Friday, December 27, 2013

Wind of change.

I headed out for a few hours fishing with my mate Nick on Sunday. We selected "Ghegan Rock" near Seacliff beach as we thought it would be quite sheltered but as the wind seemed to be blowing from a different direction to the forecast we weren't sheltered at all. Oh well, having walked a fair distance and scrambled down a rather muddy embankment to get to the mark we decided to give it a bash anyway and were soon fishing a selection of baits fairly close in. Nick fished a single rod and opted for a fairly big bait hoping to catch some winter cod. I on the other hand fished two rods and lobbed out two small baits on small hooks hoping to tempt a three bearded rockling.

Not an unpleasant view with the ruins of Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock in front of us. 

The wind made fishing pretty uncomfortable but we soldiered on and as we patiently watched our rod tips for signs of activity we had a chat about the pros and cons of various approaches to bait fishing. One rod versus two, fixed spool reels versus multipliers, complicated rigs versus keeping things simple and the benefits of braided mainline were all discussed. After a couple of bait changes I reeled in to do a third and found this greedy little swine on the end of one of my running ledgers.

This cheeky little long spined scorpion fish was a nice surprise.

Nick laughed and said his bait was bigger than my catch which was no doubt true. A short while later I caught another in exactly the same way. As light faded the coalfish bites started and after catching one I decided to switch to slightly bigger hooks. After darkness fell and the headlamps were switched on, the tide turned and began to ebb and I had a couple of good bites. The first almost pulled my rod from the stand but when I picked it up and struck there was nothing there. The second time I was holding my rod but again when I struck I failed to connect. By this point the wind had really picked up however, it had started to rain as well and we were taking a bit of a battering so we called it a night.

It was good catching up with Nick and our discussion of bait angling methods has cemented a few thoughts I've had recently about how I want to bait fish next year. I've realised that fishing two rods can be counter productive at times and can lead to missed bites. It also means you are less inclined to move around. Fishing and focusing on one rod is the way forward for me. Also it's better to hold your rod if possible, be able to feel what's going on and quickly react to bites. I also plan on keeping my rigs very simple and most of the time will fish a running ledger or a one hook paternoster. I think most of my fishing will be done at close range too in clean to mixed ground so no need for anything too fancy. More species hunting is on the cards next year so I'll be using smaller baits and hooks which will hopefully mean more fish being caught and also less damage to the fish that are to be returned. I also want to use snelled circle hooks whenever possible too, again to minimise damage to my catches. I'm thinking I may treat myself to a new setup but in the meantime I'll start putting these changes into practice and I'm keen to try for a three bearded rockling at the "Ghegan Rock" again with Nick when the conditions make fishing more comfortable.

Tight lines, Scott.

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