I had a nice surprise yesterday when a friend of mine dropped me a line to see if I fancied going out fishing for some mackerel on the evening. It was a beautiful day with little sea, so yeh, I was over the moon at the prospect.
After work he picked me up and we headed for Whiteness where the little 14 foot Orkney boat is moored. The only problem with the fine condtions was the midges were out in force and terrible as we loaded gear on to the skiff to get out to the boat. It was a real relief to get out on the water and away from them and soon we were motoring down Stromness Voe, scouting for otter and seeing the odd fish jumping.
Once out of the voe past Jackville we headed west and settled on a spot just south of North Havra. As look would have it 20 yards from the boat the water started to boil with mackerel and our lines could hardly get in the water before we were pulling them out again and again fully loaded with the shimmering fish. I've never hit a shoal like that before and in no time we'd got more than enough mackerel for both us and the boatowner.
Here's an otter enjoying a local mackerel a while back in Scalloway...
The rest of the trip was spent gutting them and feeding the gulls and bonxies before enjoying the run back up the voe in the fantastic evening with the sun setting over the hills.
Unfortunately, we then had to brave the dreaded midgies to get all ashore. Even my friend's dog was being driven mad by them.
It's another stunner of a day here today, surely the best of the year, so after a dinner of our fresh mackerel we'll get out and about tonight after work to make the most of another wonderful evening.