In amongst the multitude of photos taken during the Irish holiday was this one of Gulliver looking as if he has just emerged from a full cycle, heavy soil, fast spin session in a washing machine. Not too far from the truth, as it turns out. David, eldest son, told me about it.
Gulliver!They had gone out on the boat and were fishing for shark in about 70 - 80 feet of water. Sea-gulls were everywhere, diving on the rubby-dubby as fast as it was hurled into the sea. Dave Houghton, of Leisure Angling, had cast out only to have Gulliver fly into, and become entangled with, his line just as a shark grabbed his bait and took off. The seagull went with it and was under the water for about ten minutes.
They all thought that it had drowned and were flabbergasted when, on reeling in, they found that it was still alive - just. Poor thing. I could imagine it holding it's breath, with one wing over it's beak. They disentangled it and mopped it up, kept an eye on it for the rest of the day and left it, in the company of some mashed up mackerel by way of compensation for it's ordeal, on the deck overnight.
The next morning it had gone and we assume that it flew away. I wonder what the memory span of a seagull is - either it will starve to death in future, scared stiff of diving after jetsam or will make a concerted effort to become tied up in anglers' line because it knows it will get a free supper.
Miles Of Smiles
Del Barham....smiling!Please note: this shark, along with all the other sharks that Derek Barham has caught, was tagged and returned alive to live to fight another day. If you decide to have a go at fishing for these splendid fish, please follow his example!
During a seven day holiday which the Chief Angler and his firstborn spent, it seems, ricocheting between boats, lakes, rivers and assorted pint glasses of Guiness and Caffreys, they had 18 different sea species, and 8 fresh water, between them.
In one eight hour trip, with three anglers aboard the boat, they bagged pollack, cod, whiting, haddock, coal fish, ling, gurnard and two blue shark. At last! A smiley photo from captor and captured - he even took his glasses off for this blue shark snap. Mind you, a blue shark of just under ninety pounds is something to smile about. Caught 8 miles off Clifden, Galway in 35 - 40 feet of water, this beautiful creature - who is also smiling (it is, look at it!) - took a mackerel bait, off a balloon float, and made off with it.
Hubby said it reminded him of conger fishing. Hard work, for twenty minutes or so, but exciting and the results definitely worth a grin. If I see future photos of any fish, held by grim faced anglers called Barham there'll be big trouble. If they can smile for a shark, they can smile all the time.