Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Tails of the unexpected.

Well, it looks like the glorious weather we’ve all been enjoying so far this “summer” shows no sign of improving! Faced with strong easterly winds and miserable wet conditions this afternoon, I decided to yet again head to the inlet at Torness Power Station.

Back again. Not the most scenic place to fish but needs must sometimes!

This time however, I put all thoughts of catching a topknot to one side, mainly because there was no way I was clambering about on the slippery wet sea defence boulders. Making a brief visit to the outflow area, I collected some live prawns and headed around to fish them down the side of the lifeboat platform, where I was afforded a bit of protection from the cold easterly wind. Bites came from the first drop and I soon caught a few small ballan wrasse.

A nice dark green ballan wrasse. 

In amongst the initial onslaught of ballan wrasse, a single goldsinny wrasse took my live bait. After a while, the wrasse stopped biting, and things went quiet for a short spell. The next species to eagerly munch a prawn and get itself hooked was a leopard spotted goby, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ve caught them from rockpools on the east coast before, but this was the first time I’d caught one from the open sea on this side of the country.

In my experience, leopard spotted goby are much more common on the west coast of Scotland.

Next up was a procession of tiny cod. I've no idea how they managed to get the little prawns into their tiny mouths, but somehow they did! After the wave of tiny cod I caught another unexpected species in the long slippery shape of a butterfish. I was over the moon to catch one!

One of my favourite UK mini species.

After another slow period, there was another increase in activity. I caught a few more ballan wrasse, and much to my delight, I caught two further butterfish and another five leopard spotted goby. Clearly, I had located a small area that held a good number of both these mini species.

Ballan wrasse come in a plethora of colours!

After unhooking this butterfish, the largest of the three, the slippery devil didn’t want to cooperate and have its photo taken in my palm. They’re called butterfish for a reason. 

After a few hours, I had used up all the prawns I’d collected, and whilst I had some dehydrated ragworm and a packet of mini isome with me, I was pretty wet and cold so I called it a day. I'd caught over twenty fish from a very concentrated area, probably no larger than a square metre of the rocky sea bed. Catching the butterfish was a real highlight of the session. They are such a cool fish! I'm very pleased that I seem to have located a fantastic spot to target them in the future. Well worth venturing out in the poor conditions for!

Tight lines, Scott.

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