During March the south east coast of Scotland had been getting battered by north east winds, which meant that most of my normal marks were too dodgy to fish. So I decided to follow the wind and head west to the Clyde estuary. Normally when I head west I am drawn to the sea lochs a little further north, however I was teaming up with fellow Tronix pro staffer and top internationalist Billy Buckley. Billy was keen to see what an LRF approach would throw up on his home marks and I am always keen to find new places to fish.

I met up with Billy in the morning and we headed to a mark near the Erskine bridge, a mark that was capable of throwing up pollack, flatties codling,whiting and haddock. However, we were fishing over slack water which is never the best time to fish and as the ebb started to happen we decided to move further down the coast as we weren’t getting much action at all.

A little further down the coast around Port Glasgow we spied an old pier and it just looked the perfect territory for LRF. Structure and LRF go together like hot dogs and mustard so I just had to give it a go!

Being an estuary mark the pier would give good shelter from the currents and I decided to fish it with a dropshot rig. My tackle comprised of an 0.5 -7 g solid tip rod, 2000 size reel, PE0.6 braid to an 8lb leader. The rig itself was a 5 foot leader with a size 4 Sab Polo wormer tied with a palomar knot a foot from the bottom of the leader. Onto which I clipped a 7 gram dropshot lead and a weedless rigged medium pink Isome.

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I am a fan of these hooks as they are pretty versatile with a fine wire and wide gape, they work very welll for nose hooking lures but because of the wide gape they can also be used to weedlessly rig worm style lures. Even though the hook is positioned nearer the nose of the lure than a traditional offset hook it still maintains a great hook up rate. A combination of the dropshot rig which allows a fish to suck in the lure with little resistance and using a scented lure counteracts the position of the hook on the lure. Most fish will suck the lure in with great confidence and these confident takes easily transfer into solid hookups.

The great thing about a dropshot approach and especially a weedless dropshot rig is that it is perfect for fishing against structure. I can put this rig into the gnarliest of ground with very little risk of snagging up. In the event of a snag a steady pressure will dump the lead and allow me to get the rig back.

My first thought was to find some scorpion fish, so with that in mind I cast under the pier and began to work the lure against the pier stanchions.  Didn’t take long before a greedy scorpion fish engulfed a 4 inch Isome!

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With a scorpion ticked off the list I began to work the outer edge of the pier. Casting alongside it with the dropshot rig I began a slow retrieve letting the lead trundle along  and working the lure a foot from the bottom. I was targeting the slack water behind the legs of the pier these areas of slack water make great ambush points for predators.

As I worked the lure into these areas I suddenly got a vicious take and a fish screamed of down tide. I thought it was a decent pollack but as I played the fish back I could see flashes of silver. A feisty Clyde sea trout had snaffled my lure! Billy belted off to grab the net as I played the fish. Luckily I was well above the trout so I had great control of the fish, the soft playing action of the rod soaked up its mad dashes and soon it was ready for the net.  A great fish and a great fight and an unexpected capture from the rather industrial surroundings.

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We released the fish and headed further down the estuary to near Greenock. By now the tide had dropped considerably but on our final mark we managed to find a load of wee coalfish whose rattly bites kept us entertained for the last hour of the session.

Tight Lines

Jake

 

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