Kayak Fishing the Mull of Galloway – Part 2

This was my second kayak fishing trip to the Mull of Galloway. The first was 3 years ago and it is something I had planned on doing every year over the bank holiday May weekend but bad weather put to rest the last 2 planned trips. However, mother nature looked favourably on Nathan and I this year. We were also keen to get our first tope. Nathan had a hookup on our first trip there which had him getting dragged about all over the bay but he never got it to the surface and ever since then I have been keen to get in on the action. Could this year be the year…..

We set off after work on the Friday and headed straight across to the Sands of Luce holiday park at the base of Luce Bay. This was the first time I had camped here but I will definitely be going back. The park was clean and had been recently refurbished with a fun bar for food and drink in the evenings.

On arrival it was a case of quickly getting the tent up before darkness fell and then a few cheeky pints to help us sleep. The weather was lovely and the wind light which meant one thing – midges! They certainly helped us pick up the pace when putting the tent together.

All set up and ready for a drink:
Camping Sounds of Luce Holiday Park

On Saturday morning we had planned on heading straight out to Luce Bay in a forecast light offshore breeze. However, as per 3 years ago, the weather here seems to have its own micro-climate. The wind was the opposite direction to forecast and 3 times as strong. This called for a trip to Port Logan to fish in shelter under the high cliffs. It was no hardship as the scenery around Port Logan is brilliant.

A nice place to paddle:
Kayak Fishing Port Logan

Plenty of pollock and coalfish were found but nothing of any size:
Kayak Fishing Pollock - Mull of Galloway

We anchored up for a bit and found plenty of the less popular dogfish:
Kayak Fishing Mull of Galloway

After a good 4-5 hours of fishing it was time to head in for some food and to see if we could re-energise to fish Luce Bay in the evening if the wind dropped. We had spent a lot of time searching for mackerel to use as tope bait but couldn’t find any.

By 5pm on the Saturday, the wind dropped to almost nothing. It was sunny and really warm. We almost settled for a few beers and a relaxing evening by the tent but the midges again, gave us extra encouragement to get back out on the water. This time, bait fishing at anchor in Luce Bay was in order.

We paddled out to a spot we had enjoyed success at 3 years ago. Once past the 30ft mark we found plenty of mackerel. It seems they were all in the bay rather than on the west side. I began to think that this was boding well for the tope fishing.

Mackerel Luce Bay

I dropped anchor and Nathan tethered next to me about 20 feet away. I put 2 rods down. One with a mackerel on a barbless circle hook for the tope and one lighter rod with squid for anything else that might be about.

We didn’t have to wait long. The first fish to the side of my kayak was a small thornback:

Kayak Fishing Thornback Ray - Scotland

Followed by a bigger one which put up a good fight on a 6lb class rod in the tide:

Kayak Fishing Thornback Ray Luce Bay

Kayak Fishing Thornback Ray - South West Scotland

Next up were some dogfish followed by my first red gurnard. I had always wanted one of these and find them a stunning fish:

red gurnard - South West Scotland Kayak

Shortly after this, things went a little mental. Nathan’s tope rod started taking line. Initially this was in stops and starts. Something was toying with him. Just as I was about to bring my tope rod in to keep things simple mine starting to take line. As if in on it together, we both had a fish on and chaos ensued. Nathan got dragged one way and me the other. Perhaps tethering was not a good idea!

After plenty of adrenaline, we got both fish to the surface. Mine was not a tope after all but still a first for me. It was a bull huss. I can see why they call them bull’s. This thing had a serious attitude problem. I managed a couple of pictures but it was not very obliging and was returned quickly.

Kayak Fishing Luce Bay - Bull Huss

Kayak Fishing Luce Bay - Angry Bull Huss

Nathan on the other hand had accomplished our mission and had a lovely tope at the side of his kayak. We had read up a lot on how to handle these but there is reading and then there is doing! It was interesting to say the least getting such a large fish across the yak but Nathan did a grand job quickly unhooking it, getting some photo’s and releasing it from where it came.

