Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More micro fishing for gobies.

A few weeks ago I went to Ravensheugh beach with my mate Jake to target turbot. When we got to beach Jake saw some small fish in a rockpool. After a while we agreed they were gobies and tried to catch a few. Jake almost managed to get one but it fell off his #20 hook as he was lifting it up. After a fruitless hour or so searching for turbot on the beach at the mouth of a small stream I returned to the rockpool and after a lot of perseverance I managed to catch one of them. At this point I realised I didn't have my camera with me so I popped it into my empty water bottle. I then caught a second and then I caught a tiny dragonet. Jake then returned having worked his way along the beach a fair bit and back along again.

I worked the stream whilst Jake wandered along the beach.

We popped the tiny fish into a small rockpool to look at them and I took a couple of pictures using Jake's camera. Still unsure about the exact species of goby I had caught we headed off as Jake wanted to try for bass at Torness Power Station outflow.

At the time I thought they may be painted gobies due to the saddle markings. But it turns out they were two spotted gobies. You can just make out the spots.
Still not sure quite how I hooked this dragonet. It was about the size of my thumbnail!

A short walk back to the car and a drive down the coast and we were at the outflow. Once there Jake soon caught a few bass, first of all using a Hansen Pilgrim spoon and then, after losing that, on a Lunker City Ribster fished on a jighead.

One of a few bass Jake caught, much to the annoyance of others who weren't catching that many.

I meanwhile had been exploring and had spotted some more gobies in a large sandy bottomed rockpool and when we left I told Jake I'd like to get some smaller hooks and return to find out what they were. Jake visited twice in the last week and had managed to catch some two spotted gobies confirming the identity of the two I had caught and had also caught a small goby that we were pretty sure was a common goby.

Jake and I were reasonably certain he'd caught his first common goby and would later have this confirmed.

On Monday some new Gamakatsu 6315 #26 hooks to nylon arrived so yesterday we headed down again to catch a few more and get confirmation. Upon arrival I headed straight to the rockpool to get started. Jake went to try for a bass. The only rod I had with me was the "beast tamer". I was focused on goby hunting and nothing else!

My Ron Thompson Ice Fishing Pimple Lux 60cm Medium. 2 foot of goby stopping power!
Weapons of micro destruction!
Ultra fine wire hooks to increase my chances of hooking the tiny fish.
Tiny pieces of Power Isome and Gulp! Sandworm were the lures of choice. Split shot was placed a few inches above to help keep it down as it was fairly windy.

It took me a while to get them interested in my tiny chunks of Power Isome and Gulp! Sandworm but just after Jake came over to see how I was doing I managed to catch a two spotted goby, my 29th saltwater species on lures this year. Jake hadn't managed any bass but he then spotted a small flounder in the rockpool and soon had it hooked on a pink Ecogear Minnow SS. That's the first time I've seen one caught in a rockpool! I then moved along a bit to a spot where Jake had whipped the gobies up into a frenzy by jigging his brightly coloured lure around. After jigging my Isome around lightly amongst them I managed to catch a small goby. Careful examination would confirm it as being a common goby. A new species for me and my 30th saltwater species on lures this year. I was over the moon having reached my goal for the year.

Isn't he cute.
Rockpool flounder caught on the Rockfish UL.
Ecogear Minnow SS proved to tempting for this stranded flounder.
My first ever common goby.
Nine soft ray fins in the second dorsal fin along with other features confirms this as a common goby. Sand gobies have at least ten.

I had a small clear plastic tank with me that gave us an opportunity to study the gobies closely. We examined them carefully admiring their markings and subtle colourations before we both took turns with the "beast tamer" catching some more. Both of us ending up with one two spotted goby and three common gobies each.

Viewing gobies like this lets you see every detail.
Note the pale blue markings on this common gobies
The examination tank. This enabled us to take our time and confirm that all the gobies we'd caught were two spotted gobies or common gobies.

A few of the bass anglers took an interest in what we were doing too and had a look at our catches before I released them all again. Micro fishing is great fun and it's strange to think that it's taken us so long to investigate the gobies as we've spotted them there before. We just assumed they were sand gobies I suppose. In future we'll be investigating any gobies we spot as there are quite a few more species in the U.K. for us still to catch!

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Just came across your blog Scott and love it. Started off on the species hunting myself which has got me trying out saltwater for the first time. I'm hopeless with identifying the gobies...

    My blog is

    If you ever do drop by and see that I've misidentified anything, I'd love to be put right!

    1. Thanks Russell! I will be sure to have a look at your blog.

      There is a goby guide on mine that you may find useful.