Paul Bryson together with fishing companions Phil and Harry head out sea fishing this week and Paul reports:

With stories of sharks floating around all week – I was mad keen to get out yesterday. Crewing for Bertie was keen to impress – so turned up keen and eager on time on Saturday morning – off we went down the Swilly to look for mackerel. Easier said than done with Mack being very elusive at the moment in and around the Swilly. Eventually enough where gathered up at Dunaff – though most where very small but enough gathered up for hook baits and a stab at dubby.
Left our mack spot to head for our choosen spot – Dubby prepared, rods rigged…….
We had two of our shark rods deployed, I was rigging the third when Berties reel gave a tell tale scream. Two short runs followed, then nothing. Bertie was all for reeling in to check his bait – but patience prevailed and he let it sit. Couple of nervous minutes past – then the balloon disappeared and off it went.

Initally the fight went very easy – we thought must be a small fish as it came straight to the boat :@ then it had a look at us and took off for the horizon – the next 40 minutes where all a bit hectic, the fish came to the boat twice more, we had it leadered twice but didn’t manage to net it to the third attempt. Took all our strength to get it onboard. A cracker female fish of 70inches x 37inches (a little over 152lbs according to the NOAA calculator).

Never mind getting it in the boat – it wasn’t even easy to get her out of the boat.

Was my turn next – balloon bobbed, then a short run – followed by nothing.
10 mins later – new bait on – proper run, line screeming off the reel – bent into it – fish on….. Butt Pad on – fight commence when it threw the hook – gutted.

Throughout all of this Philip was happily catching tope, and some lovely spurdogs – testing the animal rigs to destruction. We had to revert to big fish baits to stop the influx of coalies – they seemed to be everywhere.
There was a definite period of inactivity on the shark front – despite new dubby being deployed. Finally at about 3ish my balloon came at a rate of knots directly towards the boat! Reeled like mad until got weight and struck – a second later Berties reel screemed – he was also in – to the same fish! The next 15minutes absolute madness as we tried to co-ordinate our fight of the same fish! Long and messy story short – diring ourt intiialy netting attempt – Bert got snapped off leaving me to fight it alone – had the fish back to the boat on two further occasions before we got him onboard. A nice shark of 111lbs. Well chuffed :whew:

With the fish onboard, we saw it had both hooks cleanly in its mouth! Got both traces removed – shows you when these guys are feeding they feed! Hooks and all

No more shark action for the day – though the general fishing when we could get through the coalies was alright.

On the way home, we stopped for mackerel, trying to make a head start for sunday – got a few dozen and also picked up a couple of scad (handy for Berts Braggin)

Sunday dawned full of hope – we new the fish where there, was only a matter of going out there and we would catch them….. or not! Such is fishing! Sunday was a woeful days fishing, we found mack ok – but very little else – no tope, despite Harrys best efforts all day, no spurs, and certainly not even the hint of a shark :wall: Even the weather got worse with us making the decision to come back into the Lough at 3 and spent the last hour drifting for flatties but only picking up a few Thornies and a tub gurnard.

Really good weekend, definitely a tale of two halves though with Sunday being a poor day really in comparison to Saturday.

Paul Bryson

Report courtesy of