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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jersey Holiday : Bait Section Part 1

I couldn't go to Jersey and restrict myself to fishing with lures only, that would have been silly considering I was species hunting.  A lot of our fishing was done with bait as well, in fact the majority of our fishing. Here is part 1 which will contain the first 3 days of our 10 day trip.

After an initial session catching wrasse on day one, I suggested to the group that we have a go for the rays from a mark 5 minutes from where we were staying, the tides looking spot on with low coming at 11pm. Everyone was more than keen for this, so as 9pm rolled around and the sun began to drop in the sky, we packed the car and set off for the mark to fish 2 down 2 up. The sea was flat and everything was looking good with even a few lads catching macky from the outer wall. That was not our plan though so out went the pulley rigs baited with sandeel and squid wraps and the wait began. Captain calamity (Ed) and Jon were kept busy down the margins, even in 2ft of water, although neither of them could hook the culprits. Two hours into the session and we hadn't a fish to show for our efforts, but I knew from last year that the first few hours of the flood were prime time so I wasn't worrying. Sure enough about 30mins into the flood the bites started coming and after Jon and Ed were finally managing to hook a few small pout and poor cod down the side. We all decided on a quick move further along the mark in hope of some slightly deeper water, myself picking a spot where I could sit down where I was joined by Sam who was now falling asleep. I launched the rods out once more and sat back to chill out for a while. In true fashion though after around 15 minutes I got the bite I was looking for, a slow pull down followed by a little slack. Winding down to the fish I could feel it was still there so set the hooks and immediately knew I had a ray from the weight. At this point Sam was flat out and my attempts to shout him for assistance were proving useless until finally, when I could see the fish beneath me, he awoke from his slumber to help out along with Jon who had heard my shouts and was also there to lend a hand landing it. I knew that this was going to be one of two species, a small eyed or
Species 54 - Undulate Ray
an undulate, but knowing I would easily get a small eyed later in the year, my fingers were crossed it was my second undulate ever. The cries of 'you tw@' from Jon confirmed it and having landed the fish I took full advantage of taking some nice pics before setting it on its way back to the deeps.Just as I had done last year, I had landed an undulate on the first night, I was absolutely ecstatic. Despite all our further efforts, the tide had started running shortly after midnight making holding bottom impossible, so we had to call it a night much to Jon's disappointment, who was desperate to get an undulate for himself.

