Thursday, March 27, 2014

Barking mad?

I turned my species hunting thoughts back towards three bearded rockling yesterday and headed down to a new rock mark near Portpatrick. With the sun setting at about 18:45 and high water at about 20:00 I thought an evening session over slack water would give me a good chance of catching my target if any were around. However with the whole day free I first headed west and went to check out a new stretch of the Forth & Clyde Canal in the afternoon.

Fishing soft plastics slowly on a dropshot rig I was hoping to catch my first pike of 2014 but unfortunately after three hours exploring the wider areas at bends, reed beds and the spots where small streams flowed into the canal my efforts hadn't produced. It was a nice day though and it was quite relaxing ambling along a new part of the canal trying to figure out where likely fish holding spots might be for my next visit. I'm sure in the summer when a few lily pads appear it will be a bit more fruitful so I'll be back to give it another go. Back in the car I headed down the road to Dumfries & Galloway.

A couple of hours later I arrived in Portpatrick, drove up to the mark and climbed down the rocks to begin fishing. Preparing some mackerel and bluey baits I made a couple of new friends who swooped down from their rocky perch and gobbled up the heads, guts and bones as I tossed them in.

A pair of opportunistic groundbait stealing swines!

Ledgering fairly big strips of bait on #3/0 circle hooks close in things were very slow but this wasn't a real surprise and when the sun set I was expecting it to pick up. Constant after dark bites from rampaging coalfish I thought and hopefully a three bearded rockling would be able to beat them to my bait.

Here we go?

It didn't pick up though and as the session progressed the rough rocky bottom was claiming a few leads from my rotten bottom links as I reeled in to put fresh bait on. I was also having to bend a few hooks out of snags too so I switched to a two hook flapper with short snoods quite far up the rig from the lead to try and keep them clear of the bottom. I also switched to slightly smaller #1/0 hooks and smaller baits. This seemed to reduce tackle losses and I finally had a rattle or two before hooking a fish. As I retrieved it I guessed what it was from the way my line was snaking around in a figure of eight and my suspicions were quickly confirmed.

Woof woof. A blank busting dogfish. I was happy to catch it but then I quite like them.

I fished on for just over an hour more but with a three hour plus drive home to make I packed up at about 22:30. Over 300 miles travelled and I didn't get what I went for but to be honest I still enjoyed the day's fishing and was pleased with my single dogfish. Some anglers might think I'm mad. Barking mad. Maybe they'd be right?

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Commitment Scott, it will come..... probably when you least expect it.