Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Corkwing corner revisited. Scottish record almost beaten!

With the day free on Sat Jake and I headed down to Torness Power Station to fish the inlet side. When we arrived the tide was fully out and being a big spring we had access to a lot of rockpools and gullies that are normally covered. I had a look around some rockpools whilst Jake went further down and explored a kelpy area. We made our way along to the power station but unusually there was no sign of any fish. None were found in the long gully where we've caught a lot of sea scorpions in the past and no sign of any leopard spotted gobies in the deep water between the boulders where they've been caught in the past. We climbed down to the western side of the outflow and started fishing down the side of the kelp covered drop off with drop shot rigs. Jake got snagged though and whilst he tied on a new rig I fished in front of a nice overhang. After a short time a coalfish appeared but didn't seem too interested in my Gulp! Sandworm. Then a sea scorpion popped out and gobbled my lure. I thought it was well hooked as none of the lure was visible but as I lifted it up it promptly spat the lure out and swam off back into the crack. Jake then cast out away from the drop off and as he worked his lure back it was taken by a mackerel which was quickly landed and dispatched so Jake could have it for his dinner.

Drop shotting proving to be very versatile.

I put a 7g silver Toby on and soon had a few bumps from mackerel at range but didn't get any hook ups. We then went to the opposite side and after searching the area with my Toby I soon located the mackerel shoal fairly close in and soon caught four mackerel. Two larger ones were quickly dispatched so I too could have mackerel for my dinner and the other two smaller ones were shaken off the hook with minimal contact to avoid damaging their sensitive skin. Jake caught a second mackerel so with our dinners sorted we stopped targeting them despite them being great fun on LRF gear.

If only they grew a bit bigger!

Our friend Nick Aitken has caught a couple of Yarrell's blennies from the inlet area so before the tide flooded over it Jake decided to see if he could get one. This meant getting a bit wet though but a species hunter has got to do what a species hunter has got to do!

Jake gets a quick shower whilst trying to get a new species down in the corner.

No reward for his soaking though so we headed up onto the gantry that crosses the inlet to try for corkwing wrasse as the tide flooded over the kelp covered shelf we had been standing on earlier. Jake was in first when he caught a small coalfish.

This greedy little coalfish swallowed the whole section of Gulp! Sandworm.

Shortly after returning the coalfish Jake caught his first specimen corkwing wrasse of the day. We thought it may have been a small ballan wrasse at first due to it's colouration but closer examination confirmed it as a corkwing wrasse.

The dark spots behind the eye and on the root of the tail confirms this is a female corkwing wrasse.
A big one too! Measuring 22cm and weighing 171g it's just 5g short of beating the current Scottish record!

I was finding fishing from the gantry quite uncomfortable so I climbed down onto the rocks below to fish from there. We were both quite excited about the prospect of further specimen corkwings but the action stopped completely for a while and whilst Jake persisted in his quest for a Scottish record corkwing wrasse I headed over to the sea defence boulders to try for a leopard spotted goby before the area was covered by the tide. As I clambered over there I looked up to see Jake's rod nodding away and he was soon lifting up a small pollock.

The 4th species of the session.

I began exploring in between the boulders and whilst there was no sign of any gobies I caught a blenny, my first for a while.

This blenny was almost black when I caught it. 30 seconds later it's completely changed colour.

Then as I dropped my Isome down into a gap I spotted a small fish with the unmistakable electric blue marking of a leopard spotted goby. I quickly changed from a drop shot rig to a #16 hook and some split shot and dropped a tiny section of pink Power Isome down into the hole. My plan was scuppered however when a big blenny appeared and scared it off, before turning his nose up at my offering and disappearing again. At this point Jake called down to tell me he had caught another corkwing wrasse so I headed back up to the gantry again. The wrasse seemed to be there again and after a few bites we both caught another corkwing each.

No question about the fact this is Jake's second corkwing wrasse due to its vivid markings.
I get in on the act with my first corkwing wrasse from the inlet area.
Who said punk was dead?
Jake's third corkwing of the session. A much darker fish.

Just when we thought we would see an increase in catches though yet again the action stopped for a while so I headed to try for a Yarrell's blenny from the gantry above where Jake had tried earlier. Holding my lure above the bottom I soon had a few bites and hooked a fish. Quite excited, I called along to Jake but as I hoisted the fish up I could see it wasn't my first ever Yarrell's blenny. A greedy little long spined sea scorpion was the culprit. I tried for a while longer but didn't get any more bites so I headed back along to where Jake was and he hadn't had any further action either so we called it a day, headed back to the car and drove back up the A1 to Edinburgh. When I got home I popped out and got a few ingredients and Lillian and I had the mackerel for our dinner.

Thai Spicy Mackerel Salad - Yum Pla Too. Yum indeed!

Nice varied session with six species caught and a seventh spotted. I still think the area has even more potential. Further time will be spent exploring it soon and I think it's only a matter of time before a record breaking corkwing is caught!

Tight lines, Hutch.

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