Thursday, 17 May 2012

Light Rock Fishing. Not just for little fish!

Jake and I had the pleasure of meeting fellow The Lure Forum member, Iain Mortimer yesterday. A self exiled Scot of some 33 years he now lives down in Sussex where he primarily enjoys bass fishing. A business trip to Glasgow presented him with the opportunity to travel a day early and meet up with us so we could take him to a couple of our marks and hopefully put him onto a few fish. Iain brought his own tackle with the exception of a rod which Jake and I had promised to lend him for the trip. Iain fancied a go at LRF and so I gave him the use of my Nories Rockfish Bottom Ultra Light 1.8-7g. 

Jake and I picked up Iain up at 8:45 from Edinburgh airport and we set off down the Edinburgh bypass towards East Lothian. A quick stop to grab some lunch, a short drive further down the A1 and we arrived at the first mark. Iain and I rigged up with a section of pink Power Isome and started with a spot of blenny bashing.

Iain searching amongst the boulders for a blenny.

After 10 minutes or so Iain was first to catch one after dropping a couple as he lifted them up from between the boulders we were fishing amongst. Pretty soon I had a couple too. Jake meanwhile began where he left off on Monday and was working a whole small pink Power Isome mounted on a 2.3g #8 shirasu fine jighead trying for a bass. It wasn't long before he got one!

First bass of the day falls to Jake.
Bass love pink Power Isome! Is there a fish that doesn't!

Whilst I moved over to the reef to fish at distance using a small Sidewinder Brill Bait fished behind a 20g sinking caro, Iain joined Jake fishing from the rocks and adopted the same approach and pretty soon was in on the act. They both carried on and over the next hour or two Iain hooked five small bass. He did however manage to drop a one of them before a photograph could be taken and another of them threw the hook at his feet before swimming off. All taken in good spirits though.

A couple of bass gave Iain the slip. One falling from his hand.

We carried on for about another hour with Jake moving over to the reef and I joined Iain for a while but no more bass were caught.

Jake tries to locate bass that may be moving over the submerged reef.
I try working a Brill Bait up through the outflow.

Early afternoon we headed down to one of the many rock marks on the Eyemouth coast. We met up with two of our friends, Richie and Paul who were already fishing.

Most Eyemouth rock marks can only be fished over low water and great care must be taken accessing them.

Richie had already caught a nice coalfish and with a slight swell running conditions looked good for a pollock or two although Jake and I were hoping for a humble coalfish for our species tally! Jake got one on his second cast. Right under his feet, it took a slug-go and was very quickly hoisted up by a grinning Jake!

First coalfish of 2012 for Jake. Won't be the last!

Shortly afterwards Richie caught the first pollock of the day. A decent fish of about 3lb.

A small pollock by Richie's standards. He fishes the Eyemouth coast regularly and his personal best is 8.5lb.

Paul was next to hook a fish although sadly he lost it bringing it in. Richie caught another coalfish and then it was Iain's turn to get in on the action and he did so in spectacular style. I looked over to see the Nories bent over and I knew it was a good fish. Then it bent some more. Then it bent right down to the grip! The fish stripped about 15ft of line as it made a dive for cover but Iain bullied it back up again. Then I caught a glimpse of the beast before it stripped line again as it made another rod testing bid for freedom. I have hooked a 4lb pollock on the rod before so I knew it could handle bigger fish but this fish was big! Iain kept the pressure on and it was soon up on the surface. Whilst we figured out the best place to land it, it made a few final surges to try and get down again but was obviously beaten. I pointed to a gully that the swell was washing into and Iain guided the pollock over to it. Jake jumped down and grabbed the fish as it was washed up inside. The instant he did and the line went slack the hook dropped out! An incredible fish of 6lb 8oz, a great weight for a shore caught pollock and a new PB for Iain, smashing his previous best! A very happy man indeed!

Cracking fish tamed on LRF tackle.
A satisfied angler and a rather grumpy fish.

After a few photos it was put back and we all had a chance to calm down. Sadly after this though, the tide flow began dropping off and so did the action. Jake, Iain and I did a spot of vertical jigging in a large rockpool and after exploring amongst the boulders and kelp for a little while Iain caught a long spined sea scorpion.

Not a test of rod strength really!

This would be turn out to be the last fish caught on the mark. We returned to the rocks and fished on for a hour or so more but decided to call it a day there and mad the short climb back up from the rocks. We said goodbye to Richie and Paul and headed back to Edinburgh

We ended the day with a short session on the Water of Leith as Iain fancied a very quick go for a brown trout. Gulp! 1" Minnow rigged up and after a bit of advice from Jake on I about the best way to fish the first pool and the likely location of any trout Iain began casting downstream, allowing the lure to swing across the current and imparted a few twitches to try and entice a take. Working his way down the pool as he swung the lure across the bottom of it we thought we saw some activity but after working the lure across the spot thoroughly with no further movement seen we moved down the the next pool. Iain repeated the process, covering the entire pool but unfortunately there weren't any fish in it either. We did see a kingfisher as it flew up and down the river in a flash of brilliant dazzling blue which made a nice end to the day even if it was a feathered instead of a fishy one.

It was great to meet and fish with Iain and whilst I have the humble blenny to thank for avoiding a blank the sight of Iain taming a superb shore pollock with what some would refer to as a "Fairy Wand" made my day.

Tight lines, Hutch.


  1. Great post just came across this blog now

  2. Cheers Jay, the fishing is starting to pick up!

  3. Wow! That Pollock is an absolute honker! Also I'm seriously jealous of the Coal Fish - I'm yet to have one for my species hunt...

    1. Coalfish are very common up here Reuben but they don't seem to get very big which I find quite strange really. I'm off to the Shetland Islands in a couple of weeks to target big ones along with big cod, big pollock, big ling, and also big turbot. Never caught a turbot before and hopefully I can also get a torsk for my species hunt too while there!