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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A good start to December!

This mild weather has kept up luckily and gave me the opportunity to have another session at the rocks of Neist Point. Ι was expecting to find slight southerly winds but instead got brisk westerlies although nothing to worry about if not a positive factor...
I begun casting metals and from the first cast got fish on! They were hitting aggressively soon after touchdown but as I was using the ML setup lost a few to the kelp... An indication of how aggressive they were was when I got a fish up with the jig lodged in the middle of its mouth and not caught by the hook!
A dull yet mild day...

The rip line close inshore...

Good numbers of 3lbs pollock hitting metals..

A few bigger ones as well...

One look and we all know whats happened here...

Yep.. Greedy pollock.
After a while I moved to my favourite spot on Neist as I wanted to try for other species as well, especially since it was near sundown now. I tied a good old Carolina rig with a 20g tungsten bullet weight, 8mm bead followed by the swivel, 25cm line and a red floater before a 1/0 ewg offset hook. I mounted a 4.5" Lunker City Ribster and after checking it out in the water, was happy with the presentation. The addition of the floater lifts this unsalted lure off the bottom and gives it a very natural movement. On the first cast I got snagged soon after touching bottom but as soon as I pulled the lure out of the snag I got a fish take it! It took drag at ease and after a couple runs cut me off! A good fish...
 I tied another Carolina rig in the same way and started getting a good number of pollock on it. The presentation was working either dragged and hopped on the bottom but also on straight retrieve. Another indication that fish were very active...
I got another good fish that managed to cut me off on the base of the rocks and as I couldn't be bothered tying another caro rig I switched to a 16g cheburashka and paddletails. Working it on the bottom I got a 'snappy' take and a different kind of fight.. Soon after I landed a beautiful ballan wrasse! More pollock followed but the bites were growing thinner as the sun dipped down. On another cast I got a weird take on the bottom and heavy weight on the line.. I had my suspicions and I was proved right after hauling a pretty ling on the rocks! It was hooked on its side (!) and looked like it had been in a fight on its younger days. I released it soon after a couple photos..

A very provocative presentation...


And another one!

Beautiful December ballan!

The condition of these pollock was noticeable...

Checkout the bite mark...

They are becoming a bit of a regular occurrence before nightfall...

Chunky fish...

I fished for a bit longer but after catching a couple more pollock thought it best to get on my way as I was working in the evening. A good day on the rocks any day but for this time of year it was superb results! The size and condition of the pollock was surprising though after seeing the large shoals of baitfish (sprats?) close inshore not as much so... Will be uploading the videos soon enough!

Tight lines!

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft KGEvolution Basic KGS-902L.
Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.8
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 12lbs
Lures:20g metals, 16g cheburashka with various paddletails on  #1 offset ewg hook, Carolina rig with 20g tungsten bullet-8mm glass bead-swivel-25cm line-#1/0 offset ewg hook and a 4.5" Lunker City Ribster.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A wintry day with the young guns.

The past couple weeks had a proper wintry feel to them with frosts every day and cold winds for the most part. I always find these first frosts poor fishing-wise and thus I only went on a couple half-hearted outings. I had one session on a deep northern mark and found loads of fish albeit the vast majority of them on the smaller side... It was surprising that there were still cuckoo wrasse about though and I might still give it a go for their ballan cousins. I fished with the heavy gear that day but I believe that the time has come for the finesse gear to get to the forefront... Moreover although the metals got plenty of hits, it was the softplastics that gave fish much more easily... Saying that had I added a couple more assist-hooks on the metals things might have been different. As per usual the coalies are at their most aggressive this time of the year and I had some fun fishing for these Northern-Aji with the lrf gear as well.

Even in the bleakest day, coalies can keep our line taut!

This week though we had very mild weather and little wind, thus I was gagging to go out the first chance I got! Unfortunately the car is at the garage but thankfully two of my young friends wanted to do some fishing and today we drove up to Neist point at midday.
We setup to one of my favourite spots and evidently there were plenty of fish swimming about. I had one LRF and a medium-light rod with me and after showing the how-tos to my friend Connor (that hadn't fished before) we started fishing.
We were about 2 hours before high tide and I started with a simple 16g cheburashka, #1 Offset ewg hook and a 4.5" Lunker city Ribster.
We were getting bites from first cast and I was soon into a decent fish! The fight is so much better on the ML gear! The heavier setup has been extremely useful when dealing with big mamas in the kelp forests and also in rough weather but for this kind of mark and calm conditions the lighter stuff rules!

