Friday, April 24, 2015

All about that bass, 'bout that bass, no mullet.

With another sunny calm day forecast on Wednesday I decided to get some bread and sardines and have a go for the golden and thick lipped grey mullet that frequent the outflow at Torness Power Station. Arriving just before low water I decided to have a go for a bass while I waited for the tide to turn. This turned out to be a good idea. After a few dozen casts a small fiesty fish took my 6g cheburashka mounted 3" Daiwa D-Fin and put a nice bend in my ultra light setup. After a short but exciting scrap, with a couple of nervous moments involving a submerged rock, the fish was played out and in my net.

A rather angry little bass. Even after I quickly unhooked it the spiky fish repeatedly flared its gill plates at me. Not a happy fish. 
I was quite happy though. Another species added to my 2015 tally and a nice fish on very light tackle. Another angler kindly took this photo for me. Not the most picturesque backdrop perhaps but I've never been one for hiding where I fish.

The angler who took the photo was also fishing for bass using soft and hard plastic lures. After chatting to him for a bit I then set about making up my groundbait for the mullet. Spooning it into the bay just next to the outflow as well as tossing in a few bits of crust, a few small mullet soon appeared giving away their presence as they nosed the floating freebies. The water had a fair amount of weed suspended in it though and this seemed to get worse as the tide flooded in. It soon became a real pain to remove it from my line between casts and after an hour or so of frustration I admitted defeat and decided to head down the coast. As I got my gear together and walked back up the rocks I found the angler whom I had chatted to earlier trying to catch blennies in a large rockpool. He told me he was struggling to hook them because his hook was a bit too big so I lent him a #10 jighead and delayed my departure for a bit to join him fishing in the rockpool. We caught a few blennies and chatted away again for half an hour or so. I introduced myself properly, told him I was going to head down the coast to St Abbs and asked him if he fancied joining me which he did, so off we went back to our cars and drove south down the A1.

Soon at the harbour and fishing in the crystal clear water around its mouth it wasn't long before a couple of flounder were spotted meandering their way along the bottom into the harbour and then a sea trout slowly cruised in. A promising start indeed. We both had a go at tempting the trout and it did carefully inspect both of our jighead mounted lures before turning its nose up at them and swimming out of the harbour again. I then switched to a drop shot rig and a piece of Angleworm to cover a larger area and hopefully find some flatfish. This eventually worked and I caught a plaice and a couple of flounder. Keen to get a flatfish himself my fishing partner tried a piece of my Isome on his jighead. A good choice indeed as he caught a nice flounder on his next cast slowly retrieving it along the bottom.

One of my flounders had a nice honeycomb colouration.
This nice chunky flounder was caught by the other angler and was a much darker shade.

Shortly afterwards my fishing companion had to leave to get back to Edinburgh for 17:00. I had enjoyed fishing with him even if it was only for a short period and I also enjoyed chatting too so I told him about my blog and invited him to get in touch via email if he wanted to meet up again. I carried on fishing for another hour or so and worked my way around the harbour trying a few different spots. This saw me hook and lose another flounder and a small cod before I landed a rather beautifully marked little pollock.

Some juvenile pollock have lovely copper markings on them.

I then headed out onto the rocks at the end of the outer harbour to see if any larger pollock were around in the deeper kelpy water there. Tying on the 6g Cheburashka, Sakuma Manta hook and Daiwa D-Fin combo that my bass had fallen for in the morning I cast it out between two rocks further out and started working it back towards me. Using a very slow steady retrieve I had a few taps every other cast before one of the culprits eventually took a bigger mouthful and was soon being bullied away from the kelp. The fish didn't do any strong dives that are the trademark of a pollock though so I suspected it wasn't one and this was soon confirmed as the fish came to the surface and was drawn over my net.

It was the pollock's close cousin a coalfish that had put a little bend in my rod. Not as good a scrap as the bass had offered me but the bass was probably twice the size and had a current to use against me. Still fun on balanced ultra light tackle though.

I have to say that I'm really enjoying the versatility of the cheburashka leads. You're free to combine any size of lead with any hook to suit different lures and applications. I also think my undressed assist hook concept has big potential as well in that respect and also means that short shank hooks can be located where you want and leave the soft plastic free to move more. They are a lot cheaper than jigheads too. On this occasion however I felt a hook placed further back would have resulted in more hook ups but as I didn't have a larger hooks with me so I instead changed to a smaller lure. This did the trick and I started converting more bites into fish landed.

Another super tough little AquaWave lure. This one is a small clear ribbed shad with silver glitter.

As high water arrived and the tide slackened right off the action ceased so I ended the session and headed home. It had been another great day out in lovely sunny weather. I love catching mini species but fish like the bass and the coalfish are great fun on ultra light tackle too. I also added another two species to my 2015 tally as well. Only thirty six left to catch to reach fifty! It was also nice to meet another angler who likes fishing in rockpools! Hopefully he'll get in touch and we can meet up again. You can never have too many fishing friends!

Tight lines, Scott.

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