Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Markle magic!

On Saturday I had a job in Dunbar delivering some furniture, as always I managed to fit my LRF gear in the van and I hoped to have a fish around the harbour once the job was done. Sure enough after the job I had plenty of time for a fish and rigged up a dropshot rig comprising of a 7g weight, #12 offset worm hook rigged with a section of Gulp! Sandworm. I fished around the harbour in all our usual haunts but it was devoid of any fish. It was not unexpected as the harbour goes really quiet over the winter but still a bit disappointing. I needed to catch something so I decided to pop into Markle Fisheries on my way back into Edinburgh. I know Markle very well as it's my go to fishery for trout on the fly, however on this occasion I would be fishing the Kin Loch using my LRF gear. I popped into speak to John, the fishery owner, to just double check that this would be OK by the rules. He was fine with this so I paid for my permit and hurried down to the loch.

Markle is a very well run fishery and is clean and litter free so I was really disappointed to see a lurid blue crisp bag stuck in the willows where I was intended to fish. I was muttering about irresponsible anglers when the "crisp bag" suddenly sprouted wings and flew off in a flash of iridescent blue and red. Doh! I really want to get some nice photos of kingfishers and that was a chance missed but it was brilliant to see such an iconic bird happy and well at my favourite fishery! As the rod was already set up with a tail section of gulp sandworm I decided to start with this and see how the trout reacted. I followed the wind and chose to fish the end of the loch where the wind was blowing onshore. My first cast was along the shore about ten feet out and I began to twitch and shake the rod causing the lure to shiver and writhe. I then hopped the lead back along the bottom a couple of feet then paused and began shaking the rod tip again. I had worked the lure back about twelve feet when I felt a couple of plucks at the lure before the soft tip arched over as the fish grabbed the lure and made off with it. A flick of the wrist set the hook and I was into my first rainbow of the day. The fish took off making some strong darting runs and the marvellous progressive playing action of the rod came into effect, softly curving when the fish darted away soaking up its power without having to give line. The fish was quickly subdued and as it came towards me I managed to get a few shots of it breaking the surface before it was landed. Brilliant! A first cast fish always leaves me grinning like an idiot and it was a nicely conditioned rainbow of about 1.5lb .

The first rainbow of the session makes an appearance.
I love the colours on this fish as it breaks through the dark winter water.
A freezing winters day prize, a rainbow of about 1.5lbs.

Next cast, again the same happened, another fish seized the lure and began to tear about sending the rod into that satisfying bend as it was played towards me. This one was a bit bigger at 2lbs and again was a great conditioned fish. Annoyingly I had not charged the battery on my camera and I could only get some pics of it in the water before the battery ran out.

This rainbow was a bit bigger at 2lb and again in great condition.

I fished on for another twenty minutes and had a further five fish up to 2lb and they were all great fun to catch on my LRF gear. The final fish I caught made me rue not charging my battery as it went aerial and made some really high jumps as it was being played in.

Still it was an eventful short session and a real eye opener as far as drop shotting for trout goes. I had no idea it would be so successful and I had felt that it lacked finesse, the trout thought otherwise though and gave me some excellent sport. I will have to go back to Markle soon and next time with a fully charged battery, the kingfisher and leaping trout await!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Fun with Scorpions.

After what seems like an age my time off work finally coincided with some settled weather and I managed to get to the coast to take advantage of it. The past few weeks has provided meagre pickings and we have suffered a few blanks whilst hunting the canals, so I was just really keen to catch something. With this in mind I headed down to East Lothian to a scorpion and blenny hotspot. I was keen to continue my searching of the deep rock pools and gulleys at this mark as it can hold a surprise or two! It was low tide, calm and sunny  when I arrived I started fishing a Slug-Go mounted on a football jighead and began to jig it alongside the kelp. I was hoping to find some pollock lurking but after half an hour I decided to target the rock pools in the hope of some scorpions. I broke out my LRF kit, 7'10" Graphiteleader Corto EX rod, Shimano Technium 3000SFC reel, 6lb Sunline Super PE, 2' fluorocarbon leader and on the business end a 1.5g #10 Decoy Rocket jighead with a small tail section of pink Isome. I bounced the Isome along side the big boulders and crevices in the rocks and within minutes a long spined sea scorpion had dashed out and engulfed the lure. It was promptly landed and after a bit of spiky defiance it was released after a quick photo.

The first long spined sea scorpion of the day

It was great to get off the mark and with the sun on my back it was actually quite warm! I carried on searching the gulley and managed to tempt a succession of scorpions to attack my Isome section and with the weather so pleasant it was the perfect chance to play with my camera . A polarized lens filter got rid of the surface glare which allowed me to see down into the rockpools and I managed to get some nice photos of the fish in the water.

The polarized filter really helped see into the clear rockpools.
Such stunning colours on this fish, I would love a guitar painted in scorpion purple!
A close up of the little devil.
What a marvelous little fish!
Another scorpion seizes the lure, a real red finned beauty.
I love the gold highlights on this scorpion.

As I worked my way down the gulley I saw a fish about 8" in length gently cruising round the pool. At first I thought it was a small pollack but as I stalked it I could see it was actually a little ling! The smallest one I have ever seen and it was with fevered anticipation that I gently lowered my Isome into its lair. The fish turned around and came over to inspect the lure as it was gently twitching on the bottom, where upon it spied me and just totally disappeared into the rock strewn pool. It was a bit frustrating but exciting none the less as it was another unusual fish the mark has thrown up.

I then decided to move further down the coast to see if there were any bass about, this turned out as fruitless as my earlier pollock hunting and again after about an hour of working the slug go I turned my attention to the local blenny population.

The blennys were as obliging as ever and I had soon racked up a dozen or so on the Isome / jighead combo before I called it a day and headed back to Edinburgh.

Blennys, they always seem to have such a cheeky look about them!
Raaaahhhh! Watch your fingers!

It was great to be back fishing the sea again and even better to catch such wonderfully coloured fish , proving that they don't have to be big to be fun. As always I can't wait to get out again!

Tight lines, Schogsky.