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Friday, 12 November 2021

Luck of the Cornish!

 Months ago I had a booking for 3 lads that was meant to take place last Saturday.  As these thing usually go, getting closer to the day it became apparent that the weather wasn't playing ball. Thankfully the lads were staying the whole week so we could pick a calm day. I picked Wednesday and the plan was to land the boat on one of the islands where we'd have some shelter from the SW wind and plenty of fishing ground. 

The day came and I got Daniel, Aaron and Graham onto the island. It was a lovely morning and for once the weather was much better than the forecast. We started targeting the major points and soon enough the fish appeared. Aaron got bit first on a pink Ecogear Power Shad and produced a nice fish. 

The water was looking a bit milky so I advised the use of loud colours. Soon enough Daniel was in too and after moving around a bit, Graham found some good ones. Unfortunately my beloved and battered extendable Major Craft landing net broke while I was trying to land one of those fish and I had to scramble down the rocks and use the net head to land fish all day...!

Aaron with 1st fish of the day.

Graham with the average stamp.

Happy chaps.

As the day went on, we kept running and gunning along the coastline, encountering pockets of shoaled fish but also picking up single patrolling ones here and there. The preference for loud colours weared off as the fish got more aggressive and I picked one on the Autowalker just as it was leaving the water!

What surprised me this day was the deliberate nature of the fights. I mean its part and parcel of this game to lose fish that reef you but not to such a degree as on that day.  Every fish fought hard and dirty using the reefs and kelp to their advantage and the losses were noticeable. I put it down to the excellent condition all fish were in with well rounded bellies. 

Daniel is in!

So is Aaron!

Heart attack take!

Graham seemed to have keyed in on a good presentation and location leading to the most consistent catches and better sized fish. Soon enough he had a much better one and after a powerful fight, I managed to get it in the net. A proper lump of a fish that took the scales to 4.6kg! Quickly released to fight another day. Graham was chuffed as he was having a red letter day.

Double for Graham!

Cracking condition! 

Throughout the day, a combination of soft plastics and metals were used with the soft plastics bringing in the better fish. 

A cracking day was had by all and we headed in around lunchtime. It was a pleasure fishing with the lads and glad to see people coming here from the other end of the country! 

Weather is still crap but I reckon any windows of calm are gonna see some good catches!

Tight lines! 

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Autumn is truly here.

We've been getting some proper Autumn weather now with lots of rainfall and the usual wind. Saying that there's been plenty of good days to go out but I've been too busy with work and family commitments. I'm also setting up something to do with Aquaponics for next year but more on that in a later post.

Probably the highlight of my fishing the past couple of weeks, has been a couple nice perch I encountered whilst having a couple casts on my way back from a family day in Inverness. Its in a loch that I know holds some smaller ones along with pike but was pleasantly surprised by a couple fish over 1lb. It was dusk and both fish fell on a small sparkle-chartreuse creature on a chatter-cheburashka. 


Chatter-cheburashka all in!

I also had a short boat session in the salt that resulted in some nice pollock. Got some great footage of them hitting the lure underwater and will upload when ready.

Last week, my parents have come over to see us and I managed a short session with my dad on the sib. It was a choppy day but we managed a couple keepers that mum cooked straight after! 

More than a decade since we fished together! 

He's in! 

Good eaters.

Haven't fished with my dad in more than a decade so it was great to see him catch!

More recently, I've been in Inverness again and devoted some time in finding those perch again. I've been given some lovely softplastics from Tom at Kelpie Lures a while back and thought it was a good opportunity to try some of them. 

