It was the day after my epic bass session and I'd arranged for another bass session with webbo, his mates John and Dean (i think) and haydn (chiefbeef). I met webbo, John and Dean at the mark at around 3.30, which was just after low water. We fished crab and rag baits in the surf with just 3 doggies a piece for myself and Webbo, who also managed this fat turbot at 13oz, whilst Dean had a spider crab to show for his efforts. At 7ish Haydn came to try and get himself a bass, but by 9ish when I left due to tiredness (no sleep in near 48 hours), there were only a few more doggies landed. I think Webbo went on to get a bass after I'd left but I'm not sure about the others. I'm sure they'll update you in due time.
After a day of rest came the next session which was at ravens point. Inspired by Gareth's species session a few days prior, I set off with the intention of getting a dragonette. I made a few 2 up 1 down rigs with a luminous bead above a size 6 hook and baby ragworm as bait. I arrived to find 2 other blokes fishing so after a quic chat to see how they were getting on, I set up my rod and cast out. For 2 hours the only interesting catches were a spider crab and a tiny octopus, with the usual hordes of dogfish and dabs getting to the baits before anything else had a chance. After a couple of hours the other blokes decided they'd had enough of the dogfish and went home leaving me the mark to myself. Time to experiment! I chucked out my scratching rig at range and then set up a set of sabikis on my plugging rod. After a few fruitless casts I finally
felt a little nibble. Not the mackerel I wanted for breakfast, but my first new species for the day, a launce (species 30). I went on to catch 5 of them with this one on the left being the largest at nearly 28cm. The feathering died off for a while as did the scratching so my attentions turned to fishing the margins. I opted for a one up rig with a rotten bottom link. The hook length was 12lb fuorocarbon and attached to the end was a size 4 hook and rag.
The bites came thick and fast with plenty of
corkwings and small ballans falling victim to these deadly tactics. In the mix though was the odd tompot blenny and a few micro-pollock. Every so often though I'd get a tiny rattle and wasn't able to hook up. New tactics were needed. Same rig only this time with a size 12 hook. Again the ballans and corkwings came out in steady numbers but eventually after wading through them came that little rattling bite I had kept missing. With the size 12's on though I had no such problem and up came this little fella (left), a rock-cook wrasse (species 31) It was now getting late and after a few more chucks for the mackerl I called it quits. On arrival at the car though I was approached by an elderly chap who was part of the community watch. Apparently I looked suspicous even though I was wearing a bright blue billabong hoody, shorts and had a fair amount of fishing gear on me. On a serious note though, the reason he was checking up on me was due to a number of burglaries in the area by individuals posing as fisherman. After a nice chat though he realised I wasn't a yob and rather nicely said I seemed an intelligent young man (good job I make a good first impression), though he had said it was officially trespassing on private land and therefore strongly discouraged me and anyone else from venturing there. Just a warning for anyone thinking about a session there soon.
My last session to write about was today. After yesterdays warning, I stayed clear of ravens and instead headed for ty croes. It was a similar story to ravens to start with with dabs a plenty and dogfish making up the large part of my catch. There were the odd whiting in there though and a solitary codling for good measure. I again tried for a mackerel and again failed, only managing another 6 launce.(Maybe I need to bulk up my fluff so its more noticeable to the macky). Then I had a lovely surprise when a huge slack liner on my scratcher led to me hooking what felt a good fish. I hadn't a clue what it was and at the time I thought it may have been a triple header of doggies. To my great relief though not a doggie in site, instead a double header of pin dabs and this lovely 8lb 7oz thorny which visiting angler Colin arrived perfectly in time to photograph for me. Cheers Colin! The amazing thing was it was landed on a 12lb fluorocarbon snood and a size 6 hook baited with little bits of rag. Amazing how strong those sakuma hooks are even in that tiny size and my first ray to rag, bonus. After a further 30 minutes I was joined on the lower ledge by another angler who I had said could come down and have my spot as I was leaving shortly. After a few more dogs, dabs and whiting I called it quits, left the launce for the other chap now fishing the ledge and headed back to the car with Colin to show him a few spots I fish in the area. The rest of the day was spent hopping from mark to mark with plugs, meeting fellow plugger Paul Abbott along the way who was a pleasure to meet along with his little dog. Unfortunately this proved useless but found a few more nice marks for next time.
So the last few days has seen me reach the half way point on my species hunt which is pleasing and leaves me with just shy of 8 months to round up 29 more. This is when it starts getting tough though. If anyone has any suggestions on where to target the rarer species I'd appreciate any info possible. Thanks!