Sunday, 18 March 2012

Welcome to our new blog. Allow me to bring you up to speed!

Schogsky & I met via The Lure Forum messageboard last summer and after meeting up for a spot of lure fishing we have been fishing together regularly ever since and we've had a great time getting to know each other, tried a few new things, explored new marks and caught loads of fish in the process! We've been regularly posting reports on our trips together (and our solo sessions) in the Catch Reports section of TLF and I thought a great way to start our blog would be a first post summarising what we've been up to since we first met at the start of July last year to give you a flavour of what we are all about. So make yourself comfortable, here goes...

Whilst reading Jake's first ever catch report, a successful bass session that had produced a few fish...

A Torness Power Station bass took this Rapala X-Rap.

...I noticed that he was also living in Edinburgh. Funnily enough I had been fishing too whilst he had been catching bass and had caught a nice big pollock...

Crispy Stella Artois batter bound. I replied to his thread. After a few private messages were sent back and forth we arranged to meet up which we duly did for a couple of hours at a local mark. It was a good session and we both caught fish, a mackerel each and Jake also caught a small coalfish. The tackle Jake was using was pretty light and I guess this was really my introduction to two things; light rock fishing as a style and also the lure Jake was using.

Marukyu Power Isome. Deadly for many species as we would discover over the coming months!

On the way home Jake said that he'd like to catch a ballan wrasse on this gear and I told him about a local spot where they were being caught. The following day he popped down there and after a few hours exploring he hooked a wrasse but instead of a ballan it was a beautiful darkly coloured corkwing.

Granton Breakwater Corkwing plucked from what is now known as "Jake's Wrassehole"!

I took the plunge and got myself an LRF outfit and during the next few weeks we visited various marks in East Lothian together and caught a few more fish on Power Isome.

Nicely marked pollock.
Long spined sea scorpion. These are not venomous contrary to popular belief!
Another victim falls to the mighty Power Isome.
This time a nice flounder.

It was my turn to head out on a solo mission and after several fruitless hours I witnessed my first "mackerel jacuzzi" with shoals of them chasing sandeels into a few feet of water at low tide as light faded one night. My first LRF mackerel was great fun, as was my second. The third came "off the top" on a 4g floating plug!

 Mackerel taken "off the top"!

Back together again and over the next few months Jake and I were having lots of fun and catching plenty fish in the process!

A nice little Coalfish.
A common blenny.

Another long spined sea scorpion.

A small plaice can't resist the Japanese super lure either!
Long spined sea scorpions and common blennies would become common catches!

A few slightly bigger fish would put a nice bend in the LRF rods.

St Abbs Harbour coalfish for Jake.
St Abbs Harbour flounder for me.

At the end of August I went up to Applecross on the NW coast of Scotland with a couple of my mates for a fishing trip. It's a beautiful part of the country, made famous by Monty Halls in his first "Great Escape" documentary series. I had a great time, added a few species to my tally and caught most of my fish on my LRF gear whilst my mates fished baits and struggled. I myself only managed to land one lesser spotted dogfish on my bait rod.

LRF pollock in the Scottish heather. Taken on a 2" Ecogear Straw Tail.
Hated by many anglers as they steal bait intended for other species.
It's still a shark so is cool in my book!
This ballan was caught at my feet almost on an Ecogear Straw Tail again.
Poor cod. One of many caught.
A rock goby. Identifiable by the bright marking on the dorsal fin.

Shortly after returning Jake and I headed back to St Abbs and had another good session. A few fish were caught mainly by Jake but I had a new HRF setup with me and broke it in nicely with a couple of nice fish.

A nice blenny for Jake. One of many. Nice red tip to it's anal fin.
A nice flounder to christen the Shimano Speedmaster Dropshot. Took a Berkley Gulp! Lugworm fished on a weedless jighead on the drop.
Dinner caught again! This pollock took a Berkley Gulp! 6" Sandworm fished on a weedless jighead.

Next session we were off to Torness Power Station outflow again in search of bass with me yet to catch one. I failed to do so but Jake showed me how it was done and then pulled a nice big flounder out of St Abbs when we popped down there later in the day for an hour or two.

At 48cm and weighing 2lb 8oz this was the biggest bass so far in 2011 for Jake.
Another St Abbs flounder. Nice and plump too!

At the start of Sept Jake and I  decided to head a bit further afield. We took the LRF gear and the bait rods and headed west to Oban and Loch Etive. We had a great trip and landed over 100 fish. Mainly small pollock from Loch Etive but we also picked up a few new species too.

A nicely marked pollock that Jake caught.
Jake landing this lesser spotted dogfish on his bait rod.

Sand Goby. Power Isome also works in tiny chunks fished on size 18 hooks!
Sea Trout. We both caught one on an Ecogear Aji Straight lure.
A nice little codling Jake caught on you know what!

