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Friday, 8 November 2019

Some exciting fishing on two sibs!

The weather has settled a bit the past couple of weeks and this has allowed me to get out a good few times. I had a fun session fishing around Neist Point from the sib, something I've wanted to do since I got it! It was a fantastic sunny day and I got good numbers of pollock along with a nice wrasse and some coalies. I had found shoals of tiny mackerel and after catching some on feathers, I decided to use them as bait near the bottom.
My target was spurdog but unsurprisingly it was almost impossible to get through the pollock! A large shoal was holding over a rocky reef at around 50m deep and would pick up anything dropping before it hit the bottom!

Good stamp of pollock.

Lovely wrasse!

Unfortunately, it was time to head home and I didn't manage to catch a spurdog...
The next day I went out on a new boat I got for solo outings. It's a Honwave T32 air v floor inflatable and I paired it with my old Evinrude 2 stroke outboard. I've been wanting a lighter and
faster-to-assemble combo for when I want to hit multiple spots and from 'rougher' launching areas.
In the day, the combo behaved pretty well and I got 14-15kts although I did have some issues with the boat that im trying to resolve...
The fishing wasn't bad either, with a few good pollock among a 'flood' of chunky coalies. I also got among some codling from a deeper spot. Not a bad couple of hours.

Hungry chunks!

From slightly deeper water.

 Then yesterday, we were in a small tide week and in combination with the settled conditions I was hoping the fish would be up for it. I targeted the area around Neist again and was going to do some bottom fishing for those spurdogs again, but on the way there, the pollock had other ideas...
I found shoaled pollock and coalies high up in the water column and they would often break the surface as they were feeding!
Time for topwaters! I took out a Mechanic lures Autowalker 115s and after a few casts, I had a couple blow-ups and fish jumping on it. It didn't take long before I connected to one and the fun started!
Got some nice fish and the hook-up ratio was far better than usual. It appeared that the fish were hitting to feed. Top fish was one of about 2.5kg that managed to hook me while thrashing!
After that fish, I decided that it was already a successful day and headed home. I'll get those spurdogs at some point for sure...

Autowalker does it again!

Lovely dark kelp fish.

Thats my blood...

Its been a fantastic couple weeks and I hope that the nice weather continues. I'm looking forward to my time off from work coming soon and intend to get out as much as I can.  Definitely gonna try and bait fish for some different species although it will be hard to get away from surface feeding fish!

Tight Lines

Monday, 7 October 2019

Fishing and guiding amidst the washout!

Well, its October now and we've yet to see an end to the near constant wind and rain!
Ive only done limited fishing comparing to the same time of year the previous seasons, but the fish seem so up for it that its almost like they're asking for a bit of calm weather to go on a rampage!
I'm saying this after having a guiding session off the rocks and sib today and we literally had fish from the first cast! Moreover, even though the waters were slightly cloudy, with a swell running and brisk SE winds, we witnessed fish hitting topwaters... I love this time of year because of the fish feeding so hard but damn, I could do with some settled conditions!
Anyway, today I had a revisit from Andrew who had come back in summer for some rockfishing, only now he brought his mate Nick and wanted to fish off the Sib but also a couple rocky points if possible. The lads were mostly focused on numbers today although Andrew wanted to catch on the fly and also requested as many coalies as possible! Its so cool to find like-minded anglers!
I was worried about the forecast all week but thankfully it stabilised and I managed to plan a session in the North of the island.
We set off at dawn and after a short run on the SIB, we reached the mark.
We were fishing near the edge of a kelp covered ledge over 8-12m of water. Armed with 12-14cm shads on 30g jigheads, the lads started casting near the kelp and straight away were into good fish.
There was a touch of chaos in the boat for a few moments but in the end we got both fish landed and it was time for the usual pics.

First cast!

A fat one for Andrew.

Many more followed and most were over 2kg with the biggest going 3.6kg on the scales. The pollock were in excellent condition, fat and rounded though the few coalies we found seemed on the slim side.
The sps were more consistent with the big fish as expected though some crackers were caught on tiny metals as well. It was very interesting watching the sounder when small shoals of coalies would appear, we'd get a couple and then pollock would crash the party and the coalies would move on...
After catching a good few fish and even though the conditions were far from ideal, I put on a topwater just hoping we'd get one or two to jump on it. Well it actually managed to raise 5-6 fish with a small one jumping on the lure as i was about to pull it out of the water! No hook ups unfortynatelly.

Happy faces!


After a while, Nick wanted to stretch his legs a bit and we beached on a rocky outcrop so that he could have a few casts there, while me and Andrew would stay in the boat and try to locate some coalies and catch them on the fly.
It turned out that coalies were very patchy on the day but instead Andrew managed a wee pollock on the fly. His setup was a very light one and with all that wind, he could only get the fly a limited distance. I'm sure that with a heavier setup, the results would've been much better.
While we were looking for shoals of coalies we passed over deeper water and saw fish near the bottom, wondering what they were, I put on a slim paddletail on a 28g cheburashka and let it touch bottom. Got a couple soft bumps  and then struck into a fish. It turned out to be a wee codling. They were shoaled up but a bit finicky and we didn't manage another one as the pollock were quicker on the bite. I found shoals of codling at about this time of year last year too, so it must be a seasonal movement.

A nice one for Nick.

Even the biggest fish get tempted by small metals..

Silvery pollock on silver metal.

A good bend on the wee rod!

Small but Andrews first pollock on fly.

So fat and strong!

Need to get on them!

Cod food.

With this and that it was time to head back to the harbour. A very successful day in a thankfully better day than forecasted! It was a pleasure having the guys and hopefully we'll fish again together at some point.
Lately Ive been thinking of purchasing a slightly smaller sib to go with my wee 2stroke outboard for solo missions. Even though my solid floor takes relatively little time to assemble, its too heavy in combination with the 20hp outboard for the 'rougher' launches, plus the 2 stroke is just sitting there gathering dust... Saying that, I was very happy that the lads didn't mind at all fishing in such a cosy space and the Yam performed well with the added load.
The tourist season is very slowly winding down and this gives me more time to get out. I have November off and I'm really looking forward to some chilled out fishing then. Hopefully the weather will calm down by then!
Below some more fishy pics from recent solo outings and a wee topwater fishing clip from last week!

Gairloch wrasse.

The strike was mental!

Whopper plopper coalie!
Tight Lines!

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!