Sunday, September 15, 2013

Location, location, location.

Locating marks where your target species can be caught is half of the battle when you are a species hunter. Sometimes this is a simple case of looking online for info or asking fellow anglers where they have caught what you're after. Sometimes a bit of research into a species' preferred habitat and having a go on a suitable mark will produce your quarry. Occasionally you just get lucky and stumble accross a new species completely by accident whilst out fishing for something else entirely. Once you know a spot where your target is the rest is normally fairly straightforward and it is usually just a case of getting your tactics right if you want to deliberatly target them. In addition, I normally find that once you've caught a species, return trips will often produce them again due to most fish being creatures of habit even if the time between trips is considerable. That being said, their movements may be seasonal and their feeding patterns might be dependent on various factors but even so location remains for me the single most important thing to figure out when trying to track down a species.

With improving my knowledge of good marks to fish in the future for two of my latest targets in mind, on Friday morning I headed down the coast to meet up with my mate Nick as he had very kindly agreed to show me some spots where he has caught lots of rockling whilst targeting cod. He also showed me the exact spot where he caught a Yarrell's blenny a couple of years ago. Whilst there we had a go for Yarrell's blenny, fishing small baits on light gear we had a laugh and caught a few fish.

Lots of small codling around the Scottish coast can only be a good thing!
Lots of small coalfish around the Scottish coast can only be a good thing?
After a coalfish and codling I caught a single blenny but it was the common cousin of the one I was after.

I also foul hooked a lobster that managed to shake itself off as I lifted it up out of the water. We then moved to another spot and caught a couple of long spined sea scorpions from an area of partially submerged large boulders. Nick caught one that was an awesome purple shade with strange lichen like markings. I caught one like that before in the same area last year.

Sea scorpions are cool little fish with a lot of attitude. Nick really enjoys catching them too.
Very cool.

After a few hours Nick had to head home and I decided to hit Dunbar Harbour for a couple of hours before driving back to Edinburgh. I caught a few coalfish, a single plaice and a nice flounder which some small children asked to see. They were quite surprised when I briefly explained how the fishes eyes weren't always on the "top" of its body and were also amazed at how quickly it swam away when I put it back!

A good scrap on my light gear and caught on my "last cast".

So, quite a relaxing way to spend the morning and early afternoon, fishing three locations in the process. Obviously the last one I know quite well but thanks to Nick I now have a better idea about exactly where to keep trying for a Yarrell's blenny and have somewhere else to spend winter evenings trying to catch a three bearded rockling with the added bonus of perhaps catching a cod or two!

Tight lines, Scott.

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