Friday, March 29, 2013

Bass Rock!

Sorry to disappoint anyone who is looking for a fix of spiky silver fish! I appreciate some anglers think that Dicentrarchus Labrax is the only fish that swims and other species are not worth the effort but I beg to differ. All species of fish are interesting and beautiful in their own right and variety is the spice of life! Anyway, rant over. I went to East Lothian today to do a bit of exploring at low water and had some great views of the Bass Rock. Hence the mischievous misleading post title.

Bass Rock! I'll get my coat.

I took advantage of the big spring tide and went down there early this morning to dangle some Power Isome into likely looking hiding places.

Long spined sea scorpion rock too. Especially this little blank saver.
Cool white spots on its flanks.

This was the only fish caught from the rockpools and gullies exposed to the east and west of North Berwick harbour. Sadly there was very little sign of any fish. In fact apart from a cast iron seal sculpture that I hadn't noticed before there was very little sign of any life at all.

He doesn't seem to bothered by the lack of fish!

Pretty much all I saw was a solitary tern diving and a cormorant fishing so maybe there are a few bait fish arriving and hopefully things will liven up soon if the weather starts to improve and the water temperature starts to rise with it. Fingers crossed!

Tight lines, Scott.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Most Wanted : Pumpkinseed.

Nothing to do with fruit and to be honest I had never even heard of this species until recently,  stumbling across it whilst looking for information on potential places to fish for various small silverfish like bleak, dace and bitterling. As soon as I saw it though I knew I'd like to catch one! This is the second freshwater species to make it onto to my growing list of unusual target species. Like the ruffe it is also a non native, invasive species that has been introduced to U.K. waters.

Quite a pretty little fish and kind of reminds me of a corkwing wrasse a bit due to its facial colouration and dark spot.

A very distinctive fish that can't be mistaken it is only found in a few places in south east England as far as I can tell so a cross border raid will be necessary if I'm going to have a go at catching them. From what I've read about them I don't think they are shy so once located catching one shouldn't be a problem hopefully.

Tight lines, Scott.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More maggot drowning.

I used up the last of my maggots yesterday at Magiscroft coarse fishery near Cumbernauld. When I woke up in the morning and checked the weather forecast I wasn't going to bother but Lillian was keen to go so off we went. As predicted it was raining when we arrived and after paying for my day ticket and asking for advice regarding which spots had been fishing well we headed to the Birch Ponds to get started. The pond was partially covered with ice and the peg I fished last time I was there was iced over so we elected to fish the one adjacent to it. Fishing with a #18 barbless Kamasan B911 hook baited with a single maggot just touching bottom about three feet below a 2AA puddle chucker insert waggler I cast out between two islands in the middle of the pond and began feeding the swim with a few maggots every now and then but this failed to produce any bites so after about an hour we decided to move to the Island Pond. We headed for the deeper end of the pond and I quickly started fishing again.

Waiting for bites.

Casting to the island and clipping up so I could cast quickly to the same spot each time it wasn't too long before I started getting bites and the first fish was hooked, a roach. This was followed shortly afterwards by a small tench. For its size it fought rather well, using its big tail to try and power away from me a couple of times but it was soon played out and brought to the net which was being expertly handled by my trusted ghillie. 

Finally off the mark.
A lovely little tench. They don't half scrap well.
After that it went a bit quiet, started raining again and the wind picked up a bit making controlling my float more difficult. At this point the bailiff came around to litter pick and gave me some advice on how to best to quickly sink my line and adjust my shotting pattern to minimize the movement of my float. This immediately paid off as I hooked a second roach. Next time the float went under I struck and felt the thrashing of another tench but got quite a nice surprise when it came into view and I realised it was one of the golden variety. 

My first one and a very pretty fish indeed.
Do ornamental fish count as seperate species? Technically the answer is no but I'm going to count it as one in my tally anyway. Doesn't seem right not to somehow.

This was closely followed by another new species for me. At first I thought I had caught an ide but after a closer inspection and a quick lateral line scale count I realised it was in fact a small chub.

Chub have larger scales than ide. The number along the lateral line is 44-46 for a chub and 56+ on an ide.

