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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

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Tropical fishing.

 I've not gone holidays outside the country so far but it seems that the hot weather has come to us.  This, combined with big tides, very clear water and sunny conditions, has unfortunately made fishing quite hard especially in the salt. Its something I call the midsummer blues when every year around this time the fishing slows down.  Typically I had 3 consecutive days guiding from shore and boat! We had to work hard for our fish but we didn't do too bad in the end...

Cracking days...

A happy angler.

That's better.

Wrasse from 20m.

Nick with a dark kelpy.

Got one too.

And then the haar lifted.

It came down to fishing early mornings while the haar was still low and then choose deeper kelpy marks when the sun came out. Especially from the boat it became apparent that the fish moved a bit deeper and were keeping low in the water column.  Also they were more loosely shoaled and fairly spread out. Nevertheless a good number of them came out, fighting hard along with a couple ballan wrasse.

Mackerel and cod from a solo day.

Hadn't caught one in a while 

Have been really spoiled with the weather this summer and I can't complain even though it makes fishing hard work. 

Had a couple solo outings in the freshwater that didn't go too bad. Fished for perch on another hot day, and despite taking a while to find them, they were shoaled up in a weedy bay and in a hunting mode. I didn't use finesse tactics and instead opted for a chatterbait-cheburashka and 2" softplastics. The bites were instant and one after the other. No fish of any size but loads of them! Got a few slaps on a wee topwater as well but no hookups. I really wish I wouldn't have to drive 2 hours plus to fish for them. Also managed a lovely brownie that smashed a mini spoon almost at my feet!  

Perch on chatterbait-cheburashka 

Loads of them. 

A welcome surprise. 

Got busy times ahead with lots more fishing and guiding! Also need some LRF mackerel for the bbq...

Tight lines