Scott has been to Swanage Pier a number of times in the past and I have been curious of his antics there. A short while ago, Scott commented on how I should go and I replied "perhaps I shall join you on one of your adventures." Literally a couple of days after that conversation Scott text me to ask if I could get a couple of days off of work to go down and to cut a long story short, I managed to negotiate the time off of work and we headed down to Swanage on Monday the 16th Sept, with the view to fish the Tuesday and Wednesday. We knew from the off that we were going to be predominantly targeting Mini species, this I was keen to do as there are a few species I have been wanting to catch for a while and they have consistently eluded me. There was also one particularly interesting specie at Swanage which was a must have for me; The Baillon's Wrasse. I was quite prepared to use bait if it meant catching one.
Full of anticipation, myself and Scott rocked up at the pier ready for opening at 8:00am, we paid our dues and fished the lower decks. From the off I was using a dropshot rig with Berkley Gulp Angleworms for a lure, these things are just excellent for targeting mini's!
Scott was using scaled down bait rigs on ultra light gear and was catching straight away, it took me a minute to get in on the action, but I was soon catching consistently along with Scott.
My first fish was a Pouting, it was also the first one I have caught this year so quite welcome.
The fish came thick and fast and I couldn't believe the amount of Corkwing Wrasse present!
Scott was out fishing me with his baited rigs but it really didn't matter, we were both catching a lot of fish and having a lot of fun, heres a couple of Scotts Corkwing;
Wading through the multitudes of Pouting and Corkwing Wrasse, I eventually landed my hoped for fish, again to a Berkley Gulp Angleworm.
|My first ever Baillon's Wrasse!|
I was pretty stoked to catch a Baillon's Wrasse, they aren't common at all in UK waters, albeit there are plenty to be caught at Swanage!
After some time catching Mini's on the inner pier I decided to have a go fishing on the drop on the outer pier, to see what was about, I was using a Yoshikawa Paddletail rigged on a Decoy Delta Magic jig head.
It was quite fun and I caught a succession of Pollock to around the 1 pound mark probably.
|No photo's of the larger ones :/|
I did at one stage hook a fish that I didn't recognise and it took my lure close to the surface, I have to admit I was being a fanny and lost it! I think It may have been a Scad and I was a bit gutted, I have never caught one before. I'll never know exactly what it was though and I just have to put it down to one of those things.
After a while trying for another I rejoined Scott on the inner pier and rigged up my dropshot again. The place just fishes non stop and I can't get over how easy the anglers down south have it, you just can't go wrong! We were catching just tons of fish and it was as I said to Scott "I can't believe neither of us have had a Tompot yet" that I bought one to the surface! Again this is a first for me and I am always pleased with new species and the chance to get a monkey off of my back.
|Possibly one of the coolest looking mini species?|
We were getting quite alot of attention from the anglers fishing the upper pier at one point and they told us that they had only had a single Mackerel and a Garfish to their names. Upon realising there were Gar about, Scotts species hunting brain kicked in and we headed off to the shops for some shirvy ingredients, Scott has yet to catch a Garfish. Scott set up a float rig and baited the swim with his concoction and a Garfish approached, the mental thing was it didn't take Scotts bait. However Scott did catch a succession of Pollock, this one being the largest;
I was pretty surprised to see how the garfish was behaving, it was just milling around and casually eating bits of the shirvy. Every time I have encountered them on my local marks, they have been feeding quite aggressively on baitfish and in shoals.
The afternoon got pretty wet and windy, the conditions saw us taking shelter on the inner pier again.
The weather didn't bother the fish one bit though and we continued catching.
|More Baillon's for me|
|Among a myriad of other things, a Rock Goby for Scott.|
With the weather worsening we decided to go and check in at our hotel and then get some grub. Originally we had planned to go to Weymouth that night but with the forecast saying it was to be dire, we knocked that on the head. However, after dinner we soon realised that the weather was not to bad at all so we headed along the front at Swanage to see what was about. I actually had a pretty crap time of it as I kept getting wind knots in my Sunline small game. Scott on the other hand pulled out a few fish using a reins Palpuntin jig, the first being a bit of a shocker.
A Sand Smelt, hooked fair and square! I never realised they would take a metal.
Later n Scott also caught two Turbot with his jig, which pleased him no end and I too was pleased for him as I know how hard he has tried in the past for them on lure.
Well, that was a pleasant way to end a very fishy day!
I must admit I did fish like a fanny at certain times during that day and I lost a specie I have never seen before, I also got smashed up a few times by fish running under the pier, but you live and learn (I hope).