Thursday, December 13, 2012


With the end of the year approaching fast and my target of 45 saltwater species only three species away I headed out late the other night with my mate Nick to the inlet area of Torness Power Station. The target species were conger eel and rockling so with this in mind we were both fishing two bait rods. One with a mackerel or bluey head ledgered close in for eels and on the second rod we were scratching with flapper rigs with small hooks with a selection of baits from mackerel, bluey, black lug, mussel, crab and squid. Despite having four rods out and changing baits a few times the fishing was very slow to say the least but thankfully it wasn't too cold and we passed the time talking about fishing and I told Nick about some of my plans for next years fishing.

Nick had with him a disposable BBQ and after a few hours he lit it and was soon cooking some sausages which I must say were very tasty once done and put into rolls with lashings of brown sauce! Just as we started eating them though Nick's scratching rod started nodding. Typical. He let the bite develop a bit but when he lifted the rod whatever it was had lost interest, crabs we surmised. With peace and quiet resumed we enjoyed our hot snacks and then warmed our hands over the embers of the BBQ before rebaiting and casting out again. Nick then had another bite and this time hooked the culprit, a small codling, finally a reward for our efforts. Shortly afterwards the ratchet on my multiplier gave a few clicks and my rod started gently nodding. When I struck and began reeling in I could feel the weight of a small fish and was hoping to find a rockling hooked but when it came in it was instead a small coalfish that had taken my mackerel chunk tipped off with a slither of squid. I then decided to cast to a new area and after a while began reeling in to rebait again only to feel a little bit of extra weight on my line. As it came in I spotted the shape of two small flatfish. I swung them up and quickly realised they were dabs when I saw their large eyes and the small semicircular curve in their lateral lines. A new species for me and therefore an addition to my tally for the year also.

A double shot of dabs. A welcome surprise indeed!

Nick then had a cast over in the same direction to try and catch one but instead managed a small coalfish. After that there was no further action, so at about 4am we called it a night and despite the lack of fish the dabs I caught made the session a resounding success in my eyes! Whilst dabs were on my shortlist of potential fish I could target between now and the end of the year to try and reach my species target I wasn't expecting them to turn up at this mark. Some might say they were a lucky catch but for me it's a great example of how sometimes as a species hunter you just have to put the hours in and be in the right place at the right time to make your own luck. Only two saltwater species to go now and with a boat trip booked next week and a few more night sessions to target rockling in the pipeline I'm fairly hopeful I can get them!

Tight lines, Scott.

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