Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another year comes to an end.

On the 21st and 22nd of December I had a trip down to Anglesey to target three bearded rocklings and conger eels planned but heavy rain and winds gusting to 40mph forced me to reluctantly abandon it. I was pretty disappointed because I was going to fish with two of my mates, Ad and Lee. The weather locally wasn't great either so to make matters worse I ended up not fishing at all on the two days I had taken off work.

On Boxing Day the wind finally dropped to single figures so I headed down to Torness Power Station outflow with my mate Nick to spend a few hours targeting mullet. We arrived to find the water was quite coloured up and a slight swell was breaking over the area we planned to fish. Not ideal but we gave it a go anyway and besides, Nick had a new fishing setup for mullet to hopefully christen. Chucking in plenty of groundbait a few small mullet eventually arrived but bites were few and far between and the small waves breaking in front of us made spotting them very difficult. Nick's float eventually went under though and a little golden grey mullet was soon in the net.

A new species for Nick. Species hunting isn't really his thing but he was chuffed all the same.
His lucky sunglasses made all the difference. A #18 hook I gave him no doubt played its part too. 

We carried on fishing and tried a second spot but didn't catch any more mullet. I dropped a bread flake into a rockpool and pulled out a blenny to avoid a blank. Not satisfied with a tasty appetiser of Warburton's Medium loaf it helped itself to a meaty main course.

It seems even blennies indulge themselves over the festive period. This one held on for about a minute occasionally clamping down which Nick and I both found quite amusing.

Returning our attention to trying to catch mullet we didn't have any joy so after a while called it a day and headed home. It may have been a fairly slow days' fishing but Nick really enjoys fishing for mullet and his nice new float rod will also be put to good use on a few coarse fisheries next year too.

I had two more days off work to go fishing before the end of 2014 and my mate Ross was came up from his family home near Manchester for a spot of blenny hunting. Not the vicious common blenny though, he was after a Yarrell's blenny and a viviparous blenny to add to his UK caught saltwater species list. Being a blenny lover myself I was happy to take him to the marks where I had caught both of these species earlier in the year to hopefully help him catch them.

The day he arrived the weather was OK for the time of year but for some reason Ross decided not to take a coat when we headed across the Forth to Burntisland Harbour late in the morning only choosing to tell me this once we arrived. The sky was clear but the harbour wall cast a shadow over us and a slight breeze blowing with its associated wind chill factor made it rather cold in our static positions as we ledgered small baits down the harbour wall. I suspected a Yarrell's blenny might be a big ask and sure enough it was tough going. We stuck it out for a couple of hours, Ross doing the odd star jump to try and warm up, with only a couple of tiny fish I caught to show for our efforts.

Ross patiently watches his rod tip for signs of interest as hypothermia slowly sets in.
Tiny bites and a switch to smaller hooks produced two sand gobies.

To defrost Ross slightly we decided to move, set the car heater to full and slowly drove along the coast to Kinghorn to see if we could winkle out some long spined sea scorpions from the rockpools there. I managed three from the same crack in a small pier including one with a rather strange face.

A rather large nose and slightly crossed eyes had Ross and I in stitches.
It had a very flat face. Perhaps it had swam into a rock or two?

The hilarity couldn't stop Ross from starting to freeze again so we decided to head back to Edinburgh to get some food and Ross's coat. A tasty roast ham and veg was devoured as we watched a couple of fishing videos filmed in the much warmer climate of Australia then off we went to Dunbar Harbour. Arriving as light was almost gone we fished at my nicely sheltered viviparous blenny hot spot and unsurprisingly Ross soon got his first fish of the day, a small coalfish. To try and avoid them and give any viviparous blennies a chance I used a #6 hook. This seemed to do the trick and after only twenty minutes or so when a larger fish finally had a go and got hooked it was our target for the evening. Ross was quite excited and perhaps a little jealous too but needn't have been as he didn't have to wait long at all to get himself one as well.

Viviparous fish are unusual becuase they give birth to live young that have developed inside their bodies. This one was either a pregnant female or had also enjoyed a hearty lunch.
This was the 84th saltwater species that Ross has caught from UK waters in the last three years. He was quite pleased. Not that you can tell from this photo.

Well chuffed to have caught what we came for we fished on for a while to see if we could catch some more but the resident coalfish became much more active and after a few dozen of them we decided to head up the road for a celebratory drink. This was overdone slightly and the next day we didn't do any fishing at all, electing to have a lie in and then watch a few more fishing videos as we nursed hangovers. Ross headed up to Aberdeen the next day. It had been good to fish with Ross again, help him catch something new whilst having a few laughs. I'm fishing with him in September again as he has booked the charter boat Bite Adventures for three days. We should both have the chance of some new species during that trip so I'm really looking forward to it but hopefully we'll get the chance to fish together before then.

Tight lines, Scott.

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