By the middle of the afternoon I had also caught a little F1 Carp, a third tench and a further four roach. By this point bites were becoming much more frequent and the sun even made an appearance at one point! I hooked and lost a few tiny roach and would have liked to have fished on but had to head home to get ready for work.

My second ever F1 carp. Nice looking fish and fought well too.
Another tench in nice condition.

I must say I've really enjoyed my maggot drowning sessions this last week or so. The fishing has been quite slow at times but my effort has been rewarded with some nice fish and I think I'll be doing more coarse fishing over the summer this year for sure.

Tight lines, Scott.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ice cold ide.

Popped to Eliburn again today to spend a few hours of quality time with my girlfriend, and trusted ghillie, Lillian. The venue was almost completely frozen over and this meant my choice of peg was limited to one of two. The fishing was slow to say the least. Waiting for my float to show some sign of life in the icy water we had a bite to eat and so did one of the local robins. 

The bottom end of the reservoir was frozen over.
Not shy at all, quite brazen in fact.
Little cheeky bugger enjoying the all you can eat maggot buffet.
It was a good two hours before my first bite, the float shot under and slid off away from me. Picking up my rod I felt the weight if a decent fish and Lillian got the net ready. Not much of a fight though and the fish was soon on the unhooking mat and photographed before being released again.

My first ide of the year and in good condition.
Blank avoided. Happy days.
A brief moment to recover.
Off it went and headed under the sheet of ice.

I hoped there would perhaps be a few more of them around as they normally cruise around in shoals but it would prove to be the only action of the session and after another hour or so I packed up and we headed home.

Well another very slow session on Eliburn but watching the robin was quite amusing and I avoided a blank so I can't complain too much. I also have plenty of maggots left so may try and get out again for another spot of coarse fishing over the next few days.

Tight lines, Scott.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Last cast seals Eliburn victory.

Last Thursday I decided to head to Eliburn Reservoir in Livingston for a few hours relaxing maggot drowning in the afternoon. As I was getting my gear ready in the morning I remembered that my mate Keith still had my net in the boot of his car. I quickly text him to see if I could swing round and collect it on my way there and when I did he said he'd like to join me so off we went.

Arriving at the car park there was only one car there and sure enough when we got down to the reservoir there was only one angler fishing who had two rods out for carp. We selected a double peg at the bottom of the venue and set up our rods. We both fished one waggler setup up and one feeder setup, Keith opting to fish a method feeder whilst I wanted to try a black cap swim feeder on a helicopter rig. The water was reasonably clear although there was quite a lot of weed so I decided to fish my feeder in a gap in it to my left and my waggler around a weed bed in front of me.

Action was slow to say the least. Reeling in my feeder to refill and cast it out again reasonably often to hopefully attract some fish into the swim to my left, I got a pleasant surprise when on the third or forth retrieve I felt a few head shakes and a small perch appeared into view. I was puzzled why I never saw my feeder rod tip move but perhaps the perch had grabbed the maggots as I began to reel in. In any case I was just glad to catch the first fish of the day.

My first perch of the year. The standard size for the venue although there must be some bigger ones in there!

We both hoped this would signal the beginning of a few more fish but it wasn't and there was no further action until a change of bait to maggots saw Keith's method feeder rod start nodding away. Fish on and after no time at all a bream was over the net and landed.

I've yet to catch a bream so was hopeful of catching one too.

After this the fishing was very slow again and despite fiddling with the length of my hook lengths on my helicopter rig and the depth I was fishing under the waggler after a few hours neither of us had any more bites so we decided to head to the top end of the venue as this normally produces more, if usually small, fish. On this occasion it didn't however so we tried one last peg before leaving. Much to his amusement Keith watched a robin stealing my maggots every time I turned my back. This was the only thing biting though so we started packing up. With just my waggler rod to break down the float dipped slightly a couple of times before vanishing and I lifted into another small perch about the same size as the first.

Keith likes to get quite competitive (all good friendly fun really) and this last gasp fish saw me clinch victory 2 - 1.

After popping the winning fish back we headed home and on the way discussed potential fishing trips we'd like to do during the summer. Keith tells me that Eliburn is due a clean up this weekend to remove some of the weed beds so hopefully this may bring out a few more fish although I think another cold snap on it's way may well mean another trip there will be a while away.

Tight lines, Scott.