Friday, July 28, 2017

Enter the dragonet.

Last Monday I arranged to meet up with my mate Gareth at Loch Fyne for an afternoon fishing bait on light gear. The target for the day was common dragonets. Gareth had never caught one before, despite a few attempts to catch one, so was keen to catch his first. I just think they're pretty cool. I arrived early in the morning and began fishing a mark that has in the past consistently produced them for me so I was quietly confident we'd catch some. I had some raw prawns with me for bait but I also took along a pack of dehydrated ragworm after a regular customer at work had told me he'd found them to be very effective. After a catching a few pin whiting on small chunks of raw prawn I decided to give the Dynabait a try on my size 12 hooks.

I was a bit skeptic but keeping an open mind I gave them a try anyway.
Taking one out of the packet it had quite a strong odour but being bone dry there was no mess.
Following the instructions on the packet you are supposed to rehydrate them but I opted to use it straight out of the packet. My reasoningbeing that it would perhaps stay on the hook on the cast better and would get rehydrated soon enough.

While waiting for Gareth to arrive I caught a few more pin whiting and dabs and then I caught a common dragonet and quickly text Gareth to let him know that our target species was around. I carried on fishing away, alternating between small chunks of raw prawn and small pieces of dried ragworm and caught lots of fish on both. I even had a treble shot of mackerel on the dried ragworm that intercepted my rig as it fell to the seafloor. It wasn't much fun pulling them up through bladdwrack on a rod rated to 15g! When Gareth arrived we happily fished away and after a couple of hours catching lots of pin whiting, the odd dab and a few black gobies he shouted over to let me know he'd caught his first common dragonet.  I really should have taken a trophy shot for him. Sorry mate! Here's a photo of the one I caught instead!

Weird little fish. 

Sadly no more dragonets were caught before the end of the session but our objective for the day had been accomplished so we both left happy enough. I'll be catching up with Gareth again soon and I'll also be keeping a few packets of the dried ragworm in the boot of my car from now on too as I was very impressed with them.

Tight lines, Scott.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

From Russia with fins.

My mate Robert text me earlier this month to say he'd caught a Pacific pink salmon whilst out fishing on a Scottish river. I thought he was winding me up to start with and quickly replied "Tinny be silly!". He insisted he was being serious and sent me the photo below. Doing a bit of research into them I realised he wasn't joking at all.

It was indeed a Pacific pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). Also known as humpback salmon, a few are now being caught by anglers in UK river systems.

It seems Russia carried out a huge stocking programme about sixty years ago and the species, having subsequently turned up in some Norwegian and Icelandic river systems, is now showing up in ours too. Of course, being a foreign invader, the fish pictured above was quickly dealt with. For some reason when I was told this, John Smeaton, a hero of the foiled 2007 terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport, came to mind.

"They can try and come to Britain and they can try to disrupt us any way they want."

So, humpback salmon, you have been warned. Try to enter our rivers to terrorise the native fish populations and as the bold John Smeaton put it, "We'll set about ye!".

Tight lines, Scott.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nothing fishy going on...

Without warning last month Photobucket decided to change their terms and conditions and are now expecting people to pay the princely sum of $399 a year for the ability to link to their photos from third party websites. I only found out when I got an email from them.

Only took them five years to notice.

I've been using Photobucket to store the photos for this blog since I started writing it over five years ago and have about three and a half thousand images stored on their site. Had the fees introduced been reasonable I might have been open to paying but there is no way I'm paying $399! This means I'll have to upload all of my images to blogger and edit every single post one by one to remove all of the links to Photobucket. This year's posts are now all done and I'll carry on working my way back through previous years' posts when I have the time. In the mean time I can only apologise if you try to view any of my older posts and see Photobucket's ransom demands where my photos should be.

Tight lines, Scott.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Push it to the limit.

On Monday I headed west to fish two different places with my tanago rod. First stop was the River Forth where my target was the humble minnow. Normally there are lots around down the edge but for some reason there didn't seem to be any around at all. There were however a few small fish taking flies off the surface slightly further out so I decided to find out what they were. After catching and quickly returning a few small salmon parr I caught a little dace.

Dace are a lovely looking fish. I think I'll go back again soon with my float rod and centrepin to spend a day specifically targetting them.

My next stop was Magiscroft coarse fishery near Cumbernauld. Before using my tanago rod I fished maggot under an insert waggler out close to an island using a light float setup. My first two casts both quickly produced small mirror carp. Then, after a few roach and perch, I caught a few more carp which led me to believe the pond had been stocked with them recently.

Good fun on a very light float setup.
Lots of pristine roach too.

After a while I decided to switch to my tanago rod and dropped my pole float down right under its tip. With single maggot on a #26 Gamakatsu 6315 hook to 0.75lb nylon at the business end I was soon pulling out lots of small perch and the odd roach.

I employed a chop stick style grip on my 15g rod.

The main reason for my visit was to hopefully catch some gudgeon. They're a cool freshwater mini species and it had been a while since I'd caught one. Eventually, my persistance paid off when one beat the small perch and roach to my wriggling bait on the bottom. As gudgeon go it was pretty big and on my super light rod I'd go as far as to say it even put up a bit of a scrap!

A cracking gudgeon.

Keen to catch some more I carried on fishing close in but for a while all I caught was more perch and roach. Then, suddenly, my float shot under as something larger began chrging about the swim in front of me. My tiny rod was bent right over and I was worried about my hook bending out but after a few minutes playing the fish, dropping the rod to give it some line when I felt it necessary, I managed to tire out the fish and another small carp was drawn into my net.

This little fully scaled mirror really pushed my tanago rod to the limit.

I fished on for a while and caught a few more perch and roach but sadly no more gudgeon. I'm really enjoying fishing with my tanago rod at the moment. It's a very direct and fun way to fish. The small carp I caught on it has forced me to rethink what it's capable of. I'll be out using it again soon, targetting some saltwater species on a trip to Loch Etive and Oban with a few of my mates.

Tight lines, Scott.