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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Two new spots with decent fish.

Today I decided to go on a reconnaissance mission in places I've been postponing fishing for too long!
The weather finally settled a bit and it was a mix of showers, sunshine and SW winds... Not perfect by any means but good enough for me! Both spots are near well known marks and at this time of year I try and avoid the crowds as much as I can, hence it would be very positive if the new spots produced a couple good fish ..!
I would be fishing the ebb straight after high water as the second spot is easier to approach over low water. This meant a late start (not advisable at this time of year) but the first spot was very deep and hopefully the fish wouldn't be put off by the bright conditions.
After a short but energetic stroll through dense shrub, I was on my first spot, a sheltered, deep bluff wall. I started with a Salty bait/gulp combo and could feel that the bottom further out was fairly clean while it was getting reefyer with some weed (not kelp) at the base of the rock-wall. Most nibbles were coming close in but didn't develop. After a while, I changed to a 4" paddletail on a 22g cheburashka and finally after lots of little bites I got a positive take while the lure was curve-falling towards the base of the wall.
The fish fought hard and stayed deep, a few runs later I got it further up and saw it flash, but then it took me to a snag and managed to unhook itself soon after. I persevered around the same area and soon after I got a take and solid resistance. Another good fight but this time I managed to get the fish up and away from the snags...

A solid fish.
The bites slowed down after this fish and only managed another smaller one before deciding to move and drive to my second spot.
Now the second spot is very close to Neist Point but Ive never seen anyone fish it and after an easy hike and a less easy decent  I was standing on a ledge overlooking a kelpy bay.
I started with a 4" paddletail on a 18g cheburaska but only got a couple 'snapy' bites that didn't develop. In my experience this kind of bites indicate limited interest yet the fish usually come around with a change in presentation (most times a more natural one). Thus I switched to a 4" Ribster and the bite came bang on first cast! A weird fight ensued with the fish swimming towards me at times (!) but soon got it under control and on the rocks, another good fish for the day..

Another one...
I kept to the same presentation and had a few more fish straight after along with some missed takes. Fish can be fussy at this time of year hence all the misses. After dropping a fish close in at some point, I kept retrieving only to be hit again close in by another (or possibly the same) fish and after a spirited tussle I got it on the rocks. While I was truing to lip-grip it I noticed something in its mouth. At first I thought it was seaweed but on closer inspection it was a hook from a feathers/sabiki rig that the fish obviously managed to cut loose from!

This isn't the first time I encounter this and it reinforces my opinion that pollock and most fish in general are good at overcoming hooks stuck in them (especially away from vital organs) and don't feel too worried when they manage to cut me off in the snags.. Got to admire their tenacity though!
Hopefully these winds will die down a bit next week as I need to get some fish OTT!

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod: APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96 MLX
Reel: Shimano Stradic FK C3000
Mainline: Unitika Shore Game X8 PE 1.2
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 18lbs
Lures: Mainly paddletails and straight Sp's on 18g-22g cheburashka

Saturday, 5 August 2017

August starts well!

Had a wee guiding session the other day with some guys from the West Coast of US. The guy who organised the session, William, has been fishing for most of his life and loves his saltwater fishing. He wanted me to put them on the fish and experience what Skye had to offer...
Since it was their first time on Skye I decided to head to Neist Point and was glad to see the conditions near perfect! Overcast, slight wind and a small tide.
We hit one of my favourite spots and started casting metals and softplastics on cheburashka...
 I showed the guys what to do and it didn't take long for the fish to show up!
William was in first with a nice pollock followed by the young guns. It was evident that the fish were in an aggressive mood and showed a clear preference to the metals...

William was first in!

As the tide started to change the bites started to become less frequent... Time for the softbaits
to shine... Used 3"-4" paddletails on 18g-22g cheburashka and Texas rig with a 20g tungsten bullet weight. The switch in preference towards the more 'finnessy' soft plastics was noticeable.
A few more fish caught and it was time to wrap it up.
Everyone caught and the weather helped a lot! William found pollock very much to his liking and that comes from a man who fishes for yellowtails and Calico bass...
Couldn't wish for a better start to August!

One of the better fish of the day...

A happy angler!
 On the way back we encountered a lot of garbage just left there from people who had camped over and it really baffles me why would anyone spoil such an iconic and beautiful place?!
I really hope these rubbish are not left by anglers as it only takes a few dirty idiots for extreme measures to be taken and I've witnessed many marks becoming off limits to anglers because of this..
How hard is it to pick up your rubbish!


Hopefully things improve soon...

Tight lines!

Monday, 31 July 2017

New spot in the wind!

