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Posts Tagged ‘Corkwing Wrasse’

Following a short session on the small stream mentioned in the previous post, I was handed a load of spare maggots by fishing buddy Steve. Well I wasn’t planning on any coarse fishing for a few days, so what to do with them?

So there are me and John down along Poole Quay with the LRF gear set up with size 14’s and 12’s on split shot rigs drowning triple and quadruple maggot in the sea. And the Corkwing Wrasse, Goldsinnys, Blennies and Gobies loved them. So don’t go throwing those maggots away. Go catch some minis on the UL gear.

A Mouthful of Maggots starring Rock Goby

A Mouthful of Maggots starring Rock Goby

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With my usual shore fishing buddy John having a few days off, and with my missus away with the girls in Tenerife, we just had to get out for a bit of bait drowning. John has fallen behind a touch with the SCSF annual species hunt (not that he is really trying), and I am seeking a few more to add to this years list. So we decided to have a daytime bash on mini-mecca Swanage Pier.

A hot, calm day with very little cloud and only a slight easterly breeze, we arrived and set up around 11am.

Glorious Calm Day on Swanage Pier

Glorious Calm Day on Swanage Pier

One small 8ft 10-40g spinning rod was set up with a 6g Chubber float rig with Sz 6 circles to 8lb F/C aimed at Mackerel, Garfish, Pollack and any other predators or pelagics floating around. The use of the Chubber floats provides that bit of extra finesse than the commonly used ‘sea floats’. I dislike those normal ‘sea floats’ you see in most tackle shops. Big, bulky, unwieldy chunks of plastic that cast like bricks and need a decent size fish to register. Not for me except in special circumstances, usually distance or bait size.

Our LRF rods were set up for bait as opposed to lures with SSG single shot rigs and Size 8 hooks for a bash at the minis. We also took along a couple of light Bass/Flattie rods just in case we decided to up the stakes a bit with hook / rig size (a brief go but basically it didn’t happen). Bait was Squid strip or thin Bluey belly strip on the floats, with Ragworm and Squid strip the prime baits on the LRF gear.

Under the Swanage Pier Main Deck

Under the Swanage Pier Main Deck

Right from the off we were hit again and again by hard fighting Corkwing and Ballan Wrasse (up to around a pound) which are always great fun on the UL set-ups, and even more so with our trying to control fish determined to wrap us around every pier snag available. It was pretty amazing that throughout the whole day we only lost one rig to a snag.

Typical Ballan Wrasse from Swanage Pier

Typical Ballan Wrasse from Swanage Pier

In addition to the main culprits we also bagged a few Sand Smelt (new species for John) which came mainly to Squid strip.

Sand Smelt

Sand Smelt

And a host of deep diving, hard hitting Pollack (largest around a pound) on the float fished strips. These proved to be some of the most entertaining fish throughout the day with some pretty challenging runs and dives through the timbers.

Swanage Pier Pollack

Swanage Pier Pollack

Bonus fish included just the one Long-Spined Scorpionfish, my first Mackerel and my first Tompot Blenny of the year. Those Tompots are always feisty little scrappers with a strong pair of nipping jaws, as my finger tip will testify. Ouch!

First Mackerel of the Year

First Mackerel of the Year

Tompot Blenny

Tompot Blenny

The Garfish didn’t show apart from one early in the session that snaffled John’s float fished squid strip and promptly shed the hook after a brief but typically spirited fight.

We decided to pack up around 7pm after a very enjoyable day. Could have stayed longer but John has an appetite to rival the two fat ladies when he is fishing and was feeling a bit low cos his larder bag was empty.

John pondering the lack of food.

John pondering the lack of food.

And then……..and then!!!

On my final trot through with the float rod I had what I thought was another decent Pollack make for Peveril Point with my Bluey Strip. A very hard fighting fish this one, and didn’t feel much like a Pollack, more like a Bass. Nope. In comes a fish I haven’t caught in many a year.

Allis Shad 1lb 1oz

Allis Shad 1lb 1oz

Over the moon with this fish. Fought like crazy and weighed in at 1lb 1oz. Quickly unhooked, weighed and returned to fight again.

