Sunday, 30 November 2014

Catch of the day

It's been 6 months since our wedding so we had a look through the pictures again today. I took my rod with me for the weekend as you do when visiting an island and quite rightly took pelters for it. When we had a few pictures taken at the beach it was an ideal opportunity to get it out.
We had a fantastic day and cracked it with the weather after a wet start.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bowing out on a blank

That’s the Bass lures getting packed away for 2014, had a 5 hour session today without a touch. It’s only been ten days since I had a couple of fish but things felt different today. The rockpools had no signs of life, shrimps, fry, tiny gobies; they all seem to have moved on. I’ve no doubt there are still some fish about which will fall to baits, might even have a try myself if I get the chance but that’s it for me using lures.

I took a final look at the rocks from the top of the hill, had a smoke and pondered what kind of winter we might have and wondered when spring will arrive in earnest. Having had a Garfish and some nice Bass in May I might start in April if it feels right.

As I walked back to the car I stopped and washed the salt water from boots  in a little burn that I walk across , my usual ritual here as it  saves me doing it when I get home.
When I neared the car I was met with the roar of diesel engines and heavy plant. I’d spotted the signs a few months back giving notice that the wood was being harvested. I stopped and spoke to the guys for a few minutes, a full winter’s work ahead of them apparently. The forest had been planted in 1960 and now it was for the chop, quite literally. What was a nice walk will be like a battlefield next year and the crafty Jay that I had spotted five minutes earlier darting between the trees will be looking for a new home. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A touch of silver frost

After feeding Dogfish for two days last weekend I was keen to get back to a style of fishing that floats my boat. The weather over the last week has been windy with a few decent interludes and plenty of rain of course. On that basis I didn’t think the forecast would hold for 4 days and let me pop my nose down into the SW on Sunday, but low and behold it did. There was some frost overnight and although I wasn’t on the road at the crack of dawn it was cold and foggy pretty much all the way to my spot.

I thought the water clarity would be worse than it was but thankfully it was OK. There was however a nasty swell that I would need to be mindful of, apart from that it was great to be back where I like to be of a morning. After about 30 minutes the mid-morning sun warmed my face and with no potential Dogfish on the radar I was a happy lad.
This Bass made me happier, as fit as a butcher’s dog it slammed the lure at close range and fought well against a pretty brutal drag setting due to the ground I’m fishing here. Landing the fish was problematic in the swell, you can see the fish has some scale damage from barnacles, after recovering in a rock pool it went on its way. My shoulder has responded to the physio really well and there were no major issue in the first hour, my bag however had to be dumped as I could feel it starting to cause a problem. When my second fish came along I couldn’t be bothered to get the camera, not much in it between them anyway. With the tides being so small today the fish did not seem to be where they normally are at the given stage of tide. It was basically downhill after a good start, actually surprised I caught any fish. I  did also spend some time in this session thinking about next year and the challenges I’ll be faced with transporting, launching and retrieving a kayak here. They are fairly substantial but they are doable. I’ll need to be fit and have some time on the water under my belt first but I can’t wait.
 I took this on the way home, a flooded field at sunset with the fog starting to roll in, stunning.

Monday, 10 November 2014

A weekend up north

My club hit the shores of Loch Sunart at the weekend with 8 boats travelling up for what is always a fairly social event with average results in terms of the fishing. On Friday afternoon reports started to come in of the first incident where a pre-trip trailer service resulted in 4 nuts being left loose and wheel falling off a trailer at the Bridge of Orchy. This set the tone, I left all my clothes in my car, boat engines failed, rods got broken and someone had suspected food poisoning and passed out behind a toilet door at 1.30am on Sunday. Despite this the guys all stuck at it catching Conger, LSD, Thornback, Pollack, Whiting, Poor Cod, Mackerel and a Skate was hooked but lost. The Spurs were elusive with less than a dozen caught over the weekend despite lots of effort. Gordon caught a fish on Saturday about 12pm which was tagged and caught again 5 miles away on Sunday at 2pm which was a surprisingly quick recapture.

Gordon with a couple of fish
It’s been about 13 years since I first fished Sunart. I took my boat up there and accompanied by another boat we had a great weekend ,there was even a rogue suspected escaped Halibut caught. This style of fishing on that venue is not for me any longer so I don’t see myself returning. About 7 years ago it became much harder to get a result for what is a fair amount of effort, my hearts not in it.

I’ll now be resting up over the next few months till Feb/March as I’m currently nursing a major shoulder problem. Miles on the clock and years of fishing with what is these days a massive amounts of reps casting lures in a session appears to have taken its toll. I have physio and possibly surgery ahead of me; learning to cast left handed is also an option which will require patience I probably don’t  have.