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Wednesday 11 October 2023

The red rods are back...

 Last week I had the pleasure of hosting Alan and Paul yet again at my place and got some fishing done. Conditions throughout the week were pretty difficult but as I've said before, this time of year even a short window of opportunity can easily provide some good fishing. 

We managed one short session after work and then a longer one on Saturday. The short session took place in one of my usual Staffin marks and the bigger fish were more prominent there, with Paul getting a screeching run and instant snag-up! Thankfully more fish obliged and we got some solid action for an hour before it was time to head in.

Back again.

Paul with a good lump.

Alan didn't stay behind...

That bend.

And another one.

Decent sizes.

On Saturday the forecast was for brisk Northeasterlies so that excluded my usual launching areas, instead we launched from Stein and fished Loch Bay. This is an area better for numbers although I have taken the occasional good fish from there. Also it can be a good area for topwater fishing as well as ballan wrasse though unfortunately we didn't encounter any on the day. Paul did manage his first pollock on topwater though with the fish hitting mere meters from the boat and giving us all a good surprise! 

Despite being more sheltered than staffin, it was still not perfect conditions yet we got good numbers of fish.

A wee chunk from the numbers mark 

Double hook-up!

Throughout the week, the lads baitfished various parts of the island with good results, getting some good rays especially. 

They were the last guests in my caravan as it's time for it to go. It's done very well for us but it has started to need more maintenance than I can provide. 

Unfortunately the boys complained to me about parking and access becoming more difficult the past couple years and on this visit especially. I remember when I first came to the island, it was always easy enough to ask politely and you could guarantee a parking spot for a few hours. This seems to have definitely changed though and it's a pity. There's limited shore access as it is for most marks on the Island, I suppose it's another point towards boat fishing being the mainstay of my fishing. 

Hopefully weather improves a bit and I can do a couple solo outings. 

Tight lines.

Friday 29 September 2023

Fun in Greece.

 Recently back from our yearly holiday break in Greece. Typically we arrived in foul weather back in Skye whilst it was a very hot September back there. Back in Greece we spent most of the time with family at my hometown but also went south to the Peloponnese for a wedding. This was a good opportunity for fishing there and I had my usual light game setup ( Crostage CRX-784LG, Stradic ci4 2500f) and a heavier one (Gamakatsu Akilas mobile 80H, Daiwa Ballistic LT 6000). 

In all I used the light gear 95% of the time as I just didn't get the conditions or see signs of good fish. I had some sessions from the inflatable paddle board and a few from shore. I had to work for my fish most of the time but when I encountered 'tasty' conditions ( choppy sea) the fish would switch on. Surprisingly I encountered the most new species ever, managing to catch wee amberjacks, tunny, blue runner, pompano and a dentex! I was thinking that I'd get these species down south but actually my local area was the most productive... I did have a close encounter with a beautiful mahi mahi coming inches of my tiny metal jig but deciding against hitting it in Nafplio. That place had a good variety of predator species but I didn't manage to get anything decent out of it unfortunately.

There were 2 days that stood out for me. A wee shore session on a windy day whilst we were at the beach. I fished a rocky bay and caught some feisty wee amberjacks, a tunny OTT and raised a couple bass but only had one half-hearted hit from them. Cracker of a light game session! The other day that stood out was when we rented a boat for half a day and explored around the nearby little islands. We encountered masses of aggressive garfish that would hit most lures and that's where I also got my first dentex on a Savagear Gravity Pencil! 

Scenery from an ISUP...

Feisty wee Amberjacks! 

They fought well...

...but this guy fought harder!

My first pompano ( litsomelanuro in Greek)

Surprisingly few scad and false scad this time...

A nice bream on a metal 

A tiny wee blue runner!

Masses of garfish!

The queen of the Mediterranean!

I also had a couple freshwater outings where I mainly got chub on topwaters. I had a couple donkey sized chub spit my popper or come unhooked straight away that really got the heart going. These were definite pb fish and I suppose they'll have to wait a year...

The day before our return flights, I took a few topwaters and went down the local canal just to see if any wee jacks or chub would give me a pull. I got much more 'pull' than I expected as I lost a fat chub at my feet (I didn't get the net with me) and proceeded to lose 4 more poppers getting cut-off on jacks or snagged up by good chub! I think I need to get a designated heavy- cover  topwater setup for these situations. Still able to cast small lures but with more backbone for landing fish in these overgrown spots.

Popper engulfed...

Plenty of this size...

Didn't get their grandparents this time unfortunately...

As always the days went by pretty quickly but that's the way it goes when you're having fun. Already I have some ideas of things to try next time I'm over, namely getting the ISUP in the canals and maybe visit an island too. 

Returning to Skye in the current weather was a rude awakening of sorts but I'm hoping to get out as soon as conditions settle for the 'golden' part of the season!

Tight lines 

Tuesday 8 August 2023

First bass on Skye!

 I've had the rare opportunity on Sunday to go on a solo trip with the kayak. It's been a while since I've done that and pretty much forgotten/couldn't be bothered fitting the pedals and other accessories... Instead I used it as a paddle board and just paddled as it was flat calm. I went to my seatrout mark just to give myself a last chance of hooking a better one of these fish for this year and also to explore the area some more.

A day for it!

I paddled against the current at first so as to make it easier to fish with the current later on. This was a deeper rocky area and I could see lots of baitfish around. I also passed some boulder fields and identified some larger wrasse moving about. I had just changed leader from a thicker to a thinner one for the seatrout but decided to get a wee soft plastic down for the wrasse. This typically meant that I got busted on the first fish so I had to retie a thicker leader...!