Day 2 was again spent mostly chasing wrasse and as with the day before we all had a good number of fish with myself getting a couple of the better ones at a tad over 3.5lb. On day 3 though we had a chance to go fishing with one of the local lads, Daniel Ferguson, a guy that I've been closely following through his blog (which can be found on this link Dan, like myself is an all round fisherman and has a passion for angling that matches my own, so it was good to meet up for some fishing. After having a quick go at one of his wrasse marks, we went off to dig some bait that would be used to try and tick off another of my species targets, the golden grey mullet, a species he assured me that would be easy to get. After collecting enough bait for all of us , we began our hunt for the GG's. Wading to thigh height, the fish were clearly visible in the crystal, shallow water and it reminded me a lot of the fishing programs based on the cuban flats stalking bonefish and tarpon. This type of fishing is really exciting and true to form our host for the day kick started the catches with a fish of 1lb 11oz (pic top right). The rest of us were catching fish but not the ones we were after, Ed and Sam managing to hook into some sand-goby's whilst myself and Jon were having fun with small flounder and plaice. As the tide flooded back into the harbour the number of mullet dramatically increased though and it was just a matter of time really before the next GG was hooked. Unfortunately though, it was
Sams golden grey
Jon's golden grey
not all going to plan for me and I was struggling to get any bites. The younger brother took this opportunity to gain bragging rights and bagged himself his first ever UK mullet, again of the golden grey variety meaning I had to rest the water to take a few photos for him. No sooner than I was back in the water though, cries came across the harbour from Jon, 'fish on.' Again my fishing was on hold whilst I watched Jon play his fish and after safely landing it take some photos. Time was running out for me so I started to change my approach. Noticing the majority of fish were in the shallower water I waded out beyond them and inched my way back towards the shore. I could see a small shoal of 3-4 fish no more than 10ft from me so after putting on some fresh bait, I cast beyond them and reeled it back amongst them. I watched on as the whole shoal moved over my baits, plucking at the worms sending small shivers up my braid. Not rushing things I slowly pulled it another foot and watched them follow my baits. I could now single out the fish underwater and watched as one of them engulfed my bait. A quick tug of the line and it was on. I could see it wasn't happy, visciously shaking its head trying to throw my size 8 hook before jetting off into the deeper water stripping line from my spool. Jon who had been rubbing it in about his capture was suddenly very quiet and could only watch on as a nice fight ensued. Fishing with 5lb fluoro invisible rigs and a rod that takes 0.5-7g (my LRF rod :) ) means bullying the fish is not a viable option but it really does make for good fun. The outcome was inevitable though and it was soon in my hands for a
My 1st Golden Grey - Species 55!
photo, a cracker of a fish and my first ever golden grey!  Having now cracked the method, it was only 10 mins before my next fish was hooked. Again a brilliant fight and another golden grey. It was nearing time to end and Ed was now the only member of our team that hadn't got himself one, so all of our efforts went into helping him. Unfortunately though, after hooking one and playing it for near 5mins, the fish managed to throw the hook a rods length out and tangled his rig just to add insult to injury. This was our queue to leave. Dan had done an exceptional job of putting us on the fish and we can't thank him enough for this session. What a way to fish and I can speak for all of us when I say it was one of the highlights of our trip to Jersey.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fishing Jersey with lures : Part 2

We were now 5 days into our 10 day visit and it was time again for some wrasse fishing on the SP's. We had chosen to try a new mark pointed out to us by Mick, a very nice looking area of rough and bouldery ground, ideal for our target species. Sam again decided he would try for a bass but his days efforts were not rewarded with any fish. For myself, Ed and Jon though it was a different story. Ed was first off the mark with a small ballan of around 1lb and Jon followed him the next chuck with one of his own. I in the mean time was concentrating my efforts fishing into a nice gully a little further along the coast and was rewarded with a few small ballans, as well as a  couple of corkwings and a single rock goby. A quick wade across though after the tide had dropped a little, saw me fishing into some much deeper water and expecting something a little bigger. Jon and Ed had not spotted my move and so it was just me and Sam on this island, Sam still on the plugs and me on the SP's. After 20 mins or so of bouncing bottom it was time to try something different, on went the 3" one up shad and a slow but straight retrieve was the new tactic. First cast I had a take, reeling in the lure to find its paddle tail had been bitten off. New lure on, 2nd cast and another take, this time a hook up but the fish managed to throw the lure. 3rd cast I finally got a good hook up and this one was taking some line so I knew it was a little better. In it came after a spirited fight and weighed a respectable 3lb 11oz. This was the last fish of the day with exception to a few giant gobies from the rockpools on our way back to the car.

