Wednesday, 16 January 2013

First session of 2013

Following a couple of weeks with no fishing and lots of family time, it was time to get back out there and start 2013 as we mean to go on. I picked up Scott and we headed down into East Lothian in the hope of targeting some mullet again, as well as having a search about to see what else was lurking about. I had my GraphiteLeader Corto Ex for this and Scott had his "Beast Tamer"! After a brief drive we arrived to find the sea calm but with a cold and strong offshore wind. With the tide in the last hour of the ebb we decided to forgo the mullet until later and had a look around the rock pools and low water hidey holes. We were both keen to get this years species hunt underway and our first target was one of our favourite fish, the common blenny. I went with a #10 1/16oz Decoy Rocket jighead with a Gulp! 1" Fish Fry in red and Scott went with a chunk of Isome on a #12 hook and split shot rig.

The blennys were in a feisty mood and soon had us in fits of laughter watching them dash out from under the boulders to fight each other to get at the lure. We caught a handful each and then moved over the reef to look for long spined sea scorpions.

Scott gets the first fish of 2013!

I quickly follow suit.

Rather pleasingly they were also easy to find and Scott was in first with an unusual grey and pink specimen.

This long spined sea scorpion had some lovely pink hues.
A beauty and the "Beast Tamer"

He then moved off to go and add a goby or two to this years species count. I managed to find a sea scorpion too, while bouncing the lure alongside a large boulder it wasted no time dashing out and seizing the lure. It was a nice dark red one and I popped it back after a couple of photos.

Caught to order, this long spined sea scorpion was exactly where I expected it to be!
I love the variety in colouration of sea scorpions and their attitude too!

I then went over to the "goby hole" to find Scott had caught a common goby and was busy hunting for two spotted gobys.

Scotts first common goby of 2013

I joined him after quickly rigging up one of Scott's #26 hooks to 1lb nylon New Zealand dropper style on my jighead. This was rigged with a tiny chunk of Gulp! Sandworm and it wasn't long before a little two spotted goby was hooked and landed! Scott followed suit shortly after I got mine before moving off to explore the rock pools.

Another species for my 2013 tally!
Scotts first two spotted goby of 2013

It took a little longer for me to get a common goby as they were being quite shy, but eventually one plucked up the courage to grab the lure and he was quickly landed and checked off the list!

My forth species in about an hour. Not bad going!

With the tide still too low for the resident mullet I went off in search of bass. I rigged up my go to lure; 4.5" Slug-Go in Arkansas Shiner mounted on a 10.5g #2/0 football jig head. I worked the reef for a couple of hours but there was nothing doing at all. The cold offshore wind was getting stronger and when I rejoined Scott we tried putting out some bread to tempt the mullet. This ended up very quickly heading out to sea with the wind and was quickly out of casting range. The mullet were just not about and if they were they weren't interested in our wind assisted bread mix! With the light dimming we decided to call it a day and Scott finally left the blennys alone after racking up fifty of them while I had been chasing bass.

All in all a great little session and I love the fact that we were able to grab four species and have fun doing so in the depths of winter. I cant wait to get out again!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Schogsky's 2012.

2012 has been an incredible year for me, from the birth of my daughter to starting the blog there has been some fantastic highlights. I have managed to get a lot of fishing in around my fatherly duties and have really grabbed every little opportunity to wet a line with both hands.

One of the highlights has been perfecting the quick opportunistic session which has resulted in some delightful discoveries and some great fish caught too. I have made some new friends along the way as well and it's been a blast to meet and fish with like minded anglers.

I didn't quite make it to 30 sea species on lures but I did manage to get the majority of species from my local area and as the kids are getting bigger I should be able to travel further afield to get them this year. I was also surprised at the fact I managed to break two Scottish records this year, common blenny and golden grey mullet. I also came very close to breaking the corkwing wrasse record and I am pretty sure that if I had weighed my first leopard spotted goby it would have broken the British record too! I also smashed a few PB's along the way and a final fish total of 836 for the year and less than five blanks, fantastic!

Lure caught fish:
  • Artic Char x 1
  • Ballan Wrasse x 6
  • Bass x 136
  • Brown Trout x 21
  • Coalfish x 140
  • Cod x 2
  • Common Blenny x 185
  • Common Eel x 1 (Sea Caught)
  • Common Goby x 7
  • Corkwing Wrasse x 26
  • Dragonet x 1
  • Flounder x 24
  • Goldsinny Wrasse x 1
  • Grey Gurnard x 1
  • Launce x 5
  • Leopard Spotted Goby x 2
  • Long Spined Sea Scorpion x 56
  • Mackerel x 39
  • Minnow x 1
  • Perch x 21
  • Pike x 23
  • Plaice x 10
  • Pollock x 69
  • Poor Cod x 7
  • Pouting x 8
  • Rainbow Trout x 6
  • Rock Goby x 1
  • Sand Goby x 3
  • Sand Smelt x 1
  • Sea Trout (Sea Caught) x 5
  • Short Spined Sea Scorpion x 4
  • Topknot x 1
  • Two Spotted Goby x 7

Bait caught fish:
  • Golden Grey Mullet x 4
  • Haddock x 1
  • Pike x 2
  • Thick Lipped Grey Mullet x 5
  • Whiting x 3

Its been a struggle to pick just five highlights but here's my attempt!

PB bass.

My Bass PB had stood for some years, I was overjoyed to beat it with this 59.5cm lunker!

PB flounder.

I stalked this huge flounder for ages before I manged to catch it and I still cant get over how big it was!

My first arctic char.

There aren't many fish I haven't caught but arctic char was one of them and after three gave me the slip I finally landed my first one!


The Cornish Lure Festival gave me my first topknot, a weird and wonderful little fish!

Fishing the Water of Leith.

