Thursday, January 30, 2014

Slugging it out.

On Tuesday I headed south west to Portpatrick to have a go for a three bearded rockling. I've read online that as well as being a good spot for targeting conger eels, specimen three bearded rockling can also be caught from the rocks at the harbour mouth. I would happily settle for a small one though! Traffic was horrendous on the way to Glasgow and after a brief stop to pick up some tackle I headed down the UK's longest stretch of average speed cameras to arrive just after noon.

Making my way around the harbour to the entrance I climbed over the rocks, found a comfortable spot to fish from and I was soon ledgering a black lug and squid cocktail very close in amongst the weed. The first four hours were very slow to say the least and after casting my bait around in various directions I was starting to think about a move before it got dark when finally I got a bite. Reeling in, the fish was hooked on my #1/0 fine wire circle and quickly retrieved.

A most welcome little codling indeed!

Light was now beginning to fade and as it did and the harbour filled up the action increased dramatically. It started raining too but I didn't mind so much because before long I'd caught a few more small codling. My black lug and squid cocktails and mackerel strip baits were hardly getting a chance to settle before the rod tip was nodding away and a few more codling, a couple of pollock and a coalfish were caught, all nicely hooked too. 

Circle hooks are great. Every fish I caught was cleanly hooked ensuring minimum damage was done.
Strangely the light of my head torch made this pollock appear quite coalfish like in colouration.

Then I hooked a fish at close range that I could see had a longer profile as it appeared from the slightly murky water. Alas I knew when lifting it up that whilst it was my first rockling of the session it was too dark in colouration to be the one I was after. Still, unlike some other anglers I don't consider rocklings as nuisance bait stealing pests and was happy to catch one.

"Slugs" are OK by me.
This shore rockling is a rather handsome chap if you ask me.

I carried on fishing, adding a few more codling, pollock and coalfish to my tally before my bait began to run out. I finished the night with a second shore rockling before packing up and heading back up the road having failed to catch my target species but I still enjoyed what turned out to be a very good session. I think next time I head down I might try fishing the rockier ground towards the ruins of the old pier or from the rocks to the south of the harbour. I'll also try to arrive just before dusk on a rising tide too!

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Blue eyeliner on that last one mate, becoming worried that you might start dressing those shore rockling up as three beards. The hunt continues.....

    1. How very dare you sir! As if I would stoop so low!