The next session on the lures is one I'll remember for some time. A session aboard Callums rib which he'd kindly let Mick borrow to take myself and Ed out on in the hunt for a Scad on the LRF gear. We met Mick outside the shop shortly before dark and set off to St Helier harbour to board the rib. After reaching the spot and finding we had the mark to ourselves, Mick inspired us with some confidence saying that the evening looked spot on for a few fish, brilliant news! Myself and Ed started with some small 5g metals whilst Mick had opted for a 3" reins rock vibe shad fished on a 2.6g aji-meba jighead. Mick was first in with a decent sized pollock of around 1.5lb and I managed a pollock myself, all 2oz of it lol. With things not as hectic as we'd hoped, we headed off to a different mark to see if we could find these seemingly elusive scad. After a few chucks I had another small pollock but it was Ed who was first into a better fish, his rod bent over double and the fish diving regularly stripping line from his spool each time. Myself and Mick were temporarily on hold, eagerly waiting to see exactly what he'd hooked but after another dive, the fish threw the hook before we could see what it was, gutted. Thoughts were a nice pollock at first but just a few casts after Mick was in and landed our target, a scad making us think differently. This was the first scad I'd ever seen in person so I got a little excited at this point but I couldn't get a hook up. The fish were now occasionally starting to hit the surface within casting range, ever adding to our excitement and keeping us all on edge. Then Ed's rod once again arched over and in came his maiden scad, which although not seen in the photos
 he was extremely happy about. It just wasn't happening for me though and before I knew it, Mick was starting the rib up ready to return to the spot we'd started in. As we steamed over, we could see a few fish rising to the top just as Mick had told us to expect. Adrenaline still going we were casting out into the rising fish and we were all hooking up fairly regularly, but it was not what I was after, instead a passing shoal of mackerel that were taking everything we threw at them and were clearly visible swimming around in the water, a fantastic sight to see. Mick then hooked another scad raising my hopes once more, but they didn't seem to like my lure one bit. I was running out of ideas fast, switching to small sp's and only getting macky, so when Mick offered me one of his rock vibe shads I was on it like a fly to s**t. I did have some in my  bag but for some reason had completely forgotten about them until after the session had ended. Anyway, this switch was crucial and on just my second cast I was into a scad of my own. These fish really do go well on
Scad - Species 56 of 2012
the light gear and just as Bob had quoted in the shop 'they fight like mini tuna.' Safely on the boat I was obviously very happy, probably over excited to be fair, I doubt Mick has ever seen someone so happy to catch a scad, but for me usually fishing for them in North Wales where they are as rare as chickens teeth, it was brilliant. Once off the mark there was no stopping us and between us we must have landed a good 10 or so scad and a similar number of mackeral. However, as well as the scad fight there was one fish I hooked that went much harder. It was the turn of my drag to start screaming and the 5lb fluoro leader was really being tested, the fish continually stripping yards from my reel. Mick
immediately thought bass but I couldn't tell in the early stages. Sure enough in time the fish tired and with both Ed and Mick stood in anticipation the fish finally surfaced so we could have a look. Mick was right, it was a bass and my first one on proper LRF gear, very enjoyable. A few more quick dashes for freedom before it was netted and brought in for a picture. It was by no means a monster but at around the 2lb mark it certainly made a great account of itself in the fight. Time was flying by and we'd had a cracking evening, so after ending on such a high note we headed back to the harbour to join Jon and Sam for a nice celebratory beer and takeaway. This was one of the highlights of my trip so massive thanks has to go out to Mick for making the effort to take us out and for putting us on our target species and also Callum for letting us on the rib.

The rest of the holiday didn't quite live up to this session (on lures at least), but it was memorable for one member of our fishing foursome, my younger brother Sam, who after all his efforts on the plugs finally got his deserved reward with this nice looking bass taken from a deep rock mark on a large savage gear sandeel. I must say, he deserved it as usual, he really does put in some effort for the bass even when the conditions are against him. Thanks must go to Dan Ferguson again though for the mark and giving him the confidence to use the larger SG Eel.

The only other lure caught fish came on our session inside the harbour where all of us but Ed managed to land a good number of sand-smelt on unbaited sabikis (a new one for me on lures) as well as a number of black and rock gobies and a single herring. This is the only pic out of around a dozen where I managed to catch the smelt still and not jumping all over the place lol.

