Saturday, January 05, 2013

2012. Looking back.

2012 was a great year for me. I did a crazy amount of fishing, in some great places, met some great people and had a great time catching a load of fish in the process! 1042 to be precise! 60 different species including 36 new ones I'd never caught before. Here's the breakdown...

  1. 3 Spined Stickleback x 1
  2. Arctic Char x 2 *
  3. Ballan Wrasse x 42
  4. Bass x 32
  5. Black Goby x 23 *
  6. Blonde Ray x 1 *
  7. Bream/Roach Hybrid x 3 *
  8. Brown Trout x 7
  9. Butterfish x 1 *
  10. Coalfish x 43
  11. Cod x 7
  12. Common Blenny x 329
  13. Common Goby x 3 *
  14. Conger Eel x 1 *
  15. Corkwing Wrasse x 7 *
  16. Cuckoo Wrasse x 2
  17. Dab x 2 *
  18. Dragonet x 4 *
  19. F1 Carp x 1 *
  20. Flounder x 13
  21. Giant Goby x 5 *
  22. Golden Grey Mullet x 2 *
  23. Goldsinny Wrasse x 6 *
  24. Grey Gurnard x 2
  25. Gudgeon x 9 *
  26. Haddock x 2
  27. Ide x 2 *
  28. Leopard Spotted Goby x 5 *
  29. Lesser Spotted Dogfish x 24
  30. Lesser Weever x 4 *
  31. Ling x 2 
  32. Long Spined Sea Scorpion x 114
  33. Mackerel x 36
  34. Minnow x 1 *
  35. Painted Goby x 1 *
  36. Perch x 25
  37. Pike x 27
  38. Plaice x 25 *
  39. Pollock x 66
  40. Poor Cod x 16
  41. Pouting x 11 *
  42. Rainbow Trout x 6 *
  43. Roach x 15 *
  44. Rock Cook Wrasse x 1 *
  45. Rock Goby x 43
  46. Rudd x 8
  47. Sand Goby x 15
  48. Sand Smelt x 5 *
  49. Sea Trout x 4 *
  50. Short Spined Sea Scorpion x4
  51. Spurdog x 1 *
  52. Tench x 1 *
  53. Thick Lipped Grey Mullet x 2 *
  54. Thornback Ray x 1 *
  55. Tompot Blenny x 9 *
  56. Topknot x 1 *
  57. Two Spotted Goby x 4 *
  58. Undulate Ray x 1 *
  59. Whiting x 11
  60. Zander x 1 *
* = New Species.

Many great catches in there for a variety of reasons. So many memorable fish and it's hard to pick my favourites but here are five that spring to mind...

Tompot Blenny.

I finally tracked one down during my trip to Anglesey. My 171st blenny of 2012 was a little special.

Giant Goby.

After doing a bit of research online a short session on Marazion beach during my trip to Cornwall produced two of these. They live up to their name!

Rock Cook Wrasse.

These are the types of catches I like most. Just turn up somewhere. Figure out what you might likely catch and go for it.
I was expecting wrasse but not my first ever rock cook wrasse. Stunning little fish.

Tony the Perch.

Say hello to my little friend! Caught this badly scared perch twice last year in the same area. I hope to meet him again.


Cold. Wet. Miserable.
Lost one stupidly lifting it into the boat instead of using the net. I left it late in the day to finally get one.
The relief was overwhelming! Cool fish. I'll be heading back down south to target them again for sure.

As a relatively new angler I've learned loads over the last year thanks mainly to other anglers who've given me great advice on a wide variety of topics. I've enjoyed without exception any style of fishing I've tried so far and will give anything a try. I've also come to realise that fishing can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I prefer to keep it simple, besides finding the fish is usually the hardest part! I've also come to realise that to me size doesn't matter. I love catching many different species of fish irrespective of their size. Two spotted gobies deserve just as much respect as common skate and I can have fun catching both (or losing them!). I've realised that weighing and measuring fish and specimen hunting isn't really my thing. I didn't achieve some of my size related goals in 2012 but to be honest I didn't really try to, I was enjoying the species hunting too much! My one main regret is that I didn't really have a go at the wrasse grand slam and I hope to do so this year at some point and have a couple of marks in mind for it.

So what now? How can I match last year let alone surpass it. It'll be tough that's for sure! I just want to carry on fishing with my fishing mates and having a great time. I'll certainly be doing more species hunting! I'd like to target unusual species. Weird and wonderful fish that are rarely targeted. Hopefully I'll keep improving my fishing in the process. I plan to continue mixing up the styles as I have done over the last few months and will be doing more bait fishing. I'd also like to do more fly fishing and in particular try targeting saltwater species on the fly. I'd also like to fish a few more local spots but no doubt trips further afield will also be on the cards. Top of my list is a trip north to the Shetland Islands for some big cod, coalfish, ling and turbot. I'd also like to do a trip to somewhere in the Mediterranean to target some exotic species but I'm sure wherever I end up fishing, 2013 will be a great year!

Tight lines, Scott.

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