Dour day on Etive

Shore fishing from the south shore of Etive

Three days of leave, and three days of wet and windy weather – what else could you expect from December in Scotland? However it pretty much killed any interest in taking the boat out, and I found myself heading westwards with the shore rods more out of desperation than any hope of a good days catch.

View from an old quarry on south shore of Etive - looking NE towards the head of the loch
View from an old quarry on south shore of Etive – looking NE towards the head of the loch

I headed for a mark I’d spotted from the boat sometime before, which was tucked in at the bottom of an old quarry and looked pretty sheltered from the SW winds. It was a fair hike along a forest track in the early morning darkness, but my mad spaniel Bonnie was perfectly happy charging around. Eventually we cut down from the track down through the trees towards the shoreline. Needless to say Bonnie made it well before me and immediately made “friends” with an otter working its way along the rocks – they met literally face to face before the otter departed with a spectacular hissy fit.

Bonnie the dog much prefers a day shore fishing than one spent in the boat
Bonnie the dog much prefers a day shore fishing than one spent in the boat
Fishing from one of the many quarries and old piers that surround Etive.
Fishing from one of the many quarries and old piers that surround Etive.

Excitement over, I set up the gear and kicked off with a cast into pretty deep water – well over 100 feet – and settled down to wait. It was dry but the wind was quite gusty and blowing up the loch rather than from behind me. This cut distance slightly but did tend to drag the leads through the soft mud and resulted in quite a few snags as the wind strengthened during the day. The old quarry was a fine spot to fish with several easy stances available, and well away from the beaten track – only spoilt by the number of old beer cans lying around.

Bonnie stick hunting on Etive
Bonnie stick hunting on Etive
The best fish of the day was a common or garden dogfish
Best fish of the day 🙁

Sadly, although it was a nice enough day to be out, the fishing results were pathetic with only a couple of dogfish and a tiddly Pollack to show for 6 hours or more. A couple of fish were lost in snags as well, and a slightly longer cast in better conditions might have cleared these and got a better result. However it’s a nice spot and I’ll definitely be back sometime.

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