Sunday, September 27, 2015

Full of surprises.

Today I headed down to Dunbar harbour with a few of my mates for a Fish Club meet. It was the first one for a while but it was the biggest gathering so far with seven of us in attendance including two anglers who I'd never met before. For a change the weather was nice and we enjoyed the sun while fishing away. Over the last few years I've caught quite a few different species from inside the harbour but today I added a few more. After we had caught a few flounders, blennies, long spined sea scorpions and a plaice I caught a small corkwing whilst trying to tempt a two spotted goby or a fifteen spined stickleback out of the weed lining the harbour wall. 

My first corkwing wrasse from inside the harbour.

Just after this one of the lads came over with a small fish he wanted me to identify. I was surprised to see it was a scad, quite an unusual capture for the harbour although my mate Nick tells me he has caught a few when he has been out in his kayak not too far away from it. I changed to a piece of isome on a jighead and tried to catch one where I was but when Mikey caught a second I was straight over to where he was fishing, pinched a piece of his smaller isome and was soon into one myself.

My first Scottish Atlantic horse mackerel and my forty eighth saltwater species from Scottish saltwater this year.

Quite pleased with this little surprise we carried on fishing away. The mood was relaxed and it was nice just mucking around, catching a few fish and chatting to each other. Really it's exactly what I had in mind when I started the group.

Nick and his son Harry, Mike and Tam all fishing away while a few passers by take an interest in what they're doing and catching.

There was a fairly big shoal of small silver fish swimming back and forth whose movement made me suspect they were something not normally found in the harbour. At first I thought they might be smaller scad but after scaling down to a #18 hook and pestering them for a while I managed to catch a couple of them. They turned out to be juvenile herring, another species I'd never seen or caught in the harbour before. After a while things slowed down a bit but when we saw a rather big flounder swimming along the harbour wall and heading underneath the bridge on its way into the old harbour we decided to head around with it. Fishing Gulp Angleworm and Isome on drop shot rigs soon saw us catching a few of them. A few small coalfish were caught too as well as the odd blenny from down the walls.

One of a few flounders caught from the old part of the harbour.

When a large commercial boat came in and churned up the bottom things went very quiet so we headed all the way around to the rocks at the mouth of the harbour to see what was around in the deeper water there. Not much was biting apart from lots of small coalfish. Fishing small metals and soft plastics on jigheads on the drop was most effective.

This greedy coalfish really wanted my metal. I had to undo my clip to remove it and my assist hook to get them both back. A treble fitted to the lure would have probably resulted in a dead fish.

A few dozen coalfish later we headed back around into the harbour to end the session. I focused on the weed lining the harbour wall again and soon spotted a pair of two spotted gobies hovering just above it. My tanago hooks haven't arrived yet so I tied on a #26 hook and put a tiny piece of Angleworm on it. A single split shot a few inches above the hook helped me get it down to them and one of them was soon having a go at it. Perhaps twice the size of the one I failed to catch on Tuesday it had no problem gobbling up my little offering and was quickly hooked and swung up to hand.

This is a fairly big two spotted goby. Their maximum size is only 6cm. With some tanago hooks in the post I fully intend to catch one that will fit on the one yen coin that I also expect to receive in the next few days.

This two spotted goby was another species I'd never caught from Dunbar Harbour before and it was also the first one that I had not winkled from a rockpool. Being my first of the year as well it leaves me with only one species to catch to hit my target of fifty from Scottish saltwater this year. A few more fish were caught before we called it a day and headed off bringing an end to a great little session. I'm looking forward to the next meet and hopefully there will be another good turn out. Given it'll be the middle of Autumn by the time we meet up again I think a night session might be likely. As ever if you're interested in coming along to Fish Club and want to know when the next meet is happening please get in touch

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Get the Lambrini on ice, you're nearly there mate!

    1. Might try for sixty depending on how Sunday goes. :-D

  2. Is this wee club still operating scott? Do you have any details?

    1. It's been a while since I managed to get everyone together but I'll try and get something sorted before the summer is over.