Sunday, 30 July 2017

Windy old day with Scary Mary

I had an invite from Scott to join him aboard Scary Mary for another sortie to Luce Bay. On this occasion  we were to fish the Drummore Tope festival, typically the weather played its part, day 1 one was cancelled and day 2 looked like it might be a struggle.
Leaving the harbour conditions didn’t look or feel too bad and after catching enough Mackerel for bait we got down to business setting up a chum bag and dropping the anchor into the building sea. Right from the off we had an increasing wind against an ebbing tide which made for a very uncomfortable start to the day, in fact, the whistling in the rigging of Scary Mary seemed to increase by the minute. I don’t recall every being seasick, Scott sucked on some sweets, we both hoped for the best in this respect as today would be a test.
Not a bad start, with a decent enough Tope opening the score for Scott for the day. Some time passed, the wind increased and the rolling sideways action and stumbling about got the better of us. We lifted anchor and headed inshore, the tide would change direction and when it did it would hopefully, let us sit in one direction, frankly it was a rank rotten day to be afloat!
We set anchor in some shallow rougher ground, with not much happening I had a rummage around Scott’s boat and cobbled together a make shift lure outfit. Apart from the occasional doggie coming to the bait rods I picked up the odd Pollack and Cod on a soft plastic and lead head combo. This kept my mind off the conditions; Scott had tanned half a bag of sweets by this point. I would imagine a trip to the dentist will be on the cards pretty soon….
We agreed it was time for a move offshore again but not before this smashing red cod took my Tope bait which was a nice surprise.
Arriving back in some deeper water we wondered if we would have enough time to salvage something from the competition?
Scott got on a Huss with some length to it.
I added another species with an ok Thornback and also a slightly better one not too long after.
When the bell rang we were glad to hear it and made a run for the beach.
As it happens I think we did ok given the conditions. I didn't hang around for the prize giving, Scott did, which was a wise decision , he picked up  3rd place in the Tope section and 1st in the Huss taking home a tidy selection of tackle- well done big chap! It sounds like I narrowly missed out on Thornback prize by 2 cm. It was good to catch up with Scott again but we need to organise better weather next time, that today was brutal!
Speaking of better weather, I managed to eventually meet up with Craig on a cracking evening recently. The objective was to hopefully get him his first Bass, we did try and I was fairly optimistic but unfortunately it didn't happen. I managed one small fish so the blank was off. Next time we're out I'll be in the fly rod as well. I'm determined to get him a fish or two before the season is over.



Sunday, 23 July 2017

The house always wins

We don’t know what cards we hold or how many hands we’ll get. The best we can do, up or down is enjoy the game while we’re at the table.
It was great to be out this afternoon. 4 Bass and the rain stayed off despite the forecast. After a week of bad news it was one of life's small victories.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Back on my Perch

After my last few sorties in the salt I fancied a trip back to the loch. I love my Perch fishing, just something about them.
Fin perfect
They didn’t seem to be as spread out as they sometimes can be, maybe the bright conditions? This hasn’t stopped them in the past but today they still seemed to be tight on structure.

Fishing huge waters it pays to have a quality sounder. It doesn't mean that when you find them you'll catch them but it certainly helps.
Top right, same feature shot from the side. It looks like a rock ridge or maybe a wall, certainly has some straight edges.
The fishing wasn't bumper , I went 2.5 hours without a fish at one point. I would find a few again and start catching them in little bursts. I threw some bait around as well as lures which helped.
My only Bream, don't mind these but they don't half smear you up. I left my sponge at home so I had it baked on my drysuit...nice!
Good fun
I think I used most of luck up on the first year fishing from the kayak but it was pretty much all I did that season. So no monsters but nice Perch just the same. I guess like any other season/species results vary from year to year.
Another scarred up Pike, this time, I think from one of its own kind. These always get me when you hook them drop shot, hope it's a monster Perch, till they hit the accelerator. 



Monday, 10 July 2017

Quantity not Quality

I had a late start on Sunday and wasn’t on the water till 1pm, just in time to catch the ebb. I decided to leave the bait rods behind for this trip, I didn’t want any distractions while searching for Bass today.  I often thought about fishing this stretch of coast from a kayak, way before owning one. On the barren days I would often wonder what it would be like, just a little further out, beyond the range of my best casting lure, on a good day with the wind behind me. Most of us have probably had a few such thoughts. There’s a lot of tide here, more than I’ve fished in so far from my Outback so I was looking forwarding to exploring the area.

I had been fishing for a couple hours with a mixture of trolling, casting and jigging and had one hit before I decided to get in the thick of it tide wise. I had the light wind at my back and the tide running about 2.5mph in the other direction, there was some nice 2/3ft waves tumbling and breaking behind me off a point which needed some consideration. I was able to hold position and fish, but it wasn’t easy on the peddles. I was sure there would be a few fish around. I changed lures and while doing so drifted further back. This did the trick on the next cast I had a Pollack, at least it was a start. This continued and I had about five or so, good fun but probably not worth the effort to keep me where I was, I’m sure on another day these might have been Bass. The tide slackened a little and it flattened out so I decided to have a troll about 400 yards offshore.

A humble Bass but I was glad to pick it up so hit the waypoint button to mark the spot.
I had a scout around the area and picked up another one about ten minutes later.
Nothing to shout about size wise but these were fish that I wouldn’t caught from the shore unlike the other Bass I’ve had so far from the yak. Anyone who hasn't caught even one of these little fellas before would be surprised how much they pull for their size. I was wishing I had the fly rod with me, next time maybe.
I explored a few reefs a mile or so away, chased a few seals out their hunting spots which is a novelty, it’s normally the other way round. I picked up a couple of School Bass but on my return to the waypoint area  again, all I could find were the same size fish, in numbers, ending the session with 14/15 small Bass and as many Pollack over the course of the day.
The two hour drive home and getting in just before midnight wasn’t any fun right enough. A small step in the kayak Bass game but an interesting day just the same, more questions than answers however, isn’t there always?


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Failing in style

With a favourable forecast and the opportunity to take a day off mid-week it made sense to try and put a Tope aboard. Having missed the seasonal pack Tope rush of late May and June it might now prove a little tricky to achieve. The word was Luce Bay wasn’t fishing that well for them and with the small tides this week I wasn’t overly optimistic.

Just minutes after launching I was catching Pollack to around 1.5 pounds which were feeding well, they had the drag working and my light rod in a nice bend every couple of casts. Before I knew it about an hour passed and I had to fight the action distraction and get on with the job in hand. Unlike my last trip mackerel appeared abundant which I thought might be a positive sign on the whereabouts of the target , after harvesting what was required I set the anchor and dropped a bait down. It wasn’t long before this was picked up and I wound down to connect the circle hook with the target, Tope on! This joy was short lived, Tope off, after the first run….

Still, can’t complain. The weather was great, lots of action to keep me busy but unfortunately no Tope. I must have dropped my first bait on the nose of what appears to have been the only one in the vicinity.

The only Bass on my session which provided a great scrap on my XLNT2 rod. The fish took a FBM on the drop, first time I've caught on this lure, it's got its fans, I'm not really one of them yet.

I had three big Thornbacks and only one dogfish, result!
Despite the look on my face I was pleased with the quality of this fish.
When the tide allowed and I could get past the Mackerel, jigging the lure on the bottom produced Grey and Tub Gurnards on a regular basis. I had an absolute monster Tub drop off next to the yak. It must have followed the lure right off the bottom and took it only a few feet down.