Weather: Calm or light W/NW wind. Dry and mainly sunny. Lovely day
Sea Conditions: Calm
Time Spent: 0750-1830 – 11 hours
Tides: HW 0930 – small tide
Launched at Strontian and set creels before starting to fish.
I tried 5 marks during the day but the results were very poor, with only doggies and a lonely poor cod – no sign of spurs at all. I did hook a small skate on a spur bait, but it eventually threw the hook about 100 feet above the bottom. The fish farm at Laga Bay was being harvested by a large boat making a lot of noise, which didn’t help either.
The sonar was also performing very badly for much of the day, losing bottom lock far too easily (subsequently fixed by adjusting the transducer position on the transom a little – obviously got knocked during a launch/retrieval).
My creels produced 3 squat lobster (tiny but very sweet and tasty meat) and several hermit crabs, plus masses of brittle star in one particular creel. However it probably has to rank as my worst day on the loch, without a single spur at all.
Weather: Dry, overcast, with a SE 4-5 blowing. Cold but not too frigid
Sea Conditions: Pretty rough, with a SE swell running 8-12 feet and a fair bit of colour.
Time Fishing: 0700-1330 – 6,5 hours
Tides: LW 10:30 – smallish tide
Armed with some hard won lugworm I decided on an early morning start up at Aberdeen, targetting a few codling. The forecast was for fairly rough conditions but dropping a bit later, so first light looked like my best bet and 6.30 saw me pull up outside Downies farm.
Initially I wandered down across the field (through ankle deep cowshit) towards the Flat Stone, but immediately decided to move towards the Square Stone as it appeared just a bit too rough at the Flat Stone – it was still dark and I didn’t fancy making a mistake!
The Square Stone was fine and I fished here for about 3/4 of an hour until it got light. Looking around I decided that the Flat Stone was perfectly fishable and that it would probably outshine the Square Stone, so it was a 10 minute hike back round again. The move paid off, with three codling in the next hour, best 4lbs 12oz, whilst a couple of guys who came down to the Square Stone just after I left it didn’t seem to catch anything.
However, initial success gradually turned to despair as the next three hours proved fishless and biteless, apart from a chunky velvet crab. A fourth codling turned up a little after noon, but that was my lot until I packed in around 1.30pm. Although I suspect I was still a bit happier than the passengers on the Shetland ferry which had to pound up and down the coast for about three hours waiting to get past Aberdeen harbour bar safely.
Can’t quite fathom the lack of success, given that all the fish looked like they’d been eating lug scoured out from the seabed (one as absolutely stuffed full of ’em); the sea was rough and coloured enough; and there were clearly some fish about. Always next time though…