On Saturday Davy and Norrie were out on Catchalot, Davy's skate catching dream machine catarmaran, so while they went to rustle up some fresh mackerel I fished around the rocky point by the white cottage, just west of the pier. I was hoping for a ling to add to my species for the year but all I managed were several pollack. As the best one was 5lb 6oz I wasn't complaining, as that's a new PB for me from the kayak.
Davy and Norrie came past in Catchalot heading for the mark, the new gelcoat giving it a wee bit extra edge on speed so that's why I couldn't quite keep up....
They settled down to steady stream of doggies and spurs, but their skate baits went untouched. I only managed one fish.
After a break for lunch back at the snack bar it was more of the same and with no sign of any conger either I decided to head off to Ardtornish and try my luck there for a ling. I soon got into more pollack, mostly about 2 to 3lb, but then I had a take was definitely not acting like a pollack and it was heavier, it turned out to be a 3lb pollack and a 2lb ling.
I also got a wee poor cod on one of the drifts as well, so that was two more species for the year. Then I went further round to find a reef that Davy told me about, a sure fire ballan wrasse mark. The mark was right where Davy said, and I got 3 wrasse really quickly, but all of them were male cuckoos. There were plenty of pollack there as well.
I headed further up into the bay to see what mini-species I might be able to find, but all I found were mini versions of regular species, pin whiting, codling the size of my pinkie, some more wee poor cod, and some tiny saithe.
Sunday I moved round to Kingairloch to try somewhere different. I found a good launch at the church in the bay just north of the loch. I fancied heading south down toward the very deep water off Glen Sanda but there was already enough of a northerly breeze to put a chop on the sea and make the paddle back into the wind tiring, and considering that the wind might pick up some more I opted for the safe option and stayed in the loch and the bay. There were stacks of wee pollack and saithe in the tide run at the mouth of the loch but the loch itself was very quiet. I had a few nibbles in the shallow margins but I soon picked up a seal for company and as he insisted in following me everywhere like a stray dog for the next 2 hours I didn't catch anything.
So that was my weekend.... oh I nearly forgot, that single fish I caught on Saturday morning while Davy and Norrie were rattling out doggies and spurs ......
We were in 380ft of water and I was winding in my other rod to rebait as it had been rattling away to tune of a doggie that I failed to hook when my big rod rattled. It was a 30/50 Penn Tidecutter and TLD10 with 50lb braid, a 12oz lead, and a whole large frozen mackerel bait on a 12/0. It had been down less than 30 mins, first bait of the day.
It looked like a doggie bite so I ignored it. It rattled again and I still ignored it and continued winding. Then it hooped over and line started peeling off..... it wasn't no doggie. By sitting on the butt and bracing with my knees a bit I could pretty much get it fully loaded and battle commenced.
For the first 30 mins I only gained a few yards, for every five turns I gained she took 4 back. Then she started only taking 1 back for every 5, and after another 10minutes of this I figured from the level of line that she must be within 100ft.... and then I saw her on the fishfinder at 240ft!
My left hand was getting sore form the pressure on the rod so I had to keep giving it a rest....
At 200ft she took another 60ft in one quick dive and I started again from 260ft, but this time she was obviously tiring as it was a steady pump and wind all the way up coming up. It took 55mins to bring up. At about 100ft I shouted across to Davy and he dropped off the anchor and came across to help out and by the time he got up close she was at 60ft. Shortly after that they were telling me they could see her right below the kayak and she was BIG, especially compared to the size of the kayak.
I still couldn't see anything, even as the wind on leader was winding on, as she was still right below me. Finally she moved a few feet across and I got my first look at her, yep, she was big
I got her right up to the surface, on her side, and alongside the kayak, when Davy came right up, got a hold of the trace and pulled her across within gaffing range.
It took both Davy and Norrie to lift her onboard. Davy has a derrick so he got her in a net sling and weighed her at 175lb.
She was also measured and the tag number from a previous capture by Davy checked before releasing her. Using the 'old' charts the measurements gave an estimated weight of 171lb, pretty damn close, while the 'new' charts make it about 20lb more.
A big for the help from Norrie and Davy
I didn't get any shots of the fish on the surface as I was a bit occupied at the time and I missed the release as I accidentally switched the camera into into a different mode when I pulled it out of my pocket
Norrie got plenty of good shots though and when he sends them I'll post them and bask in the glory
Norries pics now inserted
Edited by spanner, 02 October 2006 - 09:44 PM.