Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Road Trippin' Day 4 - Weymouth

Originally we had wanted to fish Portland on our last day, but it became apparent that we were going to be pushed for time and we had a couple of species to get to make our target twenty.
I must confess to really wanting to fish there too, as after all the small species I wanted to get a proper bend in my rod. 

We did head along and just take in the sites quickly, well after a quick visit to Chesil Bait and Tackle!

Anyway, we knew we stood a good chance of a flounder in Weymouth Harbour and we could try for a Mullet too, so thats what we had to settle with. I'd sure like to get back to Portland at some point mind, maybe with someone who knows the area.

We'd seen Flounder in the Harbour area near to Asda and decided to try there. We were sight fishing for the blighters and despite seeing them mouth our Gulp on jig heads and shot rigs, we couldn't get a hook up! Then scaling down to ridiculous hook sizes, Scott managed to catch a tiny Sand Goby taking us to species 19. You may check Scotts blog for a picture of that, I reckon my Cuttlefish is more valid than a glorified tadpole!

Scott was also trying his luck among some juvenile Mullet when he finally got a take. To both of our surprise, he did not pull out a Mullet for our twentieth specie, he pulled out some prime Dorset Silver!

Pre-School Bass
In actual fact, over the course of the trip I did not catch a thing that Scott didn't catch, yet the same could not be said vice versa. Scott caught at least four more species than me, Sand Goby, Red Mullet, Sea Scorpion and Bass, so in actual fact he managed the twenty all by himself!

Well with that done, we headed for a bite to eat and then finished off our trip on the Stone Pier and just happy to catch whatever. I was the Corkwing King that day though and caught way more of those than anything else!

We caught some Ballan Wrasse, Bream and Smelt too, before heading back home.

Well that was the end of that and it was really sad to say goodbye, I could've easily stayed for longer, ONE LAST CAST!
Truthfully though, I really needed that trip, it was great to meet a few people and to catch up with Scott before our Menorca trip in October.

I'll be back in the West Country before long for sure, I love it down there and there are so many species that just seem easier there. The scenery is gorgeous with a very historic feel and some great people to boot.

Anyways, stay tuned and tight lines folks!

Road Trippin' Day 3 - Brixham

Weymouth and Swanage I have fished before yet its always nice to try somewhere new, its even nicer to catch somewhere new!
I would say, although the fishing remained hard going and a small issue with a parking meter that saw me lose my temper, Brixham was my favourite day of our trip.

We started off fishing the breakwater mainly using Dropshot rigs and before I had even set up Scott was into fish, the first species landed and another to add to our tally was a small Scad!

 photo IMG_4152.jpg

I was extremely encouraged by this as I had never caught a Scad before and I therefore hoped to get one of my own. However, on the Breakwater and during broad daylight this proved not to be, I did however manage some other fish and on HTO Knight Worms!

Poor Cod
Poor Cod
Goldsinny Wrasse
After a while of catching a lot of Goldsinny (the place is rammed with them!), Blennies and small Pollock we decided to walk to Berry Head and fish some deeper water.

We had heard that this disused quarry was one hundred foot deep and we thought it would hold a variety of species.

Upon arrival, the ledge was full of people chucking feathers for Mackerel and some oriental chaps had been there fishing since four in the morning! Thats dedication for you, especially as they didn't have a great deal to show for it.
We were also greeted by another kind of "fisherman";

We didn't half laugh, as we were told by a fella the night before, that the reason Swanage was fishing so badly was because; "theres a seal in the Bay". You kind of had to be there as the bloke was an odd sort of chap!

Initially I was using Jigs to try and catch Pollock, Mackerel and Scad and it soon became apparent that the water was no where near 100ft deep!
I was still quite shocked at the lack of fish however, as it was certainly deep enough to hold plenty with some good surrounding structure.

I switched to a Caro rig, opting for a AquaWave Straight and a 0.6g AquaWave head at the business end (distributed by Tronixpro) and before long caught a Mackerel. I lost one straight after and then my hopes came to fruition with my first Scad.

Mad dog and Englishman!

I also caught a Pollock and some Sand Smelt on the same rig;

Viva Aqua Wave

Viva AquaWave

Meanwhile Scott was catching some fish on his Dropshot rig and caught us another specie for the tally - a Long Spined Sea Scorpion.

Brixham Brown!
As the tide ebbed and the sun fell, I switched back to Jigs and fished a back eddy that had been created by the ebbing current and the headland, to my delight I caught something unexpected!

Scott wouldn't allow it to count towards the species list, but I was made up nonetheless, I have never seen one before and it was awesome watching it rapidly changing colours and inking on release.

I also caught Mackerel and another Scad before we left and boy were we spoilt by the weather! Again we had a super relaxing day!