Well done Nathan:

Kayak Fishing for Tope - Scotland

After this it became a bit of a species session. In the evening I had caught coalfish, pollock, grey gurnard, red gurnard, dog fish, thornbacks, mackerel and huss but no tope. The sun was getting low in the sky and we decided to give it another 30 minutes or so before paddling in.

It was now my turn for some action. Click, click, click went the Abu 7000. The clicks then got progressively quicker and louder and it was fish on! It felt very different to anything I had hooked before and was like an express train. I was grinning ear to ear and my heart was pumping. It surfaced 3 times almost like it just wanted to say hello before diving back down to the depths.

Tope fishing Scotland

After 5 minutes the fight was over and the tope was ready to bring onto the kayak. That is what I thought anyway. Once on the yak it became very lively. Still, I managed to unhook quite quickly, Nathan took a picture and it swam away strongly which was a great site.

Kayak Fishing Tope Scotland

It was then time to head in to a beautiful view of the sun dropping down over Luce Bay:
Luce Bay, South West Scotland, Sunset

Saturday night we were in the mood to celebrate. The pub at the holiday park was suitably lively which was entertaining and once last orders were called a few more were had in the tent.

Sounds of Luce Holiday Park Bar

Relaxing - Sounds of Luce Holiday Park

Sunday came and we were not as quick to get out as we had hoped! We had one more fishing session to get in before we were to head back to the Toon. The weather was glorious once more so we headed back out into Luce Bay to see if we could get back in on the tope action. It didn’t disappoint. Mackerel were caught once more and Nathan was the first one into a fish. This was giving a great account of itself:

Playing a big fish - Luce Bay

It turned out to be the biggest of our trip. Does anyone want to suggest a size? I’m not confident in estimating this type of fish.

Big tope on the kayak - South West Scotland

Big tope on the kayak - South West Scotland

Big Tope - Scotland

Then it was my turn. I was becoming totally hooked on this type of fishing. The sheer power of these fish and the fight was an absolute pleasure. Cod and pollock fishing might never be the same again!

Kayak fishing for Tope

It wasn’t as big as Nathan’s but a lot of fun all the same:

Kayak Fishing Tope Luce Bay

Kayak Fishing Tope Mull of Galloway

By this point we had 2 tope in just over an hour and a half and 4 tope in total within 24 hours so figured that was pretty amazing seeing as we were both tope virgins before the trip. Much to my suprise, there was still time for one more rod bender! This was the smallest of the lot but perfectly formed:

Tope fishing - Luce Bay

Kayak Fishing Tope

Kayak Fishing Tope Dumfries & Galloway

At this point it was time to head back in to get the tent packed up before the long drive home. I was shattered but on cloud nine.

I’m pretty sure I will have to make my way across again before the summer is up and look forward to the next years bank holiday May weekend.

Video of the weekends tope fishing action:

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Newbiggin-By-The-Sea

This is a very popular spot amongst kayak fisherman in the North East. The car park at the north of the town provided very easy access to the beach and is free. Park here and wheel the kayak down the short concrete slip onto the sandy beach. The sand is soft which is a little tiring but you don’t have too far to pull the kayak before reaching the sea, especially at high tide.

Once on the water you have a sandy bay and sand banks straight out which give good flatty fishing. I’ve caught whiting from here as well in the winter. This isn’t the reason to come to Newbiggin though. Newbiggin is in my mind one of the best cod fishing spots in our area. In winter myself and few friends regularly head up to Newbiggin (when the weather allows) to fish church point. This is the rocky headland just North of the launch spot. The ground here is very rough and provides a haven for cod, some of which are real specimens. In winter we anchor up and fish with bait but lures also work really well in the summer months when the water is clearer.

Close in from church point is large areas of kelp. These hold cod and most likely hold good Pollock although I’ve never specifically targeted them. This area won me the Geordie Christmas Comp in 2014 with a lovely 7lb kelp cod.

