Friday, June 28, 2013

Are the mackerel in yet?...

It always makes me laugh when lazy buggers ask this question on various message boards. It should result in a ban from said forums if you ask me. Instead of relying on others wetting their lines and finding out people should go out and find out for themselves! Anyway, rant over, I went out on Wednesday to see if there were any mackerel around armed with my ultra light gear and a silver 7g IMA Gun metal to thrash the water with. Before targeting mackerel however I had a bone to pick with the sand gobies I had spotted the day before whilst at Dunbar Harbour with Keith. Setting up a simple running ledger with a small 5g drilled bullet lead and tempting the tiny gobies with a small piece of pink Isome threaded onto a #22 hook I cast it out and slowly twitched it back along the bottom. It wasn't long before I had some flatfish chasing the lure and soon landed one which turned out to be my first plaice of the year.

My first plaice of 2013. Just the right size to blend into the Isome packet's artwork.

This was followed by a second small plaice before I managed to attract a goby or two in a little patch of sand that seemed to hold a few of them. After a few attempts I managed to hook one and quickly hoisted it up only to find out upon closer inspection that it was in fact a common goby, a species that I've already caught this year, so I kept casting out and twitching the lure back through the little goby hot spot. Again I missed a few bites. These small gobies have a habit of nipping at the lure and thrashing it about as if they are trying to tear chunks out of the tiny piece of fruity plastic. Being very patient eventually paid off though and I got my target species.

Last year I went all the way to Oban to catch a sand goby only to get one from Dunbar Harbour a few days later.

Quite pleased with myself I decided to try and catch a few more but as the tide began to flood into the harbour lots of small coalfish appeared and it was very hard to target the gobies without them grabbing my lure. After catching five of them I decided to head off west to Seacliff Beach to fish from the rocks for mackerel.

A nice view from the road leading down to Seacliff Beach. Tantallon Castle, the Bass Rock and the Isle of May.
Seacliff Beach from the rocks at the western end. Well worth the £2 it costs to access it!

Arriving at the back of the big rock that the tiny harbour there is cut out of I tied on a fresh 6lb leader and my IMA Gun metal lure before launching it towards the horizon and deeper water. Working it back at different depths and fan casting to try and locate any mackerel that may have been there it quickly became apparent that there weren't any around. I did however locate a pocket of small coalfish quite close in and caught five of them in quick succession.

Slightly bigger than the tiny ones I caught at Dunbar but no monster that's for sure. Still fun though.

Slightly disappointed that I might not be enjoying grilled mackerel for my supper I stopped off at North Berwick on the way home and headed along to the mark known locally as "The Horseshoe" to have another go for them. The result was the same though and despite there being several other anglers there trying to catch them in the more traditional manner, lobbing a set of feathers using fairly heavy gear, no mackerel were caught. In fact the only fish I saw being caught were a few sandeels that a puffin kept appearing in front of me with in its mouth. Alas every time it did and I reached for my camera it dove back down to hunt again so I couldn't get a photo of the little bird with the brightly coloured beak. Still it was nice to see one so close though. I headed home quite pleased with the days efforts as the sand goby and plaice had taken my 2013 species tally to 40 and despite not catching any mackerel it's always better to go out and enjoy trying to catch them and find out for yourself if they are in or not!

Tight lines, Scott.

No comments:

Post a comment