Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Fyne day out.

Back at the end of last month I went to Loch Fyne to have a first go for Fries' Goby after reading some divers studies that reported sightings of them there. I set of at about 9:00 and went to the Glasgow Angling Centre on the way and got a few bits and bobs. The drive up the west shore of loch Lomond and through the Trossachs was lovely. I really enjoy heading to the west of Scotland to fish! I arrived, parked the car and made my way down to the shore where I found a nice rock to fish from. The tide had just turned and was beginning to flood as I got set up. As there was a fair amount of bladderwrack floating in the water in front of me I found a fairly clear gap in it that I could retrieve fish through and started fishing. I went with my Nories Rockfish Bottom Light rod to start with and clipped on a scaled down three hook flapper rig made up with very short snoods with #10 Sabpolo Wormer hooks baited with small chunks of raw prawn and tied on a 14g lead. Casting out about thirty yards and holding the rod in my hand I got bites from the off and my first fish was soon hooked.

Small but still my first haddock of 2013.

This welcome addition to my annual species tally was soon followed by a few small codling and then I caught a dab. Dab are a bit strange. The eye that migrates from the "bottom" looks like it didn't quite make it all the way over like it does on other flatfish species and when you hold them up to the light they have a weird translucent look to their body with their internal organs blocking the light.

Lots of these little codling around. A good sign for years to come hopefully.

Next up I caught a black goby. Because my main target was also a goby I had brought my little observation tank along with me and popped the fish it in for a photo.

Dorsal fins in full glory.

A few more black gobies soon followed and when I caught smaller ones I was hopeful that they would be a colourful Fries' goby as I reeled them in but each time I had to settle for another black one. I wanted to get a bit more distance so I switched over to my slightly longer Nories Rough Surf 88 rod, clipped the rig on and tied on a 28g lead. I was able to get a bit more distance and must have found a cleaner sandy patch because I was soon catching sand gobies, more dabs and my first ever Scottish dragonets.

No prizes for guessing where sand gobies are normally found.
The female of the species...
...has a much smaller first dorsal fin than the male.

The session continued like this, I had a lot of fun and caught almost fifty fish including several double shots but alas no Fries' goby. It was quite interesting to fish these scaled down rigs on very light gear though and holding the rod in my hand I could feel every tiny bite even at distance especially on my Rockfish Bottom rod.  No doubt if I can locate and get my rig out onto a muddy patch where Fries' goby is holed up I will be able to catch them. This may require gear capable of casting further which may mean a compromise in bite detection or perhaps a boat hire and a switch to fishing vertically may be required. Solving problems like this is one of the things that I like about fishing for different species as it sometimes requires you to think outside of the box. Since the visit I've also noted that black mouthed dogfish and tadpole fish have in the past been caught from the loch so I may end up spending a bit more time there in the future.

Tight lines, Scott.

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