Wednesday, 16 May 2012

East Lothian : Bass, Sea Trout and Blennies.

On Monday, as we had some free time we decided to head down the coast to do a bit of reconnaissance for a forthcoming trip. Light rock fishing (LRF) would be my theme for the trip and I was keen to test my 7'9" Graphiteleader Corto EX rod some more. After a short drive we arrived at Dunbar harbour, one of our favourite summer haunts, in the hope of some sport with flounders. The "new" harbour unfortunately was very hard to fish due to the strong wind, which made keeping in contact with my Power Isome/2.3g jighead combo very hard indeed. Scott decided to try a spot of drop shotting with his Shimano Speedmaster Drop Shot rod as he didn't like the weather conditions. However even this approach didn't pay off and we decided to seek the more sheltered waters of the "old " harbour. We both stuck with our chosen techniques and I started casting and retrieving along the muddy harbour bottom in the hope of attracting a flounder. Scott was working the bottom of the harbour walls and around the ladders and within minutes was getting a few bites! This was great as this particular mark has been devoid of fish over the winter and coupled with the sighting of lots of small fry swimming about the edges and around the hulls of the fishing boats was signs that summer is almost upon us. A few minutes later Scott had hooked a good sized blenny, but it got into some weed on the harbour wall and he lost it trying to pull it free. On the next drop as he gently worked the lure he hooked another but it managed to throw the hook as it was being swung in. Scott moved along a bit and suggested that I have a try and a few casts later I managed to hook what was probably the same blenny!

Our first fish from Dunbar Harbour in a while. Hopefully it will be livening up again soon!

After we released him we had another 30 minutes exploring the old harbour but with no more bites we headed off further down the coast to our other prospective mark. Upon arrival Scott rather predictably headed to the large rockpools to do a bit more experimentation with his drop shot setup. I also decided to stay with the same set up I began flicking the Isome out into the current and letting it drift along whilst gently twitching and retrieving slowly. My intended target was bass but I was pleasantly surprised to see a sea trout suddenly leap about 2 feet out of the water in front of me! I had heard they sometimes frequent the mark but I had never seen them there before. I quickly reeled in and recast to over where the fish had leapt and began working the lure. As it got into the same area I felt a sharp bite but no hook up and the trout had ripped the Isome off the hook. I quickly threaded another Isome onto the jighead and cast out again, working the lure continually. Three or four casts later another bite but this time a hook up! The sea trout took off and decided to put on a nice arial display before being landed. Excellent fun on my light set up and my first sea trout of 2012. Not a big fish just over a pound at best.

This poor sea trout had a lot of lice on it.

I flicked off some of the sea lice from it as it was fairly infested with the horrible little parasites and then released it. I then called over to Scott who was still happily bothering blennys and carried on fishing the Isome. The fishing began to follow the same pattern and I found the trout were tearing the Isome off the jighead without getting hooked. I swapped over to a Berkley Gulp 1" minnow and it yielded almost immediate results with another smaller sea trout.

My second slightly smaller sea trout.

By this point Scott had arrived on the scene, quickly rigged up a chartreuse Gulp 1" Minnow on a 2.2g #10 Crazyg Wave HD jighead and was flicking it out. It wasn't long before he too had landed his first sea caught sea trout of 2012. Then I landed another sea trout of about half a pound and quickly released it. Scott then had a better second fish again just over a pound.

The second of Scott's two sea trout.

As Scott was unhooking his fish and taking a photo another "angler" moved into his spot and stupidly started casting a controller float and eel in amongst the fish, spooking them in the process, causing them to move out of range. I was very annoyed but carried on fishing in the hope they may return. Scott went off to catch a few more blennies and after a while I decided to switch back to the Isome. I began to try and work the Isome a bit deeper by casting up current and letting it drift back towards me. After 20 minutes or so as the retrieve drew the lure level with me I had a good bite and hooked into my first bass of the session.

One of my seven bass.

The bass used the current to its full advantage and tried to head to deeper water. I have been keen to test the stopping power of the rod so I really bent into the fish and bullied him back where he was promptly landed, photographed and released. The next 20minutes were pretty hectic with lots of bites and a further six bass landed and released. The fish were not big, most about a pound and a half but each one was a joy to play on the rod.

All of my bass were taken on small pink Power Isome.

Towards the end of this busy period Scott returned and he had managed to catch a few more blennys in the larger rockpools taking his tally to ten, although he commented that many of the usual hiding holes were now full of weed. Another good sign that summer is on it's way along with lots of fish!

Scott's biggest blenny out of the ten he caught. He's rather fond of them in case you didn't realise!
Scott had a bash at the bass with an Isome but they must have moved off as the action stopped just as suddenly as it had started so we called time and headed back to Edinburgh although it was very hard to tear ourselves away! Still a very successful if short session and we hope the sea trout will put in an appearance again soon!

Tight Lines, Schogsky.

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