Saturday, October 24, 2015

Missing the boat?

After Sunday's superb skate trip aboard "Reel Deal" with Willie and Gordon I headed out locally on Tuesday to try and add yet more, but much smaller species to this year's tally. I had two targets in mind and arranged to fish a few marks around East Lothian with my mate Mikey. First stop was Eyemouth Harbour where I was hoping to locate a fifteen spined stickleback. The water in the harbour was the clearest I've ever seen it but alas there was a distinct lack of fish. I had to resort to fishing in an isolated pool of water trapped amongst some boulders to open my account. The fish had spines but it wasn't a stickleback. 

This little brute charged out of a crack to wolf my piece of Angleworm.

Next on our little tour of East Lothian was Dunbar Harbour, again I did a spot of stickleback hunting whilst Mikey focused on flatfish. The tide was about half way in and whilst the bladderwrack on the walls was partially covered I couldn't see any of my target species to lower my rig in front of. There were dozens of two spotted gobies though so I amused myself trying to catch them using a micro fishing float rig. They were being quite fussy though and my tiny pieces of mackerel and squid had to be twitched by lifting the float ever so slightly to get them biting. 

Not quite small enough but the closest fish yet to fitting on my one yen coin.

After I caught a couple I joined Mikey pestering the flatfish and we caught a few small flounder and plaice. By early evening I still hadn't spotted any sticklebacks moving around in the weed and the flatfish were being less aggressive with their bites. With the sun getting fairly low in the sky it was time to head to our final mark, Ravenshuegh Beach. My target there was the lesser weever and the conditions once we walked down to it looked great, the sea being flat calm with small waves gently rolling in. I went with half a set of herring hooks, four small hooks with small blobs of fluorescent paint at the top of their shanks and baited two of them with tiny strips of mackerel and the other two with slithers of squid. Mikey meanwhile decided to fish Angleworm on a split shot rig. Twitching our rigs back towards us bites were few and far between to begin with as we wandered along the beach but once it got dark we finally got a few. When I  connected with one it was a small fish and reeling it in I had high hopes but it wasn't my target species and instead I beached a palm sized flat fish. Shining my head torch on it I did get a little surprise though when I discovered it was a plaice, quite an unusual capture for the area. 

The first plaice I've caught from East Lothian outwith the little corner that produces them in Dunbar Harbour.

After a while the few bites we were getting petered out again so we ended the session. I haven't seen a fifteen spined stickleback for a few weeks now and I'm wondering if I perhaps have missed the opportunity to catch one? I've also had about half a dozen attempts at catching a lesser weever on marks I know hold them. I don't think they are present in great numbers but I'm also not sure if they are resident all year round or only move inshore when the water temperature rises in the summer? I have a pair of waders on order that I plan to use in my efforts to catch both these species so I'll have a few more attempts but my thoughts are beginning to turn to switching my focus to conger eels and three bearded rocklings, two species that I can definitely expect to catch over the coming colder months. 

Tight lines, Scott.

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