Saturday 25 July 2015

Trip to Loch Awe

A invitation to Loch Awe from friends found me fishing for trout and perch from a small pier using  size 6 hook, bubble float, 8lb line and a bunch  of worms, after  10 minutes i noticed my bubble float take a dive ,striking into the fish i soon realised i had hooked into a Pike. No way i was going to get this fish in as i had no wire trace on were my first thoughts. But after 10 minutes i still the fish on when i seen it first time and the hook was just in the corner of its mouth.
After another   5 minutes I  finally beached it. My line finally gave out but i managed  to grab its tail,
                                                                The fish weighed 22 pounds

Thursday 2 July 2015

SW Club Match Results

1st J Soons with 12 fish for 843pts .
2nd S Wason with 11 fish for 756pts.
3rd J Wilson with 6 fish for 396pts.
4th S Wilson with 3 fish for 225pts.
5th S Clark with 3 fish for 164pts.
6th I Grant with 2 fish for 117pts.
7th N Wilson with 1 fish for 60pts.

S Wilson longest fish 85cms.

9 members fished.

Gordon's antics

I had entered the Reel Sea Fishing summer species challenge online earlier in the year and the target is to tick off as many of the species on their list between March and September. I’ve already caught spurdog and thornback ray earlier this year, but had to catch them again and photograph within the timescales permitted.
The weather forecast was not really favourable for many venues from the boat this weekend, so I opted for my usual winter stomping ground of Loch Sunart – a banker venue for thornbacks and spurries………… or so I thought! My plan was simple. Get up very early and hitch the boat up, early Corran ferry, get out to my usual mark and bang out both species, and then head out further West to anchor up in deeper water and see if I could add a conger eel to my tally.
Rising at 4am, I was on the 6.30 ferry and had lines down near Resipole just over an hour later – and waited, and waited. No spurs at this mark, only LSDs munching my baits every drop. Deciding that a move was in order, I upped anchor and relocated to the world famous “Goldie’s hole” nearer Salen. Sadly, once again no spurs but plenty LSD and small whiting. I did manage a couple of Thornback rays though, so not a complete washout.
Around 1.30 I got the anchor up again and headed down past the fish farms to deeper water nearer to Laga bay. The exact point where I had previously caught a few congers now had three orange buoys from the fish farm on it, so I moved about 50 yards away and got the peg down in 380ft of water. The LSDs were in abundance here too. No matter how big the baits were, they still got wolfed. One other thornback followed, but no congers or spurries to be seen.
I fished two heavy rods (Daiwa TDXS1230 with Daiwa LD50 reels) and a lighter one with smaller baits (Daiwa Kenzaki 12-20 with Daiwa Saltist LD30 twin speed reel). My Loch Sunart standard traces are 150lb mono with luminous beads crimped hard up against an 8/0 size circle hook. I fish these either in a 2 up/1 down or a 3 down formation. The beads form the biting trace and keep the sharp spurrie teeth away from the mono.
After re-baiting several times with calamari squid and fresh mackerel, I settled back for a bit of a snooze as it had been a long day. I had just closed my eyes at around 3.55 when I heard a couple of clicks on the ratchet of the saltiest reel. “Luvverly Jubberly” thought I (mistake!). Here comes a nice conger or spurrie thought I (Mistake!). The rod doubled over in the holder with a very familiar nodding and 50lb braid started coming off the reel. A skate had taken my bait – and sods law meant that it was the lighter 12lb class rod!
I’ve had a fair few skate in my time, and it was soon obvious that this one was a decent size. An hour and five minutes of bent rod fun later, I finally managed to get it off of the bottom and a few turns of braid on the line. This was a decent fish and no mistake. My thoughts soon turned to what I would actually do with it when I got it to the surface as I was solo on the boat? I had gaffs out, return net at the ready and a T-bar disgorger, pliers and gloves all close at hand. I had previously managed to land and return a 177lb skate close by in similar circumstances, so knew the score. As the leader knot passed through the top eye of my very tired and well worked rod, I caught a glimpse of the giant white underside of the fish below the boat. Big skate!
As this female came to the surface an hour and forty minutes after first being hooked, I managed to get one gaff in and safely removed the hook. I got the other gaff in cleanly and then had a couple of goes at lifting the fish in. There comes a time when a man has to admit defeat – and this was it! There was no way this big girl was coming in. Even if I had got it on board, I would have had to get it back out again after measuring. No chance! A quick selfie pic – which no way showed the true scale of the fish (that gaff is two and a half feet long for comparison) – and it was time to say goodbye to my new girlfriend and let her return to the deep.
I got the boat cleaned up a bit and decided to return to an earlier mark in the hope of a spurrie, but failed miserably and got packed up around 7.30 after twelve hours afloat. This was not the end of my day though and after a quick call to my DRM (Domestic & Revenue Manageress) – or wife as she is sometimes known, I came up with plan B.
Plan B was to drive home via Loch Etive (and Norie’s chippy in Oban – great haggis supper) and see what conditions were like there. I arrived at Taynuilt bang on low water at 10.40pm as some other anglers were packing up on Kelly’s pier. I launched the boat around 11pm and made my way up the loch to where the first fish farm was and tied up to a buoy as it was now pitch black. I got all three rods down and fitted tip lights to aid with bite detection. After around forty minutes or so, I had landed and returned five small spurdogs. My original intention was to stay out for the full tide which would make recovering the boat fairly easy at 5.30am on Sunday morning, but it had been a long enough shift and I got the boat recovered around 1am without any hassle and was home just after 3.
Long shift, but job done. The RSF Summer Species Challenge hunt details can be found here if anyone else wants to enter;


Nice Perch and Smoothies for Martin

Not much salt in his water at the minute, but a wee bit just to keep his hand in.