Fishing Know How

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Round-Bodied Fish

Cod, pollock etc.

  1. With fish facing away from you, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to cut along the back of the fish, from tail to head.
  2. Make a second cut just behind the gills, down to the backbone.
  3. Holding the knife at a slight angle, cut along the bone to free the back side of the fillet. Peel back the free meat, then cut fillet away from the rib cage.
  4. Turn fish over and repeat above steps for second fillet.

Flat Fish

  1. With the patterned  side of the flatfish up, use a flexible boning knife to make a cut along the spine from the gills to the tail.
  2. Slide the blade between backbone and flesh, lifting the fillet away from the bone. Remove the second fillet in the same manner.
  3. Turn the fish over: repeat step 2.
  4. To skin, grasp fillet by the tail end, skin side down. Holding the knife at a slight angle, cut the meat free.

Steaking – Round-Bodied Fish

Conger eel or salmon

  1. Remove fins from cleaned, scaled fish by running knife point along each side of fin base, then pulling this free.
  2. To remove head, make diagonal cut behind the gills and sever backbone with heavy knife or cleaver.
  3. Still using a heavy knife, slice fish into steaks about 2-4cm thick, starting about 11cm from the head end.

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We can supply you with tackle from our on-board supply of Penn hire rods & tackle, but you are welcome to bring your own gear.

Pollock are plentiful between June and January when they can be found gorging on large shoals of sprats off the many wrecks.  Those that we catch are generally between 8-17lbs, and they’re usually caught on the drift.

Once hooked a pollock will put up an incredible scrap, starting with a power dive, which will leave the angler feeling they have hooked a passenger lift descending to the seabed. It is not uncommon to have two or three anglers hooked into fish each drift.

Tackle required

Should be light


Usually between 10oz – 1.5lb.  Keep in mind that at some wrecks there is the potential to lose lead weights.


  • Tube boom to carry weight
  • Long flowing traces up to 20ft in length.
  • It is preferable to make this trace in two sections with a small swivel midway to alleviate some of the twisting and kinking.


  • 5/0 or 6/0
  • razor sharp
  • fitted to bait


  • 18lb – 25lb lines


12-20lb class boat road


Artificial eels (small ones preferred in summer months)

  • red gills
  • sidewinders
  • delta eels
  • jelly worms

Sand eel


  • black
  • crimson
  • orange

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We can supply you with tackle from our on-board supply of Penn hire rods & tackle, but you are welcome to bring your own gear.

Tackle used

Hook sizes

  • large – 6/0 or above
  • bronze finished – this is the most important factor in the release of hooked sharks.  Any hook that has to be left in a fish will dissolve rapidly.


Shark are a large, strong fish with sharp teeth and rough skin. Losing a fish because of an inappropriate trace increases the likelihood of fish mortality due to trailing line.

  • At least 2m long (so shark’s tail can’t hit your main line)


  • 2 metres of 250lb mono straight through; or
  • 25cm of 150lb wire to a swivel attached to 175cm of 100-150lb mono/braid

When to strike

Old books advise to strike at the start of the second run.  This advice is outmoded and we do not condone this as it leads to a deeply-hooked fish.

Current advice is that once the tope has started the familiar screaming run, count to six on a big bait (full mackerel or flapper) or three on a small bait (fillet size) and wind down firmly into fish. It is imperative you wind quickly at first to get rid of the bow before lifting the rod to set the hook.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row]