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Friday, 15 June 2018

What a cracking day's guiding!

On Tuesday I had arranged to meet up with father and son Sandie and Ben for a days fishing. The lads were very lucky with the weather as we had gale force winds and rain the next day. On the day though, we had a slight breeze that kept away the midges and an overcast sky. Perfect pollock conditions.
They came from Oban and had been fishless on their last few outings, thus were needing a good fish fix... I had just the right place in mind, a shallow bay that tends to hold plenty of average fish and thought it would be a good start to the day.
We set up on our spot and I rigged up the lads with softplastics on my medium setups. I turned my back to grab the camera and start filming but they were already connected to fish!
The pollock started coming in thick and fast, all between 2.5lbs-6lbs and in excellent condition. I think this sudden rise in water temperature and the nice weather for almost a month has definitely contributed to this. All the fish fought surprisingly hard and went back very 'green'...
We used mainly soft plastic paddletails on 18g-22g cheburashka and also slim soft jerkbaits and gulp jerkshads on 15g-20g darting jigheads. Metals have been less productive lately..
After a good few fish I gave Ben a topwater lure to try as the conditions were good and the fish relatively active. He had caught a new PB of 65cm already and was keen to try something else.. He had a few casts and I could see a few fish investigating the lure but wouldn't take. Then while the lure came close to the rock's edge a pollock jumped out of the water and smashed it right in front of us! Mental!, and the look on their faces was priceless! Unfortunately, it missed the hooks and despite persevering, we had no more takers.

Fishing duo..

A chunky one for Ben...

And one for Sandie...

Average size.

A better one.

Hard fighter.

The jerkshads were killing it.

Hooked up!

After a while the bites started slowing down and we decided on a move to a deeper mark, that usually offers fewer but bigger fish. The softplastics kept producing here too and it was here that Sandie hooked the biggest fish of the day... It fought hard but slowly he managed to get it close and I slid it in the net! A beautiful pollock of slightly over 70cm and a new PB for him too!

Daddy does it!

Fun times!

A couple more spots were checked out during the day but it was evident that the 'golden time' had passed. The lads got a few more fish before we decided to call it a day. Had to repair the bottom of the net as it broke after landing so many fish and my thumbs were a bloody mess but it was all worth it in the end... A great days guiding, with good craic and happy faces! It was a pleasure fishing with such passionate anglers and hope to do it again.

Tight Lines!

Gear used
Rod: APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96MLX, Tailwalk Saltyshape Dash Power Rock S90H
Reel: Stradic FK C3000, Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG
Mainline: Duel Hardcore X8 PE 1.2, Duel X wire X8 PE1.5
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 20lbs
Lures: Various

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

First fish on the fly!

Back in Christmas, my girlfriend bought me a fly fishing setup as a present and I have spent some time practising and even tried a couple times but without success. The fish are now in the shallows though as the sandeel are in. So the other day I decided on a full-on flyfishing session on a shallow mark.
The rod is only an introductory 9ft 8wt and I had two reels, one spooled with weight forward line and a 3m sinking topshot, while the other was spooled with a fast-sink line.
I didn't use any fancy flies (I'm too worried about losing them on rocks while casting!) just some bulk bought clousers in two colours, a chartreuse/white and a black/ brownish on a 20lbs fluorocarbon leader.
After the hike to the spot, conditions were perfect and I soon started casting (or attempting to anyway 😁) and letting my fly sink.
I was fiddling with my phone at some point and then as I started stripping the line in, I felt the sudden weight and the rod arched over... Fish on!
The feeling was so different to a spinning rod and the fight was pretty mental! I soon got the hang of it though and managed to land a beautifully conditioned pollock of only about 2.5lbs! Was expecting a much larger fish after such a fight but it was great fun nonetheless...
I kept casting at the same area and the fish seemed to be shoaled as I got a few more even bigger ones than the first!

Excellent condition!

Not bad for a first timer...
It was interesting to note how they wouldnt realise they were caught at times and theyd start pulling hard straight after! Also all the fish were relatively 'green' when landed and went back like stink.
I was expecting them to inhale the fly but surprisingly all hookups were pretty neat with the last fish just barely hooked on the bottom lip.
The action didn't last long and the fish either moved on or just ignored my offerings. I had a few follows too that were very cool to see in the gin clear water!
I know that had I brought the spinning gear, Id have bagged up as I could cover more water but I felt very satisfied with my results and decided to call it a day.
Definitely need more sessions under my belt, especially to get the casting sorted but I'm also hoping to get one on a popper fly! Now that would be awesome!
Heres the video of the session.

The good weather continues and just waiting for the mackerel now. Very excited for this summer's fishing!

Tight Lines!

Monday, 4 June 2018

Summer visitors started showing!

