Welcome to my page dedicated to my various fishing adventures. Over the years I have fished on and off, but in 2005 I decided the time had come to get more into the hobby. Here are some reports and how I have been getting on.
Loch Awe May 2006 - Scott's First Pike Trip
Robert and I were supposed to be fishing a shore match at Gourock, but given there would be no fish caught, we decided to go pike fishing instead. David's son Scott fancied trying pike fishing so David and Scott met us up at Loch Awe for the day on 21 May. Before they arrived, Robert had lost two fish, the bait was still frozen so the fish didn't hook on. Scott was the first to hook in, landing a cracking 10 pound 12 ounce pike, what a great first fish. You can see from the photos how happy he was. The day was quite slow bite wise, we each lost the odd fish. I lost one, and it took a wee while to hook into my next (and only fish of the day). I landed a very nice 15 pound 2 ounce pike, might even have been the same fish I landed two weeks before. Scott also landed a 9 pound plus fish, before he and David headed home. After they left, the fishing died away very quickly with no more bites all afternoon. We did have a good laugh watching the lambs in the field behind us playing, but the fishing didn't happen for the afternoon. Oh well, can't win them all, but I did have the heaviest pike of the day again, sorry guys! Hope you enjoy the photos.
Loch Awe May 2006 - Abed's First Pike Trip
Abed fancied a warm up at pike fishing prior to the boys weekend we are having at Loch Awe the first weekend in June. I was on a Mini weekend up at Loch Tay on 6 May so arranged to meet Robert, Duncan & Abed at Loch Awe for a bit of Pike fishing on 7 May on my way home. The day started quietly, we couldn't get to our normal mark so tried a new part of the bay, with no bites at all. Duncan wondered to one of our previous marks and landed a 13 pound plus fish which he then followed with an 8 pound plus one. So we pack up and moved round to where Duncan had got his fish. I can't remember how many fish we caught, but in the space of about an hour we must have had about 8 fish, in total we caught 11 fish and lost a good few as well. I had the pleasure of landing the biggest of the day at 15 pounds 2 ounces, so I was well chuffed. Abed not only caught his first pike but managed to land either 4 or 5, as well as missing about the same number, so he had a great first day pike fishing!
It was a great day, topped by the fact that John Wilson, him off the telly, was filming in the bay and could only watch on as we landed fish whilst he could only get the odd wee fish. He spent more time watching us through his binoculars than fishing. We weren't impressed with him, because when he landed on his boat, just along the shore from us, he didn't bother speaking to us and just drove off, a shame because we could have passed him a tip or two on catching pike! Hope you enjoy the photos from our day (see May 06 pt 1)
Loch Etive and Loch Awe April 2006
Robert and I had planned to go fishing on 23 April, possibly for pike and maybe a bit of sea fishing from the shore. We then almost changed plan to go for skate again, however the skipper called off the night before due to a bad forecast. So we reverted to our original plan of pike and sea fishing.
First stop was a mark up at Loch Etive where I missed two decent bites, but Robert managed to hook into two good dogfish and a very nice spurrie. Sadly, because of the late change of plan Robert's scales were in his other tackle box back in Glasgow. One of the doggies was a good two pound plus and the spurrie looked safely into double figures (both would have been new personal records for Robert).
After running out of mackerel bait, we decided to head down to Loch Awe to a favourite spot to try for pike. By now the forecast bad weather was nowhere to be seen, with a light breeze and sunshine over the Loch when we arrived. We got set up at around 2pm, initially with a rod each with a dead bait in the water and a rod each with lures/ spinners to try and tempt the fish. After spinning for a while, Robert changed to two dead baits (one on a float) and soon hooked into a pike. The pike was again safely into double figures. With Robert's success I opted to change to a 2nd dead bait as well, and the mixture of baits worked with Robert's float going under. On striking there was nothing there so Robert left it for a few minutes and the float went again, this time on striking there was definitely nothing as the fish had bitten through the line (above the float which was strange). We eventually figured that when coming in for the bait the pike must have caught the line above the float in it's mouth and on the second strike it sheared on the teeth. A shame because it would have been Robert's first pike on a float.