The Water of Leith was my greatest discovery of 2012, free fishing, lots of brownies and only a few yards from my house!

So what does 2013 hold in store? I know I will be continuing my LRF species hunting and this year I will aim to get to 30 species and beyond. I have always been into catching specimen fish as well so I will step it up and try and bag some new specimen size fish and break some PB's too. I will also be trying to break a few more Scottish records as well to go with the two I broke this year. The photography aspect to our fishing has captured my imagination and a new camera should be on the cards for 2013 and I hope to explore this side of it a bit more. Last year wouldn't have been half as fun without my good friend and fellow blogger Scott, hopefully this year will be just as much fun! Most of all I will enjoy the fishing we have on hand locally and continue to work out our local marks as there are plenty of amazing fish just waiting to be caught!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Hutch's 2012.

2012 was a great year for me. I did a crazy amount of fishing, in some great places, met some great people and had a great time catching a load of fish in the process! 1042 to be precise! 60 different species including 36 new ones I'd never caught before. Here's the breakdown...

  1. 3 Spined Stickleback x 1
  2. Arctic Char x 2 *
  3. Ballan Wrasse x 42
  4. Bass x 32
  5. Black Goby x 23 *
  6. Blonde Ray x 1 *
  7. Bream/Roach Hybrid x 3 *
  8. Brown Trout x 7
  9. Butterfish x 1 *
  10. Coalfish x 43
  11. Cod x 7
  12. Common Blenny x 329
  13. Common Goby x 3 *
  14. Conger Eel x 1 *
  15. Corkwing Wrasse x 7 *
  16. Cuckoo Wrasse x 2
  17. Dab x 2 *
  18. Dragonet x 4 *
  19. F1 Carp x 1 *
  20. Flounder x 13
  21. Giant Goby x 5 *
  22. Golden Grey Mullet x 2 *
  23. Goldsinny Wrasse x 6 *
  24. Grey Gurnard x 2
  25. Gudgeon x 9 *
  26. Haddock x 2
  27. Ide x 2 *
  28. Leopard Spotted Goby x 5 *
  29. Lesser Spotted Dogfish x 24
  30. Lesser Weever x 4 *
  31. Ling x 2 
  32. Long Spined Sea Scorpion x 114
  33. Mackerel x 36
  34. Minnow x 1 *
  35. Painted Goby x 1 *
  36. Perch x 25
  37. Pike x 27
  38. Plaice x 25 *
  39. Pollock x 66
  40. Poor Cod x 16
  41. Pouting x 11 *
  42. Rainbow Trout x 6 *
  43. Roach x 15 *
  44. Rock Cook Wrasse x 1 *
  45. Rock Goby x 43
  46. Rudd x 8
  47. Sand Goby x 15
  48. Sand Smelt x 5 *
  49. Sea Trout x 4 *
  50. Short Spined Sea Scorpion x4
  51. Spurdog x 1 *
  52. Tench x 1 *
  53. Thick Lipped Grey Mullet x 2 *
  54. Thornback Ray x 1 *
  55. Tompot Blenny x 9 *
  56. Topknot x 1 *
  57. Two Spotted Goby x 4 *
  58. Undulate Ray x 1 *
  59. Whiting x 11
  60. Zander x 1 *
* = New Species.

Many great catches in there for a variety of reasons. So many memorable fish and it's hard to pick my favourites but here are five that spring to mind...

Tompot Blenny. 

I finally tracked one down during my trip to Anglesey. My 171st blenny of 2012 was a little special.

Giant Goby. 

After doing a bit of research online a short session on Marazion beach during my trip to Cornwall produced two of these. They live up to their name!

Rock Cook Wrasse.

These are the types of catches I like most. Just turn up somewhere. Figure out what you might likely catch and go for it.
I was expecting wrasse but not my first ever rock cook wrasse. Stunning little fish.

Tony the Perch.

Say hello to my little friend! Caught this badly scared perch twice last year in the same area. I hope to meet him again.


Cold. Wet. Miserable.
Lost one stupidly lifting it into the boat instead of using the net. I left it late in the day to finally get one.
The relief was overwhelming! Cool fish. I'll be heading back down south to target them again for sure.

As a relatively new angler I've learned loads over the last year thanks mainly to Jake and other anglers who've given me great advice on a wide variety of topics. I've enjoyed without exception any style of fishing I've tried so far and will give anything a try. I've also come to realise that fishing can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I prefer to keep it simple, besides finding the fish is usually the hardest part! I've also come to realise that to me size doesn't matter. I love catching many different species of fish irrespective of their size. Two spotted gobies deserve just as much respect as common skate and I can have fun catching both (or losing them!). I've realised that weighing and measuring fish and specimen hunting isn't really my thing. I didn't achieve some of my size related goals in 2012 but to be honest I didn't really try to, I was enjoying the species hunting too much! My one main regret is that I didn't really have a go at the wrasse grand slam and I hope to do so this year at some point and have a couple of marks in mind for it.

So what now? How can I match last year let alone surpass it. It'll be tough that's for sure! I just want to carry on fishing with Jake and my other fishing mates and having a great time. I'll certainly be doing more species hunting! I'd like to target unusual species. Weird and wonderful fish that are rarely targeted. Hopefully I'll keep improving my fishing in the process. I plan to continue mixing up the styles as I have done over the last few months and will be doing more bait fishing. I'd also like to do more fly fishing and in particular try targeting saltwater species on the fly. I'd also like to fish a few more local spots but no doubt trips further afield will also be on the cards. Top of my list is a trip north to the Shetland Islands for some big cod, coalfish, ling and turbot. I'd also like to do a trip to somewhere on the Mediterranean to target some exotic species but I'm sure wherever I end up fishing, 2013 will be a great year!

Tight lines, Hutch.