Tuesday, November 04, 2014

This little piggy went to the minor injuries clinic.

Whilst out on Menorca with my mate Lee I caught my right foot under a tree root as we walked along a dirt path to one of the marks we fished. Luckily this little accident didn't affect the rest of our trip too much but when I returned home the pain in my swollen big toe got so bad that I could hardly walk and had to visit the minor injuries clinic at the hospital. Tendon damage was the nurse's diagnosis and I was simply given some advice on how best to reduce the swelling, manage the discomfort and hopefully speed up the healing process. Luckily my job involves me being sat on my backside for long periods so I only ended up having one day off and it has gradually been getting better every day. Resting it whilst not at work had however meant that I'd not been out fishing for almost two weeks! Some kind of consolation was the fact that the weather during this period had at times been quite bad so perhaps I would not have made it out much anyway.

On Sunday my big toe was feeling OK so I decided to head down the coast to try and add another species to my tally this year, a two spotted goby. There are a couple of spots I've caught these little fish at before but as low water wasn't until later in the afternoon I decided to head to Dunbar Harbour first. The target there was flounder and after casting my drop shot rigged Gulp! Angleworm around the old harbour for half an hour or so I had a solid take at range and a nice flounder soon had my rod bent over and the tip bouncing away.

My first fish in a fortnight!

A dozen or so casts later I caught a second flounder which was a bit bigger than the first. It was a bit thicker too and gave a really good account of itself. It also had a big set of rubbery lips and inspecting its head got me thinking about flat fish and their strange lifestyle, essentially swimming around on their sides all the time.

A nice chunky flounder.
Amazing to think of the transformation that flat fish undergo. At a very early stage in development they look like any other round fish with an eye on either side of their head. One eye then migrates over onto the opposite side which becomes their "back". Quite a bizarre process really.

After admiring the lopsided face of my catch briefly I returned it and watched the fish powering off back to the bottom. I then decided to head down the coast to Torness Power Station's outflow area where I'd be trying to find my main target for the day. 

Some of these shallow rockpools to the east of the warm water outflow are home to lots of tiny gobies.

Rigging up a simple split shot rig with a #18 hook I started off with a tiny piece of Gulp Angleworm on it and dozens of common gobies were soon moving from their stationary positions on the bottom and investigating it. After catching a few I still hadn't seen any two spotted gobies though. Common gobies are lightly coloured and any two spotted gobies normally stand out as they have a darker, reddish brown back with four light brown saddles along it. 

There were dozens of these tiny common gobies in the rockpools.

I patiently worked my way around a few rockpools, slowly moving my hook past any likely looking hiding places. After switching to a tiny piece of squid on my hook, which saw tentative exploratory bites become much more positive, I caught a few more common gobies and a few blennies before the sun began to set and I reluctantly admitted defeat. It had been a nice day, especially for the time of year, and despite not catching what I wanted as I drove back up the road I was very glad to finally have gotten out to wet a line again. 

Tight lines, Scott.

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