Glenn Kilpatrick

Fishing At The Rhins And Mull Of Galloway


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Sea Anglers Heaven

The Mull Of Galloway is indeed a very special place. A mixture of deep and shallow waters, kelp, wrack weed, sand, rocks and extreme tide flow makes this the sea anglers version of heaven.

mull of galloway bass fishingThis article was inspired by our first ever visit to the mull in late August 2011. My friends and I had long been aware of the many delights the mull had to offer and so this season we headed north of the border to sample some of the best angling the UK has to offer.

As webmaster of Whitby Sea Anglers I am fortunate enough to be helped along the way by members of our fishing forum. For our trip to the mull we were handed specific information on marks and tides which enabled us to get a real taste of what the mull has to offer visiting anglers.

With the kindness of our forum members in mind this article will not give away the information shared with us by our friends, indeed it would be rude of us to do so.

However, a visit to any of the 2 tackle shops in the area (Ardwell and Stranraer) will see the owners give you enough information to find yourself some decent fishing on the mull. On our visits to these shops we found the owners and staff to be very helpful, and the owner of the stranraer shop was kind enough to mark off fishing venues on our map.

It is this information that is freely available within the public domain that we shall share through this article.


East And West Coasts Of The Mull

The Mull Of Galloway is easily split into 2 separate coastlines. To the west of Scotland’s most southerly peninsula is the Iris Sea Coast. Here volcanic rock cliffs tumble dramatically into a deep and clear Irish Sea.

Most of the fishing here involves deep water which favors species such as pollack, wrasse, conger, mackerel, bull huss and dogfish etc. The steep cliffs of the Irish Sea do have a few shallow areas such as Ardwell Bay and La Brax which are said to harbour good numbers of sea bass under the right conditions.

In complete contrast to the Irish Sea Coast, the Luce Bay coast on the east side of the mull provides fishing over shallow rocky areas and sandy beaches. It is this area of the coast that bass anglers will be found in chase of their quarry.

Marks Found On The Irish Sea Coastline Of The Mull Of Galloway

The following list of marks, and species you may catch there, are those considered to be the deep water venues at the Mull Of Galloway.

This list by no means outlines all the venues of this coastline and further studying of an ordinance survey map will outline yet more potential fishing marks in this area.

You will need the assistance of an ordinance survey map to find these marks. Access may be difficult and across private land so always take care and seek permission before crossing farmers fields etc.

Most of the venues here are deep water over clean ground. Float fished mackerel strip or sandeels are knockout baits for pollack, whilst bottom fished mackerel strips are essential for bull huss. If its conger your after then big mackerel flapper baits fished on 9/0 hooks and 180 pound mono are the way to go.

  • Labrax And Knock Bay are shallow venues over mixed ground. (Bass fishing to plugs and lures)
  • Lairds Point and yellow isle to the north of PortPatrick (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Castle Point, Tandoo Point and Moroch Bay (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Doon Castle (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Mull Of Logan (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Port Logan Bay (Shallow beach fishing for bass)
  • Crammag Head Under Lighthouse (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Port Kemmin (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • West Tarbet (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)

The End Of The Mull – Very Strong Tides Flow Here

The marks around the end of The Mull Of Galloway are also deep water venues. The tide rips here are ferocious and many of the marks are only fish-able at certain stages of the tide. Again access can be difficult and down steep cliffs. These marks are not for the faint hearted.

  • West Tarbet (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Lagvag And Under Fog Horn (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)
  • Flat Rock And south of East Tarbet (Pollack, Conger, Cod, Wrasse, Bull Huss, Mackerel)

The Famous Mull Rip In Full Flow.

The East Coast Of The Rhins And Mull Of Galloway

In contrast to the deeper marks of the Irish Sea coast, the venues found within Luce Bay and the east coast of the mull are predominantly shallow water marks where fishing is over mixed ground.  Once again these marks are freely available through the local tackle shops. The times and tides they produce fish are for you to determine.

  • Maryport is sandy shallow ground (Bass)
  • Drumore is a mix of rocks, sand and wrack weed (Bass)
  • Terally point is a mix of rocks, sand and wrack weed (Bass)
  • Chapel Rossan Bay, Logan Mills, Bellgowan Point is a mix of rocks, sand and wrack weed (Bass)
  • Luce Sands is a beach (bass).

