Saturday, 14 June 2014

Weekly round up 5 : Flounder and Trout

It's been a busy couple of weeks but I managed a couple of sessions after work trying for brownies. One had been eluding me in a particular pool and it took three sessions to catch him. At just under a pound he wasn't the biggest fish in the river but he was certainly one of the most satisfying.

This Brownie gave me the run around but it couldn't resist a Xesta Stick Star in glitter pink!

The weekend took an age to come but eventually I found myself at the sea with the intention of harbour hopping down the coast looking for flounders. Now the humble flounder is one of my prize summer species, aggressive in taking lures and hard fighters, especially when they get over a couple of pounds. With my PB flounder on LRF gear standing at 3lb and with the opportunity to best that fish you can hopefully see why I am so intent on fishing for them.
Armed with my LRF gear I stalked around the first harbour. Low water meant that fishing was limited to the main channel at the harbour. I worked a dropshot rig around, bouncing gulp sandworm across the sea bed but to no avail. I gave it about half an hour before deciding to head further down the coast.

After a 20 minute drive I arrived at the next harbour. An onshore wind had quite a swell going but the harbour was fairly sheltered and the water was crystal clear. For the weekend the harbour was actually fairly quiet. With the large swell preventing the dive boats going out it gave me some space to hunt flatties.
Using my dropshotted gulp sandworm mounted on a #8 hook suspended a foot off the bottom I cast and worked the lure across the sandy patches in the harbour. It was very quiet for the first half hour and the surprising lack of coalfish had me scratching my head. I would normally expect the harbour to be teaming with the wee brutes but they were conspicuous by their absence.
I soldiered on with the lure and as the tide began to flood in earnest I felt a couple of soft plucks at the lure and struck into the first flattie of the session. The flattie once hooked raced towards me before making a couple of spirited dives under the rod tip. I swung the fish in and was really happy to see a fat 28cm flounder of around the pound mark. I grabbed a couple of photos and dropped the fish back with a grin on my face.

He is not as happy as me!

28cm Flounder

I quickly re-rigged another gulp sandworm and went straight back to working the sea bed. With one flattie under the belt I was expecting they would really switch on to feed as the tide was flooding. This wasn't quite the case though as I had to wait another half an hour for the next fish. During this time I was joined by another group of anglers with a collection of rods and handlines. They were using bait and set up a multitude of rods all around the harbour mouth. This limited my flattie hunting somewhat, so I concentrated my casting further into the harbour.

I was working the lure quite fast along the sea bed when I was hit suddenly by a good fish. One savage bite and the fish had hooked itself, the fish ran towards me and I had to reel to keep up. It was a good fish and it was a struggle to get it up through the water column. The fish fought hard and clever, every time it came up to the top it would porpoise on the surface a bit before trying to dive into the kelp band that ran along the edge of the harbour walls. As I let the rod wear the fish down I had a bit of a dilemma as to how to land it. I could climb down the ladder and land the fish by hand, which would involve a one handed climb back up with the rod in my teeth, or I could attempt to swing it in. In the end I went with the grunt and lift approach and, despite the alarming curve in the rod, the fish made it to my eager hands. It was a beautiful fish, all be it a bit spawned out, and was my biggest flounder this year going 38cm on the ruler and weighing 2lb - a proper Scottish specimen. The beastly flattie had gathered quite a crowd of anglers and tourists and rather nicely one of them offered to take a trophy shot before I released him. I dropped the fish back and felt genuinely elated. It was such a dramatic take and fight and I will remember that fish for a long while.

38cm flounder!

This makes me a very happy angler!

I carried on fishing and by this stage the other anglers were really taking an interest in what I was doing. They found it difficult to believe it wasn't a fluke (so to speak). I was busy explaining the technique to them whilst working the lure when I was hit by another nice flattie of about a pound which put a good bend in the rod before it was swung in. How's that for a perfect demonstration!

The final flounder of the session

This long spined scorpion also made an appearance.

The other anglers changed their rigs to smaller hooks and began to cast around where I was fishing pushing me further off my flattie grounds. I was still on a high from the last fish so I didn't mind too much and I was genuinely pleased when one manged to hook a wee flattie. This however turned to disappointment when I came over to see it; the fish was so deeply hooked and I watched with horror as the angler pulled on his snood to free the hook. He pulled so much that he snapped the line before delving in its mouth with the forceps to retrieve his wee spoon, leaving the hook embedded somewhere in its gut. He did release the fish but it soured my fishing and I had a chat with him to try and educate him on how flounders actually feed. I made the point that if he wanted to return the fish then he must hold his rod and feel for the bites, then strike quickly to avoid deep hooking.

After this I popped down the coast to sea trout town and racked up another 1/2 dozen or so sea trout on mini metals before calling it a day and heading back.

All in all it was a great week, big flounder, trout and sea trout, pure distilled LRF fun!
I managed to put together another short film of the flounder session so have a wee look if you are interested.

Tackle used:
Rod :GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel :Shimano Technium 3000
Line :Duel Hardcore X4 PE0.6
Leader :8lb Greylon  Fluorocarbon.

Thanks for reading!
Tight Lines

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