The tidal flow around church point can be strong. In fact, the flow here is stronger than anywhere else I’ve written about with the exception of the river Tyne. If you get a good day at Newbiggin you will come back on a regular basis. It is a great spot but one to be a little cautious of if you are new to the sport and the art of anchoring.

Fish I have caught in this area:

Cod

Cod

Whiting

Whiting

Dab

Dab

Plan your trip:

I hope this has been of use to you. Feel free to add a comment if you want more information and please ‘like’ the page.

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Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Blyth, Northumberland

The regular launch for Blyth is at a place called ‘hole in the wall’. There is a small car park just before you get to the barrier at Blyth Marina which is free of charge and where there is a ‘hole in the wall’ to allow access to the beach. There is a little bit of a lip to get over from the car park to the beach but it isn’t major and very easy if there are two of you. The distance from the car park to the water is very short (especially at high tide) often meaning there is no need for a trolley. From this launch spot you have a lot of choices when it comes to styles of fishing and species to target.

Firstly, you have a lot of sand banks inshore that provide good flatty fishing. I’ve had a lot of plaice and dabs from Blyth. I’ve had a few of the nasty weaver fish too. If this doesn’t take your fancy then there is catfish reef. This is a reef about ¾ of a mile off shore that can hold good cod on the right day. You can also paddle to the reefs just north of Blyth pier (see Cambois for more details on this area). The highlight of this spot for me is the wrecks. They are numerous but do require a bit of experience and good sea state as they are a good distance off shore. These hold the usual cod and Pollock but also provide the odd ling as well. In summer, Blyth is another mackerel hot spot and can be caught just about anywhere previously mentioned. Blyth is one of my favourite locations and one I hope to fish a lot more in the future.

Fish I have caught in this area:

Ling

Ling

Mackerel

Mackerel

Plaice

Plaice

Dab

Dab

Pollock

Pollock

Coalfish

Coalfish

Weaver

Weaver

Cod

Cod

Plan your trip:

I hope this has been of use to you. Feel free to add a comment if you want more information and please ‘like’ the page.

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Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Tynemouth Longsands

I have fished Tynemouth a lot on the kayak but rarely see another kayak fisherman out there. I really rate it as a spot but it did take me a fair while to figure the place out and often came back empty handed in the early days.

The place is very versatile. There are plenty of sand banks that offer good dab and plaice fishing plus the odd grey gurnard. Whiting arrive in their droves over winter and are an easy target as the sun sets. One session resulted in half a dozen large whiting all in the space of 30 minutes. The largest just under 3lb!

There is rocky ground to the North end and South end of Longsands beach which offer good cod fishing, especially after an unsettled period. There are also some reefs in the middle of the bay which can produce the goods on the right day. I’ve fished these on a low tide in only 15-20ft of water and pulled out a number of large cod.

In summer, Longsands is my go to spot for mackerel. Once reports come in that mackerel have arrived I try to get out at Longsands to bag up on them for my lobster pots and for winter bait (plus a few for the BBQ!). They come in very close to the shore once the bait fish are around, particularly as the sun starts to set. I have also targeted mackerel on my Stand Up Paddle Board with an LRF rod…brilliant fun!

Access at Tynemouth is straight forward. There are slips at the North and South end of the bay. You can park on these if you get there early enough although you need to pay for it. In fact, all spots in Tynemouth require a parking ticket which is a downside. In addition, it can get very busy during the peak of summer. On occasion I’ve had trouble weaving my kayak in and out of the sun bathers. Early morning or late afternoon / evening solves this problem. Another thing to be slightly wary of is other people out in the water. It gets busy with swimmers and surfers. The beach picks up plenty of surf making so this is a spot to choose on a very small to flat swell forecast.

