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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Pike pb smashed!

Last year I received an invitation from my friend Adam, who I used to work with in Glasgow, to go and fish with him for pike in Loch Lomond.
Adam and two of his friends are all hardcore pike anglers and are starting a serious venture into guided fishing in Loch Lomond. Obviously, I couldn't say no but with the year being as busy as it was, we only managed to do this a few days ago...
Woke up at 5am and set off South. I was in the loch by 09:30 where I met Adam. I was very surprised to see him trailering a lovely 5.5m aluminium boat kitted with a 60hp mariner, trolling motor and serious sounder!  A bit of boat envy from my part for sure...
The weather was meant to be rainy and windy in typical Scottish summer fashion. It didn't stop one bit! Nevertheless, we started hitting drop offs and then shallow weedbeds and there we found most of the fish.
We were both using 20cm Savage Gear 3d Linethru Trout swimbaits, though I had a medium sink one while Adam had a slow sinker. We would locate weed patches on the side scan and then we would retrieve our baits over and around them.
 Adam was in first. A nice pike hit his swimbait hard and after a few runs, she was in the net. A few pics and she was back in the water...

Lets go!

Nice boat...

Adam with the first one of many..
I noticed his lure was in albino colour and thought that might be what triggered the fish to hit (as we were covering a small area). I switched to a similar colour yet still a medium sinker.
A couple casts later and Adam was in again! Another beautiful fish came out from the warm water (20C!). This time we suspected that it was the action/sink rate that the fish preferred and I changed to a perch coloured slow sinker as most of the baitfish in the area seemed to be shoals of perch.
After covering one patch of weed, we would move with the trolling motor another 20m or so and cover another patch. Invariably most hits would come quickly and there were usually a couple fish from each spot.
with the shallow sinker I quickly got a hit a couple casts in and got my first Loch Lomond pike, albeit only a jack. Still, this indicated that we had found the pattern of the day...
We kept covering the weedbeds and every new patch we'd either get a fish, hit or a follow. I tried a couple jerkbaits and glidebaits too and had a fish come unhooked from a 20cm Savagear Bleak Glide Swimmer.
I reverted back to the Linethru and soon after I got a solid hit. I struck hard and felt a heavy fish on the other end! It fought well, making some good runs and refusing to come anywhere near the net, but soon enough, Adam expertly got her in the net. A clear PB without a doubt. She measured 110cm and probably around the 10kg mark conservatively. My previous PB was an almost 1m fish from Loch Awe but this fish dwarfed it!

Such a beast...

...Deserves 3 photos...

I put the big girl back in the water after a few pics and man hugged Adam for helping me catch such a fish.
After this fish, Adam got another one that trashed his swimbait and it was becoming apparent that we were running out of slow sinkers! The fish were in a vicious mood and damaged quite a few lures throughout the day.
By late afternoon it was time to go and pick up Adam's friend Robert and together we would hit a few different spots and also do some perch fishing!
We tried a very weedy bay and there were shoals of perch pushing bait on the surface! I caught a few on the dropshot but after seeing Adam catch yet another pike, I put on a 17cm 4d linethru Perch and started covering the area. Its action is faster than the trout's in the same speed while still slow sinking.
I didn't get any hits on straight retrieve so I let it sink momentarily, it got caught in some weed  and then I ripped/popped the rod to get it free. As soon as I turned the handle, I got hit!
It wasn't a massive fish around 90cm but this attacking behaviour really reminded me of largemouth bass and pollock, hitting a lure after it causes disturbance getting out of a snag.
We then moved to hit some docks and more weedy bays as the sun was setting. We covered an area where the water was boiling with perch and I put down the pike gear... Catching a new pb was enough for me and I only needed perch!
I put on a 3" sluggo on a dropshot rig, aiming for bigger perch and started covering the area. Got a couple knocks from smaller fish and then I noticed that Adam hooked up to a pike again. I lift the rod tip and felt solid weight on my line too! It was clearly a pike and the little dropshot rod was bent all the way! I had the fish on for about five minutes and was even thinking that I might be able to land it but then the line parted... It would have been cool to have double strike fish but we cant win them all!
I persevered with the light gear and the perch went on a rampage as it was getting dark! Fish after fish on a variety of lures. Dropshot, jigs, cranks, minnows (and one almost on topwater!) they all worked. They were only small perch but it was great fun seeing them hunt so aggressively.

There he goes again!

Good times!

Perch frenzy!

Stunning fish!

How I've missed those...


Perch night fishing.

We fished well into the night and then it was time to drop off Robert and head for our tent on a wee island!
I decided to have a little dip in the water just before bed as it was surreal having such warm water while the cold rain was coming down. Adam was well provisioned with everything and after we had some food, got straight into bed.

View from the tent..

That's the way to start the day!

