Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Mixing it up.

I've been out a few times over the last week. Visiting different marks, employing different tactics and catching a few different species. Last Monday despite easterly winds I jumped in the car and headed down to St Abbs. There wasn't much happening inside the harbour where it was relatively sheltered but I found a shoal of coalfish in the rough sea on the outside.

Micro jigs on light game tackle. Great fun.  

At the weekend I had a couple of hours at a new spot on Loch Fyne. My target was Fries' Goby and I fished a scaled down three hook flapper rig on light tackle. A packet of Dynabait dehydrated ragworm was the bait of choice and after getting distracted catching a load of goldsinny wrasse straight down the side of the old pier I was fishing from I remembered why I was there and shifted my attention to further out on the sea floor. A few pin whiting and micro codling took my small baits at range and then I got excited when I reeled in a small fish and a goby appeared from the depths. Alas it was only a rather large sand goby and sadly it was the only goby of the session.

Quite a large and darkly coloured sand goby had me briefly excited.

Yesterday I met up with my mate Gareth down at the outflow at Torness Power Station to target bass. When we arrived just after high water there were lots of mullet around and to be honest I wished we had some bread with us. Ignoring the mullet I tried fishing small jigs to begin with, casting them up the current and letting them be swept down in a fairly natural manner before jigging them back up towards me but this didn't attract any interest. A switch from lure to bait had the odd mullet inspecting the little piece of dehydrated ragworm on my hook a few times but they just didn't want to fully commit, turning away at the last moment. Gareth had a break after a while and caught some blennies from nearby rockpools. I persisted and made a few changes to my end tackle, reducing the breaking strain of my hook length to 4lb and fine tuning my presentation a little weight wise to make it sink a bit more naturally. Eventually I caught a couple of thick lipped grey mullet and then a couple of bass.

The fish were all under 1lb but the strong current exaggerated their fighting abilities.

I then decided to turn my attention to catching a few blennies but I was soon on net duties to make sure nothing escaped when Gareth caught some fish from the outflow, again on small pieces of ragworm.

A nice little thick lipped mullet...
...was quickly followed by a nice little bass.

Having caught his target and added to a species hunt he's involved in this year, Gareth was keen to add another so we shifted our attention to long spined sea scorpions and headed off to explore some nearby rockpools. At this time of year though, and also due to the unnaturally high sea temperatures in the vicinity of the outflow, the rockpools were all choked full of sea lettuce. This made locating likely fish holding spots tricky. When we did find some nooks and crannies to try they all had blennies hiding in them.

Shanny served on a bed of salad.

Blennies are cool but at the outflow they really are everywhere so I suggested we head up to the rockpools at the back of Dunbar harbour to try there where normally the long spined sea scorpion is fairly common. In the first there few rockpools we tried however all we caught was more blennies so we headed to further out onto the rocks to a very big deep rockpool exposed by the tide. From this one we managed to catch a few of the mini species we were after.

I love the long spined sea scorpions gung-ho approach to feeding. They just charge out and attack, repeatedly, until they get hooked.

As we fished away we caught a few more long spined sea scorpions and as we did I mentioned to Gareth that I'd caught a leopard spotted goby there once a couple of years ago. Right on cue one came out of a crack and had a go at the 3g drilled bullet on my rig before settling on a rock. I lowered my bait into position right in front of it and it lurched forward, eagerly swallowing my little chunk of ragworm. This was followed by a second much larger specimen which I'm pretty sure was a potential British record breaker.

At 13cm this is a specimen leopard spotted goby. With no scales I couldn't find out if it was a record breaker.

We then got a good soaking when a heavy rain shower passed over us. Before we headed up to the harbour to target flounder I spotted a third leopard spotted goby in the big rockpool and pointed it out to Gareth. A small piece of ragworm was dropped down in close proximity to its mouth and Gareth had soon added another species to his tally, his first ever leopard spotted goby as well. We had half an hour or so fishing inside the harbour where there were lots of tiny flounder around but no signs of any bigger ones and when the sky opened again we decided to call it a day.

Tight lines, Scott.

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