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.
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.
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!