Monday, October 16, 2017

Three bearded by name...

I drove down the A1 to Cove last night for a session targeting three bearded rockling. Quite often in the past fellow anglers have told me they've caught them on the east coast only for them to show me photos of shore rockling. Despite having never caught a three bearded rockling, to my mind the two species cannot really be mistaken for each other. Having seen a photo of an actual three bearded rockling that was caught from the mouth of Cove's harbour I was hopeful that I might get lucky and catch one myself. Ledgering strips of mackerel things were very slow and I spent six hours basically feeding the crabs and winding in to put a fresh piece of bait on every twenty minutes. I only caught one fish all night just after the tide began to ebb and whilst it was a rockling with three beards it was sadly not a three bearded rockling!

The fish I caught last night was a shore rockling. It is a pretty drab looking fish, not pink with brown spots like its three bearded cousin.
As well as having a lovely purple ring around the eyes it also has three "beards" which I think is why some anglers who aren't really interested in rockling misidentify them.
For the avoidance of doubt the fish above is a three bearded rockling. Pretty hard to confuse the two given the three bearded rockling's much more colourful appearance.

I've been doing more research recently into potential hotspots for targeting three bearded rockling. They seem to be much more prolific on the west coast of the country so that's where I'm going to try next. I'm off to the north coast of Devon next week to try my luck at Ilfracombe Pier for six days. As well as holding plenty of three bearded rockling it seems that this venue is also known to produce both Connemara clingfish and shore clingfish so I'll be fishing tiny baits straight down the side of the pier to try and get lucky during the day. Telling them apart shouldn't be too hard either.

The Connemara clingfish has banded eyes and orange markings on its cheeks.
The shore clingfish has two bright blue spots on the top of its head. It is also know as the Cornish sucker.

I'm really looking forward to this trip. It's always exciting fishing somewhere new. It's a long way to drive and it's also been a while since I was down there so depending on how I get on catching my three main new species targets I might try and visit some other more familiar venues while I'm down there.

Tight lines, Scott.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Scott, fished Ilfracombe last weekend. Absolutely snided out with little pollack at the moment. Best of luck!