Well, that is it, the conclusion of my Jersey lure reports. I hope they have been interesting to read and they give at least a small insight into a visitors account of the Jersey lure scene. Can't wait for Jersey 2013 now and already have plans for a long weekend later this year :)

Thanks for looking,
Tight Lines,

Fun in Jersey on the lures : Part 1

After a cracking week in Jersey in 2011 it would have been stupid for us not to return this year and what a trip it turned out to be. Once again Mick at MrFish was brilliant to us, putting us on the fish from the off and even going out of his way to take a few of us out on the rib on a hunt for a Scad. Another massive shout out has to go to Daniel Ferguson, who came out with us on a number of sessions and was more than willing to share a few of his marks and help me on my hunt for 60 species, top lad :)

Anyway, as there was 4 of us this time round (myself, younger bro Sam, and my uni mates Jon and Ed) and I was the only driver, I had to revolve the fishing sessions around everyone, so although there was a good few sessions lure fishing the majority of our fishing was done using bait, which for obvious reasons will not be involved in this report or part 2. If you do want to have a read of my full report (both lure and bait fishing) it will be on my blog for reading soon. To the fishing......

We arrived in Jersey on 13th August full of optimism, but first thing on the list was a trip to see Mick to pick up a few bits and bobs and a new LRF rod (Sakura Shukan Neo - cracking rod if anyone is looking at one). After a good chat we left the shop and headed straight to the campsite at Rozel to set up base camp. Rushing to get the tents up, we were soon back in the car and heading out to a mark where me and Sam had had some brilliant wrasse fishing on the SP's last year. For Jon and Ed this was there first Jersey trip and having filled there heads with stories of great fishing, the excitement on there faces when they layed eyes on the mark was priceless. It seemed to take no time at all to get the gear out and down onto the rocks and on just his first cast Jon had his SP mauled by a wrasse, a very promising start. Now in truth, we were at this spot to get everyone off the mark and it did produce the goods just as expected, with everyone opening there Jersey accounts with wrasse to just over a couple of pounds. 

On our third day we once again headed out with the lures hopeful for a bass or two and a few macky on the LRF gear. The ground was shallow and reefy and looked ideal for bass, but after a few hours of trying we had to admit defeat and started patrolling the pools and gulleys closer by in search of some mini's on the LRF gear. We walked around for a while searching out the deeper pools and after spotting a few fish I was first off the mark with a giant goby, although this one didn't live up to its name at around 14cm. I had a few more smaller ones before after a while scouting a pool, I saw a more substantial sized one popping its head out of a small cave. I stuck the rod tip in, using my fingers to jiggle the line and work the lure and sure enough the fish pounced on it almost instantly. I won't lie and say it fought like a beast but it did put a nice bend in the rod nevertheless and was an equal size to my previous PB at 21cm but was much more thick set than my other one. Having seen that I was having some success, Ed and Jon joined me in the pools leaving just Sam to work the reef. It wasn't too long either before the pair of them, after a little instruction, managed to land their first ever giant 
goby's. Between the three of us we were landing a good number of these, but it was my keen eye that was filtering out the better fish. After much searching, I spotted a much better fish in a large pool hiding under one of the larger boulders. After luring out a number of its smaller co-inhabitants the big fella came into view at the edge of its hiding hole and it looked huge, its head the size of a snooker ball. I dropped the isome right beside him and he took it, dived straight back into his hole and started thrashing. Unable to see what lay under the boulder I let him take a few inches of line before setting the hook and letting all hell break loose. This time I did have a fight on my hands but as I felt the 4lb fluoro leader grating on the underside of this boulder, the outcome was innevitable....... Yes that's right, I'd been snapped off by a goby! I was not going to let this fish get the better of me though so after re-tying a slightly stronger 6lb leader on I again worked the pool, now joined by both Jon and Ed. We took another dozen or so of his mates but the beast was nowhere to be seen now and beginning to frustrate me. Sam now thoroughly accepting defeat on the bass front decided enough was enough and came to join the hunt for the goby's. Giving the beasts pool a rest, I lent sam my rod and headed off with him to try and get him his first giant goby. Sam wasted no time in picking a nice pool and after showing him the ropes, he was soon banging the gobies out along with his first LS scorpion fish which soon 
brightened his spirits. After giving the pool a good hour to rest, I went back to find my nemesis, again joined by Ed who was trying to poach him from me. Ed did hook him as well but just as I had, he left it too long and was taken to ground and had to accept the tackle loss. We must have taken around 20 giant gobies from this pool but none had compared to the beast and I wasn't giving up. A last ditch attempt saw my rod tip stuck into the darkness under the boulder.... dangerous? stupid? I think so but I was not letting him mock me and I soon felt a nice pull. I left my bail arm off, pulled the tip out and struck into the fish. The tip stayed put as I pulled the rod round and I knew I had the beast again. This time I had the advantage and he was soon in the open and powerless to stop himself being brought to the shallows where I could get my hands on him. He was rather large at 23.5cm and a new PB, a cracking 'mini' species. 