The first decent fish...
I then switched rods with Connor and I took the LRF setup. Soon enough I heard Connor shout that he was in and the drag was screaming line out! It was a much better fish and after a few powerful runs managed to get into the kelp. I then showed Connor how to feed it line and got the fish unstuck. A few moments later I went down the rocks to land it for him and take the obligatory photo before releasing the fish. It was a good fish but for someone who hasn't fished before that was a feat! Beginners luck and all that eh?!
Happy with his first catch!
After Connor got his fish it was my mate Dylan's turn and after an average fish he managed a better one as well! The fish were in good condition and very hungry. It was fascinating to see at one point the wind threw a bottle into the water and soon after a large pollock came up to it from the depths to investigate! Should've brought the topwater lures...

Dylan with his second fish.

The fishing was pretty hectic with some decent fish showing but after having a few more pollock, I wanted to chance it for something else as we were near sundown... I started bouncing bottom with the lure and after a few casts I got a solid take and heavy weight on the line without the pollock's fast runs. The culprit came up soon enough and it was no other that a beautiful ling! This was the perfect end to the day and we then packed up ready for the way home.

Pollock in very good condition.

A beaut of a ling!

Below some thoughts on the day.
  • Fish still very active, especially at deeper marks and on settled weather after rough spells.
  • Fish keeping mostly deep and close to the bottom but still willing to come higher. Coalies all over the water column as usual.
  • The time for finesse and softplastics is here... Metals can be effective (especially slow jigs) but need more assists on them.
  • Harder to find the bigger fish consistently now. Some marks inundated with loads of smaller fish.
  • Finesse rods will come to play more frequently now as there's need for better bite indication and subtler presentations. Fish although hungry, didn't slam the lures as in the previous months.
  • It is a great feeling to introduce someone to fishing and help them catch their first fish!
Will get the video of the session up on Youtube soon. Hopefully the weather will stay like this till Tuesday for another outing...

Tight lines.

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft KGEvolution Basic KGS-902L.
Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.8
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 12lbs
Lures:16g cheburashka, #1 offset ewg hook, 4.5" Lunker City Ribster.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Found a wrasse-hole in November!

Its been months now that I had my eyes set on a sheltered northern mark that is near some fish farm cages. I went to check it out last week but the weather was horrid and chose a different mark instead. Today after going to Neist and finding it too rough, I decided to try the new mark. The weather was largely dry but there was a persistent S/SW wind that made fishing uncomfortable. Nevertheless I got down to the rocks and started fishing opposite the cages (a good spot to fish in any area that has cages). I begun with a 30g Salty Bait tipped with a Gulp Sandeel. The casts weren't very far because of the wind and the depth there wasn't massive (15m approx). The ground was kelpy close in but after the first few meters the bottom dropped into broken reef.
After a few casts, I started getting sharp bites. I struck and felt the thumpy headshakes typical of a wrasse. Soon enough I had it on the rocks and then proceeded in catching a few more. Not something I expected on a windy afternoon in the middle of November! They were fairly concentrated but after getting a few and having a few shed the hook, the spot quietened down.
I decided to move to another rocky outcrop but this made getting fish up a bit tricky as access to the water was limited. Undeterred I kept fishing and caught another wrasse and some pollock. The latter were a pain to get in as I had to scramble down to the only access point to the water and in the process a few fish shed the hook or got me kelped...
Oh hello!

Pollock on heavy Texas rig..

A good presentation.
On the day I tested some new 28g tungsten weights that were just the ticket for tackling the wind...
I was also getting a lot of coalie-bumps on my lures and after a while I decided to play with them on the LRF gear and light metals. The mark seemed to hold a good head of them and soon I had some on the rocks intended for the pan..!

Scottish Aji!

Recently I purchased a Savagear Black Savage (what a name!) waterproof suit and also a Stormr Strykr jacket, so I'm now hoping to be well protected for my winter's fishing. Initial vibes from both items are very good and I will come back to them once Ive spent more time in them!😊
Savagear Black Savage.

Stormr Strykr.

Tight lines.

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-1002LSJ, 3.05m. max 50g. Majorcraft Crostage CRK-T782AJI
Reel: Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG. Shimano Stradic 1000fc
Mainline: YGK G-Soul WX8 PE1.2.Ygk G-Soul x3 0.3PE
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 20lbs, 25lbs. YGK Nitlon DFC fluorocarbon 8lbs.
Lures: Various

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A morning on Neist.

On Monday I had the morning off and thought of going fishing at Neist. I woke up at around 08:30 and drove to Neist Point for a half day session as I was meant to be back to work at 17:00. The weather was supposed to be rainy but with slight winds and no swell so I was expecting some action. There wont be too much time before the waters get cold now and I need to make every chance count...
I arrived an hour or so before the low tide mark and first set up on my spot overlooking a gully. I found the fish at distance but much higher in the water column than usual (possibly a sign of active feeding before colder weather). Started with softplastics and after the fish got tired of them I switched to metals that brought in some more quality fish. For some reason the fights weren't very energetic but dogged with the fish 'hugging' the bottom structure... As a result I lost a couple decent ones.

