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Scrabster Dab Afternoon

by David Proudfoot

With the forecast predicting a bit of sunshine and some of last season’s mackerel to use up I headed down to the rock ledges below Scrabster lighthouse this afternoon.

Scrabster lighthouse ledges

The rocks were quiet with only one other angler who set up approximately 100 metres not long after I arrived. I tackled up one rod with a three hook paternoster with size 1 Aberdeen hooks. This rig was baited with mackerel and launched out to sea.

Before I could get the second rod set up the tip gave the first rattle of the day. A 6/0 pulley pennel was attached to second, heavier rod and baited with half a mini bluey.

treble shot of dabs

After casting the larger bait the first rod was retrieved with a full house of dabs. A succession of double and triple shots of the prolific flatfish continued throughout the session. It’s amazing just how savage the bites are from the dabs, no matter their size.

I had only packed three mackerel fillets, along with the blueys, and with the constant attention of the dabs the bait ran out after two and a half hours. I finished with 29 dabs, nothing big but all around 25 – 30cm. No other fish stood a chance of getting to the baits before the dabs.

a Scrabster dab

The bigger baits were unproductive, mainly due to the hooks being stripped bare by the dabs.

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