That concludes part 1, thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,

Scottish Adventures with Schogsky and Hutch : Part 4 - The MOG boat trip

After having a few pints the night before at the Clashwannan, I woke up feeling a wee bit sluggish. Ever ready for another days fishing though and with it being the morning of the boat trip, I  perked up fairly quickly and started sorting the gear out with Jake and Scott. All sorted we loaded the car and left to meet with our skipper Spike at Portlogan harbour. Greetings out of the way it was launch time and we soon found ourselves steaming out to a mark to do a spot of pollack fishing. Spike was recommending macky fished under a float but as everyone knows, we are lure fisherman, so at first this was not a viable option lol. Instead, armed with a number of SP's we began working the area hopeful of a few fish. Sure enough it wasn't long before we all started getting a bit of action, with Jake getting the majority of the fish on either his arkansas shiner sluggos or his new found love, the ribsters :) Me and Scott were getting fish as well though to a number of other lures which included red gills.. Jake got the pick of the bunch though with a lovely pollock of over 6lb, which unfortunately after a bit of confusion with the skipper, was thrown back before we could get any decent photos. I decided on a change of tactic after a period of drought on the SP's and decided to drop down a set of sabikis tipped with Power Isome. To say it was slow would be an understatement but I did manage a couple more pollock and my first new species of the trip, a cuckoo wrasse ( species 51) before turning to bait to catch a few more fish. After catching a few more cuckoo's myself, Scott decided to give the rag a try as well and this soon resulted in his first cuckoo of the year. Scott also added a coalie to
the days species tally shortly after and I added a ballan also. We then had a very quick few drifts for macky before again steaming off to another mark in hope of something a little different. The skipper had decided to take us to an area of sandy bottom where he thought we'd have a decent chance of picking up some flatties along with a selection of gurnards and any other predominantly sand based species. Again we chose to fish artificials over bait tipping sabikis with Isome. Jake was first in on the opening drift with this grey gurnard, another species to add to his list for the year.Scott followed suit bagging himself his own grey gurnard on the same drift whilst I was left to watch on. After a couple more drifts and just a single pollack landed we moved out to deeper
water where the plan was to target a tope. Spike dropped anchor over one of his hopeful marks and we were all baiting up with half a mackerel whilst the skipper sorted some shurvy. Chucked out and left, the three of us dropped down with an assortment of unbaited feathers to see what was around. After hitting mackerel on the way down for a few drops we all eventually managed to get the rigs down to the sea bed. Jigging the sabikis/hokkais over the seabed was again slow but after a 10 minute lull I finally managed to start getting into a few fish. First off I levelled the scores by getting my first lure caught grey gurnard of the trip before managing to add my 2nd new species to my yearly tally in the form of a red gurnard ( species 52..also lure caught) Scott saw that I was having some success so

