Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Relaxing by the pool.

As part of his job, my mate Nick takes groups rockpooling to show them the diversity of the life they can sustain. At the weekend he was out with about thirty people and fish wise, as well as a few of the usual mini species, a couple of small rockling turned up in the weedy rockpools he was searching. As he was working he didn't really have the time to inspect them properly but we suspect they may have been four bearded rockling. As you can imagine this revelation had my species hunting senses tingling and I was keen to head down there to try and catch one on rod and line. With a day off work today I decided to do just that so armed with some ultra light gear and a packet of raw prawns I headed off to have a bit of fun and maybe catch a bonus new species in the process. Low water was at about half past two so being a lazy sod I had a lie in and headed down there for noon. The weather forecast was for rain and when I arrived it looked pretty grim but it was dry at least. 

A dull overcast sky didn't dampen my sense of anticipation. Loads of rockpools to explore and you never know what might turn up.

Having messed about there many times I now have a good idea which nooks and crannies will hold a vicious little monster and sure enough one such hiding place soon produced a cheeky little blenny.

One of my favourite mini species. Full of character and I never grow tired of catching them even when they're trying to savagely bite me.

Popping it back I hit a few other known hot spots and caught a couple of small long spined sea scorpions. Then I headed to the spot where Nick had found the mystery rocklings. This produced another blenny but after a while trying different areas in the vicinity with no further action I started exploring some new ground and soon came across a nice big boulder in a fairly shallow pool that looked a bit fishy.

Was there something lurking underneath?

Dropping my chunk of raw prawn down close to the edge of the gap underneath the answer presented itself almost instantaneously. A big long spined sea scorpion shot out and then just as suddenly slammed the breaks on right in front of the bait. It paused for a second before devouring it in one gulp along with my #8 hook! I found this little display of aggression quite comical and laughing out loud pulled the entertainer out from under the boulder and swung it up to my hand. It was a dark brown specimen with purple patches and covered with grit like flecks. Its gill membranes were a nice turquoise colour and its underside golden with intricate mottled markings on its throat. A very pretty little fish indeed.

Little brown and purple horned monster.
A nicely marked plump underside too.

The variety of colouration of long spined sea scorpions is quite mind boggling and this along with their aggressive behaviour makes them a fun target species. I searched a bit longer and caught another smaller long spined sea scorpion before making my way back to the car. Quite content with a few hours spent lazily mini species hunting even if no four bearded rockling showed up and happy that the forecast rain had not shown up either I headed off just as it did.

Tight lines, Scott.

No comments:

Post a Comment