Sunday, November 03, 2019

How many is that now?

A few days after my sessions with Nick on Belhaven Beach I headed west with a few of the lads from work to have day out with Blue Fin Charters out of Dunstaffnage Marina. The rest of the lads fancied a go for skate but I was after my first black mouthed dogfish. After a morning of catching mackerel for bait and then winding up lots of spurdogs and lesser spotted dogfish from the depths a few black mouth dogfish began being caught by the other lads, much to their amusement. After a few hours had passed and I'd listened to a fair amount of abuse from them all I eventually caught one myself, much to my relief!

I take a look at my first ever black mouthed dogfish, admiring its lovely markings,...
...beautiful eyes, a rather prominent nose covered in sensors,...
...and then showed the inside of its black mouth to the camera. 

I'd made several attempts to catch one of these unusual deep water sharks over the last few years and having also had several trips cancelled due to the weather it was great to get out and tick this one off. Straight after this the gear was swapped out for some heavier outfits and some big baits were sent off to the bottom for skate. Having caught what I came for I was more than happy to let the others take any skate runs as none of them had caught one before. Sadly over the next few hours the conditions began to deteriorate as a storm approached from the south and only one very small skate at 27lb was caught by my mate John before we had to head back in. Still John was chuffed to catch his first one and the other lads are all very keen to go back again next year for another go. I might tag along and try something a little different to see what else is lurking down in the depths. Adding further species to my all time Scottish tally from saltwater is now going to be quite difficult and I may have to think outside of the box. Since the trip I've figured out how many Scottish species I've caught over the years and will be discussing this in my next post.

Tight lines, Scott.

Monday, October 28, 2019

One species closer.

After hearing several reports in work from anglers throughout August that they'd been catching lesser weever from various beaches in East Lothian whilst targetting flounders I headed down in September for a couple of sessions to try and catch one myself having never caught one from a Scottish venue before. I met up with my mate Nick and over two evenings we caught five between us, ledgering small ragworm sections using ultra light tackle in the wash at very close range.

Belhaven Beach was our chosen venue, towards the end of the flooding tide as the day drew to an end.
My first Scottish lesser weever. They might be venomous but they’re also quite a pretty little fish with a nice pearlescent herring bone pattern along their flanks and their distinctive jet black dorsal fin.  

Much to our surprise every single one we caught buried itself right in front of us when we released them. One of them even stuck it’s little venomous dorsal fin up out of the beach’s fine sand. 

A little black warning sign jutting up.

Towards the end of the second session I hooked into a nice fish that certainly wasn’t a lesser weever that put up a rather spirited scrap in about six inches of water. I knew it was a flatfish straight away and a nice flounder was soon landed. 

At 36cm this was great fun on a very light 8' 6" rod rated at just 3-15g.

The two sessions had been very enjoyable and the question of the possibility of catching one hundred species of fish in Scottish waters came up at the end of the second as we walked back up the beach to the car. At the time I wasn’t even sure how many I’d caught over the years and I’ll come back to this in a future blog post but a few days later I'd have opportunty to catch a new species and in Scottish waters too so whatever my tally sat at I was hopeful I’d be another one closer to a hundred. 

Tight lines, Scott.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Hitting the rocks.

After enjoying my holidays to Kefalonia and Madeira earlier this year I decided it was time to hit the coast locally, something I had not done for way too long. I headed down to East Lothian to catch up with my mate Nick and we decided to have a go for pollock from the rocky coast of Eyemouth.

A glorious day to be out on the rocks.

Well the weather was great but sadly the fishing was not, with neither of us catching any pollock. After a while and a quick change of tactics from metal jigs to a soft plastic worm on a drop shot rig I did get a few tentative taps straight down the side which I though might be a small wrasse. After changing from an unscented plastic to tried and trusted angleworm on my hook I soon caught the culprit. As it turned out the fish wasn't a wrasse after all but when I realised what it was it did put a big smile on my face.

A rather big long spined sea scorpion. I always enjoy catching this funky looking mini species.

After a trying a couple more spots with no luck we called it a day, scrambled back up the rocks and headed home. It was great to catch up with Nick, getting a little sunburnt in the process and despite not catching our target species the specimen sea scorpion with its devilish appearance left me with a determination to get out locally more often. 

Tight lines, Scott.