I had a quick solo session at Dunbar harbour a few week later. Jake had been down the day before and had lost a huge blenny so I was trying to land the monster. Soon after I arrived I  caught the smallest flounder I've ever seen and after a few other fish were caught I hooked the beer bellied blenny!

New "Personal Worst" flounder.
Not actually hooked just biting the very end of the lure.
The forceps are 6" long. Look at the size of his belly too! Lunker!

Now trying to rack up the species I was told about a mark where I could catch sprats. Sceptical as they are are strict zooplanktivores (thanks wikipedia!) I went down anyway and did catch a few small fish using sabiki that did resemble sprats but after some research I identified them as juvenile herring. Still a new species. I also caught a small whiting which was also a new species for me! Not bad for less than an hours effort!

Juvenile herring. Easily confused with sprats!
Bonus whiting!

A couple of weeks later and it was now mid Oct. Another trip to Torness to try and catch a bass. I went down early morning and after a few hours of no action I was starting to think it wasn't going to happen again. I tried loads of different small hard lures and then decided to try a sandeel fly fished using a sinking bombarda float.  Just as I saw Jake arriving I felt a thud and was in. After a decent scrap on my LRF rod I landed my first bass of the year!

Spiky Scottish silver. Well worth the wait!

Next up was a trip to the Mull of Galloway with my girlfrind, sister and her partner for a day out in "On Yer Marks" with skipper Ian Burrett targeting pollock first of all, then tope and finishing the day off by targeting a few wrasse. It was a fantastic trip and although I hooked a tope it bent out the hook and I lost it again. Oh well, just have to do it again this year! Here are a few pics.

Best pollock of the day was caught by my sister.
Grey Gurnard. Another new species for me.

Nice coalfish.
Tope fishing begins and the bloody pests soon show up! Love them really.
Tope on. Tope off. Gutted!
Lovely male cuckoo wrasse. Perhaps my favourite fish. Top 5 anyway!
Best ballan wrasse. Sister strikes again!

Jake and I would end October with a manic coalfish bashing night session at St Abbs and a trip to Eyemouth harbour. Over 300 coalfish caught during the night session. Every lure in the bag that we had yet to catch on was broken in and when we run out of lures we used the bit that you tear the Power Isome off of! The "Nipplepig" was born and first cast it claimed a victim!

Coalfish. When they're feeding, they're feeding!
Nipplepig. Patent Pending.

Our daytime session at Eyemouth saw me catch a load of coalfish again. Jake had a much more varied selection of fish including a short spined sea scorpion and a little codling.

Short spined sea scorpion.
Much rarer than the long spined variety at most of our marks.

Little codling. Strange colouration. Very unusual.

My next solo session, a trip to Dunbar Harbour, would turn out to be a very strange one with a sea gull nicking my lure in mid-air followed very shortly afterwards by me catching a cuckoo ray! Totally surreal. I think the ray may have been thrown into the harbour by the crew of one of the fishing boats.

A cuckoo ray. May never catch another.

Now November, the saltwater trips were becoming less productive so we turned our attention to freshwater predators with a spot of deadbaiting, some LRF and also some more conventional lure tactics being employed with a few pike being caught but perch proving rather elusive. These sessions would continue right through to Feb this year.

Union Canal LRF pike. How cute.
An Alemoor Loch jack for Jake. Taken on a smelt deadbait.

 A small Alemoor Loch jack for me too on a firetiger Rapala X-Rap.
Another Union Canal LRF pike caught by Jake. Big fat one too!
Bigger fish from Carlingwark Loch. Caught on a yellow Savage Gear Soft 4Play.
Another Union Canal pike. This time caught on a slow sinking 4" Spro BBZ-1 in roach.

Jake's first Loch Lomond "Twenty" (Ouncer!).

We have also squeezed in a few 2012 saltwater LRF sessions but they have been quite slow as fish are few and far between although we have managed a few fish between us, most of the usual LRF suspects, blennies, long spined sea scorpions (including the rather beautifully coloured specimen below), short spined sea scorpions and I also caught my first black goby and lost a nice sea trout during a trip to Greenock. Drop net has now been purchased as a result!

Lovely marking with deep shades of red and turquoise mouth membranes!

My first black goby. Caught in Greenock Marina.

We've also been fishing at Torness Power Station outflow again. Because the water temperature there is artificially high you can catch bass all year round and that's exactly what we've been doing! Along with a spot of blenny bashing when the bass aren't about smashing the Scottish record in the process!

Jake's first bass of 2012.
My first bass of 2012.

Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow. Jake loves them. So do bass!
Sidewinder brill/bombarda float took the fancy of this bass.

This one too!
Blennie bashing. Lots of fun and can get quite competitive!
They are aggressive little buggers and will happily eat fingers!

This blenny is almost twice the Scottish record weight!
Jake with his record blenny. A few more records may be broken this year!

That pretty much covers most of our exploits to date. Hope you've enjoyed reading and we'll be posting on a regular basis from now on! 

Tight lines, Hutch.