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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
well we got our solway trip in eventually although i was a bit worried it might be a bit late for some of the target species at the chosen marks and it may well have been.

the plan was to fish the recognised tope/smoothie mark at auchenlarie with what i thought was a slim possibilty for a bass ,over high on saturday morning/afternoon ,then on to burnfoot for a good old doggie bash with bonus species such as huss and eels a possibility. sunday was to be spent at rascarrel targetting bullhuss ,a species i had yet to catch.

myself george and barry (a novice with only a couple of east coast trips under his belt ) headed off just after 6am on saturday and after stopping for breakfast arrived at the layby a bit later than originally intended .

now although ive fished several matches in the area and had heard all about the mark ,i had yet to fish it .i knew we would be cut off over high water for a few hours so we headed down to the area hoping to pick the right rock ! for anyone thats fished the area ,the pics will tell you we fished the wrong rock which involved a seriously dodgy climb on to it ,and precarious and uncomfortable fishing once on it.we were on the rock to the left of the one we should have been on ,which to be fair to the mark ,put us slightly further out than the correct mark and allowed us to fish 6 rods comfortably,but at between 20 and 50 feet off the water at various points on the rock depending on the stage of the tide ,it was a bit daunting ,and barry sliding off his ledge and landing 20 feet below without any major damage made sure we were careful with our movements on it.

bites were immediate on the crab and mackerel baits we put out ,but instead of the intended smoothies and maybe a bonus tope ,it was the reliable doggies ,although i didnt know they were there in such numbers as there were so few weighed in in the auchenlarie opens that i have fished in the past.

over the next few hours we annhilated our crab and fish bait supply ,even though we were fishing mostly single hook or pennell rigs ( i had three double shots of dogs on pennel rigs over the weekend !) we still ploughed through the bait at an alarming rate ,the only respite from the dogs were a few beautiful gurnard over high to start the species count.

on the ebb the dogs kept coming ,until the main run of tide eased off and a welcome school of bass put in an appearance and we managed to pull 4 between 1.75 and 2.5 lb .im sure we would have had more if we had been in a more comfortable position and able to organise tackle and rigs to suit a quicker in and out style.

the bass at the end were most welcome and had us keen to get to burnfoot after a bite to eat . burnfoot wasnt up to its usual high standards ,especially as we gave it a few hours in darkness ,but we must have nailed another 20 or so dogs ,along with a pout ,whiting and a small (very !) strap for george . the funniest moment was george dropping what he thought was a dog on the way in ,only to find a lobster claw attached to his hook ,and then me winding in a lobster that only had one claw on the next cast !again we all had a fair few fish to keep us happy ,and barry was well chuffed after having landed a good amount of dogs on his first attempt fishing for them.

a couple of glenmorangies at the gordonhouse hotel (would highly recommend it to anyone head ing down that way ) then off to bed for an earlyish (not early enough as it turned out !) start in the morning.

rascarrel was another mark i had heard a lot about ,but never fished , unfortunately there were a few cars in the car park when we got there ,and sure enough ,the flat rock and the two marks to the left were already taken .after clambering aimlessly about ,and shouting hello to someone i thought was ian graham (was it ?) ,we settled down on a rock about 100yards to the right of where the shore path ends.

once again the doggies were first up ,along with some just sizeable whiting ,although the fish were at a reasonable distance and barry being a novice struggled to reach them (now he knows what to practise !) .originally we thought we would have run out of bait after a couple of hours ,but thanks to the great wee shop in kirkcudbright with the freezer full of ammo baits ,and the steady rather than hectic fishing we stayed a bit longer and just as well ,as a larger bait of half a mackerel fillet (east coast mack ,not west minnow !) and 4 sandeel produced my first bull huss ,and a good one at that .we had no scales with us (i have a new set of digital ones on order ,but they hadnt arrived prior to us leaving fife ) but ive felt the weight of enough double figure cod to guess it was a low double although the pics dont show the girth of the fish i reckon it was over 10 lb. maybe some of the guys on here that have more experience of them would have a better idea.

one things for sure though ,it taught me a lesson on bait size as i know im prone to fishing baits that are a bit small (except for cod ) due to my match brainwashing ! it wont happen the next time we are there.once again the solway left me wondering why i had spent so much time match fishing for estuary flounder and undersize fish when i could have been down there . uit will be receiving a concerted effort next year !
cheers rab

pics to follow once i have resized them .
 

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sounded like a cracking couple of sessions, well done on the fish you all caught.
 

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that sounded a cracking sesh yous had.some well nice fish caught to, good huss :)
 

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nice bull huss rab, to fill a braw weekend

hoping i can do the same come tuesday, half the size will do me
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
cheers lads ,even though all the bass together wouldnt have added up to the one kevin has in his avatar they were very welcome as they were the first ive had in a while.

the huss was great for me and has strengthened my resolve to put a concerted effort into the small shark species available from our shores ,and while i know it wont be guaranteed that we get tope or hounds next year it wont be from the lack of trying !

the highlight of the trip was the constant smile on barrys face though ! i think thats another one hooked for life ,as he is still buzzing about catching all those dogs ( im sure it will wear off after another couple of thousand of the wee buggers !) and despite the gashes and grazes he cant wait to get out again .
cheers rab
 
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