Sunday, 24 August 2014


There was a rare weather window this morning as well as good tides so I was on the road for 3.45am, ooof! The fish were there and I had a follow on my fourth or fifth cast as the sun came over the eastern horizon.
I could pad events out but it all ended in frustration. I had five offers, two hook ups and got owned not once but twice, once at low tide in weed and then my braid being cut off on barnacles. For it to happen twice in a morning surprised me. I hit the record button at the pause on the first run, this second run against some stiff drag was something else, you can see me thinking about turning a notch up on the drag but I felt it was fine. It’s a great noise braid ripping through the rod rings but better however when it ends in victory.

Owned from Martin A on Vimeo.

A proper fish! In hindsight the fish was heading straight for a pile of submerged rocks in the middle of a small bay, think this lady’s been hooked before and she knew the layout better than me by all accounts. Owned! I cut another 10 seconds off the video as the language wasn’t great. It’s left me thinking about rod choice when fishing a mark like this, first time since I bought my HPR three years ago, maybe I was just unlucky, maybe I was just shite, suppose on this occasion well never know.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The hunt continues

In my limited experience of Loch Ken I’ve found it to be somewhat of an enigma, full of promise of big Perch but also challenging, large and dour for the most part if I’m honest. Generally when I occasionally fish here with Stewart we trawl the loch with lures which is a standard tactic on big Scottish waters I guess, good for prospecting large areas and it generally delivers some results. On a trip last year I had suggested that we should try something different, by no means a new approach but something we've not tried. This trip was to be bait and wait, bring the fish to us in other words and then try some drop shotting when the Perch found us.

We did some trawling for the first couple of hours and Stewart picked up this battle scarred Pike with wounds on its tail and mid-section. 
Shortly after this fish we set up shop and put two anchors down fore and aft to stop the boat swinging in the wind so we could present the baits and groundbait accurately. Shortly after the mix started going in Stewart was into a run of small Perch before I had washed my hands which give or take a few quite spells set the tone for the day.
This greedy little fish took a prawn and  popped up lobworm cocktail

Then the Bream arrived. I’ve only ever caught a couple of small one’s in the past so they provided some entertainment amongst the stream of small Perch.

We ended up with about 15 in total

The amount of Crayfish attacking the baits was ridculious, even with popped up baits it looked like they were climbing along the running ledger snood and pulling the bait down.

I felt a tap and lifted into this 1 pound Perch which then looked to tear off under the boat and around the anchor rope? It soon became apparent that it had been taken by a large Pike. I played the fish for a while hoping that it would stay on. After a while I was optimistic it would, just as I was expecting to at least see the fish it let go! Not happy.....

We agreed to continue where we were till 6.30pm and then trawl our way back to the car. On the last drop of the day I had this fish which I was hoping was the big Perch I was desperate to get.
Not the intended target but the biggest Bream of the day. I had one a little smaller than this take a prawn but they seemed to love the lobworms.

We had some action on the way back and I landed my first Pike of the day, followed by losing a bigger fish and then another jack.

Stewart had another Pike and a Perch  before we put the boat to bed and hit the road. All in a nice days fishing where we caught more fish than we normally would and specifically more Perch than we would have trawling.

On balance I think we were unlucky not to pick up at least a 2 pound Perch but this approach is worth exploring again in the future, with a few changes we might catch a break. Another way to go about it might be locating the Perch and targeting specifics groups of fish, for this an electric motor and some upgraded electronics would be required, or maybe a kayak..... 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A few hours on the loch

Stewart joined me on a trip to a loch we’ve not fished together on for a couple of years. We split up to cover some ground and ended up with mixed fortunes.

I found the Pike and Perch in the mood to play on a mix of lures, Abu Atoms, Savage Gear 4plays, Daiwa Duckfin / D fins shads and Senkos. Stewart managed a couple of Perch and broke his rod….ouch!

They were in a jumping mood which put a shine on a grey day.
Gravel chops!
Not massive fish but good fun this, was the smallest of the Pike
The Perch were in a finicky mood preferring to tap at the lure when it was stationary as they do at times.

We had a move about 10am and I came across a much bigger fish which I played for a good while  before it spat the hook. I then lost another fish but managed a Pike of about 4 pounds before it was time to leave.

A couple of Bass before the weather broke

I managed out a week past on Friday. The forecast over the best tides in August was pants so I squeezed in a few hours before the wind and rain blew the coast out.
Not given the Feedshallow a run out for about two years but after going through a few lures I had two small Bass on it. Great action but a poor casting lure IMO but the fish liked it. Not really a fan of lures with three trebles. I should have taken the middle one off. Normally on Bass of this size the middle treble causes damage to the fish but in this case it's where it should be.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Welcome to August

August has started like a damp squib. As I drove down on Friday night Radio 1 had just started their Ibiza weekend which reminded my I’ve not had a good night out for a while. The tunes were great, the tides were shite but the times suited me. I know better but went anyway. 10 hours fishing, 230 miles driven and the two smallest Bass of 2014 landed.
When I moved on Saturday morning things looked up at my new venue with what looked like a log swimming in the waves behind my surface lure for an excruciating yard or two but it wasn’t convinced enough to  touch the lure.  4 hours later this was the only excitement of the day other than tormenting terns and gulls anytime my lure splashed down. The weather was breaking down with some rain and strengthening wind from the wrong direction so there was not much to keep me focused on the back of three hours sleep.