Oban

A small spurdog in a big ocean...

I’m always a bit wary of Oban – there’s some big fish around but it can be pretty hit or miss with a lot of waiting around between any excitement. And hauling up a large skate in over 500 feet of water is a taste I’ve never really acquired, all of which perhaps explains why I’m not a frequent visitor.

That said, standing on the pier at Puffin Divers with Trevor I managed to overcome my inhibitions and slight unease at the cool November breeze blowing in from the east, and we were soon heading down the Sound of Kerrera and round to the deep water lying between it and Mull.

Looking towards the Garvellachs
Looking towards the Garvellachs

At 520 feet deep and quite close inshore it wasn’t much of a challenge to find and drop anchor on our normal mark – although staying on it and fishing effectively was a little more awkward in a fairly stiff breeze that saw us drag appreciably through the mud on 2 or 3 occasions during the morning.

We bounced around quite a bit as we waited, and waited – and waited. Even bacon rolls and several mugs of coffee didn’t entice anything other than a couple of dogfish out to play, until I finally got a decent run just after HW. It didn’t seem to be messing around, but there was nothing there when I wound down into the fish 🙁 Trevor repeated the experience about 20 minutes later, on quite possibly the same skate, and we then reverted back to a trickle of dogfish and a couple of smallish spurdogs during the afternoon.

Fish of the day - a modest spurdog for Trevor
Fish of the day – a modest spurdog for Trevor

In the later afternoon the breeze died away as the sun started heading towards the horizon, and it was positively pleasant by the time the stars came out to play and we weighed anchor for the run back to Gallanach. Chuck in a few more fish and I might even be tempted back more often, as I’m a sucker for scenery and sunsets!

Sunset over Mull
Sunset over Mull
Towards Oban and Fort William, with a fine afterglow lighting the sky
Towards Oban and Fort William, with a fine afterglow lighting the sky
Heading up the Sound of Kerrera as the light fades
Heading up the Sound of Kerrera as the light fades

And a final highlight before trekking home to Edinburgh – a superb fish supper at the Oban Fish Restaurant, something to very much look forward too after a day afloat.

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