Tuesday, 29 May 2012

LRF : Flounder hunt.

On Monday, as we had the afternoon free, we decided to head down the coast to Dunbar to see if we could target some flounders in the harbour. They have been noticeably absent from the harbour over the winter and with Scott catching a plaice at North Berwick harbour recently we hoped they may be back in Dunbar harbour as well.

It was very hot in Edinburgh and not a cloud in the sky. This changed on the way down the A1 however and by the time we got to Dunbar it was cloudy with a chilly easterly wind. Not so much fun in the sun more like fun in the fog! We arrived at low tide and armed with our LRF gear we headed to the sandy areas of the harbour. Scott had rigged up a small silver spinner with a single #6 Aberdeen hook which he then tipped with a red Isome. I went with my tried and trusted combo of the 2.3gm  #8 Ecogear Shirasu Fine jighead and small pink Power Isome.

Technique is straight forward enough, cast out and allow the lure to drop and hit the sea bed. Then slowly retrieve allowing the lure to crawl enticingly along the sand. Add in the odd pause and twitch and it's usually a recipe that proves irresistible to flounders. Within a couple of casts we could see small flounders chasing the lures and nipping at the Isomes. Try as we might we just couldn't get them to attack in their normal fashion and they were being very picky. We worked around the harbour and after about 45mins I saw the familiar dark shape of a sea scorpion rise up from the sea bed and nail my Isome! He was quickly lifted up, photographed and returned and it was great to see our first harbour sea scorpion in months.

A plump long spined sea scorpion all puffed up and defiant.
Our first Dunbar harbour scorpion for a while, we are very pleased to see them back! It doesn't look quite so happy to see us!

Scott had switched over to a section of red Gulp! Sandworm on an 3.5g #6 AGM finesse jighead and quickly caught our second harbour long spined sea scorpion. Brilliant! One of our favourite summer haunts seems to be coming back to life!

Scott charms another sea scorpion from the depths.

With the tide flooding the flounders had began to move further towards the old harbour so we decided to go there to see if we could find them. The water was very clear in the old harbour and we could see our lures working across the muddy bottom. Scott was working his lures near to the wall when we saw a large blenny appear out of the mud and grab Scotts lure. Annoyingly though, it dropped off as it was being swung in. Still no sign of the flounders so we continued teasing the blennys that were lurking along the wall. I landed three and Scott had one too then he decided to head to the rockpools at the back of the harbour hoping to catch something there.

An old harbour blenny in a surprisingly regal pose!
Scott's old harbour blenny fell for Gulp! 1" Minnow in chartreuse.

I opted to stay in the old harbour and keep a look out for flatties whilst annoying the blennys. I had changed lure to a Gulp! 1" fish fry mounted on an 2.2g Crazyg wave HD jig head. As I was bouncing it along past the bottom of a ladder I saw a large dark coloured flounder swimming towards the ladder and settle in the mud about 8ft out from me. It was a big fish for the harbour and with shaking hands I cast beyond it and began a slow twitchy retrieve along the bottom. The lure got within about 8ft of the flounder when it rose out of the mud and glided over to the lure. It circled around behind the lure as it crawled along then in a puff of mud pounced, only to miss the lure. I just kept the slow retrieve going and the flounder seeing the lure escaping made sure this time with a flash of its white mouth engulfed the lure. I struck and felt the satisfying thump as the hook hit and held. The fish rose up shaking his head, whilst my murmered pleadings begged the hook to hold, then bolted off towards the boats taking line and putting a good bend in my rod. I turned it fearing for the fine hook and then it "yo-yoed" towards me constantly coming up then diving for the bottom. Soon it was beneath my feet and wallowing on the surface. So far so good, the next trick was to lift and swing the fish in. Fearing for my little rod and the small hook I pointed the rod at the fish tightened the drag a bit then in one movement lifted the rod and swung the fish up the nine foot wall to my hands. Success! The biggest flounder yet from Dunbar harbour and a really chunky thick set fish over a pound. I popped round the back to show Scott and after a couple of shots quickly took it back up to the harbour and released it, watching as it swam quickly back under the boats.

Success! The flounders are back and this one is my biggest yet from Dunbar harbour.
My first flounder of 2012. A very pleasing fish indeed!

Scott meanwhile had managed another long spined sea scorpion but we had run out of time and so we called it a day and headed back. A very good short session showing us that the mini species and flounders are back in the harbour, a real sign that summer is just about upon us. Flounder were an almost certain catch there last summer, I cant wait to find out if they will be as obliging this year!

Tight lines, Schogsky.


  1. Guys awesome fishing and so jealous of the flounder. Hoping to get a flattie on LRf under my belt this year and this report shows me why. Cracking write up as always guys thanks :)

  2. Thanks Marcus.

    I'd really like to get a big flounder on my LRF gear. They don't half shift!

    Tight lines, Scott.