A quality fish caught at range...
Plenty of this stamp..

Metals rule!

 After the bites slowed down I moved to my second favourite spot and got straight into more fish. For some reason the fish on this spot (more exposed and rough at the time) fought much harder with the usual crash-diving runs! I was still fishing with metals but after a string of good fish, I switched to a Texas rig with a 20g tungsten bullet weight, 8mm glass bead and 1/0 wide gape offset hook. The lure of choice was a 4" Crazy Fish Active Slug. I started dragging and hoping the lure on the bottom, prospecting for something other than pollock but in the end they showed up nonetheless! I had seen reports of some codling been caught nearby and I was hoping to get one but other than some wrasse bites and a cut line (from something toothy) I didn't find any of them.
Nevertheless it was an action packed session and one I'm hoping to replicate as much as possible before the winter blues... The added bonus to the day was that for once the weatherman got it wrong and it didn't really rain that much!
The only skinny pollock in the sea!

Much better..

They love Texas rig as well...

Hoping to do some LRF in the next couple weeks as I think its about time I found out what Skye's harbours have to offer...

Tight Lines!

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-1002LSJ, 3.05m. max 50g
Reel: Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG
Mainline: YGK G-Soul WX8 PE1.2
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 20lbs, 25lbs.
Lures: Various

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The isle of Skye fishing experience!

Yesterday I met up with my friends Scott and Lee for a full day's fishing. We arranged to meet around 10:00 in a South-facing mark and take it from there. The weather forecast was surprisingly good although there was some indication of brisk South-Easterly winds. The mark we picked doesn't hold masses of fish but it usually provides a few quality-pollock.
On arrival the winds felt a bit more brisk than the forecast and after meeting with the guys we proceeded to the rocky promontory... They informed me that they actually had a few casts at a nearby pier and had caught launce, flounder and plaice! Now that warrants some attention...
We reached the mark just before high tide and we could see that there was a considerable swell that cut off access to the best spot. Nonetheless we started fishing but after a couple hours we had nothing to show for our efforts.. I had three half-hearted takes from better fish that didn't develop and Lee got busted by a good fish. In all, I thought we were wasting our time as we could've had a dozen fish in the Northern marks... Thus I suggested we hit the road and go to Neist Point as we would still get a good few hours fishing there before nightfall.
The famous lighthouse.

After some driving we finally reached Neist and I then realised that the Southerlies had affected this mark as well... We headed for the most exposed part but after losing a fish and getting soaked by the waves, we decided to move to the more protected side. The current was very strong there as usual, but it was nearing low tide and would slow down. I soon got a fish on but it got unhooked, then Lee was in but once again the Scottish pollock played dirty on him and got free of the lure! Things were very quiet and I suggested we move further back to an even more protected spot where I thought our best chances of success were. By then the sun was going down and on the last spot conditions looked very promising. The water was much calmer and straight away I opted for a 6" Hogy on a Crazyg wave deep offset jighead. The lads were fishing mainly metals with Lee utilising slow jigs in particular... I soon got into fish but had two failed hookups (the design of the jighead must have something to do with this) but I kept getting bites while retrieving and was soon into a better fish! It fought hard and took plenty of line but after a while I had him up for a photo. A nice fish of 7.4lbs that went back shortly after the pic.
The lads on the rocks...

A nice fish...

I then realised that Scott was in as well and soon enough he had another good pollock up! We realised that the fish were fairly localised and also were hunting in groups.
Scott is in...

A nice one!

The only one who didn't get a fish by this point was Lee! And he was starting to get frustrated after the consecutive losses during the day.. Soon enough though he was into a fish as well (by that time we had multiple hook-ups) that fought hard. He got the upper hand after a while and we were expecting a nice pollock only to see a dark shape coming up from the depths.. At first I thought it was a cod but then Scott shouted 'LING'!! We were all speechless at that moment and full of excitement! Scott proceeded into securing the fish and got it on the rocks. It was then high-fives and congratulations all around! The fish was weighed in at 7.8lbs! A magnificent fish made even more special by being caught on a lure (slow jig)! Needless to say the Lee was over the moon with this capture and who wouldn't be! This is practically a fish of a lifetime for the shore based lure angler...
Fishing side by side...

Double hook-up!

Another nice pollock for Scott.

What a fish!

We kept fishing after that but the action seemed to subside after a while. We were still getting fish but most of them of a smaller size and they were more spread-out than before. Not that anybody really cared by that point... We all caught some good fish after working hard for them all day and in adverse weather conditions. The ling was obviously the cherry on the cake and really showed off the fishing potential of Skye!
As the sun set, we made the long hike up to the cars and then drove to Portree for a much needed meal and a few celebratory drinks. It was a real pleasure fishing with the lads and I hope we can arrange another trip sometime in the near future...

Tight Lines!