Friday, 26 April 2013

The hunt for the skipper continues

I was back in Dundee as usual for a midweek stop off on the way back up to Aberdeen. The water level would be dropping after the rain of last week and my concerns were about this, water clarity and size of the tides which were building up. Initially it looked OK so I started to work my lure up and into the current and along the colour changes. I felt confident that there would be a fish or two around. Three hours later I took the walk of shame back to the car; all that was missing was a can for me to kick along the beach….
I won’t be fishing this weekend so not one to admit defeat too easily I decided that I would have another crack on the way home. I was prepared for more of the same but on my second cast hooking a fish actually caught me totally by surprise. The fish gave a great account of itself; it had me thinking how good it might have been on a fly rod. The speed and random changes in direction were hard to keep up with, superb!

A squall came through about an hour later. I had the thought that I never seem to catch anything when it’s raining, again, another surprise as a fish thumped the lure and threw itself about in the rain and was quickly netted. The shower was so heavy I couldn’t be bothered to unzip my jacket and get the camera off the lanyard around my neck, nice little chunky, fat maiden fish, I guess about a pound.
I was starting to think about driving home when I connected again. This fish was another acrobat and took the lure on a very short line which saw it quickly netted and slipped back. Time to go home.
Three different looking spring Sea Trout, the first I think, good condition but looks like it’s spent some time actually in fresh water last week after the rain. The second a hands down maiden fish and the third for me was hard to say. It has a split tail but is bright silver, firm, solid and in A1 condition and no sign of being in a river this past autumn. So, the hunt for the elusive“skipper”continues. To anybody fishing for Sea Trout in the salt this is probably the Holy Grail. Trying to catch one of these bigger fish in spring which unquestionably has missed out heading up the river for a season or maybe even two is where it’s at, but like all good things, never easy.

Monday, 22 April 2013

On line for in-line's

Some fish to dream of in this clip. I think its Denmark.

I've not really done much on line shopping for lures for a few years now... honest! But I have managed to find one store in Europe that stocks some lures in the styles and  the variety of colours I've been after for a while. The majority of what I've purchased are in-line style lures and UV colours.

UV 's been discussed on a few forums over the winter and I believe there is something in it. I first tried to get my hands on these last year but getting them in the UK was next to impossible as was getting them from a single source across the water.  James and Callum  at Angling Active in Stirling were helpful and got me a couple in but its not something they could go big on as I dont think there is the overall demand.

 I dont really go for plugging tackle on my blog but the advantages of in-line lures in terms of fish staying on the hook are noteable. I believe they will also work well with singles which in turn will be better for the fish which are released.

You can find some info on UV here

Monday, 15 April 2013

Better odds today

It’s been good to get  a few trips under my belt with sessions on Friday, Saturday and today. I think I can call that the spring shakedown. The legs and joints are working and I’m in the rhythm with my casting and managed some fish to boot.
A better day today.  I managed to convert half of the interested fish into catches going 4 from 8, the morning being more productive than this afternoon. This was the best of them, 49cm. It’s a fish well on its way back to condition, it looked better in the flesh than the picture.
Unfortunately the camera gets absolutely nowhere near the stunning blue/green I could see as I released this fish.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tough but better than a day @ work

The Sea Trout won the battle today, went 2 from about 11 or 12, lost count over what felt like and actually was a long day, a character building session.

Its a start but the next fish took a while.
Too many things happened by way of missed chances, this was typical. With the fish coming short I put on a clouser in chartreuse/white on the dropper in front of the lure, nice in the bright conditions I thought. This will sort them. Now, today, everything was happening in the last 20 feet and I’m thinking, let’s see what they make of that with a pause at the end of the retrieve. First cast with it, two turns on the handle and bang, fish jumps, hooked on the teaser and does a cartwheel and then removes itself from the hook after the next jump. That worked out well, no interest in it whatsoever after that.
I tried a variety of approaches in an effort to get a solid hook up; I eventually did on a jaffa coloured Hansen Stripper with hook reversed for the more subtle action. So much for natural colours in bright conditions. I should have taken a picture, its yellow/orange with black dots and not really what I would normally use in clear water conditions on an afternoon but I was out of ideas to be honest.
Best markings I've seen on a fish for while.

45cm,had some trouble with this one going back but it eventually went on its way,my hands were frozen.

I did have another good hook up on the jaffa but it to inexplicably came off. Happy days. I would have been home earlier but I get the impression that there are some bigger fish about this year so I thought it was worth sticking at it.

Friday, 12 April 2013

A trip up the sea lochs

A trip down memory lane today through Rhu, Blairvadoch, Faslane , Kilcreggan and around into Loch Long. I’d almost forgotten about our antics in the hire boats on the Gareloch back in the 80’s. The game at the time was to get as close to the sub base as you could before being hunted by the patrol boat. I also remember Rodney and me strolling into the base, around where the accommodation is now, setting up a beachcaster and blasting a bait each into the depths from a nice easy fishing platform. A good Cod each in rapid succession before the guys with guns arrived. Despite being in the midst of the cold war, security, in comparison to these days was in hindsight slack I guess. Either of these two actions today would probably see you in a stress position in dark room for a day or so…..
I was off today but didn’t start fishing till about 12pm, the fish were waiting for me.