The past couple weeks the weather has improved drastically and the waters have been warming fast. As a result, the fry has filled the shallow bays and some summer species made an appearance... It's amazing to note how much some sunshine speeds things up! Sandeels are in and that makes pollock very picky at this time of year thus I turned my attention to lighter targets, namely flounders and wrasse. I was intending to do some freshwater fishing, but the swarms of midges that also came along with the heat, put me off a bit..!
The flounder show up in a couple small harbours in the South part of the island and they're usually pretty aggressive. I used and LRF setup with 3-6g cheburaskas and fat micro pilkers with a #6-#10 hook rigged with Isome or Jackall Peke Peke/Ring.
I suspect the intense sunlight made them more cautious than usual and they were harder to tempt, but with a little persuasion a few came out for a pic!

LRF in the sun! Nothing better!

Such cool fish!

Crystal clear!

On a micro pilker tipped with isome worm.

Saw this one take the lure...

Then it was the wrasse's turn! I was actually fishing for pollock in a shallow mark but they were ignoring my lures for the most part... As I brought the shad over a rocky ledge I saw a shape following it and gave a couple jiggles to the lure. The fish hit and I struck to a plump wee ballan. I recast again and saw another one hit but I struck too fast and startled it...
In the end, I had a couple more casts at the pier and got another smaller ballan.

First ballan for 2018!

Fussy pollock...

Later on the same day, I targeted a much deeper mark hoping that the cuckoo wrasse would show as well. It took a while but I was rewarded with a good sized male cuckoo in full spawning colours. It hit very aggressively OTD on a Texas rig with 28g tungsten bullet weight, #1/0 offset rigged with a 4" slim paddletail.

Just stunning!
 Will be making a wee vid of some of these catches and really hope this fantastic weather lasts abit longer!

Tight lines!

Gear used
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-S792M, APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96MLX,
Reel: Shimano Stradic 1000Fc, Stradic FK C3000
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.6, Duel Hardcore X8 PE 1.2
Leader: Toray Excellent fluorocarbon 6.8lbs, Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 20lbs
Lures: Various

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Freshwater exploration...

The past couple of weeks, I have set my eyes towards the freshwaterw lochs near Skye, and wanting to find out their potential, especially if they contain a few predatory species...
Thus I gave a good look at the map, got all the info I could and identified the lochs and the areas I would target.
First target were the trout and to be honest it's not that hard to find trout up here as they're everywhere! The loch I fished though offered me a few little sea trout in addition to the usual brownies!
Simple spinning tactics with small spoons were the most effective. On the first session, practically all the bites came on the drop/pause of the spoon and the fights have been pretty 'tame' (water temps?). Overall the fish hit hard although the seatrout noticeably harder! I'm using the solid-tipped MC KGS832ST and in combination with barbless trebles on double split rings, I've yet to lose a fish from jumping or shedding the hook as they usually do...


...or silver. Its impossible not to love them!

They hit much harder than the browns!

Them spots...

I've been using cheap spoons that I've changed the trebles to either Owner or Gamakatsu sizes #8-#10  and crushing the barbs. I also add a second split ring if they don't have it already.
Many of these spoons are usually made with small pond/'area' stocked trout in mind, and though they have nice action, they're usually too light to cast far on the ML gear. Hence I tend to 'sandwich' two of them. They might need a slightly faster retrieve to get the same action but the trout here didnt mind!

2 in 1...

works well...

I also located a few lochs that hold pike and perch and after a long time I got a skinny jack in a surprising location...

Hello old friend...
 I will persevere with the freshwter theme for the time being as I have really missed it ! Especially those perch...They are my next target...!
Here are a couple videos from the trout.

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod:Major Craft KG Evolution KGS-832ST
Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline: YGK P.E Line Frontier WX8 Shore Casting Line 150m P.E 0.8
Leader: Toray Excellent fluorocarbon 6.8lbs, YGK Nitlon DFC 10lbs
Lures: various spoons

Saturday, 28 April 2018

A whiff of Summer and time for Light Game!

The temperature has been slowly but steadily rising lately and yesterday I got the chance for an afternoon session on the rocks. Felt like a good opportunity to try out my new Light Game travel rod, the MajorCraft Crostage CRX-784LG. I have been looking for ages into something that could cover a larger variety and weights of light lures than the usual 7ft 0.5-5gr LRF rods as from my experience when holiday fishing you need to be more flexible.
Was on the rocks by about 16:00 and had another hour till high tide. The place was alive with birdlife and I was sure I'd find plenty of coalies to have fun with.
As I was expecting fish to be slightly deeper still, I put on a 13gr Breaden Metalmaru, a prawn imitating lure that casts well and works well with slow retrieve and light jerks. Also, it has a nice fall due to the little spinner at the tail.
Within the first couple casts, I got hit OTD near the bottom! The fish felt heavy and it clearly wasn't the intended target. I seemed to have located a group of medium-sized pollack that would intercept my metal lures (lost the metalmaru on the third fish 😭).  For some reason, fish tend to hit better OTD early on in the season and I find that the fall rate is a very important factor...

A handy little lure for finicky fish.

