8th November 2009 – Loch Etive

Weather: Cold;some long sunny intervals; light or no wind
Sea Conditions: Calm
Time Spent: 0915-1815 – 9 hours
Tides: 11:00 GMT

Etive was looking at its best yesterday morning – clear skies, bright sunshine reflecting off the snow on the mountains, and a virtually calm sea loch. Just to balance things a little, it was pretty frigid getting Alcatraz ready for launch!

Despite the scenery I resisted the temptation to head up the loch and instead trundled on down towards Ardchattan. Ninety minutes here produced a reasonable mix of small spurs, thornbacks and whiting, but eventually tailed off. I shifted a couple of miles and tried a pair of marks near the Priory, with similar results.

By now it was well after 3 and the sun was heading down towards the horizon, so I decided to give it one more shift before dark. I’ve been gathering seabed mapping data for Etive for a couple of years (using the DrDepth software), and still have a few gaps to fill in, so I steered a couple of doglegs on the way back up to collect some more info, and then dropped anchor just off the stream at Inveresregan. Deep water in here meant anchoring in 200 feet less than 200 yards from shore, in light that was fading fast.

The loch was completely calm and the boat was sitting comfortably in a slight surface current so I was happy enough to sit back and watch the stars come out. However the fish wanted to play too, with a rapid succession of spurries mixed in with a few thornbacks, pouting, poor cod and whiting. Nothing big, but pretty much non-stop for the last hour or so. I was tempted to stay longer, but had only one torch with me (having looked out my headlamp and the left it behind in the lounge), so decided not to chance my arm too much and called it a day a little after five.

Final totals – 30 spurdog, 9 thornbacks and a good sprinkling of other fish. Nothing huge, biggest around 4.5 lbs, but a cracking day to be out on the water.

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