I tried for an under water  release video but just ended up with another picture...

41cm, decent enough start

After getting another fish about the same size I thought I’d be smart and set the camera up on a nice rock formation. The idea would be to get some video, maybe a jump if I was lucky. All I got was a lost fish for my troubles as it nipped the lure and followed it to my ankles before heading back out to sea. I changed lures and after a cast or two it doubled back on itself and got tangled. As I wound it in sideways it flashed and vibrated, following it in over the last few yards I saw two clonking Sea Trout turn side on and away, what I didn’t realise till a fraction of second later was that there was an equally nice fish still locked on to the lure till it too peeled off and went on its way. Gutted… any of those fish would have made the spring for me.
One for the LRF lads

I had a break after two hours fishing and drove into Helensburgh to get something to eat.  After another couple of two hour sessions the only thing I had for my efforts as the light went was a solitary small Coalie.

I’ve never fished this area for Sea Trout before so it’s a learning curve, but again, had my chances so I’ll be back at it tomorrow

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sea temp April 2013

Standing in a cold east coast estuary last night got me thinking about the sea temperature. I normally do this about now, wishing it was up and around the 10 mark which means I’m heading to the SW in search of Bass.  As you can see quite a difference year on year from my previous blog posts. We are only just into the second week, and not exactly apples for apples regarding the dates but it is quite noticeable. Let’s hope things step up a gear as the sea looks pretty cool down there at the moment.
April 2013
April 2012

April 2011

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Spring seems a long way away

I'm back in Dundee tonight but it felt more like the arctic. With some wading involved tonight the cold soon started to get to me. The only socks I had with me were the type I wear to work when I should have had the merino wool knee length numbers on as well as neoprene waders.

Anyway, fishing was alright. I had a fish in ok condition after about 5 minutes and things were looking good but that’s the way things stayed.

 I had my chances and from what I managed to see I had another four fish turn away at the end of the retrieve, catching a glimpse of an open mouth or a head just turning away at the last second. The fish tonight were deep followers and if you’re not paying attention you won’t see a thing as they don’t even crease the surface. I tried my usual trick on a regular basis at the end most retrieves; when there was a fish there they were having none of it.I saw the hail coming from a distance and I just managed to get to the car in time before it started bouncing off the bonnet. I better harden up for Norway as I think I’ve gone soft over the winter.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Sterling silver and a PB

Some fishing after a tough week at work, never a bad thing. 2 from 2 in fact , 100% return on hook ups which all too often is not the case with Sea Trout. And two crackers  at that.

No sign of fish. Slight touch, was it weed? Flash behind the lure, pick up the pace, deep boil on the mirror you’re peering into, lift the rod tip, slow down the retrieve, the pace goes out the lure as it falls kicking from side to side as it goes, the line goes tight and you realise that you were  actually paying attention and your eyesight’s not as bad as you thought it was. All this in 2 seconds. Anglers can talk some shit but that’s how it is, sometimes.
This fish was a thrash and jump merchant.Doubtful I would have landed this one without it being  an in-line set up, lots of jumps and thrashing.A quick measure( I've decided to go metric as well as measure this year:) ) and it then took a while to recover as they do when they scrap like this. 
After an hour or so I was about to head home as they’re had been no further sign of life. I decided to change lures to a Hansen Fight which I’ve painted white and added some mother of pearl to the treble. About ten minutes later the rod took a jolt and the line shot off at an acute angle. I didn’t need to work for this one, the fish was just on….In comparison to my last fish this one stayed deep, no jumps but it made 3 or 4 decent runs and then got its head down into some boulders.

57cm a peach!

The fish was going back so didn’t want to take any longer than necessary but have to say I’m disappointed its smudged as it's also my PB. It would have been nice to get this one in June when its put on a little more weight. The joys of self timed pictures.

Monday, 1 April 2013

First Sea Trout of the year

I met Sam last year through Lynne and our friends from Glasgow. As luck would have it he's a fellow angler originally from Scotland he now lives in London. We hatched a plan on a boozy night out last week to have a couple of hours fishing today before he heads south again after the Easter break. It can be a tough time of year but I was reasonably confident we might get a fish or two.

It was a frosty morning with a cold easterly wind, even colder when Sam snagged his lure shortly after starting and his arm took a dip up to the shoulder to make sure no new knots were required. I then made the same mistake and after wading out I narrowly avoided the dreaded dip when the lure came free. Not long after changing lures to a Hansen in-line in green I put a long line out which resulted in this small bar of silver below, a humble start to 2013 but welcome just the same.

Sam thought about changing his lure but stuck at it and hooked and lost a fish of around 2 pounds on a short line as you sometimes do when they’re green and close in.We both had the inevitable follows and I also had a nice fish come at the lure a few times, follow me right in turning away at the last moment…. the joys of Sea Trout fishing.

The session was cut a little short after Sam took a tumble narrowly avoiding a potentially expensive trip to the dentist. It was good to see him up within a second or two with the only damage being the bail arm on his new Daiwa. The next time we fish together it will certainly be warmer and I’ll be sure to check the beach for banana skins before we start ; )