lending him my rod for a while I watched on as he tried to get something fr himself. Sure enough a bite did come and as it came up to the boat we both saw it was a whiting which would have been a new one for Scott. Unfortunately though as he was lifting it up from the water it threw the hook leaving us to watch it swim back down to the depths. Then a bit of excitement as my tope bait was picked up, but after an initial short run the fish never came back which was rather disappointing :( Anyway, after that Scott handed back my rod and I dropped down a couple more times to see if I could get anything else. I wasn't disappointed either as after a 10 minute wait I got another bite which resulted in a whiting (another one for the TLF species hunt). It was now time to move on as the tope baits were sitting untouched for long periods. The area we were heading to now was an area of broken ground in which we had been told we had a good chance of codling, haddock and a variety of other species. At this point in the day none of us were any longer fussed about catching on lure only so we decided to bait our hokkais with strips of

 macky and see what we could bring up. The first drop saw me and Jake get a double hook up of haddock, my first ever ever and my 3rd new species of the trip to boot (species 53). This area was proving to be a little more productive than where we

 had previously been and we were soon all landing a good number of fish. Scott managed a double of new species for himself when he landed a whiting and dogfish whilst myslef and Jake also had a few more doggies and a pollock. It was now nearing the end and so the skipper called last drift. Not expecting an awful lot down went our baited rigs and in came another doggie for Scott before I had a nice smash on my plugging rod. This felt a little better and after a spirited fight up came the only Codling of the trip at maybe 2lb, great fun. I wasn't to fussed about a photo as I was confident of bigger before the end of the year. Fingers crossed that won't come back to haunt me.

  So that was it then, the end of a cracking day out. Between us we managed a very respectable 11 species which included new lure caught species for all of us as an added bonus. Thanks to Spike for a great day out and of course it wouldn't have been anywhere near as enjoyable without the banter from Scott and Jake so thanks again fellas.

Hope you enjoyed reading,
Tight Lines,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Scottish Raid part 3 : Flattie hunting in the harbours

Day 2 on my adventures with Schogsky and Hutch saw me and Scott heading for Dunbar harbour with Jake set to join us later on. Now both Scott and Jake have caught flatties on the lures already this year, so it was great of them to put me on a mark where they knew I had a great chance of catching some on the lures myself. After pulling up in the car park, Scott showed me round the mark and pointed out the hotspots so all was looking good. A size 16 hook armed with isome was the chosen rig and adding a few splitshots above the hook ensured it was tight on the bottom. Scott was soon showing me how its done getting off the mark with a LSScorpion and then showing me how easy it is to get amongst the flatties with a couple of flounder and plaice. It really was stuffed full of little flatties though and at any one time you could have had double figure amounts of them chasing the isome along the mud, quite a sight. I did finally manage one for myself, a small flounder which was shortly followed by a little plaice, 2 more for the lure caught tally, a great

 way to begin the day. As the tide rose the better fish started to move in and Scott landed a few better ones whilst I was aimlessly trying to catch something tiny, which I thought may have been something different. Unfortunately I didn't manage to tempt it so we'll never find out. Then came Jake into the harbour with an intent of getting himself a plaice for his species count. He didn't have to wait long either and after a single flounder he got what he was after. As usually is the case as well, this wouldn't be his only one and I think he went on to land quite a large number of them as well as more flounder. With the bottom now out of visibility we all started trying a few different areas. I found a nice little spot between some weed and dropped down to see if anything was around. Sure enough a small looking fish took interest and after a few missed lunges at my lure, it took aim and pounced on my jigging isome. On bringing it up it was clear it was a scorpion fish but it looked a little different so I called Scott over for a proper identification. He was more certain about what it was and said without doubt it was a short spined which is my 1st ever after the previous one I thought I'd caught turned out to be a long spined. Looking back at the pictures though it is fairly obvious, but at least this capture puts beyond any doubt that I
 have now got a short spined. We all then decided to move into the old harbour where the guys had told me the larger flounders lurk and also a good number of blennies and coalies. With exception to the large flounders though we got plenty of the other species. I lost count of the number of coalies Jake landed and Scott was also pulling in a good number of coalies with blennies thrown in. I must have been doing something different though as I could not for the life of me hook the coalies, the blennies however came in good numbers. As the time rolled on we had a quick look over the back wall of the harbour, but conditions put us off trying there so it was time for a move. Jake had to shoot, so it was back to just me and Scott with St Abbs being our mark of choice. I'd love to say we cleaned up there but it was quite the opposite, for unknown reasons the fish just weren't there and following an hour and a halfs effort we left without a single fish to our names. It is a lovely looking place though and I'd love to have another go when the fish have returned. Well that was it for Day 2 and it was time to head back to Edinburgh and plan our next days fishing.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Scottish Raid Part 2 : Trouting About

