Thursday, 9 August 2012

An extraordinary week of fishing.
Part 2 : Harbour flatfish and mini species.

After Tues nights sucessful sea trout session (for Ross and Jake anyway!) we decided to take Ross down to one of our favourite and most productive East Lothian LRF marks. Ross had already caught flounder and plaice this year but wanted to get them on lures so we headed down to Dunbar harbour early to catch low water to try and get them. Jake would join us a little later in the morning. When we arrived we could see a few tiny flat fish moving around the sandy bottom as well as some small fish darting about between weed patches on the bottom and it wasn't long before I managed to catch one of them.

A long spined sea scorpion was first fish of the day.

As the tide began to flood into the harbour we started seeing a few slightly bigger flatfish moving around and were soon catching them too on #14 hooks with split shot an inch up from them. Ross and I soon had a few greedily scoffing tiny sections of pink Power Isome.

Orange markings are very faint but the bony nodules on its head confirm it's a plaice I've caught.
One of my flounders.
A lure caught flounder for Ross to add to his 2012 tally.
Followed by a lure caught plaice.

At this point Jake arrived to find us very focused on a bigger flounder and joined in the fun. He soon caught a long spined sea scorpion and then a few tiny flounders before hooking his first lure caught plaice of 2012.

We didn't manage to tempt the big one despite jigging Isome right in front of its mouth several times.
Jake quickly gets off the mark with this long spined sea scorpion.
The first of a few plaice for Jake.

Next we turned our attention to blennies and Jake and I managed a few.

This one was particularly nasty. Snapping away trying to bite Jake!

Ross meanwhile was exploring the gaps between some floating bladderwrack and called me over when he caught a small sea scorpion that he though looked a bit odd. Upon closer inspection we quickly realised it was in fact a short spined sea scorpion.

A very distinctive throat membrane is an easy way to identify the short spined variety of sea scorpion.

Next we headed around to the old harbour to try for larger flatfish and bigger blennies but we found it hard to get through the small coalfish in there, apart from Ross who somehow managed to avoid them and caught a few blennies. Soon afterwards Jake had to head off and Ross and I popped further down the coast to St Abbs but when we arrived it was raining and quite windy. We soldiered on regardless and explored various parts of the harbour trying to catch various species but there was no sign of any fish unfortunately. I had a look over the back and with a nice little swell running and the tide almost fully in I thought we could target pollock that may be using the swell as cover to hunt in. We tried a few different lures with no reward until I tried a 3" Jackall Clone Fry. It looks like a sprat and this was the first time I'd used it. I had it on a weedless jighead and was just letting the current do the work giving it the odd twitch. After a twitch it was fairly close to the surface when a pollock suddenly came up out of the kelp and had a go at it giving me quite a surprise in the process! This spurred us on to continue working the area but apart from a good knock that didn't result in a hook up for Ross we didn't get any reward for our efforts and when the rain got heavier we decided to call it a day.

A nice session, plenty of fish caught with Ross getting a more few species on lures and Jake getting his first plaice of 2012 so both of them added to their species hunt totals. Nothing new for me but the adrenaline rush the pollock gave me was probably the highlight of the session!

Tight lines, Hutch.

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