I decided to fish the bulb tail on a ned rig  as they look great underwater and it's a natural presentation. I fished an area with structure and dome depth that looked very 'perchy'. Didn't do too much in terms of action to the lure, just a few shakes and bumping bottom. Got an abrupt bite and some energetic head shakes straight away.  Felt a bit too lively to be a perch and to my surprise it was a nice brownie!  I had to take a quick pic and put her straight back as the season is over. I kid you not, as soon as I released the fish I turned my head and was greeted by the fishery officer!  I explained that I was targeting perch and  seeing that I released the fish and my gear he was happy to let me fish on... After a few more casts I decided to try another area with a bit more current. I was working my lure with the current and a few meters before the end of the retrieve I got another sharp bite with heavier weight on the strike. I momentarily thought it was a pike but the fight was very different and after some toing and froing,  I managed to land a salmon! Yet again a fish out of season so a quick pic, unhooking and sent her straight back. Decided that this was definitely not a perch spot and hearing some more splashes in the water, stopped fishing. Don't think I've ever considered salmonids as nuisance species before...!

Trout like ned rig too...

As do the salmon!

Great presentation.

It was great to see that the loch has healthy numbers of salmonids and that the lures work on them but I really hoped to have encountered a perch or two! Might try another loch instead. 

Tight lines!

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Normal working order resumed!

 Had a cracking guiding session yesterday that shows how quickly things change in the sea. Fished with Angus, a young local angler that stays away from the Island and doesn't get the opportunity to fish that often. 

I was already out for work commitments in the morning and arranged to meet him later in the day. On the way back from work, I  had a quick reconnaissance troll around my usual spots and a couple other points.  Stumbled upon a good stack of fish in a secondary point and then went to pick up Angus.  Headed straight back to the shoal and he was straight into them! 

The conditions were same as last week with a fresh WSW breeze and chop, same size of tides, state and water clarity, but the fish were in a real hunting mode. Its like a switch flipped and they turned into "Autumn" mode! 

I gave Angus my rod rigged with a homemade sandeel softplastic from my Northumbrian supplier ;-) while I was preparing his setup. The fish absolutely loved the lure and were coming in one after the other! I noticed that his setup was using mono line and decided to have a cast to remember the olden times...

Bending time!

Average size.

Brute of a fish!

God, how did we ever manage to catch fish on that! Zero feel and control. Almost impossible to set the hook properly, but I still caught too! At some point I got a good hit and the fish stayed deep... It took some good drag and got me in the kelp twice. It was very hard to control it with the mono but the line held and buffered the headshakes... I joked that it was probably a feisty little fish but brought up a nice lump of a pollock! Kinda cheeky that I caught it on my clients rod but I made sure he caught plenty more fish on mine!

Nice chunk.

After a while, the fish wisened up and we moved to a different spot. Marked a bait- ball and anchored up with the Haswing close to it. Angus was soon in again and these were some better fish... I think he broke his pb a few times and settled on a 7lber for the day.

Eyes on the prize.

By then the sun was going down and it was time to call it a day.  Such a great day's fishing and in good company. It felt like a different place to last week. The fish showed preference for very loud colours like pink, chartreuse and bright orange. The crazy sandeel imitations got most fish and the metals barely got a sniff. More to come soon.

Tight lines 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

That's fishing...

 Been a busy couple weeks for me with family holidays and other commitments but last week I hosted Alan and Paul again for a week. Up until their arrival the weather was fantastic but typically once they got here the winds picked up. We had two full days and I have to admit that unfortunately, this was some of the toughest fishing I've had in years... We fished hard, covered ground, moved areas, changed a myriad of lures and presentations but it just wasnt happening. Thankfully the lads had a couple good days on bait with spurdog and rays giving them some action. 

Even though we found some concentrations of fish (looser than last year), the abundance of bait was possibly what made them very picky. Moreover we couldnt hit the areas I'd have liked due to the wind. I felt really bad for the guys as they worked so hard but the fish didnt play ball. Especially when they brought a glut of new lures and jigheads to try as well. We cought some average sized fish but nothing to shout about.

Second-cast fish filled with promise...

A couple double strikers.

Best fish on a deadsticked sp on cheburashka.

Anyway, the lads had a good time as they enjoyed the pubs (a bit more than they'd like!) and hopefully they'll be back next year to try again. This is fishing I suppose and even in a top destination like Skye, nothing is guaranteed.

