Where to go
Here is a quick summary of what is on offer around Scotland's coast, working up the East coast from the English border round the north coast, and then down the west coast.
East coast - Most of the fishing is done on the drift over rough ground with boats from Berwick right up to St Andrews catching mainly cod with some ling, pollack, wrasse, coalfish and sea scorpion.
Arbroath - The main season is April through to October with healthy catches of codling inshore with flatfish from the clean ground further out. The Bellrock can give excellent catches of ccod, pollack coalfish & wrasse if the weather is fine.
Stonehaven - sees a change in depth and catches here include haddock, cod, ling, whiting, plaice, dabs, pounting & coalfish with some good sized fish on the wrecks.
Moray Firth - Catches can be varied with cod, ling, dab, & plaice being targeted regularly.
Scrabster - on the north coast sees possibly our best fishing with cod, pollack & ling to double figures with coalfish, wrasse and dab also being plentiful. Occasional catches include cuckoo wrasse. The winter months through to spring sees anglers targeting porbeagle shark which offer seriously big game prospects with fish estimated up to 500lbs.
North West - The Ports of Lochinver, Kinlochbervie Auchiltibuie, Ullapool, & Aultbea concentrate in the summer months on drift fishing for haddock, whiting, plaice, gurnard, dab & cod with some days over a dozen different species being landed weather permitting, The boats have been known to range further afield and catch torsk from the more distant marks.
Oban and surrounding areas - Fishing is often done at anchor. Boats here make the most of the giant skate fishing. These can attain weights of over 200lbs and are tagged and released after capture. Other species include specimen & record weight spurdog, thornback rays & hake with lesser spotted dogfish which are common to the west coast of Scotland.
Ayrshire - Boats from Troon, Ayr & Girvan target pollack & wrasse from around the Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig, and drift for cod, ling, & flat fish from the inshore marks.
Loch Ryan to Whithorn - Tope become one of the main species with dogfish, huss, pollack and wrasse.
Solway - Small boat anglers have been having good success with bass and smooth hound which are increasingly being fished for as they offer a more sporting option to sea angling in Scotland.