Friday, September 14, 2012

Stinky fingered fishing.

Popped out earlier this week and just for a trip down memory lane I armed myself with a small box of ragworm and assaulted a couple of marks. Employing some of the skills I've picked up during my exploration of fishing ultra light it was a mix of those tactics but with bait and I had a great day. I started off at Dunbar Harbour and yet again found myself trying to locate the ever elusive viviparous blennies that I still have nightmares about Lillian catching last year. I've still to catch one after numerous attempts at the same spot and will keep trying but after thirty minutes of bottom bouncing a baited jighead today I conceded defeat again. After changing tactics it wasn't long before I caught a long spined sea scorpion by jigging a chunk of ragworm down the side.

Despite being regular fed an exquisite diet of the finest Japanese lures the inhabitants of the harbour still like ragworm.

I then decided to head around the harbour and on the way over I spotted a box of pot bait left by one of the fishing boats for use in the creels of the numerous small lobster boats that also operate out of the harbour. In amongst all the dabs, whiting, flounder and plaice was a dover sole. I've never seen one before and was bemused in particular by its odd mouth.

A very strange looking fish indeed.
With little apparent jaw movement and a tiny mouth how on earth do they feed?

I popped it back and headed round to my next spot, "blenny corner". After quickly catching four of them I walked round a little further to "flattie corner" and soon managed a few plaice after switching to a #14 hook with a few split shot a couple of inches above it and slowly working it across the bottom with a few pauses. Hoping to catch a flounder as well to up my species tally I carried on, catching another long spined sea scorpion and a couple of coalfish as well as a few more plaice before deciding to head around to "shellfish falls" in the old harbour to see if there were any pot bellied blennies lurking there.

A lot of thought goes into naming spots like "blenny corner"!
I didn't catch any plaice in Dunbar harbour last year, only flounder. Almost the opposite is true this year.
An ever obliging greedy little coalfish.
This little fellow shot out of nowhere and muscled past several plaice to grab my bait. I love their aggression.

No sign of any big bloated blennies at "shellfish falls" so I started exploring all the likely hiding places along the harbour walls. I had soon caught a few more blennies, long spined sea scorpions and coalfish when I caught my first ever short spined sea scorpion from Dunbar harbour.

Note the relatively short spines and elongated body in comparison to the fish above.
Tipping the head back gently shows the distinct throat membrane of the short spined variety of sea scorpion.

Next up I headed further down the coast to Torness Power Station inlet area in search of leopard spotted gobies as I wanted to get a few photos of them. I caught a few more long spined sea scorpions and blennies before I located a pocket of the gobies and managed to catch two of them. When I first saw them in the water approaching my bait I could make out all their lovely colours but when I caught them and lifted them out they very quickly turned a dark shade. I popped them into a shallow rockpool to relax again and they soon returned to a lighter pink shade, showing off all their beautiful markings.

Nice things come in small packages.

Looking at these stunning little fish is a real pleasure and after admiring them I carefully popped them back where I caught them and they both slowly swam back down to the bottom before disappearing back under the big rock they had come out from underneath. I couldn't think of a better way to end the session and headed home quite pleased with the days haul.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and it was very interesting mixing up the use of bait with some of the ultra light tactics. I think I caught more fish than I would have done on lures but I'm also sure that I caught more fish than I would have done fishing the bait in a more traditional style. I had forgotten how much bait stinks up your hands, clothes and car though so unless someone genetically engineers fruity flavoured ragworm I'll be sticking to Isome for the foreseeable future!

Tight lines, Scott.

No comments:

Post a comment