Launching from the North Slip at Tynemouth Longsands

Launching from the North Slip at Tynemouth Longsands

Kayak Fishing Launch Spot - South Slip at Tynemouth Longsands

Kayak Fishing Launch Spot – South Slip at Tynemouth Longsands

From Tynemouth you have a wide range of spots to try out

From Tynemouth you have a wide range of spots to try out

Fish I have caught in this area:

Grey Gurnard

Grey Gurnard

Mackerel

Mackerel

Cod

Cod

Plaice

Plaice

Dab

Dab

Whiting

Whiting

Plan your trip:

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Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Cambois

This is another fun spot for kayak fishing. There is a concrete ramp that provides easy access to the beach. There are some concrete blocks at the top to prevent boat launches but there is enough of a gap for a kayak. The launch from Cambois is simple at low and mid tide. You do need to be careful at high tide if there is even a slight swell on as the water comes right over the bottom of the concrete ramp and even a 1-2ft wave can cause problems on re-entry.

Once out at sea you have a lot of rough ground. The windmills are a good place to start. Here you have 30-40ft of water with sharp drop offs all around providing good ground for cod and Pollock. I’ve even caught a dogfish here which was a first for me in the North East. Mackerel are also commonly caught here in the summer. On an incoming tide I often head straight for the windmills and drift right down to Blyth pier. This covers a lot of rough ground and normally produces a good cod or two. Friends of mine have had cod over 10lb from this area and it is certainly worth a shot if you have your cod goggles on 

Cambois kayak fishing

Easy slip to launch from at Cambois

Fish I have caught in this area:

Mackerel

Mackerel

Cod

Cod

Pollock

Pollock

Dogfish

Dogfish

Plan your trip:

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Kayak Fishing Spot Guide – Whitley Bay

    Kayak Fishing at Whitley Bay – Location Guide

The location:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay

Whitley Bay Kayak Fishing Location overlooking St Marys Island and Lighthouse

Whitley Bay is a fantastic all round kayak fishing location. It has a lot of varied terrain offering quite a few species in close proximity to each other. It is also relatively sheltered as a lot of the large swell gets blocked by the outer reef allowing for an easy paddle out (particularly at mid tide) when other spots such as Tynemouth would be hard work.

The bay is shallow until you get to the outer reef whereby it drops away quite quickly. Most of the ground is rocky making it an excellent spot for cod fishing. Around the light house area there are large drop off’s and there is always a good chance of a pollock and wrasse. Further North of the Island there is some large kelp beds which are also worth a look at. It is rumoured that bass can be caught here on the inside reef but I’m yet to get one.

Further out towards yellow can (a marker approximately 1 mile out to sea) you will find more rough ground in approximately 60ft of water. This is again, cod country and if you are adventurous, there are a few wrecks not too far from there that are worth checking out.

Whitley Bay is one of my favourite areas to kayak fish from and has produced good size fish for me with cod and pollock both over 10lb fairly close to the shore.

Whitley Bay offers a few different options when it comes to launching the kayak.

Access Point 1:

kayak fishing spot St Marys Island Whitley Bay

Access Point: Ramp to St Marys Island and Lighthouse at Whitley Bay

This is a very easy spot to launch from at high tide. You can wheel the kayak down the road right into the water. At low tide it can be a bit of a pain getting the kayak up over the raised road but it is do-able (especially if there are two of you). The parking is not free though and at time of writing is £1.20 per hour which is a downside.

Access Point 2:

Whitley Bay Boat Station Kayak Fishing

Access Point: Steep ramp from the Golf Course at Whitley Bay

Whitley Bay Boat House Kayak Fishing

Access Point: Steep ramp at the Golf Course looking East at Whitley Bay

This is probably the most popular access point amongst local kayak fisherman. People park opposite the small golf club car park and walk across the dual carriageway. Parking here is free (note: the golf car park is not). The access is OK going down but it is steep. Going back up is a killer. It is only a short walk but the steepness can really test you. Especially if you are carry the extra weight of a good catch!

Access Point 3:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay access point 3

Access Point: Path from the car park at Whitley Bay

View from the road of the foot path that can be used to launch.

View from the road of the foot path that can be used to launch.

