Monday, 21 June 2010

Mini Species on Weymouth's Stone Pier

Weymouth is a mecca for sea anglers and I had three days to hopefully add a few species to the list. Research suggested that Weymouth's Stone Pier would be a good venue for targeting mini species and that I could expect small wrasse, blennies, scorpion fish, black bream, pout and pollack if I scaled down.

Following a couple of early starts I decided on a lie in and a late breakfast at my Bed and Breakfast. Mini species apparently feed best during the middle of the day as this is when predators are least active.
I decided to use a barbel rod with 10lb main line which would enable me to both cast a couple of ounces of lead and provide good bite detection. A simple paternoster rig with a size 10 hook to 8lb fluorocarbon baited with an inch or so of rag worm was to be my approach.

Lowering the bait at the side of the pier saw rattling bites most casts from small ballan and corkwing wrasse, most weighing from only a couple of ounces to maybe a pound at best. Ballan wrasse are exquisitely coloured with turquoise, acid green and reddish brown markings over both body and fins.

Apart from a single pouting it was a wrasse a cast. Periodically shoals of grey mullet would drift through, I initially mistook them for mackerel and spent a couple of hours spinning for them without success. Talking to the locals it was clear that mackerel had been very scarce.

I returned again the following day for another short session before watching the England game against Slovenia. If anything it was even hotter, the wrasse didn't mind and once again it was a bite almost every cast. It is surprising how hard even a small wrasse fights.

I also spent a couple of hours float fishing hoping for a garfish without success. I noticed that one of the locals was using what appeared to be a huge waggler taking a half ounce loading with the stem marked in stripes. This offered much better bite detection than the traditional sea fishing float I was using. I intend to make some up before my annual family summer holiday to Looe next month.