I rigged a new softplastic creature bait  on an articulated Texas jighead and dropped it into a good looking hole. It didn't take long to see a dark shape moving towards my lure and I struck once I felt the take. A spirited wee fight and I landed a lovely wee ballan. I persevered a bit more but the rest of them seemed to have spooked and I reverted back to seatrout fishing. 

Can't say no to wrasse.

Cool jighead, the presentation looks similar to a jika rig.

Despite my efforts they just didn't seem too interested today and I had 5-6 follows and one half-hearted take which dropped off immediately after. By now I had drifted to the shallow bays and kept covering water. 

After yet another cast, I saw some disturbance in the surface near my lure and then a gray shape taking it. I immediately knew what this was and after a wee fight I managed to slip the net under my first Isle of Skye bass! It was only around a kilo but in perfect condition and I put it straight back after a couple photos. I knew there's bass on the island but not in any numbers that would merit targeted efforts. I have been fishing this mark for years and although I've always thought that it would be a good mark for the bass, never encountered them till now. I've rarely visited it after July though and maybe that's a factor... 

Firs Skye bass!

I persisted casting in the area but I didn't see signs of any more surprisingly. I decided to call it a day soon after. It was one of those days that despite the lack of numbers of landed fish, the encounters and the 'action' was plenty for me. One thing is certain though, the kayak will be coming out much more often!

Tight lines 

Monday 31 July 2023

It's midsummer already!

I have no idea where the time has gone and we're in the end of July already... I have been very busy with work and other commitments have taken over. Nevertheless, weather has been pretty good and I have made it out a few times, mostly from the boat but also from shore targeting seatrout.

The boat fishing has been as good as usual having fallen into the usual Summer patterns in contrast to the madness of this Spring. Fish can be a bit finicky and gone a bit deeper than usual but with persistence and fishing whilst drifting, plenty of fish will be had. Mackerel are in and as usual, numbers are better over the west side of the island.

Regarding the seatrout, I did encounter good numbers of sewin but lost the one good fish of the day. Definitely gotten rusty after not fishing for trout for so long!

I've had a weekend down Arisaig visiting the in-laws and it was the first time I seriously fished there. I used a wee dingy and once paddling further out in the bay, got some good sized mackerel and a few good pollock. I really should spend more time fishing there especially targeting the sandy areas for flatfish...

Dave is in again!

Lovely evening fish.

Topwater baby!

Plenty of them but where's their mamas?

Summer paddling 

You know it's Summer.

Arisaig got a few pollock too..

On the crab lure meant for wrasse...

Standard size.

I'm really trying to make the most of my evenings after work right now as I know that this good weather will soon go! Hoping to get a couple more seatrout sessions in and hopefully some freshwater ones too.
I'll be heading back to Greece at the end of the month and Im really looking forward to some fishing there. 

Tight lines 

Sunday 21 May 2023

What a weekend that was...

 Had a guiding session after work on Friday and one yesterday morning. The fishing was fantastic to say the least!

On Friday I met up with James, a committed fisho that studies in Aberdeen Uni and wanted a taste of some Skye pollack. The session started fairly slowly with plenty of fish showing on the sonar but not overly aggressive towards our lures ( early postspawn behaviour). A bit of tweaking and perseverance coaxed them out and James started catching. His pb was something like 4lbs so we quickly beat that and started getting a succession of average pollock. This continued until near sundown when the fish quietened down. At this time of year this can mean that they have switched off but in this occasion it was just that the bigguns came out to play...

First of many...

Hit it first cast!

They're getting bigger...

James got a solid bite and then an immediate run pulling loads of drag! Little by little he got the upper hand and brought a lovely fish up to the surface. I quickly slipped the net under her and got it in the boat. She went 4.2kgs and after a quick photo was put straight back. Pretty much the same thing happened on the next cast! This time it was a slightly leaner fish at 3.9kg! Absolutely unreal fish back to back and if we were 3 weeks before, then they'd be easy doubles. Nevertheless, James was understandably over the moon with his catches and it was time to head in. Absolute pleasure fishing with such passionate young anglers.


Proper rod-bend!

Copy paste almost!

On Saturday it was  again time for my friend Mubashar and his mates to come up for some fishing. This time they had 2 new friends from Egypt that they wanted to introduce to Scottish saltwater fishing. As usual, I did two mini sessions on the boat and got the first group of 3 out. It was a much windier day than Friday but I managed to find some calmer water behind an island. The lads were looking to get a good feed out so mainly interested in eaters. Them we found in good numbers and mixed with plenty of codling and a few nice coalies. It didn't take the boys long to start catching and it got very hectic at times with 3 rods bringing fish one after the other and even all at once! 

First fish on Skye for Malik!

Same for Beshoy!


He's in!

Mubashar with another one!

It was fantastic seeing so many codling showing up and long may they continue! Headed back for crew change and more of the same although with a couple better fish showing up this time.  Before long it was time to head in although it was a struggle to get the rod out of Mubashar's hands!

Yet again we' ve had a cracking day's fishing and the lads will have plenty of fish for a while! 

On the fishing front, we're now into proper postspawn and smaller, finer presentations seemed to get the better fish. I really hope the cod stick around longer as I really love catching them. Have done a service on the boat trailer and a couple reels so I'm feeling ready for the Summer season. Bring it on!

Tight lines!