Methods For Fishing At The Mull Of Galloway

  • Pollack Fishing – Favours bait fishing with mackerel strip or sandeel below a float. Jellyworm’s are said to be useful for selecting the bigger fish.
  • Bull Huss – Use mackerel strips, fish baits and worms fished hard on the bottom
  • Wrasse – Peeler and hard back crabs, limpets or worms are good baits when fished at close range hard on the bottom.
  • Mackeral – Spinners, feathers etc.
  • Conger – Whole joey mackerel. Makerel flappers, mackerel fillet fished hard on the bottom
  • Bass – Worms and Peelers work well when fished over sand. On the rockier marks plugs and soft plastics work well. The bouncy ball and red gill method is deadly over shallow ground in darkness.

Expect The Unexpected

Almost any UK species can crop up whilst fishing at the mull. Tope have been caught from the shore here.

In our first trip to the mull we observed a large fish (either tope or shark) take a discarded wrasse from the surface of the water only 100 yards away from us. So expect the unexpected when fishing at the mull.

Boat Fishing At Luce Bay And The Mull Of Galloway

Onyer Marks Sea Angling Charters operate out of the Mull of Galloway and have launch sites on both the east and west side of the Mull. Early in the year they head up to Oban for our annual Skate Hunt, and then head into Luce Bay and the Irish Sea for the rest of the year until October.

If you would like to charter any of the boats: ‘Onyer Marks’, ‘Onyer Marks Too’, ‘Go West’ or ‘Riptide’ please contact Ian Burrett for available dates. (The boats get fully booked very quickly!) All of the skippers are experienced hands who know the decent marks.

On Yer Marks specialise in light line Tope and Pollack fishing. An average day will produce 10-15 species but they have had up too 27 species in one day in a species hunt. An average day will produce well over 100 Pollack for just four anglers, with some fish usually close to double figures.

Mull Of Galloway Tackle Shops

There are 2 tackle shops at the Mull Of Galloway. We found both to have friendly staff and owners and have no problems in recommending both to our readers. Eric at the Stranraer tackle shop marked up our map with all the local fishing venues. Eric was polite and friendly and very keen to put us onto some good fishing.

  • Stranraer Sports Shop – 86-88 George Street Stranraer 01776702705 THE SPORTS Shop in Stranraer is where you will find proprietor and accomplished Sea Angler Eric McLean who will be only too glad to assist you in any queries you may have. He caters for all types of angling and shooting and has a very extensive range of stock for the visiting Sea Angler.
  • Ardwell Fishing Tackle Shop – The shop at Ardwell caters mainly for those interested in buying angling boats. However they do stock an extensive range of fishing tackle and the staff  there are both friendly and helpful. Visit the Ardwell tackle shop website here
Ardwell Tackle Shop - Mull Of Galloway

Ardwell Tackle Shop – Mull Of Galloway

Stranraer Fishing Tackle Shop

Stranraer Fishing Tackle Shop

Accommodation

Although the Mull Of Galloway is a small isolated area of Scotland there are plenty of angler friendly places to stay. For our trip to the mull in August 2011 we stayed at the clashwhannon caravan park at Drumore.

We can not speak highly enough of this place or the owner who went out of his way to make us feel welcome, even providing us with tea, coffee, milk, cooking oil etc when we arrived.

We booked a 6 birth luxury caravan at the clash at a cost of £350 for 5 days, which split 5 ways worked out at £70 each (great value for a fishing holiday in Scotland).

The caravan park at Drumore is centrally placed on the east coast of the mull and all the major marks are within 30 minutes driving distance.

If you decide to stay at the clash then be sure to look up resident angler “snatcher”. This guy is a mine of information and his controlla flirt bass fishing stories are really something else.

For more information on the clash caravan park please visit their website here, and be sure to tell them you read about the site at Whitby Sea Anglers.

If you own angler friendly accommodation on the mull and would like to advertise here free of charge then please send us a picture and a couple of hundred words about your accommodation.

If you have stayed at the mull and would like to recommend angler friendly accommodation then please utilise the comments box below.