This is the spot that I launch from quite frequently as it is close to home. You can park in the large pay and display car park directly above the foot path and walk the kayak down. It is a good spot if you want access to the middle of the bay. The only problem is the last 10m stretch as this is over uneven rocks and pebbles.

Access Point 4:

Kayak Fishing Whitley Bay - Access point 4

Access Point: Easy ramp down to the middle of Whitley Bay beach

A view from the top of the concrete slip.  This is a very easy launch.

A view from the top of the concrete slip. This is a very easy launch.

This is the easiest access to the middle of the bay and is just slightly south of access point 3. The concrete ramp is wide and runs straight to the beach. It isn’t too steep either and is in quite good condition. The only problem is the distance to get to it as you will most likely still need to park at the large car park.


Fish I have caught in this area:

Coalfish

Coalfish

Cod

Cod

Ling

Ling

Mackerel

Mackerel

Pollock

Pollock

Pouting

Pouting

Wrasse

Wrasse

Lobster

Lobster

Octopus

Octopus

Scorpion

Scorpion

Plan your trip:

I hope this has been of use to you. Feel free to add a comment if you want more information and please ‘like’ the page.

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Evening / Night Fishing – Whitley Bay (mackerel and seals)

Hi All,

Andy, Kiwi (Nathan) and I headed out at Whitley Bay around 5.30pm last night with a plan to fish into dark and coming in around 10pm. Conditions were lovely, company great and fish obliging. I struggled to find mackerel in any real numbers this season. That was until last night. They were everywhere! I stocked up on a dozen pretty quickly for winter bait (and some tea) and then firmly put the cod and pollock goggles on. The cod were there pretty much from the off taking a fancy for the fiiish minnow and slug go worms. No real biggie’s. Largest about 4lb. The pollock were harder to find but I did get a good one only to lose it right by the side of the yak. Still, the fight was fun.

The seals around the island are getting more curious each trip. This time around they were being a right pest. I couldn’t fish my usual pollock marks as a result. I could see them on the finder right underneath me taking it in turns to shoot up to the surface!

The night fishing was less productive. Cod were happy to take squid and black lug but no real size. Last night session I had scorpion fish and octopus so always hoping for something a bit different but it was not to be.

A thoroughly enjoyable session.

James

Pics:

Kayak Fishing North East – 7 species, a great morning

I managed a mornings session yesterday (24/7/15) before the weather turned. Forecast was for very light winds and with little swell for a few days clarity was also going to be good. The clarity part was right and for the most part the wind was light although it kicked up quite a bit towards the end. The wind always seems to make an appearance these days.

I couldn’t resist a couple of pictures of the light house before launch given how nice the conditions where.

My plan was to get some paddle fitness in and mix it up a little and go for different species. I’ve not tried this specifically before but I’ve been spurred on by the great pics of the Oxwich species comp. I initially planned to paddle the couple of miles or so straight up the coast to the sand bars at Seaton in search of flatties. I haven’t targeted these at all this year but really enjoy eating them!

On approach to the light house I could hear the barking and roaring of the seals. The island is teeming with them at the moment including a lot of pups. I know some find them a pest but I personally love seeing them (as long as they do not get too close!). It must be a sign of good fish stocks but it cannot help fishing when they are only a few feet away!

This area screams Pollock and temptation of starting fishing before the flatty ground got the better of me. A quick cast out into a favourite spot of mine and bam, straight in! Not a Pollock though but a nice Ballan Wrasse which fell to a 12g Black Fiiish Minnow.

1 species down. I had a couple more casts but then managed to get back to the plan and continued to paddle to Seaton Sluice (but trolling a lure in case a hungry Pollock was about).

On arrival to Seaton Sluice it took me a little while to find a nice sand bar and then I set about drifting spoon rigs. One had black lug tipped with squid, the other a white XL Isome Worm. I was keen to see how they compared. The flatties were very obliging. Nothing big enough for tea but half a dozen caught (mostly dabs with the 2 plaice) before thoughts of rough ground started. 2 fell to Isome worms. 4 to black lug. I also caught a couple of mackerel which took it to 4 species.

