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Monday, 22 June 2020

Mission Seatrout.

This is the first year that I have managed to devote some time and effort into going after these beautiful fish in Skye. The change of job and availability of spare time have contributed greatly to this. Previously I'd get them sporadically while rock fishing or lrfing for flatfish, especially in the south of the Island. Thus this year I've refined my gear and approach to suit. I use my MajorCraft Crostage Light Game CRX-784LG travel rod as its light yet can cast and work a variety of lures and weights. Moreover, the rod's moderate action limits hook-pulls and its overall performance has managed to prevent me from buying a specialised rod!
I still use my ever faithful Shimano Stradic 1000fc loaded with 0.6PE Shimano Kairiki braid and 6-8lbs fluorocarbon leader.
The lures I've had better results with were 7g-10g slim spoons and hollow jig minnows.
I mainly target areas that I had caught them before and in various states of the tide. Late afternoons into the evening seem best. Found them more localised in bays around low water, while more spread out and near points around high water.
So far, my hook up to landing ratio is pretty good on this setup and sometimes I can't help but think that these fish could actually have a better chance of escaping if they only kept themselves in the water and just made runs like most normal fish! lol
Unfortunately, most of the fish come laden with sea-lice even though there are no fish farms in that area.

Pretty fish...

On one of my most successful lures.

One of the better ones. Notice the lice.

I reckon I'll stick to the trout theme for a bit longer and then hopefully go after some pike and perch in freshwater. Weather's fair so got to make the most of it!

Tight Lines.

Friday, 5 June 2020

A few cucumbers and some lunkers!

Didn't fish much last week but I did manage a short session in a loch targeting trout and instead, getting cucumber sized jacks! Also had a few hours on the SIB after work.
Some pics below.

Good fun on the UL gear.

Starting him young!

Cucumber on the Ryuki.

The loch seems to hold good numbers of jacks and I'm thinking it'll be worth another visit with some bigger lures and also topwaters to get some better fish and more fun!
Off the SIB, the fish were keeping deeper than usual (possibly due to plankton) and were quite picky. I think we're well and truly into early summer patterns here that favour smaller/lighter lures and finesse presentations with the exception possibly of lipless cranks, although they wise up to them faster right now. Some good fish in excellent condition, a tad subdued on the fight though...

Good condition.


Man its good to be out again! We're getting some iffy weather this week but I'll be out first chance I get.

Tight Lines

Sunday, 31 May 2020

And we're back!

Its been a busy few days for me as I've been trying to do as much fishing as possible since the lockdown eased and the good weather prevails.
Firstly it was the trout. Was raring to target them more seriously this season and I had a great day in a favourite loch of mine. The sun was out and the fish were slow to begin with. I started with the Ryuki but had to change to a golden Aliexpress spoon as they were finicky. They were keeping deeper than usual and prefered the steady retrieve and flash of the spoon. Caught some lovely brownies and also sea trout that were surprisingly subdued in their fights...
The weather changed and the rain started. I moved to the next bay and then the fish got far more active hitting the spoon close in and high in the water column. Time for the Ryuki, and now they were hitting it like mad! I had fish get hooked, then come unstuck only for another one to hit the lure a few meters further in! Very rarely I've had trout do that before!
I have added an extra split ring to all my spoons and now use narrower and longer shanked trebles. I had very few missed bites and the hook hold ratio was better than usual...

A beautiful sea trout!

Really into them just now...

Ryuki slays...

A fatty that hit a rod length away!

Doubled split rings...

Yesterday I also managed to get out on the boat for a couple hours. Found the fish shoaled up in a deep bay and targeted them with the A-Rig and lipless crankbaits. I got a few smaller fish on the A-Rig but due to the depth, current and possibly the fish disposition, the lipless cranks proved far more effective. Nevertheless, the fish seemed a bit subdued and would hit OTD just before touchdown and less on the retrieve. Lipless cranks with some shimmy or roll on the drop were more effective.

Where's that lure now?

Ahh here it is...

Solid fish!

A-Rig only gave little ones that day...

It was fantastic getting back to fishing and I'm keen to do much more trout and freshwater fishing this Summer. I have started making a list of hill lochs that have potential and I'm hoping to target them soon enough. Moreover, I'm looking forward to my birthday this month as I'm planning the traditional visit to loch Morar and possibly Arkaig on the boat.
Hopefully, the restrictions will ease even more and I'll be able to travel further afield.

Tight Lines

Friday, 3 April 2020

Rock fishing from a remote Island and underwater lure testing.

I managed to get another day out last week as I wanted to try out some different stuff.
Firstly, I wanted to get some underwater footage of the chatterbait-cheburashka and the Umbrella rig (A-Rig) whilst fishing. Secondly, I wanted to land on a nearby uninhabited island and do some rock fishing there. Its usually a secondary mark from the SIB but I wanted to have a more thorough go at it from the shore.
The day was a bit windy with a little swell coming in, easily fishable nonetheless. I started off the sib and soon enough I had a lovely, full bellied pollock smashing the A-rig on camera! This was then followed by a couple fish on the chatterbait-cheburashka. Both presentations definitely worth further scrutiny for Spring fishing...
She came in like a missile!

