layers of basalt from forgotten volcanoes create a layer cake in the landscape for the climate to pick away at. To the North West smaller islands in the chain break up the horizons like pieces of scattered shrapnel. And then to the north east, Mull’s central massif sits robbed in folds of mountain at the head of the loch. I have my back to the Ross of Mull the southern shore, which is a lower landscape that feels a little less dramatic, sat amongst such kin.

My set up is very basic if not a little wrong , I have 12ft carp rod designed to throw weights in ponds not the ocean, 50lb braided line on a medium sized fixed spool reel, a feather rig made from a coffee packet and lump of lead. To get some distance I have been making half-hearted pendulum casts rather than my usual off the ground casts which really wouldn't make sense amongst jagged rocks. I have two strategies on the go, the first is the simple chuck, let it sink a little and then retrieve in long pulls; this should find some mackerel that tend to run a little higher in the water column.

Plan b is to let the weight sink all the way to the bottom and then retrieve with jerks letting it drop back so it is never far from the coalfish and pollock that like it a little darker. So far this has landed me a good sized pollock and as I am not great at estimating weights I measure the fish on how many adult portions I could get out of it, and by looks of this one it may be six. The rest of the fish have been a little on the small size and have gone back but as yet the Mackerel have failed to show, well there is the rest of the week.