I then paddled to some ground near Hollywell Bay that grabbed my attention on the paddle across to Seaton Sluice. First drop with an inline 4” slug go and bang! A good cod of about 4lb came to the surface after a good fight on light gear. This action continued for about half an hour with a cod a drop. Some were pretty small but good fish were amongst them. I also tried the HTO Artic Eel for the first time in rhubarb and custard. This is a weedless lure similar to the Fiiish Black Minnow but slightly cheaper and has a built in rattle. In addition, it is longer and thinner with the hook running further along the body. They worked very well for me for cod and pollock and I look forward to using them again (see vid).

Some cod shots. Lures finding a good stamp:


On the drift back towards the light house I had a couple of surprise hits. Two pouting / scotch haddock fell to my lures. I have caught these around yellow can off Whitley Bay before but not in this area. They were also PB’s for me. One had thick brown bands running down its body. The other was solid brown with no bandings. Are these the same species or can I add another one to my list? Any info appreciated.

Pouting with bands:

Dark / brown Pouting (double hook up with a good cod!):

With 6 species under my belt I wanted a Pollock. These had been a little thin on the ground over the last few sessions with only 1 or 2 being caught after quite a bit of effort so I wasn’t sure how this was going to pan out. Fortunately, luck was with me today. I switched to a more natural HTO Artic eel colour (the “Grippan”) and paddled to some thick kelp beds that I have had luck in before. I didn’t have to wait long before I was in with a good size Pollock. I love these fish and cannot get enough of the fight they give.

Pollock action shot:

A good start to the Pollock fishing:

There were a lot. On almost every drop or cast and retrieve you could see one following the lure on the fish finder.

A lot of big smiles and grins from ear to ear followed as 3 more came to the yak but none bigger than the first.


7 species done and it was time to head home. That fix will keep me going for a while. What a great hobby of ours Kayak Fishing is.

A video for those with a spare 5 minutes:

Cheers,
James

Whitley Bay Fishing – 28-6-15 Mackerel & Cod

Hi All,

Another quick trip out at Whitley Bay last night. I would have been out late afternoon if it weren’t for the bloomin wind that was stronger than predicted. It was still stronger than I would have liked at 7pm but manageable with a drogue.

Cod fishing was a bit slower than last time although there were still a nice stamp of fish around.

The mackerel shoals were very abundant. They were hammering my weedless 5″ shads set up for cod and tearing them to bits. I ended up rigging one rod for cod and when the shoals appeared, dropping a silver toby lure down with a single hook for some fun with the mackerel. This seemed to get the better specimens and they fought great on the light gear (imagine if they were 5 times the size 🙂 )

I tried and tried for pollock but couldn’t hook any this time. Plenty chasing the lure half way up the water column but only tentative plucks. I have marked a couple of lovely deep kelp shelves so hopefully in the next month or so…..

Some pics:

This little cod thought it was a mackerel

The weedless shad on the bottom of an inline sinker that I wrote about earlier took all the bigger cod today so definitely seems to be working.

One cod and a couple of mackerel back home. That is lunch and tea sorted 🙂

Cheers,

James

Kayak Fishing Blyth – Early doors before the wind got up

I managed a cheeky session at Blyth this morning. We have been trying to get our 11 month old son Noah off the expensive pureed foods ‘Elas’ with very little joy until a couple of days ago when he ate a lightly battered fillet of plaice. He loved it 🙂 The only problem was I didn’t have any more left in the freezer so my mission was to catch some more flatties.

I paddled out around 6am this morning and there was hardly any wind. At first I did a bit of exploring and found the inshore wreck in the middle of the bay. For those that fish the area, does it hold many fish? It seems really close in that I thought it might struggle to be productive. Nothing showed on the fish finder. I did a couple of drifts past it but the wind was getting up by now so I headed a further 50 yards out and anchored up with rag and lug in search of the flatties.