Seeing that there were larger fish in the area I took out the heavier gear and put on a 30g pink slow jig. I thought that it was still a small profile yet it was a slimmer model and sunk faster than the usual wide slow jigs. I suppose that the faster slow rate along with the pink colour might have put off the fish as I didn't get a single bite after 20mins of covering the same area!
I decided to switch to a more natural coloured (blue) jig, yet heavier (50g) but with a slower fall due to the wide shape. Also, this jig had more action during the retrieve. I was thinking that the most important factor was the slow fall and natural look of the lure and after a few casts over already-covered ground, I got a hit and soon after landed a decent fish.

It's a jungle down there...

After another one on the heavier gear, I decided to switch back to the light rod as its just so much more fun and I was sure that the coalies wouldn't be too far..
After a few more pollock landed and lost I started to get hits up in the water column and towards the end of the retrieve... Finally, the coalies were in and I managed to get a few nice ones!

Note the light lip hook..

Decent sized pollock..

And decent sized coalies...

The rod was made for fish like this one!

Cant wait for surface action!

What surprised me was that most of the fish were neatly hooked on the lips and at times only from one hook of the treble... Most missed hits didn't follow up and also a few fish got unhooked during the fight... Also, plenty of fish still with lice and worms on them...This leads me to believe that the fish though relatively well grouped, weren't actually feeding very aggressively and the 'attractiveness' of the light presentation was what made them commit. Reckon a few more weeks and they will be in proper form!
I have to say that I was very impressed with the rod... Its medium actioned and bends nicely into those better fish while still having a very sensitive tip that lets you know what a 4g blade is doing 20m down. It was more comfortable with metals up to 13g and even though its rated to 15g, its a much slimmer rod and definitely Light Game oriented than for example my KGS-832st.
Can't wait to get it for some adventures back home and elsewhere!
Ill be uploading a video of the day soon where the rod's action can be clearly seen.

Tight Lines!

Gear used
Rod: MajorCraft Crostage travel CRX-784LG
Reel: Shimano Stradic 1000Fc
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.6
Leader: Toray Excellent fluorocarbon 6.8lbs
Lures: Breaden Metalmaru 13g and various metals under 10g.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Sunshine doesn't mean hot action...

Had two sessions lately both under blue, sunny skies... That didn't equate to great results though.. The low water temps (6.7C!) and being in the spawning period definitely kept the fish down low and unwilling to bite... Still though with perseverance I managed to winkle some out and I noticed that there were two distinct categories of them. Some fish were bunched together over broken ground in deeper water and looked definitely worn out with lots of scratch marks, red fins and worms on them. While I also found other fish keeping very close in amongst the kelp being more active and looking in much better condition.. Food for thought.
A mixture of slow jigs and softplastics was used with the fish biting in short feeding spells.

A fish from deep water in poor condition..

And one from the shallows looking much better...

Towards midday I started getting some more fish but then the damn seal showed up and put a stop to the fun.
I reckon this year it will be a couple more weeks before things start to really fire up. I hope the temperature will start rising soon though as I want to have a go for some trout in freshwater...

Tight lines

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-1002LSJ, 3.05m. max 50g
Reel: Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG
Mainline: Duel X wire X8 PE1.5
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 20lbs and 25lbs
Lures: slow jigs and plastics on cheburashkas

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Fussy buggers...

In March now and as usual things have slowed down fishing wise... It was very interesting to note the fish change behaviour from pre
cold front to post frontal conditions. Although Skye was largely unaffected by the snow and extreme weather that the rest of the country faced (we did get some below zero temps and strong easterlies though), that was enough to push the fish down deep near the bottom, and combined with them being in spawning mode, make them very fussy...
Just before the cold front I had a very entertaining session catching pollock and coalies on sinking pencils and vibration lures, with the latter being clearly more effective as the fish were inhaling them and coming high up in the water column to hit them on straight retrieve...
All this changed after the front passed and I didn't manage a single touch the other day on the hardbaits.. Actually, even the softplastics weren't producing as they were supposed to... Fish showed a clear aversion to loud/bright colours and only hit natural ones. But even then the bites weren't decisive and fast strikes were necessary to hook them.
Moreover it's the first time this winter that I've started seeing some pollock with worms on them as they've only now been pushed to the bottom and are less active... Also, the coalies seem to be few and far between after the cold conditions...

Pre front, well conditioned and aggressive fish...

Post frontal, natural softplastics near the bottom...

Interesting colours and markings on this one...

The areas that seem to be less affected by these conditions though tend to be deep rocky marks near fish cages and there are always active fish around them...

Active fish near cages...
I have also tried unsuccessfully to catch my first fish on the Fly, but with the current conditions and the fish staying deep its quite a challenge, so I might wait till warmer weather to get at it again...

Was asked about my stud arrangement...

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod: APIA Foojin'R Best Bower 96 MLX
Reel: Shimano Stradic FK C3000
Mainline: Duel Hardcore X8 PE 1.2
Leader: Daiwa Tournament FC fluorocarbon 20lbs
Lures: various