Friday, 30 July 2010

Beware the Blenny!

As this was a family holiday apart from my sharking trip, all my fishing was in short sessions lasting from 1 to 4 hours.

A visit to the tackleshop suggested that I could expect to find bass from the rocks in front of the Tom Sawyer pub and that sandeels were the best bait.

Wednesday evening saw me wandering along the river on a flooding tide searching for sandeels. Half an hour spent jigging mini sabikkis saw me land a dozen sandeels.

Still using a carp rod matched to 10lb line I float fished a sandeel just off bottom in the gulleys between the emergent rocks that form this part of the coastline. Twice the float went under, the first I missed and the second was a small pollack of around a pound. After dark I legered mackerel sections only twenty yards out. Again I had two bites, missing the first and landing a lesser spotted dogfish from the second bite.

The following evening I joined the holiday makers on a three hour conger trip. One conger was landed between ten anglers, not suprising as the bait supplied was hardly fresh and it was a spring rather than neap tide.

On the Friday I travelled to Mevagissey for an early morning session and fished the harbour wall.

The first hour was spent fishing a sliver of mackerel in the hope of a garfish. A single pollack resulted. A switch to a running leger and an inch of ragworm saw a procession of small ballan and corkwing wrasse responding before I hooked something that didn't fight.

Checking my Collins Fish of Britain and Europe confirmed my that I had caught my first tompot blenny. It bit me!

A change over to the float, a 5SSG loafer float fished at 4 foot saw me land another small pollack, miss several bites and hook and lose something that screamed off at a rate of knots before coming adrift! I suspect that it was a mullet or bass.

Earlier in the holiday my great-nephew Jacob had caught two blennies on a crabline. Jacob was so proud of his catch that they were brought over in his crabbing bucket to the pub for formal identification. I failed miserably as I needed my book to confirm that these blennies were Common Blennies also known as Shannies.

Jacob briefed me on his secret spot and I spent about fifteen minutes on my final evening stalking some fish that were swimming along some submerged concrete steps. Several missed bites later I hooked my first shanny. They really are aggressive fish homing in on the ragworm section as the bait was slowly lowered onto the step. In one day I had been bitten by two species of blenny, apparently blennies feed on barnacle penises, luckily I was bitten on the finger!

Postscript: I discovered that the record for a tompot blenny is little over 5oz caught from Mevagissey in 1995. I had missed out on claiming a british record today!