First Thornbacks of 2019

After a hard week at work Friday and an early finish gave me a chance to catch up with my fishing buddy Alex - we planned on checking out a couple of new marks to see if there were any Thornbacks in the River Dee.




We were fishing 2 hours either side of high water (normally I’d fish it at fish low water)

Highwater was at 2005 hrs on Friday so we arrived a few hours early to get setup and give us time to find a good spot to fish from.

We both opted to fish 2 rods to maximise our chance of getting a bite. 

Pulley Rigs of 4ft built using 100lb X10 Rovex Mono for the snoods where our choice as you need heavy snoods because there are plenty of Conger in the area we were fishing .

Hook choice where to be Cox & Rawle SCR29 3/0 Specimen Extra – a strong, sharp hook that I know won't let me down . We had been out 2 weeks earlier with a good friend who was using another brand of hook which snapped while unhooking a Ray leaving part of the hook in the fish! 




With reliable rigs at the ready it was time to get a bait in the water. A Bluey Tail was the first bait I opted for on my first rod and double sand eel on the second with Alex going for Squid and Sand Eels.  Hardly five mins into the session and the Bluey bait had some interest in the sign of a slow pull down on the rod tip .


The first thornback of the year for me of around 3 to 4lbs.




The fish was well hooked by the 3/0 Specimen Extras and after unhooking and a few photos the fish was returned unharmed .


Alex changed baits to Bluey and was soon rewarded with a new PB for him of 7.3 pounds




To say that he was happy was a slight understatement!  Once again a perfect hook hold and easy unhooking thanks to the micro-barb on the SCR29 Specimen Extra


It was non-stop action then for the next few hours with double hook ups




With Rays to 10.5 pounds


As the tide started to run we knew that there wasn’t long left to fish, so fresh baits were sent out and it was the Sand Eels that started to get the





A ray of 8 lbs for myself




And one around 3lbs for Alex 


All-in-all we had four Thornbacks each and with a new PB for Alex it was a brilliant Friday evening with everything going our way. 


Peri Chapman