HTO Shore Jig
HTO Shore Jig


Tight lines!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Road Trippin' Day 2 - Swanage

Since our trip to Swanage last year I had been eager to return. I had very much looked forward to catching the vast array of species present there and hoped the elusive Baillons Wrasse would still be present.
We also wanted to fish bait on our Surfcasters that evening, so our first stop was at the Swanage Tackle Shop to reserve some fresh Ragworm.
During our time there we met a fella who wanted to join us and pick up some tips, which of course we were more than happy to do. After our new friend Lee bought some lures and weights, we all headed along to the Pier and rigged up.

I fished my Blue Current 74 with a dropshot rig for the small stuff and my Breaden TR85 with a Texas rig in the hope for bigger fish.
However, the fishing wasn't as epic as usual, there were no bigger fish except an Eel caught by Lee and no Baillons were to be found at all! We speculated as to what this would be, perhaps it was the winter storms that have effected the fishes habitat? I really don't know, but I was a tad disappointed as the Baillons was one of the piers main attractions for us.

All that being said, it was a relaxing and enjoyable day nonetheless and we were really being spoilt by good weather of a change.

We didn't take many photo's over the course of the trip, but here's a few of the personally notable ones, Firstly a Scene of Corfe Castle which left a lasting image in my mind from last time;

And then some fish;

Finally some lrf Bream for me!
Lots and lots of Corkwing present.
Sand Smelt seemed eager to take anything presented.
Scott actually really wanted a Red Mullet at Swanage too and we were told in the tackle shop that "it was too early for them", well would you believe it when we watched Scott pull this up from the depths;

I believe this is a Striped Red Mullet, a new species for Scott and an awesome sight!

During the day there was a fair bit of banter, especially regarding my constant plugging of HTO and Tronixpro products among anyone who would listen. I was getting ripped proper and to make matters worse I had only caught some Sandsmelt on Knight worms that day! over the remainder of the trip I was going to have to do a bit better.
One thing is for sure though, I doubt our friend Lee will forget "HTO" anytime soon.

I shall not mention how pants our bait fishing evening session was and shall just leave you with a picture of me and my Bream with what I like to call "the Continental pose";

Road Trippin' Day 1 - Weymouth

After enjoying my session at Swanage so much last year with my friend Scott and with our Menorca trip still a little way off, myself and Scott intended to get a summer break away back in Dorset.
A plan was hatched to stay in Weymouth and fish there, Swanage and Brixham over four days including travelling.
I had personal targets I wanted to achieve and we also set ourselves a joint target of twenty species for the trip.
Sunday the 20th July, I packed my gear and headed off on the train to meet Scott at Crewe, where we would then complete our journey to Weymouth.

Upon arrival we were both itching to stretch our legs and catch some fish, so after checking in to our hotel we fished the Pleasure Pier in Weymouth, where we were also joined by Andy Mytton.
It was a pleasure to meet Andy and we had a bit of a laugh as well as comparing tackle and displaying a bit of tartiness.

Fishing dropshot and splitshot rigs we ambled around and between us we caught twelve species that day I think.
I was incredibly pleased to finally catch my first Goldsinny Wrasse, here's me on the hunt;

A golden moment deserves a kiss!
I also caught my first Tompot Blenny of the year too;

We were also catching Pollock, Pouting, Black Goby, Black Bream, Rock Goby, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Common Blenny, Sand smelt and Leopard Spotted Goby.
Well to tell the truth I was a tiny bit disappointed as I didn't catch some of those including a Black Bream which I desperately wanted, Scott and Andy just proved better at it on the day!

Here's a few pictures I took;

Black Goby 
If there's Blennies about, Scott will find them!
Leopard Spotted Goby 
Another Goldsinny for me
It was an enjoyable start and we had made good head way on our targets already, I just had to now catch a Bream and a Scad and we had to catch eight more species to reach our joint target.
Stay tuned for the Swanage report.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

HTO Mini Shads

Lately, I still haven't been getting out as often as I'd like, hopefully as soon as I've gotten through all the decorating I have to do I shall be able to put the hours in again.
Still its nice to get out on the shore when I can and it makes every fish a little more special just now.

I was to trying to target Turbot the other night and did hook one, yet I lost it at my feet! I was fuming to be fair and despite my best efforts I couldn't get another, for the Weevers were rather liking my Mini Shads.

I literally had tons of the things that evening and a couple of near misses with this venomous fins and Gill plates, I think its high time I bought a mini lip grip!

I managed a couple of hours out today, which was very pleasing. I fished one of my favourite estuary marks and it was a beautiful sunny day with a SW blowing and even though the tides are small there were still plenty of fish about. However, the strange thing was; they were proving bloody hard to catch!
I eventually got one on an Ayu HTO Mini Shad rigged on a 1.5g AquaWave Lockhead, which pleased me no end. Guessing the weight I would say about 3.5lb.

Houri Island

AquaWave Lockhead

It totally does me in when you can see fish like that yet can't get them to take! I guess it may have been conditions or they may have been transfixed on other food.

Any ways, it was still nice to catch and she felt lovely on my Breaden too.

Tight lines