Leaving Ad behind in Aberdeen to settle into his new digs, I made my way South to meet with Scott and Jake for what would be an epic week of fishing. The first venue was an estuary system that fellow TLF member Martin Allison had recommended to us and kindly given us some great advice on. The target of our first session was a species I've been struggling with, Sea Trout and I was desperate to tick this one off the list. Scott had picked me up a few small metals and after getting the permits we began the lure chucking. We
 spread out along the shore and worked a number of back eddies and areas of interest catching plenty of passing weed in our initial efforts. We thought this was going to be a big problem but Jake soon got through the weed and had the first action of the evening, unfortunately dropping it shortly after the hook up.  After a few more chucks he called me over to try just to his left where he thought I'd have a good chance. Out went the lure and about half way in on my return a small pluck and then a solid take, I had definitely hooked a fish. As usual when your trying to be careful, the process of landing it takes way longer than is necessary but as it neared the side I could see I had my target and I was clearly delighted. Sea trout ticked off....BOOM (species 50!) A few casts later I was in again and this felt a little bigger. I played it very cautiously as you'd imagine, but after seeing it was a fat mackerel I tightened the drag and hauled it in. It was a biggun though at 1lb 1oz and went back for tea. We then had a very quiet spell where the tide had seemed to pick up and the weed was making it very difficult. Scott, who had moved down a bit called us both over after spotting a few trout breaching the surface and this proved to be the best move of the night. It was much cleaner and weed was not a problem at this spot so confidence was high. This was backed up soon after the move as well when on just my second chuck I hooked sea trout
number 2 of the session. Third cast and another fish, believe it or not another trout. This was fast becoming a cracking session and the following dozen casts provided me with another couple of sea trout taking me to a total of 5 trout and a macky. Whilst I was enjoying the action Jake and Scott were finding it tough but this changed after seeing my lure had a flash of red on it. They had been using silver and blue ones so out came Jakes red marker and he cleverly added some red to his lure which quickly resulted in a pair of sea trout for him, top effort. Scott was not so fortunate but I think it's safe to say we all had a very enjoyable session. Last port of call before leaving was the local chippie where a decent meal and an energy drink perked me up nicely for the journey down.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,