The other day I had a half day off and thought it was a good opportunity to check out a spot that I've been wanting to fish for ages... Its very close to one of my favourite shallow water marks that I favour when there are strong Southerlies (as it has been lately).
I had my Apia with me and also wanted to get some footage of it in action and was thinking that Id soon have it in my sheltered spot..
After going through various lures I managed to get two pollock on a metal and softplastic but the bites were few and far between.
I thought it might be worth checking out the aforementioned spot even though it was exposed to the wind. A short walk later I arrived to the ledge and the sea here was much rougher with plenty of whitewater close in. The kelp was almost up to the surface close in but further out the bottom was cleaner and the depth grew abruptly though still only 10m or so..
I decided to stick to lures that would swim through the kelp without snagging and thus the two most effective presentations were: a 20g Salty Bait baited with a slim sp, and a slim jerkbait style sp on a 30g Crazyg offset jighead.
After a few casts I started getting some serious takes and fish in quick succession. They were clearly there in numbers and were staging just in front and to the side of a rocky spit where the wind and current 'broke'. These were good 4-5lbs fish and this signifies a good mark in my book!
The only problem is that this spot is tidal and thus I had to leave after a while as the water was rising..
Definitely going there again!
Below some pics and a video of the session.

A hard fighter!

Salty Bait slays...

A bruiser...

Tight lines!

Gear used.
Rod: APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96 MLX
Reel: Shimano Stradic FK C3000
Mainline: Unitika Shore Game X8 PE 1.2
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 18lbs
Lures: 20g Duel Salty bait with sandeel sp, 30g Ocean Ruler offset Crazyg jighead with 5" jerkbait style sp.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Feels a bit more like summer now...

The past week the weather has been pretty good although with variable winds and it finally feels a bit more like it should for the end of July!
Had a late afternoon guiding session on Friday that didn't produce the expected results for various reasons though the brisk easterlies and hungry seals played a major part to that. Thankfully everyone caught and it was also the first session that healthy numbers of mackerel showed up!

Dougie with a nice one.

Jamie with a fish caught on metal.

Adam with another one.

Fished till the sun went down...

The next day I thought to make a dedicated mackerel trip for a nice dinner and headed to my most prolific mackerel-spot. It was almost high tide and as I was squatting to tie my lure I heard some loud plopping noises.. I then realised that the plopping sound were coming from diving gannets and indeed there was a number of them working quite a large area of the bay and diving for what I presume were mackerel as I started getting them from the first cast!
It wasn't as intense as say in a blitz but they kept at it for over an hour, something that indicates large numbers of mackerel there.
I was fishing 20g slow jigs with a teaser in the form of a long shank #8 hook baited with a 2" Gulp sandworm hoping to pick up anything. This rig had no chance of hitting bottom and the double headers were coming in thick and fast!
Closer in I'd pick up pollock and also the first wee ballan of the year! I saw it chase the metal and after a little waggling of the sandworm in its face it took it!
On the teaser.

On the jig...

Hello there..

A lamprey mark?
Didn't manage any more wrasse though, something that I find peculiar.. Even more peculiar was when ending the session and gutting the mackerel, I tossed the guts and heads in the sea but there was absolutely nothing bar a few tiny coalies coming for the scraps! I have done this in the past in different locations and its always a pleasure watching the multitudes of smaller fish (wrasse mainly but also gobies, blennies and little congers) congregating and fighting over the scraps but nothing happened this time....
Anyway, hoping to do some LRF over the coming week and possibly try and find a few ballans.. Moreover there are couple spots I need to be checking out and will also try and get some footage of my Apia and new Gamakatsu travel rod in action...

Tight lines

Monday, 17 July 2017

The mad Geordie Fishos!

Last week I had two days guiding with a trio of anglers from around Newcastle that had booked all the way back in winter! They were 3 very experienced and mad keen anglers that had been on Skye previously but got bogged down by storms and didn't have good fishing in general.
The guys were hoping it would be much better this time but also they wanted to pickup some pointers on lures, gear, technique etc as they don't do much pollock fishing.
Luckily for them they arrived on the first good days after what felt like ages of wind and rain and my hopes were high for a great start.
I met the lads on their cottage early on Tuesday and they told me they had targeted Neist the day before with the bait gear and bagged up on Spurdogs! I took this as a good sign and we set off for Neist again.
On the spot we found crystal clear water and calm as a millpond! I advised the lads to use natural coloured lures and Mick had the first cast. Before you know it he was in and we just couldn't stop him! lol. Fish after fish and most of them well over 5lbs! Ian and Keith started getting their share of fish as well but Mick had found the honey-hole and was capitalising on this... I knew there were good fish there but I was pleasantly surprised at how many of them came out! A clear indication that with experienced anglers the quality fish will show...
It was evident that the natural coloured lures were doing the business but even so after a couple hours the bites tailed off. We then put on the metals for a different presentation and some more quality fish came out.

The three musketeers!lol

The man of the day!

Keith with an average fish.

Decent pollock on the metals.

