Up and out early doors to meet Alex and drive to a Sea Loch for mostly two objectives – I wanted to catch a Wrasse and Alex wanted to catch a Thorn Back Ray. I also wanted to catch a thorn back and Alex also wanted to catch a wrasse but you get the idea. I got the beach caster out (which has now been named “Big Stubby”) as well as my LRF gear and we headed off.
The first mark was quite simply awesome, it was past high tide and instead of gearing up with my spinning rod I used my LRF rod coupled with a 3g Jig head with a rag worm. As I was using bait this was not strictly LRF as you are supposed to use wee plastic baits however as this blog I is called Urbanflyfisher and I have done bugger all of that in the last few months I think we can safely throw the rule book out the window.
First cast and Alex says I bet you catch one…tap tap tap
..and immediately into a Pollack, 2nd cast another, 3rd cast another and so on.
We lost count of the amount of Pollack we caught ranging from wee ones up to three pounds. The Pollack would tap, tap, tap away at the lure until you felt a solid tug and it would dive for the deep. On my wee LRF rod this meant reel screeching and rod bending fun as it was hauled back to the surface.
We moved to our next mark seeking out some Rays, we got the beach casters set up and hurled out our mackerel baits. Casting these bad boys out into the abyss is probably the best bit we mused as the huge leads almost cause a tsunami as they land. This allowed us time to settle down for a rest and prepare some monster doublers combining sausage, black pudding, haggis etc.
Meanwhile we noticed a distinct tapping of our rod tips. What we imagined hypothesised was that a shoal of Thornies had moved over our baits and were happily chomping down on them. When the shoal moved off it would be time to strike into the beasts causing double hook up fun. The only problem would be taking pictures of each other playing our monsters we mused. The excitement built as the rods nodded, I caught a wee Pollack on the LRF to calm the nerves and we waited some more. I imagined a tail whipping about like a scorpion with us defending Steve Irwin however Alex told me that I was talking total shit.
We waited some more.
Eventually, we struck into our fish!
It turned out Alex had caught a dog fish and I had caught a Coalie.
We decided it may be worth staying a little longer so cast out again. This time no rod nods however on striking anyway I had caught a crab and Alex finally had his Thornback resulting in much rejoicing and then a retreat for some more Pollack.
We decided to keep the spot as marked and come back over the winter to try and catch some more.
Back to our rock mark and this time we travelled further along a bit on a treacherous path which only a mountain goat should be able to do. I was glad I had not brought the big rods with us. Again it was non-stop Pollack action. Going against conventional wisdom I started striking into my Pollack. You are supposed to let them tap away until they snatch it and dive however when their taps became insistent I would strike and this meant bigger Pollack.
We noticed that when there was a good current we were catching the most fish; the wee LRF rod was great at hauling them up from the depths, the wee reel giving line when needed. Finally however a fish took my worm and tore line off to the deep and would not be subdued as quick. It was a more dogged fight and finally revealed itself to be a wrasse.
Alex then proceeded to catch an even bigger one and that it was for the wrasse for the day.
Oh yes and the midges, they were particularly vicious when the wind died down and even then sometimes not. Usually it only takes a breath of wind to ensure they stay away however not these ones as they were made of much sterner stuff sticking around just when you thought you were safe to look at the world with your real eyes. They were so bad that when we were packing up I left my LRF rod on top of the car.
We had to drive back and found it on the road, lucky it was not nicked or had another car drive over it.
Incidentally I then managed to catch a wee wrasse at my local mark on the LRF when I got home a day or so later – no pictures but hey, their is always next time!