Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Angling Report February 2010

Photo -Tuesday am -13 degrees was almost too much for her. JW

In spite of unrelenting severe weather both lochs have given up good numbers of Pike for a low number of angler days. The small loch has largely remained frozen over with ice one and a half inches thick at the sides whereas St Marys has remained open although on Tuesday was 95% frozen with a thin skin (minus 13 degrees early on Tuesday) but a mild but strengthening wind throughout the day led to that figure coming down to 40%. Both lochs yielded fish at the margins whilst the lochs were predominantly frozen!

The breakdown is as follows – 5-10lbs 11 pike were recorded, 10 – 15lbs 5 Pike were recorded, 15 – 20lbs 2 Pike were recorded and above 25lbs 1 Pike has been reported but to date this has not been verified. Rumours also abound that a 9lbs Trout was caught in the last fortnight, again this has not been verified. No Perch or Eels were recorded.

Catch Returns

The catch returns submitted do not show the 9lbs Trout or the 25lbs+ Pike. This is a source of concern, and whilst initially catch return receipts of fish caught was good this appears to be slipping again. In order for us to assess the state of the fishery we need to have accurate returns for all species, and with Trout we need them for the information we pass on to the River Tweed Commission for them to take an overview to assist in the future policy making of game fishing in the catchment area.

Here is how it's done – Post a return in the tag return box on the wall of the boathouse using your day ticket (see reverse), return form or the inside of a fag packet if you have no paper! Text your return to 07980350031 or e mail stmarysloch@gmail.com in addition if the fish is tagged we require the tag number if you can't report your catch by doing any of the preceding tell Peter our loch keeper and he will pass on the information. It's not really asking a lot, you can do it at the lochs or from the comfort of your own home it's up to you!

We really do need these returns and it's not a lot to ask, we allow anglers to fish unhindered and ask only for common courtesy and adherence to our common sense rules which includes the submission of a catch return! As always in these situations it's the few who spoil things for the many! The majority of our anglers are compliant, but a few seem intent on doing their own thing, if this state of affairs continues these anglers will be doing their own thing at some other fishery!

New expert contact!

As we progress the club and expand our horizons the number of people we come into contact with increases. Ian and Barbara at the Glen Cafe have been a great help to us in this respect putting us in touch with several knowledgeable locals who can provide us with assistance in our quest to move the club forward.

Thanks to them we are now in touch with a retired freshwater ecologist from the area with whom I spent over an hour one night listening to his observations on the lochs and considered answers to my many questions. His resume is hugely impressive particularly in fisheries research whilst based at the lab in Pitlochry, and his willingness to pass on his knowledge to us is unconditional! This is a most significant step forward for us as biological and ecological issues can now be referred to him for his expert opinion on the best way to proceed. In return we have made known our wish that he is to fish as our guest when the Trout season commences.

Photo - Not a lot of open water but enough for JW to extract a 16lbs 1oz Pike!
Isn't this how it should be, everyone helping each other out! The club we were a year ago is now but a distant memory, thank god!
Ian and Barbara thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated!

Snakes and ladders!

Yes it's our dealings with the regional council again. Some of you will remember in an earlier post our desire to improve the verge at the boat house to allow our anglers to park without having to resort to asking our loch keeper to pull them out of what is quite frankly a quagmire admittedly a hard one given the current climate!

Our query has been with them since October and where are we now? Well nowhere really, I had asked them to make known our options of what we could do to improve the area rather than me writing in with suggestions until the end of time, with them telling me "oh no, I'm afraid you can't do that sir"! I phoned last week for an update as a considerable time had elapsed since our query was lodged (in writing) the reply - "oh I'm sorry it completely slipped my mind"! So it's down the snake and back to the first rung of the ladder!

Infuriating or what!

Tackle Choices!

Interesting to read on the Pike &Predators forum that Fox who make a range of (supposedly superior and certainly mega expensive) tackle for Pike anglers came out worst (by a huge margin) when forum users voted on a poll (not scientific by any means) as to who makes the most "crap" fishing tackle! Further proof of the need to check with your peers on the suitability of purchasing any of their products (or products from any manufacturer) and the need to dismiss the advertising hype and the views of shopkeepers! Brand idolaters take note; a big brand name means nothing!

With or without ice sir?

The loch o the Lowes remains 70% frozen with the area at the top of the loch open. St Mary's remains 90% open with only the dam area having a thin layer of ice. Please phone Peter our loch keeper for an update before travelling.

A real trooper!

I just have to mention one of our dual (Pike and Trout fishing for non angling readers) members this week Fraser Patterson from Edinburgh, as you know we are staging a wild Trout competition in May with some top notch prizes. He kindly offered to trek round the prominent tackle dealers in Edinburgh distributing our information packs. We are greatly indebted to you Fraser, with members such as you the club can only go from strength to strength. Cheers Mate! All good tackle dealers should have received their information packs by now.

Next week - the lowdown on the Trout fishing from our in house biology adviser Alistair White.

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