After a while the bites dried up completely and it was time for a move... We hit my favourite spot but got no joy and instead of staying put and wait for the fish to become active again, we decided to drive to the north part of the island and target another mark.
Unfortunately due to the unbelievable traffic on the road (High season) it took us longer to reach the mark than anticipated and we were loosing water fast.
The second mark wasn't very deep and it tends to fish better halfway through the ebb, but we were there almost on low tide and after a quick flurry of fish, things went quiet again.

Keith with a dark kelp-living fish...

Another nice one...

We decided to move again to a deep mark but other than a few average fish nothing else showed. It was a long but spectacular day and everyone went home with a smile on their face!
The video of the first day.

The second day was meant to be Thursday and I had planned an afternoon start so that we'd fish into the dusk period, hoping for some topwater/shallow action. On the day the rough weather returned with persistent westerlies, rain and a drop in temperatures. We were going to fish Rubha Hunish and I thought we would be able to find some fish in such an extensive mark...
We had a good start with a few fish coming in a short time from the deepest parts, but after moving on the day developed into a grind...
The fish shutdown and although we knew they were there (nibbles, unhookings etc) they just didn't want to commit. A few came here and there on a variety of tactics but it was very slow going..
Towards the end of the day and with the sun going down , conditions improved a bit and we moved to a sheltered shallow bay for a chance to get some topwater hits.. Finally I had two strikes but no hook-ups on the Tacklehouse Vulture while soon after Ian got fish on an orange-bellied Ima Komomo...
They hit better at the shallow runner as expected and it was cool actually seeing them hit the lure. Not big fish by any means but on a day like that very welcome!

... In he rain...

The only wrasse of the sessions!

Best fish of the second day...

On the Komomo!

Not big but aggressive!

It was a great pleasure guiding these mad geordies and we even exchanged some info on fishing in Ireland and Norway, places that they've fished in while I've yet to visit...
Hopefully this crap weather eases a bit soon as I'm keen to checkout a few overlooked marks and also catch some more fish on the topwaters and jerkbaits.. Also need to find the mackerel and wrasse!

Tight lines!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Another guiding trip with pollock on the fly!

Last week I made a trip with Frazer and his son Rowan. Both keen fly anglers coming from Manchester and wanting to try their hand at fly fishing for pollock and also modern lure fishing.
We arranged to meet in the morning as the tide was ebbing at a kelpy mark that holds fish very close to the shore. The lads didn't have time to purchase fast-sink lines and specialised flies that I recommended to them but in the end we thought there's nothing wrong with trying... Besides, the spinning gear was at hand as well.
Thus both lads started off with 8wt setups they use for their trout fishing and various flies.
It didn't take long and after a few casts and adjustments Rowan caught the first pollock of the day (and his first on the fly!) with the fish getting his rod in a good bend! Soon after I got it in the net and hoisted it on the rocks. Only a 2 pounder or so but on this gear it fought very well!
We persevered and the guys took turns to cast in the tight spot... A few more pollock followed by both anglers and I was fortunate to be wearing my polarised sunglasses and witnessing most of the takes as they happened mere meters away from the rock I was standing! Heart-racing stuff and it struck me how unfussed and natural the pollock acted when taking the flies. None of the ferocity you encounter with say, topwater lures or metals, just straight opening the mouth and the fly disappearing in it, with the fish then swimming towards the kelp  without realising it was caught at times!

Superb fun on the Fly!

Watched this fish take the fly!

Unfortunately we hit the low tide mark soon after and the fish moved off the shallows and couldn't get them on the fly any longer. It was then time for good old fashion lure fishing that gave a few more fish on softplastics. The fish would bite very subtly for some reason but it was here that my Apia's sensitive tip helped immensely...

He's in!

Proud angler.

Another one...

After a few fish for Frazer and Rowan the mark went quiet and it was time to move. The next mark was Neist and although there was some swell coming in from the South I thought we'd have a good chance of some fish.
I intended to fish two spots but finding the one too rough and after dropping two fish there we decided to move to the second (sheltered) one.
Once there things were much quieter on the swell and fishing front but soon young Rowan started getting some quality fish! He seemed to have found the honey-hole and had all the fish come to him!

Father and son in action...

He found the honey-hole!

A bruiser!
Soon it was time to go though and we made the long walk up to the car park. It may not have been a lunker-filled day but considering the conditions and the time of year, it was good going.

Late June, July and even into August are my least favourite months for big pollock fishing as the fish are fussy, spread out and feed in shorter spells than in the colder months. Typically early mornings/dusk sessions seem to do the deal and shallower areas can be more productive.
In any case seeing the pollock take flies almost at the surface was fantastic and I may even look into getting a fly setup at some point...!
It was a pleasure fishing with such passionate anglers like Frazer and Rowan and glad that they managed to get their first pollock on the fly!
Will be getting a video of the day up soon.

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod: APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96MLX, .
Reel: Shimano Stradic FK C3000
Mainline: Unitika Shore Game X8 PE 1.2
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 16lbs
Lures: various