Anyway things quietened down for quite a while until after 5pm when my 2nd rod started going. I got to the rod with line still running out and struck, for a brief second the line started to tense up and then went, for the 2nd time that day a line had been bitten through. This time we reckoned the fish had swallowed the bait and wire trace all the way down and the thin nylon had no chance on the teeth. After a little sweary word or two, I baited up again and put the bait out roughly where I had just lost the fish and waited. Sure enough, at just before 6pm the rod started going again, this time when I struck, I was into a pike, my first success of the day. The pike was determined not to come in and put on a great scrap, going on several powerful runs, and at least one cracking tail walk which Robert captured a fantastic photo of. Eventually I got the fish up to the side of the water, but several times on feeling the ground against it's stomach it turned and headed back out. Finally, after about 10 mins I had the fish up on the bank with just it's tail in the water, as I bent down to try and move it away from the water the line snapped. My heart sank as the fish tried to turn back to the water, with a quick grab of the tail and head I managed to move the fish a safe distance from the water.
After unhooking the fish and taking a few snaps it safely went back, taking only a few seconds to recover before powerfully gliding off back into the depths. We were both curious if it had been the same fish that had bitten off the first time round, but forgot to check if there were any signs of my other trace and bait. I was absolutely delighted, having not only caught a fish for the day, but a great one at that. Sadly without scales we couldn't weigh it, but the pictures are great and I am fairly sure it would have beaten my previous 18lb 6oz fish by a couple of pounds. The head was smaller than my first big pike, but the body seemed wider and longer, and the tail seemed bigger. But I am quite happy, with some fantastic photos to remember such a beauty of a fish. The last photo in the gallery shows my two beauties together, the photos aren't in perfect scale, but a fairly close to give you an idea of the relative sizes (the top one being the fish I caught today). Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed catching the fish, they really are very special creatures!
As a wee footnote, bought a set of scales yesterday! Sorry Robert!!!
Skate Fishing Oban March 2006
The omens for my second skate trip were not good. Having had a karting accident on the previous Monday, which left me with quite a sore back, and having had a stomach bug for a few days after my flight back from South Africa, I probably should have known better. Anyway, after a couple of hours out on the water and having been sick with my first ever bout of sea sickness, my reel started running. It is a hard feeling to explain, you are willing a fish to bite and then panicking because you know it could be really big and as a first timer you don't know what to expect.
Anyway, I picked up my rod and reeled as hard as possible and it wasn't long before I was firmly hooked into the fish and not able to move it at all. Ronnie and Scott got me sorted with a harness and butt pad, followed by some great words of advice and encouragement. After a while of a stand off with the fish I was really struggling with my back. Ronnie rigged me up with a bum and leg harness/ butt pad which took the pressure off my back and I began to make progress. After about 35 minutes or so, I had managed to bring my first skate in, all 182 pounds of her. I felt a mixture of relief to get my first skate, that it had been a good size after all the huffing and puffing and being totally knackered.
I was the first to land a skate, Scott picked up a nice 98 pounder, Robert's brother Thomas got his first which was a 185 pounder and another guy on the boat got a 114 pounder. Thomas and Duncan (Robert's other brother) both had fish on when the line snapped. So not a bad day with four landed and two on but lost.
Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed catching the fish and looking at her. She went safely back and maybe one day we will meet again when she beats Ronnie's boat record of 223 pounds.
