Thursday, February 15, 2018

Most wanted : Cyprus.

I'm off to Cyrus in April for a week's holiday with my girlfriend Lillian. I'll be doing some fishing whilst there and as it's our first time on the island I've been investigating what species I'm likely to catch. As well as many Mediterranean species that I'm already familiar with there are a few odd looking invaders from the Red Sea that I may encounter. I first heard about two of these because my mate Dimitrios caught them when he fished there last year.

The rather bizarre looking bluespotted cornetfish...
...and the equally weird silver cheeked toadfish.

It's another invasive species however that I've decided to add to my "Most Wanted" target list and it's one that you may recognise because they are a very popular exhibit in many aquariums.

The lionfish. Both beautiful and dangerous, in amongst its long elaborate fins are eighteen venomous spines.
In red above are the spines to avoid. Thirteen in the first dorsal fin, one at the front of each pelvic fin and three at the front of the anal fin.

Most invasive species are not welcome but apparently lionfish are a most unwanted migrant because of the devastation they can cause when they move into a new environment. They have very few predators and can breed quickly, spawning as often as every four days. They are also a voracious predator, eating huge amounts of small fish and crustaceans. All this means they are extremely successful at colonising new territory at the expense of its native species. Over the last few years lionfish seem to have done exactly this along the south west coast of Cyprus which means there's a chance for me to catch one.

If I do catch any lionfish I'll obviously need to handle them extremely carefully and although I usually release the fish I catch I think I'll do my bit to reduce their numbers by keeping any landed, this decision has been made easier by the fact that they supposedly make a very tasty meal. So, I'm really looking forward to visiting Cyprus for the first time and perhaps catching and eating something a little different too.

Tight lines, Scott.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

In hot water.

I had my first session of the year last week. I met up with an angler I met at work and we headed down to the hot water outflow at Torness Power Station to bother the resident mullet. Freelined bread flake on ultra light tackle was the chosen approach and it proved to be very successful but the first few fish we caught were not the intended target species. The resident juvenile bass wanted some of our Warburtons too and we ended up catching more of them on bread than we caught mullet.

Good fun on ultra light tackle in the outflow's current.
Eventually we caught a few thick lipped mullet. Szymon had never caught a mullet before and it was nice to see him catch his first.
I also caught a couple of nice golden grey mullet too. Szymon was hopeful he'd get one as well as he'd never caught one before but didn't get lucky.

Once the tide turned things in the outflow slowed down so I changed my rig and ledgered little pieces of Dynabait ragworm down amongst the submerged sea defence boulders. As always the blennies that live in the artificially warm water were most obliging and catching the cheeky little blighters was a nice end to a good session. Szymon's interested in catching a few new saltwater species this year so I suspect we might fish together again.

Tight lines, Scott. 

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

2017. Is less more?

I'm a bit late with this review of last year's fishing but better late than never I suppose. 2017 saw me getting out less but when I did manage to wet a line I still enjoyed some great fishing, most of which took place during several trips abroad but I'm going to include a couple of UK highlights too. Finding the time to write blog posts at the moment is difficult due to work and other commitments so I'm going to keep this review short and sweet.

Catching an Atlantic Bonito on light rock fishing tackle.

Caught on a rod rated to 7g this 60cm bonito weighing approximately 7lb is easily the most epic battle with a fish I've ever had. Absolutely awesome! Massive thanks to my mate Nick who clambered down some slippery rocks to land it for me!

Trying a new style of fishing.

To target tiny species I bought myself a "Tanago" rod. Tanago are a small species of fish that the Japanese target, usually with the use of a tiny delicate float and equally tiny very specialised hooks.
To start off I did target tiny fish like minnows and three spined sticklebacks.
After a few session I got curious and wanted to see what the rod could cope with. A session at Magiscroft saw me catching some bigger fish including some small carp which was great fun and the rod coped admirably. 

Species hunting on Crete.

I had lots of fun species hunting during a two week holiday on Crete last summer. One of the new species I caught was this small common dolphinfish which was great fun on an ultra light rod.
I caught forty seven species in total including a few very colourful ones like this cleaver wrasse...
...and this swallowtail seaperch which was another species I'd never caught before.
This Atlantic stargazer, another new species I caught, took a small jig was probably my favourite capture of the trip.

South coast species hunt.

In October I headed to the Devon, Cornwall and Dorset for a five day species hunt. I based myself in Ilfracombe where I caught my first three bearded rockling, a species I've been after for a while.
Mevagissey Harbour's outer breakwater in Cornwall is a fantastic venue for species hunting and I always try and visit it when I'm down there.  The fishing was tough when I popped down for a day but my visit did produce a nice surprise in the shape of my first ever reticulated dragonet.

Getting the lads together on Gran canaria.

It had been far too long since I'd last fished with both Ross and Lee. The three of us first met six years ago on Anglesey and the three of us getting together for a week long holiday on Gran Canaria in December we had a great time.
The fishing wasn't anything special really, pretty much what we've come to expect from a week in the Canaries, but I did catch three new species during the week. One of them was a new species of blenny named Molly Miller which was my favourite of the three. I still don't know where this blenny gets its name.
Molly Miller is a bit of a punk and sports a funky mohican.

So looking back I've added a few more fishing memories to my collection and caught a few fish in good company. I guess fishing less doesn't mean you can't get more out of the fishing you do! I think this year is going to be quite similar. I'm still doing lots of hours at work and have also got some work planned in my flat throughout 2018 but I'm going to try to hopefully get out when I can and also I'd like to try to add one or two species to my UK tally this year if the opportunity to do so arises. Doing overtime regularly means I'm also looking forward to more foreign fishing adventures this year and have a week's fishing on a Greek island with Lee and Ross, a week's holiday on Cyprus with my girlfriend Lillian and what I think will be an epic three week trip to Japan, again with my girlfriend Lillian, to look forward to.

Tight lines, Scott.