I had nothing in the first hour. Not even a bite. I thought this was going the way of many of my sessions (i.e. not very productive) however, about an hour before high tide it all got a bit hectic with both rods shaking away a few times. I didn’t know which one to go for first!

In summary – 6 keepers
7 dabs
2 plaice
2 cod (just under size. I wasn’t expecting these in a sandy bottom area, maybe they came off the small wreck?)
1 good size mackerel (I’ve never had one of these from lugworm before, is there anything they don’t eat?)

Anyway, within a couple of hours the wind was really starting to pick up so I up-anchored and paddled back in to shore. That should keep Noah happy for a little while.

Cheers,

James

Picture:

Holiday in Gairloch (NW Scotland) with some kayak fishing

Hi All,

I’ve just got back from a family holiday to Gairloch. I took my Malibu Mini-x in the hope of getting in the odd mornings kayak fishing. It turned out to be a great week away. The weather wasn’t particularly sunny but I did get some very light winds in the morning which made for some excellent kayaking conditions. I’m still really new to kayak fishing and had no real information on productive marks so it was a bit of trial and error. I also have only really had success on bait up until now and was determined to catch on shads. My 2 missions for the week were to catch with shads and catch a species other than a flattie, a cod or a Pollock. Well, 1 out of 2 isn’t bad…..

Firstly, the view from the Cottage. The location was perfect. The cottage was very basic but was fine for the week. I was able to roll the kayak down the trolley straight to a slip into the loch about 5 minutes away.

The loch was pretty deep. The deepest I had paddled in was around 80 ft at Newbiggin (North East). At Gairloch, I only had to paddle approx. 50 yards from the rocky shores to find myself in approximately 100 ft of water. I know this is pretty shallow by Scottish loch standards but still found it a little eerie.

The deeper parts seemed like a desert on the fish finder. I did try a few spots around 70ft and found I was getting very regular twitches but whatever it was just stripped the bait with no proper takes. Perhaps it was just tiny fish or crabs….There were several rocky outcrops within the loch which I focussed my fishing efforts around. The fish finder would go mental around these areas.

The water was the clearest I have ever seen it. In 20ft of water I could easily see my bright orange shads. This wasn’t 20ft, more like 8-10ft but it gives you a good idea

These areas were rammed full of mackerel. I was finding it impossible to get past them on hokkais and the like. They were also really small in comparison to this seasons mackerel from the North East. All were below size. However, I was on a mission to get my first fish on shads and mission was accomplished quite a few times. Theses spots had a good number of Pollock, all around the 3-4lb mark. I couldn’t find anything bigger but loved the direct feel, feeling them take the shad and avoiding temptation to strike and then wham! I was buzzing. Below are a few picks of the specimens. Nothing big but kept me very entertained.

Only 1 cod in the holiday (3 fishing outings). It was the smallest I’ve had yet, still, a cod is a cod….

The one problem with light winds was the midges. By the time we went out to beaches, tourist attractions etc, the wind was up enough for them to not be a problem but the early rises for the fishing in almost no wind meant I was to become very well acquainted with the little blighters. The midge net was great. I looked a complete tit but the alternative was not pleasant.

Below are not really fish related but show the area. It really is beautiful and if you just want a bit of escapism for a week or two, I would really recommend it.

This one was taken at the camp site at Big Sands beach, just outside Gairloch. It is a really nice campsite with pitches for tents, campers, wig wams and statics (this is my camper in the pic). The facilities all looked in really good conditions.

The rest are scenic shots from my paddles to the few islands. I was often out as the sun was rising and had the whole place to myself. A blank wouldn’t have mattered. The scenery was enough for me.

Not much of a catch report but hopefully my catches will improve. The area has real potential and sightings of Minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks are common. The tourist boats has all shown sighting reports of these in the week I was there. They also had pictures of sightings of Orca’s and even a walrus but these were far less common.

If anyone is thinking of a trip to this area and want to know a little more, just reply or PM me for more info on nice places to eat out, good pubs, etc etc…

Cheers,

James