Sunday, May 10, 2015

Blown away.

I went out for a few hours fishing this afternoon. I started off at Dunbar Harbour but after trying various spots, struggling to fish in the wind and not getting any bites I decided to head down the coast to the inlet area of Torness Power Station, more to get out of the wind than anything else, but I also wanted to fish in the rockpools there. A couple of years ago I caught a few leopard spotted gobies from them and was curious if they were still around. Before I hit the rockpools though I fished an Angleworm on a drop shot rig from the exposed concrete platform below the gantry at its western end into the deep water below it. Whilst I was slightly sheltered from the wind it was still difficult to feel for bites and when I finally got one I wasn't sure if I had hooked the little culprit. As I slowly reeled in it felt like it was just my drop shot lead that was putting a tiny bend in my rod tip but then I felt a little head shake and to my surprise a sandeel came into view.

I think this the second time I've caught a greater sandeel using this approach. My drop shot lead had jettisoned during the "fight" which explained why I didn't really feel the extra weight of the fish. I was quite pleased as it was other potentially hard to catch species ticked off my Scottish species hunt target list.
Note the dark mark above its upper lip. A key distinguishing feature.

I carried on fishing the area just as the tide had started to lap up over the platform and I was just about to move over to the rockpools when I heard a voice behind me. Turning to see who it was I was confronted by two uniformed officers. It was the station's Civil Nuclear Constabulary who had spotted me as they patrolled the site, were concerned I was fishing in a dangerous place and had come over to make sure I was OK. After thanking them and reassuring them that I was fine and was about to move anyway I  headed over to the rockpools to start searching for a leopard spotted goby. Slowly working my jighead mounted Angleworm around the gaps in the partially submerged sea defence boulders I was searching it soon became apparent that there weren't any leopard spotted gobies around, or any other mini species for that matter. Eventually I managed to coax a solitary long spined sea scorpion out from a crack.

I never tire of catching these little rockpool gremlins.

As the afternoon progressed the wind cranked itself up a few more notches and got so strong that even fishing in rockpools effectively became a bit of a challenge! After a while with no further reward for my efforts I decided to call it a day and headed back up the road. Despite only catching two fish I was happy to have added another species to my Scottish saltwater species hunt tally. It's fair to say that the weather so far this year has not been great with the wind in particular often making things difficult. My mate Nick tells me that the first mackerel have been caught by Dunbar's commercial boats so hopefully it won't be too much longer before they and some other summer species start showing up inshore and hopefully we get some nice weather to go with them.

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Dear Scott,

    My husband and I are visiting Scotland during the first week of July 2015. I would like to surprise him with one day set aside for fishing in Edinburgh.

    Could you perhaps advise on any tackle shops where he could hire equipment, seeing as we will be flying from South Africa without his regular fishing kit. I read that the river running alongside the Water of Leith walkway is abundant with brown trout and is therefore a popular fishery. Do you suppose he would be able to obtain a permit and gear?

    Looking forward to hearing form you.

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Eugenie,

      The Water of Leith does indeed contain a few brown trout. A permit won't be a problem as they are free and available from any tackle shop in Edinburgh but I'm not sure about hiring tackle. Happy to try and help you organise a day's fishing out for him but might need a bit more info on the style of fishing he does. Is he fly fishing only or open to other styles? Perhaps you can get back to me via email and we can hopefully sort something out?