Luce Bay – Home Of Monster Bass

Forum member Harrythecod has caught what he describes as the fish of a lifetime whilst on Holiday at The Mull Of Galloway (June 2010) in South West Scotland. Harry who has been going fishing to the Mull each year for as long as he cares to remember is no stranger to big fish. In the past Harry has taken monster pollack to double figures.

On his latest trip north Harry used his 1.8lb test curve barbel rod to catch his monster bass of 13lb. The fish which beats his previous PB by a massive 11lb was taken on a lure in darkness.

Read more about Harry’s bass here.

http://www.whitbyseaanglers.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=11263.0

A Message To The Powers That Be

The Mull Of Galloway is an angling Gem. The terrain, fish species, and fish size offer unrivaled angling opportunities. It is highly likely that most of the west coast of Scotland offers similar angling potential.

Our trip to the mull took place in late August 2011. Five friends from Whitby traveled to the mull for 5 days fishing. The holiday cost us a total of around £1500 a large percentage of which was spent within the local economy.

We were just one small group of friends to visit the mull. There is no doubting the fact that many thousands of anglers visit this area on a yearly basis contributing to the local economies in doing so.

The reason we traveled to Scotland was for 2 reasons : these being the quality of fishing on offer and secondly the beautiful environment and scenery Scotland has to offer.

Whilst Scotland will always remain a beautiful unspoilt environment, the potential for your fish stocks to be damaged by commercial fishing practices is huge. With this in mind we would like to remind you of the importance of protecting these fish stocks.

One thing is for certain, if visiting anglers are to continue visiting your area then it is important that fish stocks and average fish size remain high.

It should be very clear to you that anglers will stop coming if the fishing deteriorates. After all whats the point in us traveling 300 miles to experience poor fishing when we can do that on our own doorsteps.

Mull Sea Angling – Related Reading

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6 Responses to Fishing At The Rhins And Mull Of Galloway

  1. Gary Watson September 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    What a fantastic report Glenn, And I totally agree with all you say. The Mull has been my favourite fishing getaway for many years now. Life up there just seem’s to go so slowly nothing seems to ever change. The scenery is beautiful.. I would like everyone to enjoy the fishing the Mull has to offer. Can I just say one thing I have seen a lot of rubbish on the more popular rock marks. Anyone thinking of going up could you please take all rubbish home. I know must people do but by my sightings not everyone does.. Lets keep the Mull looking at its best.

    Cheers

    Gary.

    Reply
  2. admin September 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Yes Garry we would agree with your comments about rubbish. The area around Flat Rock resembled a refuge tip. We bagged a load up when we were there, and then forgot to take it up the cliff. To be honest it was a mess and people should be taking their litter home.

    Reply
  3. Alan Jackson [ big cliff ] September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    A very good read there Glenn , I first visited this area way back in
    1978 , I just dabbled a couple of times as I was up there with the
    family , on my first session I fished in Loch Ryan I was plagued with LSD every cast although I believe I had a decent Skate on but managed to lose it , I then tried Yellow Isle where I had some great
    fishing for Plaice , I landed a bundle taking six back to the caravan
    all of which were of a really good size , with freshley baked bread
    we had a meal fit for a king , I fell in love with the area and have
    visited many many times since , where over the years with an ever
    thickening book we have had some fantastic fishing the best do with
    the Pollack we took 148 in one session between three of us the best
    going close on 10 lb the rest were a decent stamp of fish , awesome
    fishing , So for those who are still thinking about it , just give it a go and im sure you wont regret it , a truely remarkable place

    Reply
  4. Sage September 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    A great article and some cracking photos, there is no doubt that this article will inspire more people to undertake the pleasant journey over to the west coast in search of fantastic fishing..

    thanks for taking the time to write up the account of your experiences from your stay at “the clash”and the surrounding area’s ability to provide outstanding fishing…

    and all it takes is some good research and help from forum members to make trips out of the region a success…

    i am sure the article will probably become a reference for many anglers who visit the mull

    Cheers – Paul

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Hall Of Fame 2012 – Kayak, Shore & Boat Catches - Kayak, Shore And Boat Fishing | Kayak, Shore And Boat Fishing

  6. david parkinson September 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Hello. We are thinking of planning a trip to the Mull next year having fished Southern Ireland the last 2 Summers.Any info regarding accommodation,watering holes,marks etc would be very grateful.Great Pics.We are 4 lads from Loftus

    Reply


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