Scottish Adventures Part 1 : Aberdeen with Wyness

 The first leg of my journey to the Northern Quarters saw me visiting Ad in his new home for 3 years, Aberdeen. Being completely clueless about where to start, we had originally made plans to have a go for sea trout but after finding out it is illegal to fish for them on Sundays (our first day), a change of plan was in order. We decided to wander a bit of coastline to the South and after a short walk we found a few more anglers to go and have a chat with. The pair of anglers, Matty and John were targeting a variety of fish with pollack and codling being the main quarry. It wasn't long before Matty had his first pollack of around 2-3lb on feathers so myself and Ad quickly ran back to the car to get the gear, Returning just 15 minutes later Matty had already managed a nice codling to add to his catch and John had also had his first pollack of the day. Rigging up a variety of weedless soft plastics on a deep spinning rig, we were both getting a good number of takes and at the end of the session I'd notched up a tally of 9 pollock to 3.5lbs whilst Ad had managed a macky and a codling. Matty and John were doing well on the bait also with a good haul of decent codling and a few
macky and pollack thrown in. As soon as the tide started running though the fishing died so we threw in the towell and went for a few bevvies. The following day we returned with some stronger tackle to target some of the better ones we had lost the day before. I met with John and Matty again down at the mark with the pair of them opting for lighter spinning tackle this time around. The scene was set but after a good few hours and just a couple of smaller fish to show for our efforts we had a short break. Over the hill came Ad after his morning meeting and almost instantly the fish came on. The better fish were now beginning to show again and after a few more small ones, I managed my best of the session at roughly 4lb. Matty managed to capture a nice action shot for me and then a photo of the fish after it had been landed. Ad was
getting plenty of takes but again couldn't manage any pollack so I gave him a small red tailed sidewinder to try. He lost a fish on his first cast but the fish didn't get so lucky the second time and Ad got a real nice fish of around 6lb (left) which broke his PB. This was to be the best pollock of the trip but Ad lost a fish he thinks may have been bigger. Meanwhile John and Matty were happily working the lures getting a good haul of pollock until Matty's rod arched over into what we thought was a big pollock. After a spirited fight though, we saw the culprit, a crakker of a codling at around the 5lb mark. What a place and to think this was the only mark we'd tried. This area has a lot of potential for a giant and I'll be back visiting shortly no doubt to try and beat a few of my own PB's.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,

Back with a bang

Having returned from Ireland after fishing some really tough conditions, it felt really good to be back on the North Wales coastline for a few days. As it was only a short return I really crammed in my sessions and fished hard for 3 days. Unsurprisingly when putting in that sort of effort I was expectant of a few nice surprises. With the TLF species hunt now getting tight at the top, it was time to break out the LRF tackle once again in hope of adding a few more fish on lures. Amlwch was the venue of choice and after some very disappointing sessions there this year, I had my fingers crossed that the mini's had moved into the area properly. It usually takes seconds for a bite when fishing the margins here so it's fairly obvious whether the fish are there or not early in the session, luckily for me this time they were :) First up was the ever present rock-goby which took my sabiki teaser. Then the fun started, with a bite a chuck for around an hour. After a number of small ballans and corkwings, I finally got through to a gold-sinny and my first new lure caught fish of the day. It was not going to be the only new one though. It really was exciting fishing and
although the other fellas on the breaky thought my mini fishing was silly, I couldn't see them catching anything but doggies so I wasn't to bothered and continued racking up the daily species tally with a smile on my face. The next fish was a nice surprise and came in the form of my first Amlwch dragonette which again went for the teaser. Surprisingly not a new lure caught species though due to my Cornish lure adventures at Mevagissey where I had 6 of them. Then there was another period of ballans again with a couple of pollock and a single coalie thrown in. After 20 or so minutes and nothing new I had a move from the end to the ladder on the inside of the breaky. First drop I had species 8 for the day, a blennie followed next cast by another of the blennie species, a tompot. Again more wrasse followed for 10 minutes before I finally got what I'd come for and species 49
 of the year, this beauty on the right, a leopard spotted goby which took the larger shirasu jig head and isome. That put me into double figures for the daily species tally and it wasn't ending just yet, although my stay on Amlwch breakwater was over.

I then switched spots to Sewer pipe in the Ravens Point area in hope of a cuckoo wrasse. I had watched one caught there a few weeks previous so new they were there and my fingers were crossed. The fish were there in good numbers with plenty of ballans jumping on the lures as soon as it touched bottom. I did think it would be a case of wading through them and after a good 20 fish I got the 11th species for the day, a small poor cod. At this point I had my usual shoulder pains so I had a short rest and watched a few guys on ravens pull in a few fish, including a fat tub gurnard. I couldn't resist a few more drops though before calling it a day and it proved to be a good shout. My 12th and last species for the day, a rock cook, again on the isome loaded sabiki. So after a good 6 hours fishing I had another 3 species to add to my lure caught tally and one
 new one for my overall tally. What a result!

Hope you enjoyed reading,
Tight Lines,