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Wednesday, 22 June 2022

The tinnie cracks on...

Not had time at all to blog lately as it seems like everything is happening at the same time with work, fishing and family commitments. Nevertheless the fishing has been very good despite the rainy and windy June. After the early season glut, fish have become a little fussier with all the bait around and tend to patrol more instead of staging on one spot. They're also not as tightly shoaled and it has become a common thing to pick up a few fish before needing to move again to find more.  

Slim softplastics have been far better than metals in the past few sessions with brighter colours doing well. Although this could be down to my latest sessions taking place in the evening.  

I've had a good few people on the tinnie up to now and the feedback has been very positive. So much more space! I've kinda neglected my sibs and I think I need an outing on them in a more remote area than Staffin. There are reports of mackerel about and it would be good to head west for them.

I will be going for a month's holiday in Greece next month and I'm really looking forward to some good fishing there. Been a while since I had some hot weather fishing...

The other day I also opened my trout season account and this is probably the latest I've ever started fishing for them! Nevertheless, I'll hit some more wee lochans soon enough. 

Tight lines 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

New boat for the new season!

 Having exhausted my patience waiting for an F-Rib, I started thinking of different options.  Unfortunately, right now is a terrible time to be buying new boats so I was thinking I'd get something later in the Summer if the F-Rib still hadn't turned up. As if happens, an ad came up on the local buy/sell Facebook group, for an Australian Quintrex 420 aluminium dory with 25hp 2 stroke yamaha and trailer. Now I wasn't really keen on the trailer option before as I'd have to fit a towbar to the car as well, but the more I thought about the fishing I end up doing 90% of the time, the more sense it made to go for something like that.

Real boat club...

Easy to launch and retrieve. 

With the help of a friend we picked her up a couple weeks ago and then I had a towbar fitted to the car. Last week I took her out for a wee trial and a couple casts. She performed really well and on Saturday I had a guiding session with Andrew. 

It was a cracker of a day and turned out to be a bit of a red letter day as anywhere we fished and anything we dropped gave fish! Fishing from the tinnie is much more comfortable and we both commented on how dry the ride is. I still use the Haswing Cayman GPS on its marine ply panel and although it doesn't look the prettiest on the boat, it still does the job effortlessly. I used my old transom mount for the transducer and I have to say I really enjoyed the whole setup. The outboard seems to be going well and we done 19-20kts on the day. In combination with using the trolling motor, the fuel consumption was pretty low.

This man again...

On the fishing now, the pollock were stacked and hungry. Lure choice really didn't matter and they'd hit OTD but also on the retrieve. The fish were typically a bit skinny but very energetic on the fights especially for this time of year. Fish from 20m+ depth though would invariably come up blown up and we kept them, while no issues were had with fish from shallower water. 

They were stacked.

Some better conditioned ones too.

Darker one...

Andrew really loves his coalies though so we had to move to another spot for them. We got plenty on the metals and again they were skinny with a few better ones among them. Andrew reckons a better one was over his pb as well!

Pb coalie for Andrew.

Sunny May days...

We hit one last spot before calling it a day in the hope of getting a few cod. I got one but couldn't find the rest of them and Andrew hit some more hard fighting pollock before we headed in.

Recovering the boat was pretty straightforward too as it's fairly light and easy to pull on the trailer. We then divided the fish and said our goodbyes. Couldn't have asked for a better day's fishing and so glad it worked out well for Andrew as we had to work hard for our fish last time...

I'm pleasantly surprised with the way the fishing is firing up just now and can't wait for the next outing. Moreover, I really need to get a few sessions in for the trout. Hopefully I'll get more of this good weather this month for it...

Just a few thoughts on the boat now. It really feels much more robust, tracks better and offers a dryer ride than the sib. The amount of space is just fantastic too. Saying that, it's only rated to 4 people and feels a little less stable when for example 2 of you lean over the same side. I do feel that it'll make my island hopping sessions much easier though as I'm not worried about barnacles and sharp rocks while landing anymore. This will now be the boat I'll be using for all of my local fishing while I'll be taking the sibs further afield where access isn't as straightforward. Need to improve on my trailer reversing skills but thanks to YouTube I'm already making progress on that...

Tight lines!

Friday, 22 April 2022

Slowly picking up...

 Been a busy month workwise and with the gardening, fishing has taken a back seat. Moreover I had to change the keel to my boat as the old one was beyond repair this time. I put on a similar length keel from Aliexpress and after careful inflation (its wider) it seems to be doing OK.

I had a couple outing with clients from shore and boat and the results have been pretty good for this time of year. I think the reasonable weather we've been  having helped a lot.

The fish haven't all spawned out yet and they are in declined condition but seem very keen to improve that! As long as we had settled conditions and hit the right tide state, they wouldn't be too fussy.  Loud colours and softplastics done the deal. Slow jigs gave some fish as well.

Elvin and Manzhu with a double header!

Girl power!

Good conditions...

Some decent fish about...

She's in again...

And again..!

A few warriors for Dave!

Chilly but sunny!

It's great to see some better weather and I might be putting up a post with a new boat soon... 
It's also time I dusted the trout gear and go after the spotted beauties. I've got a new rod I want to try for them along with endless wee hard lures!

Tight lines 

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

The Springtime grind...

Was contacted by some lads coming on holiday to Skye, for some guiding over the weekend and I managed to make it happen yesterday. Forecast was surprisingly good but it deteriorated on the day (sigh!). Nevertheless I decided to get Dale and his large company (7 people in total) across to the island in two loads. 
We got settled and set off for the first mark of the day.  I informed the guys that as we're getting into the spawn now, it would take persistence to coax them out. Usually when they are spawning,  you get sessions with immature fish and a couple larger prespawners if they can be bothered to bite. We used mainly loud colours and metals throughout the day and we started getting some small fish straight away.  

