A few hours beside Loch Leven

Seaweed on the shoreline of Loch Leven

A toss up between a few hours on Etive or a few hours on Leven, but the coin said Leven and off we headed. The original idea had been to take the inflatable but I left late and reckoned that there would be too little daylight left to make it worthwhile, so shore rods were packed instead.

Ballachulish was flat calm so I decided to head round the loch to an easily accessible mark on the north shore and set up in search of a ray or two. A short while later a pair of mackerel baits hit the water and headed for the muddy sea bed some 90-100 feet below whilst I started on the more important task of sorting out a cup of coffee and then settled down to wait for some action.

Shore fishing on Loch Leven My rig hits the water at the end of a cast Fish on! - Pumping in a ray

Things were quiet to start with and only a small ray appeared during the first hour and a half – better than nothing, but not quite as fast a pace as I’d have wished for. A few divers then appeared on an inflatable 200 or 300 yards west of my spot and had a dive in fairly shallow water off a small headland. I’m not sure what the attraction of that area is, but there were divers in exactly the same place the last time I fished here. Whilst watching their antics I picked up a small string of dogfish to keep myself amused.

Nothing ray-like appeared until the light started to fade, when I picked up another small one and fluffed another bite. Darkness fell around half-six but not for long, as a bright moon soon rose which made it easy to pick out the rod tips. I fished on until about eight, with a couple more ray (including a nice one of about 6 1/4lbs), another doggie and a smallish codling making it ashore. Technically I also caught a mini-whiting as this had impaled itself on the hook before the doggie came looking for dinner and had both the whiting and the bait.

Dogfish munching an unlucky whiting Moon rise over Loch Leven A nice shore caught ray

Final total 4 rays, 4 doggies, a codling and a mini-whiting – not too bad for 4 hours fishing really. Timed to perfection as well – it rained all the way to Loch Leven and all the way back, but was completely dry when I was there!

View of the weedy shoreline, Loch Leven

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