Tuesday, 28 August 2012

LRF : Leopard spotted goby hunt.

On Friday 17th, as the rain fell persistently over a grey Edinburgh, I decided to head down the coast to search for a leopard spotted goby. I popped into Mike's Tackle Shop in Portobello to grab some tiny hooks and a disgorger. Mike has started stocking some really interesting soft lures, as well as a good range of lure tackle, and after a wee chat he also informed me he would be getting some LRF rods in! It's an exciting development and great to see our local tackle shop embracing Light Rock Fishing! After telling Mike of my quest for a leopard spotted goby he very kindly dug out some tiny Jaxon Mormyshkas Ice Jigs for me to try. These little jigs would come in very handy and have hook sizes from 10 to 14, perfect for mini species!

I drove with a grim determination through the heavy rain down to the mark and quickly got into my waders and wet weather gear. At which point it stopped raining! Scott had caught a leopard spotted goby earlier in the year from this area but it would be a question of searching the pools and gullies till I could find one. I decided to use one of the tiny ice jigs and rigged it with a small tail section of pink Power Isome. I began to jig the lure around various rock pools and it wasn't long before a greedy long spined sea scorpion had seized the lure! I released it after a quick photo and then there followed a succession of scorpions.

The Jaxon ice jig claims its first sea scorpion!

As I worked my way up the large rockpool I must have had about ten long spined sea scorpions when I saw a much larger sea scorpion come charging across the pool and nail the jig! It was a short spined sea scorpion and a new PB!

Big fish.
Big mouth.
Short Spines.

I returned it to the pool and carried on up the gully. A few more little long spined sea scorpions were landed and released and then another large one charged out of the kelp and grabbed the Isome. This one too was of the short spined variety and was almost as big as the first.

Just like the buses. Wait for ages and the two turn up at the same time!

I had only caught two short spined sea scorpions in the last two years so was pretty amazed by two turning up in the same gully! I fished on up the gully and caught a good sized long spined scorpion.

A very rough texture to this fishes skin. Quite unusual.

With still no sign of the gobies and the tide flooding fast I began to concentrate on where the tide was flowing into the pools. I was working the lure around a large boulder when I saw what appeared to be a blenny, which then started swimming up to meet the lure. It had a blueish tinge to it and then it dawned on me, it was a leopard spotted goby! It came up, snatched at the lure, but didn't get hooked and went back under the boulder. I really wanted to catch this fish as I have never seen one in the flesh before! I dropped the lure back down and again the goby came out, this time it didn't want the lure to escape and quickly grabbed it! A little flick of the wrist set the hook and I lifted him out to admire him.

My first ever leopard spotted goby!
It changed colour quite quickly and I could make out its pink hue and brown spots after a short moment.

He was a very big specimen measuring 13cm and rather foolishly I didn't weigh him. When I later text Scott and told him I'd caught a big one he looked up the British record and it turns out it is only 1oz 6dr and I am pretty sure the goby was knocking on that! Anyway, I was still over the moon, I had caught my target species and one I have never caught before! I carried on and managed to catch a second smaller leopard spotted goby and I saw a couple more but couldn't get them to take.

A slightly smaller specimen.

I then moved on to fish some of the deeper water in the hope of catching a few coalies. The water was gin clear and I could see the Isome working back towards me as I twitched it. I always like to watch the lure to see how I can work it with little twitches and shakes. I also enjoyed watching a small pollock appear from the boulders and attack it! A fun fight ensued before it was landed, photographed and released.

Good sport on ultra light tackle.

That was the last fish of the session as I had to get back so I made my way back to the car. I was rather chuffed with this session as it's great to catch a target species on the first proper go, especially one so unusual. The fact it may have been a potential record makes it even sweeter, although I must remember my scales next time!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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