Keen group...

On a productive rocky outcrop.

It took a while for quality to improve but Dale did it with a plump female that took his 60g metal OTD. This proved to be the fish of the day too and went back to the drink after a good fight. A few more eater-sized fish were caught but there was no real pattern. Most of the guys caught (and lost) fish throughout the day but even though conditions were good, you could feel the change from a few weeks back where even while there was a swell and big tides, the fish were more aggressive and there was a discernible pattern.

Man of the day.

The highlight of the day was when one of the guys caught a tadpole fish on a slow jig!
It's the first time I saw one alive and couldn't believe it went for a metal!!! Told the lad to go get a lottery ticket because he wouldn't get another one like that in his life... For the story, it was caught in about 23m water in an area with underwater caves and lots of boulders. It took a 40g pink slow jig.


Young gun.

Soon enough the session came to a close. The wind had really picked up and it got a bit hairy (wet more accurately) when leaving the island. We all got back at the slipway in the end and we said our goodbyes. The guys were proper troopers and hopefully they'll be back in better weather.

I think I'll only go for another session if conditions are perfect otherwise I've got too many projects that needing completion just now. 

Tight lines.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

SEAL operations in February.

Last weekend I hosted Zubair and the lads again for a day's fishing. The weather has been atrocious this month so managing to get out was very lucky. Nevertheless, conditions weren't that great. Day started frosty but dry and there was a good swell running.  

I met the boys down the pier and the plan was to get on the boat and cross to one of the Islands where we'd spend the day fishing from the rocks. The guys really wanted to fish from the boat but I had warned them that it wouldn't be possible due to the weather and they should come prepared for rock and boat fishing.  Unfortunately, a couple didn't get the message and came with casual footwear that wasn't ideal...!

We crossed to the island and secured the boat. Then made our way to the first rock point. The swell was significant and after getting a couple skinny coalies I decided to move to the other side of the island. The swell was still significant here but the greater depth made fishing slightly easier. I setup the guys and had a couple casts with my rod. Surprisingly,  I got hit  straight away and managed a chunky pollock on a homemade yellow/white fork tail on 30g darting jighead. I recommended loud colours to the lads and soon enough Zubair was in as well.  The fish were typically holding low and near the rock-kelp transition.

Don't look too bad...

It's the same day..!

 There were average size pollock but they were in great condition and the gonads made them much heavier. Hence why this is prime time for the biggest fish of the year although unfortunately the weather has been prohibitive for fishing this winter.

Next one to have a fish was Khurram and he also lost a bigger one. Most of the other guys found it difficult to stay in the zone and unfortunately didn't get any fish. Winter fishing can have great rewards but its definitely more demanding skillwise.

After we lost a good amount of gear and with the tide receding (big tides) I decided to run and gun along the rock wall and Khurram followed me while the rest went back to the boat for a break. I soon found a pocket of fish and called Zubair back. The three of us had some more plump fish before deciding to call it a day. Unfortunately I didn't get many photos during the day as we kept most fish for the table and they were dispatched quickly! 

On the way back we had to lift and walk with the boat to the water as 2 of the bolts holding the wheels snapped  hence the title... It was good fun spending the day with the lads and even though not everyone caught, we still had some fish. They assured me they'll be back in the summer months for some relaxed boat fishing!

I was hoping for another day out before March but the weather is just showing storms all the time so I don't think I'll manage it. Plenty of other stuff keeping me busy right now anyway...

Tight lines 

Friday, 14 January 2022

Account opened for 2022!

 Done very little fishing the past couple weeks as I had a stinking cold before Christmas and also some family over too. Nevertheless, Skye-addict Rob, let me know he'd be coming up for a week after New year's day and was keen to get some fishing done. Typically, the weather was horrible but we found some workable conditions on the Saturday. I was planning to take the easy option of just getting of on one of the islands and spending most of the day rock fishing there but as the day was better than forecasted, we decided to fish off the SIB all day.  Moreover, Rob was keen to see the Haswing Cayman GPS trolling motor at work as he's interested in the concept. 

We fished a few spots further out first and picked up a couple average fish before it got a bit choppy and uncomfortable to fish. My first fish came to the 'trendy' Inu-rig and I'm glad it got a fish.  Its an interesting presentation but I think it'll be better at close range and weightless lures for big perch etc. Love trying new presentations anyway.

Liked the Inu-rig. 

This guy again!

We moved to a more sheltered spot that has been very consistent for me this year and it didn't take long to get some good bites. The fish were holding at 19-20m and they were really up for it. We were using mostly loud coloured sandeels and shads on 30-40g jigheads. The fish didn't want anything fancy, hit bottom and a steady retrieve with a couple pauses did the trick. These were some cracking fish and me and Rob kept some for the table. There were mostly females but also a few males and they all had developed gonads as spawning is just around the corner. Moreover all the fish were absolutely stuffed with a variety of baitfish.  From gurnards and scorpions to whitting and sprats/young herring. We did notice plenty of baitfish close to the bottom and higher up. Usually they aren't so plentiful this time of year but the pollock must've been glad they were there.

Cracking fish!

Full bellied.

He's in...

It was great to kick off the New Year with Rob and hope this fishing continues. If there's some settled weather coming through then that will mean some good conditions for the big mamas...
I was really hoping to have received my 
F-Rib by now but no sign of it yet. Would be ideal if I can get in time for the summer season. The YAM 380S keeps on going but the wear and tear shows now.
This year I'm hoping for some more warm weather fishing along with my usual targets. Let's see how things go...

Tight lines.