Wednesday, October 07, 2015

...I'm having such a good time.

When my mate Martin arranged a day out on his mate Scott's boat for us I hadn't reached my target of fifty saltwater species from Scottish venues. When the three of us left Port Logan aboard Scott's boat on Sunday I had already caught fifty two so the pressure was off as far as I was concerned and I was just looking forward to enjoying a bit of fishing in good company. That being said the species hunter in me knew there were still a few species that I could catch during the session that would add to my tally and at the first spot Scott guaranteed that I'd catch a bull huss. He wasn't wrong and before too long I was reeling one in. Being notorious for dropping baits at the side of boats Martin netted it for me. Just as well too as the hook fell out as soon as it went into it. Their strength is quite something else and it was a particularly feisty one, proving very hard to handle, and photograph.

A very badly behaved bull huss.

Lemon sole was another and much more unusual species that Scott had caught at the first mark so I fished a three down rig on a 6-12lb class setup. I had added luminous beads, sequins and a piece of split shot to each snood and put a small piece of ragworm on the #8 hooks. This produced a few other species but no lemon sole or anything else that added to my 2015 tally. After a while we raised the anchor and headed to a second mark where we did some drifting. Scott had caught a lemon sole there too and told us it was a good spot for red and tub  gurnards as well, two additional species that I'd not caught so far this year. Again Scott was spot on and he soon boated a red gurnard, jokingly apologising for doing so. Of course after this every other fish the lads hooked was a red or tub gurnard until it reached the surface and morphed into a haddock, dogfish or something else. Like any other gurnards that might have been down there though, I wasn't biting. 

No more gurnard were caught drifting at the second mark and the action along with the gurnard wind ups slowed down after a while so we finished up the session drifting in a bay to the south of Port Logan. On the first drift Martin caught a tub gurnard on a set of mackerel baited daylights and the gurnard related teasing resumed. I switched to a two up rig with some yellow beads on the snoods, baited with tapered strips of mackerel hooked through the thin end. Over the next few drifts I caught a few more small fish before hooking something a little bigger. I jokingly told Martin to get the net ready for my tub but when a tub gurnard did actually appear I didn't wait for it and swung it in instead.

My first tub gurnard of 2015 was in fine condition. I didn't realise it at the time but it was also my 100th saltwater species of 2015, equalling last years total.

Of course I was still hopeful that a red gurnard would take one of my mackerel baits next but instead it was a plaice followed fairly quickly by a short spined sea scorpion.

Not big by any stretch of the imagination but this was still my biggest plaice from Scottish waters so far. 
Another cracking looking fish and also my biggest ever short spined sea scorpion. 

Soon it was time to head back to Port Logan. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day's fishing and I'd added two species to my 2015 Scottish saltwater species tally, taking it to fifty four. Between us we'd caught fifteen species in total which isn't bad going for October. It was nice to fish with Scott for the first time too, it was very generous of him to take Martin and I out and I'd like to fish with him again if the opportunity ever arises. Over the last few years Martin has become a great friend and I always enjoy fishing with him. He had again gone out of his way to help me out with my species hunting by arranging the day and it's not the first time either. As well as offering info and encouragement he's put me in touch with some great anglers who've also done their best to help me too. On the way home another of Martin's friends happened to call him and a trip to Crinan was mentioned. Skate, conger eel and black mouthed dogfish are all potential catches and, as you've probably guessed, Martin mentioned me and another enjoyable day out fishing afloat is perhaps on the cards as a result. I'm sure if I do get a place on the boat I'll have another good time and maybe I can edge closer to sixty in the process.

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Hi Scott,
    Well done on getting 54!! Although I'm jealous! A bull huss and a tub gurnard I'd eat my hat for one of them!! Tight lines, Jonny

  2. Brilliant Scott you're far hiking up the species list just now.