Saturday, 30 May 2015

Worth the effort

I’ve not fished this loch for a while and today was a good day to give it a try as it provided a little shelter from the ever present wind. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to fish it from a kayak or a boat so thought it was about time to find out. Getting to the launch spot with the gear was challenging and for the first ten minutes on the water all I could think about was the return trip. This would be up hill on the return through a marsh, hillocks, dead bushes and a few boulders so I decided to park the negativity and focus on getting some fish.

Thankfully the fishing was steady starting off with a couple of Pike and moving on to the target species for me which was Perch.  

This fish had been hooked and lost before. The hook had all but disintegrated and I didn't notice the trace till I was about to put it back.

The fish seemed to have a preference for the shad you can see in one of the pictures as well as the SG dying minnow fished on a drop shot rig.

I'll feel it in the morning even with a short break to stretch my legs.

The haul up the hill after 8 hours on the water was a pain but I could still crack the odd smile when I was on the water.

                                                         More like the fish I'm after

Monday, 18 May 2015

That’s that out the way

The first Bass of the year was not going to catch itself. The wait for decent conditions to target them on lures might be a long one given the weather we have had in May so far. I had some frozen crab left from last year so rather than sit at home reading various forums I decided on Sunday afternoon that I would give it a shot. The high winds that would have torn the beach up on Saturday had dropped a little and when I arrived there was a nice surf running ,plenty of colour and some lovely driving rain. I knew the weed would be a problem and a few minutes after my first cast it was apparent things would be very difficult in this respect. I could see the weed strung out along my line building in volume by the second as the tide dropped. I did get a bite before I had to move and had some sort of fish on. The weight of the weed built up on my leader knot resulted in 20 foot of leader coming in horizontally and my second hook got snagged resulting in a break off. Having moved along the beach to find a spot with less weed things improved. I fished the best part of the tide but didn’t have any offers despite putting some nice big crab baits into surf that looked ideal. Thankfully I don’t have too many blanks but I’m happy I at least tried to scratch the itch for the first Bass of the year.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Some bait and a wait

I seem to have spent more time than usual recently looking at Windguru and weighing up what my options are of a weekend. By Friday a one day window of opportunity opened on what seems like a relentless period of high winds. With this in mind I decided to get myself back afloat and put my first Bass trip of 2015 on the back burner for at least another week.

Arriving at Loch Ken in mid-afternoon I intended to fish till dusk, start off with lures and switch to some ledgering. It was a cracking day albeit not a great time to start for the predatory Perch so the first hour or so I didn’t have as much as a touch and decided to drop the anchor for the first time. A couple of hours later I made a move as even the crayfish were absent which is unusual for here. This got me wondering about the whereabouts of the clawed menace. I should take more notice of the bottom consistency. I would imagine like crabs they might be holed up in some areas with a rocky bottom moulting around now; it’s fair to say the Perch wouldn’t be far away.

I put the hook down in an area near a sunken tree which was painted clearly on the screen of my sounder and got to work with two rods.  Having made a start on a sandwich and a mouthful of water the rod tip typically hooped over while it lay in my lap.

This was the start of a purple patch which ended in a double hook up and a massive tangle which saw me switch to one rod.
The best of seven Perch
The Bream were like peas in a pod
A really fat well fed little Perch. Is there a soft Crayfish in there??
After getting sorted out I only had one other fish before it went quite. The wind had changed my position slightly and just as I got to thinking that there might also be a Pike in the vicinity the rod tip slowly folded over as if it was snagged. I backed the drag off as much as I could and the little drop shot rod absorbed the lunges of what felt like a sizeable Pike. I eventually got it to the surface and I could see the size 8 hook in its scissors. My intention when it comes to landing Pike is to chin them out rather than carry a net. On this occasion my rod was leashed to the opposite side of the boat and too short for me to get in position. This resulted in more pressure than I had realised on the 8 pound line and it popped.  I would think the fish would be fine, using a bunch of worms can catch Pike but it’s not something you can really account for. I decided to wrap it up shortly afterwards but not before I had a few jigs around the boat to see if it was still in the area.

Monday, 4 May 2015

A frustrating day

When I made my way around the point I was heading for after a 20 minute walk I thought someone had laid a bunch of pot buoys. I stood and watched as they moved around counting seven over an area of about 100 yards at varying distances from the shoreline. Nice to see, not really a bonus when you’re after skittish Sea Trout. I don’t recall every coming across as many seals on one spot while actually fishing. There appeared to be a few pups launching themselves around in a carefree manner as well as possibly females and a big bull. The last time I was here there were two seals and each of the fish I caught were tight to shoreline. Sometimes they are a good indicator but I couldn’t see any type of fish being in the area.If they were they would be passing through mighty quickly. I walked back the way I came after a few casts. Spot number two, when I arrived it also had a pair of seals on the hunt. I was soon back at the car.
Spot number three, second cast and I had a solid hook up with a very nice fish which I unfortunately lost in the floating bladderwrack. Thinking the fish was still on I went in over the top of my waders to get it…. time for a coffee as  the plan for today was in the bucket by 10.30am. A short drive later and I was on another part of the coast, great no seals! I changed lures and put on a sparse epoxy minnow teaser. This can be really effective either below or above the lure but it does however complicate things with floating weed and snags so I don’t always use it.

A very welcome sight leaping in the two foot waves shortly after starting. Despite the days frustrations I think I might have cracked a smile. There was a downside, the energy I must have used smiling wiped me out and I feel asleep in the car for two hours.
I awoke refreshed and pushed on for the next instalment of todays events.  I made some casts over the top of a slipway along the shore and had another nice fish of about 3 pounds leaping in the air. The in-line lure was doing its job travelling right up to my leader connection and by doing so not providing the fish a leverage point at which to throw the hook. There was some fairly big waves rolling up the deep side of the slip and the glare even with my glasses on was pretty bad. You can imagine my delight when I made a stab at the fish, got it in the net but also apparently got the hook stuck in the edge of the net. When I lifted the net out all that it contained was some weed and the hook, awesome….

As I made my way back to car I picked up this little fish as well as  some information from a fellow angler visiting the beach with his son. This might end up being a handy tip with a fresh head and on another day. It was a pity to lose the two best fish of the day but sometimes that's just fishing for you.