We started the next day at 6am. A bit less rain and even the sun came out at some point.
We hit the same weedy area that we started yesterday, but other than a couple hits and another ruined slow sink Linethru Trout (!) we decided to move.
Tried a very weedy bay with some reeds and lillypads and I got hit first cast! the fish didn't stick but Adam got another straight after. After releasing his fish, I cast my 4d Perch and got smashed on the retrieve by a heavy one! This fish fought even harder than yesterday's Pb with strong drag screaming runs and only after it went all round the boat, was it ready to get in the net.
A very fine 104cm lady was photographed and swiftly released.

Lovely marked.

A hard fighter.

I was a very happy man and felt like job done to me. we fished a bit more but as I couldnt see anyway I could top these couple days, I asked Adam to get me back. I had a long drive and an even longer lure shopping list to order! 😁😁
What an amazing 2 days that was and I have to say that the past couple trips have reignited my passion for freshwater fishing! Now I just need to get some perch and pike on topwaters!
I wish all the best to Adam and the lads in this new venture and Im sure they'll do well. Anyone wanting to get some action on Loch Lomond I can recommend Adam as a great guide. For any enquiries please email:

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod: Sportex Black Pearl travel, 2.7m, 80g
Reel: Shimano Biomaster SW 4000XG
Mainline: PE1.5
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 25lbs - 30lbs and metal trace.
Lures: 20cm Savagear 3d Linethru Trout and 17cm 4d Linethru Perch in slow sink.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Some great boat and shore sessions!

The weather has been surprisingly tame lately and this has allowed me to visit some good marks on my latest guiding trips.
On the rocks, the shallower marks have been more productive and the mackerel have started to make their presence known. Great numbers of 50-65cm fish in a variety of lures with the odd 70cm+ showing up. They're in perfect condition though and well fed. The topwater game hasn't really materialised in the last few sessions as it was just too sunny and the tides were wrong but we did get some of those water-breaking hits with a couple fish hooked. The metals have gotten good results from the deeper spots but finesse with sp's is still king.
The boat fishing has markedly improved with 3kg+ fish showing in every outing now! Moreover in my last session with a serious Russian angler, we experienced a mental early morning topwater bite! Fish of over 2kg were crashing on the topwater and we caught a 2kg and a 2.7kg! It was mesmerising seeing 4 consecutive lunkers jump after the lure one after another! I definitely need a camera with a good zoom...
Hope this trend continues but first, Ive got some pike fishing in the Bonnie Loch coming up!

SIB fishing getting much better!

Bar of copper!

Hello my friend!

Two at a time from the shallows!

Happy lads!

Double hook up again!

A few nicer ones too..

Dark kelpie...

Serious fish for serious angler...

Awesome fish on the topwater.

Even bigger one!

I have some ideas for offering something a bit different on my guiding trips and hopefully Ill have more to tell soon.
I'm surprised that my gear seems to be going strong still, even after such heavy use and limited maintenance... Saying that, I had to buy a new tip section for my light shore jigging MC Solpara as the old one got too soft (!). Not 100% sure about the technicalities but I think the resins in the blank tend to disintegrate after a while and with heavy use, giving the rod a softer action...
Nevertheless, now its time for more fishing! Ill do a serious maintenance check in the end of Summer...

Tight Lines

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Summer fishing and further developments.

We're in the mad season now and the busy days leave me little time to write down what's going on... And there's a lot happening!
Have had some great fishing off the SIB and rocks. This year fish seem to be in excellent condition and much fatter than previous seasons (in salt and freshwater!). The sandeels have inundated the shallows and fish are showing a strong preference for small, thin lures.
I have also had a couple days in the freshwater where I fished for trout and pike with my fiance for my birthday. My new 4 stroke 20hp Tohatsu has recently arrived as well and this makes outings on the SIB so much more enjoyable!
Moreover we have started offering accommodation in our cosy 4 berth caravan on Airbnb and I'll be offering deals for anglers wanting somewhere affordable to stay along with guiding from September onwards.
Unfortunately, I can't write too much due to limited time, but below are some recent pics and vids.

A 3.2kg fish from the SIB.

Mad fun on the fly!

Sandeel imitations rule right now.

Such hard fights on the fly gear.

Another 3.5kg fish on a metal!

Been a while since I had such a nice pike.

Another one!

Some lovely trout!

Forgot how well pike pull!

Savagear linethru trout does the damage.

Baby ferox??

DUO Ryuki slaying...


Loch fishing takes some beating..
First sea trout of the season!

My client Andrew with a dark pollock.

Hottest day of the year and the fish were hitting!

It's sad how quickly Summer's going by for me but I'll try and make the most of it! Looking forward to my topwater fishing along with some more freshwater outings and even baitfishing(!) for various targets this Summer. Hopefully, weather and time will allow for it.

Tight Lines!