Sunday, 19 August 2012

16/08/2012 - North Esk

Time - 1500 - 1600
Water - Normal
Weather - Nice
Method - Two fly set-up, Wickhams/Greenwells Nymph
Total - 1
Species - Brown Trout
Size - 6 inch

A quick session from Valleyfield down to Eskmill. I've totally neglected local fly-fishing this season, mostly due to the amount of rain and the rivers being up more or less all the time.

This was a maiden expedition with H who is trying to hone his fledgling fly fishing skills.

There was another fly fisher out who reported one plus a few offers. Another dude was bait fishing in the Ele's hole. I didn't entice anything until the last pool alongside Eskmill, where, when I was reeling in, a daft wee brownie decided to take the Wickhams.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

10/08/2012 - Port Seton Harbour

Harbour view on departure
Water - As previous night
Weather - Lovely
Where - East wall
Time - 2030-2130
Method - See text
Total - 0

The weather and tides were similar to the previous evening (tide later, sunset earlier of course) although the breeze was up and the sea had more of a chop about it.

There were three anglers where I'd been on Thursday although the adjacent (east) platform was free so I headed across there. As I arrived I caught up with a local gent who was thinking about setting up too, though he wasn't keen when he heard how scant the offerings had been the previous evening. After a bit of encouragement he attached a silver lure to his rod and immediately hooked into a Mackerel which he returned. He declared early it was from a "shoal of one" and so it turned out.

I employed a new tactic I've been meaning to put into practice for a while. Instead of anchoring Mackerel lures to the bottom with a heavy weight (increasing the chances of a snag), I suspended them (four silver flashed hooks) under a bubble float and weighted them with some plasticene which allows an easy adjustment of the weight should I be able to add bait (Pollock/Mackerel strips etc) to the lures in due course. It also has the added 'bite indication' bonus of using a float.

The other rod used the toby from the previous evening although this was eventually lost low and close in on a sub-surface harbour reinforcement. So I switched to a Flying C which is surely as good a lure as any.

For the last half hour I noticed plenty of small fish close in on the outside of the harbour as well as in through the entrance. Although I couldn't get a good look, they appeared to be feeding, occasionally flashing their sides as they changed angles in the water. I obviously dragged my lure through them a few times, although I seemed to be getting attention, they refused to become hooked.

The fish didn't agree and shunned both tactics. In mitigation, I barely spent an hour at the harbour. I was over half way there when I realised I'd left all my sea rigs at home and cut a good 50 minutes out of my fishing time returning to get them before setting off again.

Friday, 10 August 2012

09/08/2012 - Port Seton Harbour

Port Seton Harbour on arrival
Water - Darkish cloudy
Weather - Lovely, very light breeze
Where - Harbour wall (west)
Time - 1930-2130
Method - Silver flashed hooks, toby and Pollock live & dead bait
Total - 4
Species - Pollock

On my first sortie to the shore in this neck of the woods I didn't get quite as far along the coast as Port Seton Harbour. However a mate who'd fished it previously informed me that the water off the harbour wall is deeper here and therefore makes it more likely to be able to reach fish. He'd previously taken Mackerel without bait.

Looking up the Forth Estuary to Inchkeith Island
The weather (including forecast) was excellent and high tide was about 2040. With aforementioned buddy working til 1730 this made the conditions and availability fit nicely.

The sea was almost flat calm as we could see on the drive down. On arrival there was one dude fishing off the other (east) harbour wall, leaving the west wall to ourselves.

Cockenzie under the clouds
I began with weighted lures (silver foil flashes) chucked as far as I could having been reassured they catch fish here (they don't, in my experience, at Granton). I put a toby on my second rod to 'double' my chances.

Quite early there had been a couple of splashes in the harbour entrance, most likely of some fish breaking the surface. By the time I had my spinner set up, my mate had been at his for a while although he kept connecting with seaweed. I resorted to jigging my toby off the side and soon began getting a little bit of interest from what turned out to be small Pollock. After a while I decided to use these as bait and attached them to the lure rod and chucked them out again.
Not much bigger than plankton

A Pollock with chunks out of it
The newly baited rod attracted some attention. A couple of pulls and plenty of little bounces, but no fish if/when I struck. The Pollock bait was taking a hit though with the usual cartoon bites taken out (The photo isn't the best as I had the rod in one hand, the camera in the other and the fish/bait was spinning and swinging in and out of shot). I'll need to devise a more intricate hook set up to increase hooking chances I think.

Quite late on, there was a flurry of fish breaking the surface in front of us with around 10-12 fish appearing from nowhere in maybe a 20-30 second spell. In this mini-frenzy, my buddy connected with a Mackerel but despite rapid relocating of my rods, they were away almost as soon as they appeared.

His fish was quite thin, but at 15.5 inches was almost as long as my four tiddlers put together.

Sun setting over the Forth
Nothing else was landed, but we left reasonably chuffed. It's always good to get off the mark at a new venue.

Arthurs Seat to the left
In the first sunset photo you can see a small rowing boat (dark blob), this had left the harbour and was doing some fishing a wee bit further out. I'll definitely have to get further down the road to getting myself some sort of fish seeking craft.

Solitary Mackerel (not mine)