Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kelp forest beautys!

As always its been very busy but we managed two sessions off the rocks.The first session was an evening one  with great conditions, really calm and warm in the evening sun. I began by using my HRF gear to bounce a slug go along the sea bed. This quickly started catching Pollock I had a few from a couple of pounds to around 4lbs.

One of the many good sized Pollack caught over the sessions

Meanwhile Ritchie was using his LRF gear and started catching some flounder . This was my cue to switch to LRF tackle and I rigged up a dropshot rig with Gulp Sandworm. A few coalies later and I started to hook some decent pollack on the LRF rod. I enjoyed catching the bigger ones on the wee rod, it is quite marvelous the fight you can have off a 3lb pollock on LRF gear. The rods are designed to bend into the fish and at no point did I feel undergunned, even when I had to give them zero line and bully them from the kelp! 

While I was re rigging another sandworm Ritchie gave a shout and I saw his rod doubled over into a fish. I quickly made my way down the rocks to see if I could help. As the fish came up through the clear water we were surprised to see a nice wrasse. He played it up and I went down to the fish to help land it. I was just about to lift the fish up when it gave a shake of its head and spat the hook. Doh! That would have been the first wrasse of the year ,we were disappointed to lose the fish but really excited to see it as it meant the wrasse were back in! We carried on fishing and the sport was fairly constant with pollack and coalfish. I had found some coalies and was having fun catching them when I had a good bite, the fish hooked itself and  bore down shaking its head. This must be a good coalie I thought and I was a bit surprised to see a nice wee codling come up through the clear water. Brilliant, I was well chuffed I love cod on the lure as they can be brutish fighters on light gear.

The first codling of the year !

Wonderful wee thing!

As the sun began to sink down the coalies became even more active and we enjoyed catching a ridiculous number of them. We had a few more decent pollack and I was using the LRF gear hoping for a bigger fish where I was fishing into the deeper water of the bay. I was hit quite hard by another fish that stayed deep and gave a thumpy head shake of a fight. Sure enough as the fish was played back towards me my suspicions were confirmed as a lovely sandy looking cod came up through the clear water. Ritchie was on hand to land it and it was a nice size fish and made up for the loss of the wrasse earlier on. We quickly took a few photos and released the fish back to the bay and feeling thoroughly satisfied we called it a day and headed back home.

I love cod!

The second session went pretty much the same way with lots of pollack and the odd flounder and coalfish thrown in for good measure. This time we turned our attention to a small gully which Ritchie had been fishing with a jighead/gulp sandworm combo. I wandered over to fish next to him and made a short cast into the kelp with my dropshotted gulp sandworm.. I had retrieved the lure a few feet when I felt a sudden electric tap on the lure. This meant one thing and one thing only Wrasse!  A couple of casts later and I had hooked into what can only be described as a beast of a wrasse which opened the hook and manged to escape. Cursing my luck I quickly set about re tying another dropshot rig with a fresh hook. I recast the new rig and was hit again by another big fish which managed to throw the hook and dislodge the dropshot weight.Meanwhile Ritchie was busy tying up a dropshot rig of his own and as I scrabbled about in my bag for a weight I heard Ritchie shout "fish on".
I looked up to see Ritchie's 0.5-5gram rod buckled over into a fish we both knew it was a wrasse and it fought like a demon. Ritchie just kept piling on the pressure using the rod to sap the fishes strength holding it above the safety of the kelp. The fish rose up and we could see the large shape of a stunningly coloured big Ballan wrasse. I was on hand with the net and as it slid in to safety we let out a shout of joy. It was a great fish, a new pb for Ritchie weighing 3lb 12oz and landed on 4lb braid, It doesn't get much better than that!

This wonderful wrasse was landed by Ritchie on 4lb braid, a fantastic effort!

Well done Ritchie! At 3lbs 12oz it is his new PB.

While Ritchie drooled over his catch busy taking photos I quickly dropped my rig back down into the kill zone. The lead hit the sea bed and I hopped it up again allowing the lure to drop back down suddenly. This time the lead never touched the bottom as the lure was engulfed by a big fish.
My rod bent and I struggled to bully the fish up, all the time it tried to bore down with a thumping head shaking going on. As the fish came up we could see a flash of orange, but far from being the expected wrasse  a large angry red cod rose up and with the help of a wave I got it onto the rock ledge we were standing on. Brilliant , it was a good sized fish and although I was expecting some cod I didn't expect such a big specimen to be feeding with the wrasse.

This beautiful kelp cod was caught from the same hole as Ritchie's wrasse, what a brace of fish!

Overjoyed we got some photos the slipped the fish back then paused to reflect on the sheer awesomeness of the fishing! We carried on fishing and rounded the session up with a few more pollack before packing up and heading home.
It was another fantastic fish filled session with the best fish falling to the lightest gear which is just the way I like it!
Tight Lines


  1. Excellent fishing! I think this is the best time of the year as winter and summer fish are around. . Surprised you didn't get cod earlier, cant get away from them since winter!
    Keep it up..

    1. Cheers Dimitrios!,our summers may be short but we do get some great fishing! To be fair this report is a wee bit out of date, we have a had quite a few more since! Not as many as you over on the west though, you are a cod magnet!

  2. Top fishing there from both of you guys.
    Thats a couple of crackers on the LRF kit for sure, well done to Ritchie on the PB.
    A busy sesh, great pictures to go with it as well.
    Nice one.


    1. Thanks Freck, the cod and the wrasse were really special, I am very ,very pleased with them!