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Thursday, 29 August 2019

August fishing between the gales!

Somehow its already the end of August and typically for Skye, this month brings unsettled weather.
I haven't had many solo sessions but I did two days guiding with my friend Rob from Yorkshire.
The forecast gave 20-30mph Southerly winds and we had planned one day on the SIB and one from the rocks.
I decided on hitting a Northern mark with the Sib, as it offered the most shelter. We would be fishing from Rob's Honwave T32 inflatable and after a couple pump issues, we got it all inflated and launched.
The fishing was done very close to shore and over a steep kelpy shelf.
We used mainly 12-14cm shads and soft jerkbaits on 20g jigheads.
From the off the fish showed an aggressive presence and they were all of a surprisingly good size... Most of them were well over 2kg and we had a couple that must have went to 4kg plus! The fights were spectacular and it was very difficult to stop these fish reaching the bottom. Most were coaxed out slowly and with some patience, a few broke us off and one was taken by a seal that gave the reel a proper workout!
We didn't stay long out as the wind and rain intensified but this was one of the most successful SIB sessions of the Summer!
On the way to the harbour, the waves made going a bit wet but we were soon on the slipway and glad to be getting out of the rain.

A fat mamma!

A happy angler!

Lighter coloured fish.

Excellent average size on the day..

This one was probably caught before..

The next morning the weather got even worse and we met at a shallow bay, where again, we would be most sheltered from the wind. There was some swell running that made fish a bit fussy but we managed some nice dark pollock on the softplastics but also on the fly! Rob is a keen fly angler and even though he thought that conditions were prohibitive, I insisted on him bringing the fly rod along in this mark.
It's always amazing fishing so close in for pollock and being able to see them take the fly!

Pollock on the fly!

Beautiful kelpie.

Saw this one take!

One for me too.

Unfortunately, the bad weather conditions really slowed down the fish on the next spot we hit and we decided to call it a day.
It was a pleasure fishing with such a passionate angler like Rob and seeing those bites on the fly was just mesmerising!
Yesterday, I had a SIB session with my friend Adam, this was his first time ever going fishing (!) and I was determined to get him on the fish! We fished Staffin bay mostly as again the weather wasn't good. Northerly winds and lots of rain had given a tannic tinge to the water, that made fish finicky.
Still, we persisted and after Adam got used to how the reel etc worked, started getting some tentative bites. He hooked up and lost a couple fish along with one break off but in the end he managed to get some nice fish!

Not bad for a first timer!

Perfect condition.

Even though the wind and swell meant that most fish kept low, the tide was right for trying topwaters. I put on the Mechanic Lures Autowalker 115s and had a few casts in a good looking spot. I'm always amazed at how hard pollock can slam topwaters and not get hooked! See the clip below..

 I'm now looking forward to the Autumn months, as this means that Ill get more free time and hopefully some settled weather! Also, its time for the serious fishing to begin!

Tight Lines!

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Topwater time and Island hopping!

Had some fantastic sessions lately and the settled weather along with the aggressive fish, made for some very exciting fishing!
Firstly, I had a good day out on the SIB with my friend Milos. It was his first time fishing in Scotland and I made sure he caught his first Scottish fish! Whats more, he caught it on a topwater lure that's made by a friend, within the first few casts! We had loads more pollock throughout the morning, mostly on sps and metals. Also, we picked up some mackerel and a wee wrasse on a Breaden metalmaru with the LRF gear.

First Scottish fish...

...And on a topwater!

Metalmaru for this aggressive wee fella. 

LRF pig!

Mechanic Lures Autowalker 115s...

Then on Sunday, I had the pleasure to fish again with the mad Geordie crew! The lads were up for the third time in a row and this time they brought two Skye virgins...
I've fished with the lads in most good marks of the Island and this time I wanted to offer them something different... I've been thinking for a while to try and get my friends on the islands I tend to visit with the sib, but instead of fishing from the boat, just beach and fish from the rocks.
This we did and soon enough we started catching. The fish preferred metals early in the morning and Keith managed a few OTT with a patchinko and my friend Soulis Autowalker 115s.
Unfortunately, the head of my prized Solpara landing net fell off (worn threads) while trying to net the first fish and for the remainder of the day we fished without it, resulting in some losses. Nevertheless, everyone caught some very good kelp pollock with their dark colours and the action got intense soon after HW. 
Later on in the day, the soft plastics started giving most fish, with the Fiiish Crazy Sandeel proving irresistible to the big ones! Mick realised this last year and now he was armed with a whole box full of them! He got some very good fish but also got reefed by a few donkeys!

There we go.

Mick with the first.

Bob with a chunk.

Topwater aficionado!

A nice one!

Double hook up!

Dave with a good one!

And another kelpie...

Keith bringing one up accompanied by its mate!

Lovely fish for Mick.

Another OTT for Keith.

A brute.

 It was an awesome day and we returned to the harbour knackered! The island doesn't have sheep on it and the vegetation grows wild, making hiking quite tiresome. We did get rewarded with excellent fishing though along with seeing a big sea-eagle, so no complaints there.
I have already ordered a replacement net and can't wait to get out there again!

Tight Lines!

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.