A cracking day out rounded off with fish ‘n’ chips picked up on the way home. Now to prepare for tomorrows trip to the Haven Hotel at Poole Harbour entrance. Garfish please! Bass anyone!

 

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The small and friendly forum I belong to here on the south coast holds a (mostly) monthly points competition for it’s members. These points add towards an end of year result. Nothing stupendous like winning a couple of expense paid weeks of Tarpon fishing or a years supply of bait with a couple of Zzippy’s thrown in (you reading this Bazza). Nah, this is for fun. This particular months comp is spread over a week and has points for Best Smut, Best Ray, Best Flat, Best Round and Most Species caught during the week. Note the last category. I mention all this guff as I will probably mention a ‘Species Competition’ quite a bit in my posts, and I hate confusing people. I don’t require an excuse to go fishing, but an incentive sometimes is nice.

That said I have been building up the species count the last three trips for the comp (currently standing at 10), and I was looking to add a couple more to the count. So down to Poole Quay with No. 2 Son for a couple of hours (read three) of LRF with a mix of SP’s, Isomes and Ragworm bits. My main target being Scorpionfish and Pollack, though a surprise would be nice.

No surprise on my saying that we had plenty of Ballans (up to a 1lb), Corkwings, Goldsinny and Blennies, but the Pollack stayed away tonight. It’s not very often that happens, but then it’s not that often that I REALLY WANTED one!!! Most fish caught on the ragworm bits as usual with a couple of Blennies on Isomes. Various Sp’s used to try and tempt a Pollack, but there you go.

I did, almost right at the end of the session, manage to bag a solitary Scorpionfish though, so not a total loss for the comp. Always a pleasure to catch one of these fish, and I am often surprised by the variation in colouring.

It was nice to see a few small Mullet feeding off the boat hulls while we were there. Soon be time to target them.

Scorpionfish - Poole Quay

Scorpionfish – Poole Quay

Scorpionfish (Long-Spined)

Scorpionfish (Long-Spined)

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Following my teaching session with No. 2 son on the Tuesday, I found my self with a few ragworm left over. Now I hate waste, so I just had to use them for something. So out with the LRF gear and size 10 jigheads and a trip down to Poole Quay was slipped into the evening. Needless to say as soon as I mentioned the trip to Michael (No.2) he was keen to have a go himself, so out with the spare LRF gear, a few SP’s and Isomes just in case, and down to the Quay we went.

One of the main problems with LRF fishing at this venue is the massive quantity of natural bait available to the resident and visiting fish. In addition to this, they are fed a large quantity of worm and fish baits by local families and tourists out crabbing / fishing with the youngsters. As a result SP’s and Isomes catch, but nowhere near as well as naturals. No worries, just use small half inch to one inch pieces of Ragworm, Squid or Mackerel. Lets be honest here, LRFing is a highly enjoyable, ultra-light finesse method of fishing. There are purists out there who state that you are not fishing LRF style if you use bait. Sorry, that’s rubbish. Wise up you people and match the hatch. If that means ignoring the artificials, so be it.

To the crunch, we had a cracking session with plenty of rod bending action with the 0.5-5g LRF rods, 6lb braid and 4lb F/C leaders to 4g size 10 jigheads (a bit heavy but the tide was racing, lol). Goldsinny, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwings, Gobies, Black Bream and Pollack all showed with the largest fish being a few Ballans around the pound mark. All magic fun with the finesse gear. For those of you who haven’t yet tried this, do so. I promise you will enjoy it. I’ve been LRFing for close on two years now and just love it.

A few photos for your delectation, with a special mention to the awesome lime green Ballan caught by Michael. I’m well jealous of this fish.

Goldsinny Wrasse

Goldsinny Wrasse

Ballan Wrasse (Boring Colour)

Ballan Wrasse (Boring Colour)

Corkwing Wrasse

Corkwing Wrasse

Mini Black Bream

Mini Black Bream

Awesome Green Ballan Wrasse

Awesome Green Ballan Wrasse

All together we probably had around 25 fish during our 1.5-2 hour session. Not bad considering the strength of the tide and the large amount of weed sweeping through. Some great sport with the Wrasse diving strongly for the holes at the base of the harbour wall. Michael is even more hooked now.

 

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