The Annual Smoothound Hunt off Hillhead this year was organised last minute but we couldn't have picked a better day. The weather was perfect with wind between 5mph and 8mph and the tide was peaking midway through the session. Ray Breton was first to arrive at 5am yes 5am two and a half hours before everyone else was due to arrive and sent through this photo to get everyone in the mood. Lee Shons who organised the day had been out collecting Hardback Crabs the favourite bait for Hounds the day before and managed a full bucket.
I was the third person to arrive at Salterns Car Park and while we waited for the rest Steven got the gas hop out and got the bacon rolls on the go. I wasn't too sure how many people would turn up but as the cars started flooding the car park it was looking like a good turnout. I might have a missed a few as some only arrived throughout the day but at one stage I counted 22 kayak anglers.
Not a bad turnout for what was organised a couples days before.
It was nice to meet up with a few guys I hadn't fished with for a while.
You could tell with most people chatting away that no one was in a rush to launch. Myself and a few others decided to launch at about nine and head down to the water despite it being low tide. We headed out and picked our spots to the left of the launch spot hoping any hounds would come up tide and hit our crabs first. I chopped up my Mackerel chum filled up my chum pots and set my hardbacks out and then started the waiting game. By now the rest had started to make their way down to the water.
I didn't manage to get any hounds in the morning session just seemed to be plagued by weed. I did seem to see a lot of hounds being pulled out but always by the same people. Just a case of being in the right spot at the right time I guess as we were all using the same bait. Most of us headed back in around 1PM and setup a BBQ on the beach. It was the best part of the day so far for some of us as we had spent the whole morning lifting weed fish of the sea floor. As more and more people came in for the BBQ all the photos came out and the banter started with tails of what had been caught and the ridiculing of those that hadn't caught anything. One monster Hound had been caught and from the photo it did look huge.
After a quick burger and some chicken a few of use headed back out. For some it was to find a bigger better Hound but for others including myself it was to actually catch one. Anyway I eventually had my first take and pulled in a lovely 6-7Lb Hound which gave a great fight and I saved a blank. After releasing the Hound I looked around I noticed only a few of us had headed back out and most anglers decided to end their session with the BBQ. Just as I was packing up, my only rod still baited in the water bent right over as Mark Cooper was paddling past. It gave one hell of a scrap and my rod was literally in a U shape. I released why when the fish surfaced, the line was around the tail and I was fighting the fish backwards. Once the Hound was on the kayak Mark took a great photo of me and the fish and then we headed back in. When I got back most had left but the usual suspects were still hanging around the BBQ. It was a great day and I'm really looking forward to next year.
Video of the day