Friday, October 16, 2015

Far's a' the fish?

On Sunday I headed North to spend the day fishing with my mate Ad who lives in the granite city. Turbot was our target so we headed to one of the beaches to the north of Peterhead that is well known for producing them. Ad had caught a few small turbot there recently so we knew  they were around and were fairly optimistic. Arriving on the beach conditions looked fairly good despite a fairly strong wind blowing across the shoreline.

A lovely deserted beach.

It soon became obvious however that suspended weed would be a problem as we picked it from our rigs after each retrieval. Fishing mackerel baits I soon caught a few flounders and then after an hour or so Ad caught a tiny palm sized turbot.

The average size of the flounders was good and they were all in prime condition.
Ad's tiny little turbot was very cool. Their camouflage is stunning and I was hopeful I'd get one too.

As we fished away the wind picked up and the weed soon became too problematic with out rigs gathering it an unmanageable rate so we decided to head up north to try another beach there. Before leaving however we visited the old graveyard nearby.

This old graveyard near St Fergus is known as the Pirate's Graveyard.
Some of the gravestones are very old indeed and have various symbols carved on them. It's easy to see why you could come to the conclusion that the people buried there might have been pirates. 
Almost 300 years and no doubt the odd battering from the wind and rain have worn them away slightly but a skull and crossed bones feature on many of the old gravestones. The people buried in the graveyard weren't really pirates I was disappointed to discover and these symbols were incorporated into the stonework as a reminder to the living of their own mortality.

Back in the car we headed to the Moray coastline. After a pleasant drive we soon arrived at Cullen and hit the beach there, another place that produces turbot. With the wind now at our backs fishing was a much more pleasurable, almost weed free experience and we caught about a dozen flounders between us.

Another lovely sandy beach offering excellent flatfish opportunities although it's also popular with dog owners and people out enjoying a stroll. We headed along to the far end where there was a bit less footfall.

After a while no turbot had taken our baits though so we decided to go and target something else. To finish up our session we popped along the coast to Portknockie Harbour. While it was still light I spent a bit of time staring at the weed on the harbour walls trying to spot a fifteen spined stickleback. Ad fished on the harbour's sandy bottom and caught a plaice and a common dragonet. I couldn't spot any fifteen spined sticklebacks but did spot an amusing piece of Doric graffiti.

Where's all the fish? Finding them is usually the hard part. 

As light faded we fished switched our focus one final time and dropped some big baits down around the harbour mouth to try and tempt a conger eel. These were quickly attacked by crabs though which rapidly set to work destroying them. With a long drive back down the road to make we packed up just before 20:00 and set off. It was good to catch up with Ad again and fish a couple beaches together. With a few potential targets up there that would add to my Scottish saltwater species tally I'll be back up there again before the end of the year to fish with him again. 

Tight lines, Scott.

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