I experienced the finnicky mood of the fish furtherly, on a solo outing on my way to a family day out. I had a few casts early in the morning at a weedy spot where I know to hold good fish. I raised one on the Autowalker and then as they wouldnt come up, I tried a variety of softplastics and metals. I must've had a dozen follows on my lures and at time nips at them but not taking it properly. The water clarity was very good as it usually is this time of year and I could see the fish clearly... In the end I tried a Xorus Patchinko just in case and managed a solitary pollock.

Solitary Patchinko smasher.

The abundance of bait, clear waters and very sttled weather are my main plausible factors for the  finnicky nature of the fish at the moment and I really hope this doesnt last long as we're entering my favourite fishing time of the year...

Tight lines!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

A "cracking" day...

 Last weekend I guided a keen angler from my old hunting grounds in Lancaster. Tim wanted to taste what Skye has to offer and came up prepared with 2 brand new rods and reel specifically bought for this trip.

We met up on Saturday morning and were gonna fish that day off the sib and Sunday on the rocks. We set off to the first mark and conditions were looking good. He got his new Savage Gear Sgs8 rod paired with the lovely Shimano Vanford and to be honest I was slightly jealous of the setup... we had a few casts before he got snagged to some kelp. Unfortunately after applying some pressure, the rod snapped just above the spigot!! I didn't think that he exerted so much pressure as I proceeded to free up the lure with a slight tug...! Nevertheless, he switched to his heavier rod (SGS5 I think) and got straight into fish!

They're getting more predictable lately and we found them where I'd expect them to be. I suppose nearing Autumn things will get back to normal after this calm Summer.

We proceeded in finding some good fish mainly on softplastics, with the homemade Crazy Sandeel imitations from my Northumbrian friends doing plenty of damage. At some point we had another breakage, as my net hoop finally succumbed after netting hundreds of fish the past few years! A day of cracks for sure...

Lovely brace.

Some nice coalies about.

Good fish in great background

The next day it was time for shore fishing and I picked up Tim on my way to Neist Point.  The tide wouldn't be at my preferred stage for a few more hours but it's best to fish early in the busier marks anyway.  

The current was strong and we used heavy softplastics first and 40-60g metals later on. There were plenty of fish about although not of any great size. Tim got his pb ballan wrasse though on a paddletail.

Lovely ballan.

Average size.


It was time to move to my next spot where I was counting on the better fish but Tim had enough of the hiking and was happy to wrap the day up. Skye hikes can be tough!

It was a pleasure to fish with Tim and he's informed me that the perch in the Lankie are doing well! 

I've got no guiding booked till September now so I'll do some solo sessions hopefully for sea trout and mackerel.

Tight lines 

Friday, 13 August 2021

Them Northerners again...!

It's the time of year for my Northumbrian friends to come again and they've had a busy week... Mick, Keith and Chris came up on Saturday and we went out on Sunday morning. Me and Mick on my boat and Keith with Chris on Mick's sib. Conditions were very good and we covered a good number of marks during the day. 

We used mainly the lads homemade soft plastics and jigheads with good results. The fish were still spread out but every mark we went to had them! The size department was lacking a bit in comparison to other years but Keith did improve on that later in the day. We did get a couple of better coalies in amongst the pollock, with Mick having one that reminded me of my Norway trip... He was fishing with a lovely MajorCraft Solpara slow jig rod and the bend on it was unreal!

Keith and Chris with back to back fish!

Some bend!

A proper coalfish...

Standard size and great fun.

A coalie for me too..

Chris with a nice one.

Keith with the best of the day..

Cracking day!

The fish were a little bit fussy and required specific lure weights and profiles to get them going. Once unlocked, bites came thick and fast until they slowed down again and another presentation had to be found. We were anchored up with my Haswing Cayman GPS bow mount trolling motor and the other boat was connected to us by a 15m bungee cord. It was very impressive seing the motor work effortlessly with both boats tethered!

Unfortunately we didnt take many photos as everyone got stuck in the fishing! It was a great day and Im glad the lads managed to make it up here again after a year like this one...

More to come...


Tight Lines