By mid-ebb, I decided to head for the island and start shore fishing. I covered the area where I tend to get better results from the SIB and used mainly 30g chatterbait-cheburashkas and normal cheburaska, rigged with 12-13cm slim or curly tailed soft plastics.
It didn't take long to get into fish and I managed to land a couple average sized pollock but also got reefed by a couple too. I reached a rocky point that had a kelp covered ledge close in and then dropped into a good depth. I worked the lure near the bottom and got a bite within the first few casts. I struck hard and it felt heavy. The fish took some drag and was a proper tug of war to get it through the kelp, but I had her in the net after a few minutes.
A lovely female of 3kg that was released after a couple pics. Definitely fishing this mark again!

Quality fish.

I had another hook up on the very next cast that felt like a good fish, but unfortunately it got stuck straight in the kelp...
All in all a very successful day and it seems that this Spring, despite the mixed weather, the fish are up for it!
Below are a couple videos of the day.

Its quite amazing seeing how hard the big pollock hit the A-rig! But from watching more of the footage I'm going to play around and try and put more weight on the head of the rig, so that it falls head down and has more action on the drop and slow speeds. Also I'll try with more Texas rigged sps. I reckon its a lure that can prove useful in early summer as well when fish like tiny baits...

Playing  around...

Hopefully this lockdown will be over soon, so that I can travel further afield and target them spotted beauties!

Tight Lines!

Saturday, 28 March 2020

A few socially isolating SIB outings...

With all this Coronavirus talk and measures picking up momentum, I had a couple sessions while the weather was nice as I knew it will be a while till I'm out again next.
The fishing has been so so as the pollock are spawning and are fussy. Moreover, they are not found in all of their usual marks.
Its also, still too early for the Summer species so most sessions tend to involve a lot of moving around and changing presentations.
I tend to find most fish a little deeper this time of year and in more exposed areas with plenty of bait around.
Presentations that can draw more positive bites are fishing lipless crankbaits, blades and lately the chatterbait-cheburashka(!). I find that fish like 'annoying' lures this time of year as they don't feed properly, hence natural presentations tend to get mostly finicky bites.
On the other hand, the crankbaits and blades need just a ''bump'' and the trebles provide far easier hookups.
The chatterbait-cheburashkas are simple cheburashka rigs that I've added chatterbait blades. My idea was that the combination of a natural-feeling soft plastic combined with the flash, vibration and noise of the blade (along with the intense action they give to the sp) would make the fish more aggressive towards them.
On the water, they worked as I thought they would and I had good results with pollock, coalfish and even codling going for them! The latter appeared recently in an inshore mark and provided me with great fun. They would hit the lure when bumping bottom as usual, but also even 5-6m above it! I'm not sure what they were keying on but they were mixed in with pollock and coalfish and I found tiny sandeels in some of them.

Not a bad size to them..

Of course they would hit them!

Fussy eaters.

Lovely markings.

Below I have some pics to show how I add the blades to the cheburashka. I buy the blades in bulk from Aliexpress. There are tons of options but I prefer medium-sized blades in a roughly diamond shape.


A very interesting rig...
I think I'll try and stay at home for the duration of the lockdown but with the beautiful days we've been having lately, it's really hard! Moreover, I really want to go for some trout fishing as well, but we'll see how everything goes. 

Stay safe and Tight Lines!

Monday, 2 March 2020

Choppy day on the sib and a new shore mark.

Since the arrival of my son, fishing time has been obviously non-existent, but as I've got an understanding wife, I was allowed to get out of the house for a few hours. Weather is still crap but we did get a couple slightly settled days that were doable on the SIB.
On the day, typically conditions were rougher than forecasted but I launched nonetheless. I was really looking forward to trying out a new underwater camera I got recently (Olymbros underwater camera). I've always been fascinated watching the fish react to lures etc and it was only a matter of time till I got a camera for me.
I fished mainly with a Duo Tide Vibe Slim 140 while the swell was up, as I find that slim heavy lipless crankbaits (and metal vibration lures at some places) can be very effective this time of year. 
Got a few chunky pollock on the Vibe and when the swell died down and hit the low water mark, this bite slowed down and fish started preferring soft plastics instead.

Chunky Prespawn fish.

They smash the Vibes.

By now the current and swell had died down and it was time to try with the camera.
Its a floater(!) so I had to put a 30-40g weight to get it down. I tried a few lures just to see the different reactions from the fish and I have to say that the footage offers a lot of food for thought...

Then yesterday I wanted something more of a challenge and decided to hike to a mark I've wanted to try out for years! There was a storm coming but the spot would offer shelter.
It took about half an hour's hike to the mark and it did look fishy. The only problem was how precipitous it was and fish extraction would be problematic.
I started fishing with metals but didn't get a whiff on them so I switched to cheburashka rigged chartreuse paddle tails that got hit very quickly. The fish were keeping low and the bites were hesitant but I hooked up into 2 fish that, unfortunately, lost on the way up to the ledge I was on.
I decided to look around and find a more suitable spot that would allow me to land fish and as the tide ebbed more, I was able to walk on the rocks under the ledge I was at.
I only had limited time left but finally managed to winkle out one in the end. Blank avoided so it was time to head home.

 The weather is meant to be better this week so I'm hoping to get out more and get some more footage on the underwater camera. There's a couple new spots Id like to try and fish from the SIB as well.
I also look forward to the opening of the trout season as well and I'll definitely have a few trips for them as well soon.

Tight Lines