Loch Etive November 2005
My next trip was due to be a trip to Oban skate fishing, but bad weather meant the trip was changed to a day in Loch Etive. It was my first chance to try out my recently bought flotation suit, thought it would be a good idea when on boat trips in the middle of a Scottish winter, not the most fashionable of garments but keeps you nice and warm (and alive if you fall in the water!). It was a good day of fishing for me, adding a whiting to my list of species of fish caught. All in all I was quite successful with a couple of thornback rays, around ten lesser spotted dogfish, a gunnard, several whiting and my first spurdog (3 lbs 3 onzs). Robert had one of those days when luck wasn't with him, he did manage a handful of fish but was a bit frustrated. The guys at the back of the boat had the most success with several 10 pound plus spurdogs being pulled in, John caught the biggest of the day at 13 pounds 1 ounce (a fantastic specimen in anyones books). We also as a boat of nine had the skippers best ever day of thornback rays caught, landing over thirty between us. Photos of my first spurdog and John's prize specimen can be seen below. Also in the photos is Robert's brother Duncan, with a 7 pound plus shore caught spurdog which he caught in October, not far from where we were on the boat.
My next trip was to Loch Fyne with Roberts fishing club on one of their competitions, but despite trying of six hours I had no joy (I tell a lie, I caught the biggest crab of the day). I enjoyed the day anyway, some days you are lucky sometimes you aren't. Robert caught a few dogfish and won the biggest species catch of the day with a large mackerel.
My next trip was back to Loch Awe on 29 Oct for Pike. We fished the same spot as last time, with Robert hooking a baby pike with a lure I bought in Majorca. After an hour or so we moved to the other side of the bay and I managed to catch three 6 pound plus pike, one on dead bait and 2 with lures. After the previous pike, we didn't bother with photo's, better just to get the fish back in the water as soon as possible.
Loch Sunnart September 05
Since then Robert and I have been on three more trips, two to Loch Sunnart, the first time we caught nothing and moved on the Loch Etive and caught two mackerel and one gunnard. The second time we went with his brother Duncan and caught quite a few dogfish and a few thornback rays. My biggest dogfish was 2 pounds 3 ounces and the biggest thornback I got was 4 pounds plus. The pictures from the day can be seen by clicking on the link below.
Loch Awe - August 05
The next trip of the year was a run up to Loch Awe with Robert. An early start and 3 hours driving and we were at a Pike hotspot at the bottom end of Loch Awe. Things looked good with the odd splash appearing as large fish broke the surface. Anyway, after a lesson from Robert on how to rig up Pike baits, we had four baits out in the water. Nothing much happened for a while, so I decided trying some maggots on a float to see if there were any smaller fish around. Eventually we had success with a small Perch (who sadly decided to snuff it and landed up as a fresh bait). Nothing much was happening, but we both tried a bit of lure fishing with Robert managing to get a couple of pike to rise up but they didn't take the lure.
We then decided it may be time to move on (after about 3-4 without joy), Robert went to the far rod and I went to the nearest rod. As I bent down to pick up the rod, the line suddenly started running out, I looked at Robert and he told me to strike and see what happened. As I did, there was a sudden reaction in the water and the rod bent right over (it was the smallest wee rod you could think of). Having never caught a pike I wasn't sure what to expect, I soon learnt that the pike only gives up when it decides to. The wee rod was straining with the fish and at one point a fairly large head appeared above the water and my excitement turned into being quite frightened because it looked a bit big. Eventually, after about 10 minutes, my wee fish was on dry land and Robert was trying to unhock it for me.
The unhocking was a laugh because any time the fish snapped at him I jumped back as well. What can I say, when you see those teeth up close you rhubarb yourself.
Anyway, once weighed, the fish came in at 18 pounds 6 ounces, my first and largest pike. I was well chuffed and didn't care the that was the only pike caught all day. A few picks of Mr Pike can be seen by clicking on the link below.
Oban August 05
My first trip this year was with a group of guys from work for a boat trip out of Oban. An early start at work (6.30am) and a few hours later we arrived to board Ronnie's boat and head for some hopefully chunky Pollock etc. The day was fantastic with most of us getting a touch of the sun, and a few good fish were caught. I have a picture or two of my wee Pollock fish (I caught a couple over 2 pounds). The leading fish of the day was Abed's 6 pound plus Pollock. Thank you to Robert (a friend from work) for his patience in helping me with the basics of boat fishing. Pictures of my catches can be seen by clicking on the link below.