Sunday, 9 February 2014

The swims of St Mary's Loch part 1


The swims of St Mary’s Loch part 1

This week we introduce a treatise on the swims of St Mary’s loch as experienced by Archangel who has many years experience in fishing both the lochs. This of course is a personal view but will nevertheless provide helpful information for any anglers unfamiliar with the silent loch.

Over the years I have pretty much fished all over St Mary’s loch, it is a vast expanse of water with areas of greatly fluctuating depths and hence populations of fish. My most useful tool in my armoury is my trusty depth gauge which is attached to the line and cast out to where you intend to cast a bait. I usually make around 3 casts to get a feel of the area surrounding my bait. Incidentally I checked the accuracy of the device from a boat and compared it with a length of weighted rope which we measured with a meter rule. The results were within about 10% of the measured rule, perfectly adequate for my purpose.

Although I have caught Pike in approximately fifty feet of water I generally try and fish in water of less than 40ft in depth. Pike will go much deeper if there is a promise of a meal detected by scent but will not usually forage at this depth. With regard to baits, like Lucifer I favour the fresh supermarket mackerel as opposed to the soft tat available from bait stockists. Like most anglers on the loch I prefer to ledger or fish a pop up that however is not to say that other models of fishing are completely unproductive.

It’s difficult to single out a few swims I rate above others as each swim has its own characteristics and requirements to fish productively. The swims therefore are listed randomly.
Swim map showing Bowerhope swim.
(1) Bowerhope – now this is not the lawn like area in front of the steading but that which is just below the gate to Bowerhope heading to the foot of the loch. A good 3 rod swim, directly out in front is a rugged area but with no huge boulders making getting snagged less likely. To the left is a gently sloping area starting at around 10ft dropping over 25yards to around 70ft. Keeping your bait about 20yds out is a good compromise.

To the right lies a sandy bottomed weed bed with long stalks of weed willowing up almost to the surface in summer. This sandy area extends to the end of the bay and tapers off to around 40ft in depth at around 35 yards out so there is a good area to fish. In summer hold Brown Trout and Perch and as such will attract predators. On this swim the latter mentioned area is my favourite having gifted a few weighty Pike the best being a lovely 14lbs summer specimen.

Verdict – Good spot for summer fishing sport seems slow in winter.


Swim map showing Tibbie Shiels bay.

(2) Tibbie bay – this is another area that I enjoy fishing especially in the winter months. This area is part of the upper basin of the loch and comprises of much sandy weedy areas ranging from 10-50ft in depth. With this depth comes a habitat that is suitable for Pike feeding and spawning. The area also holds Brown Trout and Perch.


With the sandy bottom the area is relatively snag free with only occasional soft snags on weed and it is thought that after February Pike from all over the loch move into this area or the Village Hall area in readiness for spawning. Certainly a long time fisher on the loch John Conway and son Gary never seem to have failed in luring a pike onto his baits invariably first thing in the morning around 08.00hrs in winter.


I also have managed to tempt a few specimens in this area with the best being a 16 pounder. Alastair Moody who has the Tibbie has spent time in this area diving and has retrieved a few bottles and some fishing equipment he has also seen some very large Pike in this area.

Verdict – A good winter spot but don’t overlook it in the summer.


Swim map showing regulator swim.
(3) The Regulator – This is a precarious area for fishing with steep side’s big boulders and deep water. You will not be able to beach a fish in this area unless you are fishing on the shingle bank nearer to the roadside. Some of our older club members say that the Pike not being averse to an easy meal move into this area in September in readiness for migratory fish entering the loch. It does make sense that fish tired from coming through the regulator would make an easy meal for the thinking Pike.


The bottom in this area is not angler friendly with huge boulders everywhere being utilised when building the regulator. You should expect to lose tackle in this area. I have not savoured success in this area although I know of a few 20 plus specimens being caught here. Probably best fished in the autumn where records show most Pike are caught which is possibly evidence for the migratory fish theory above

Verdict – Speculative area I could not recommend or rubbish the area. 


Thanks to Archangel for this analysis of the swims look forward to the next series!                                          

            Part 2 next week.

The wider world in my view!

The enigma of Lord Snooty!

The man with more catchphrases than the bloke who presented the quiz show Catchphrase comes out with even more! Yes Lord Snooty pompously states that he loves the UK and pleads with the population of all constituent countries to urge the Scots to vote no in the upcoming referendum. Yes the man known mostly for the number of U turns he has presided over and joke policies he has implemented now says we will be stronger by voting no on the 18th of September. If the country votes no in the referendum then what we can expect is more austerity targeted towards the poor, more cuts on the underprivileged such as the working poor and pensioners, more joke try it and see policy and more tax cuts and bonuses for the rich bankers. I find it increasingly difficult to marry the concepts of a burgeoning economy and a massive rise in poverty and the use of food banks!

Clearly this deadbeat Con – Dem government has a blinkered view of the state of the country, they can only see what they want to see. They never mention poverty or the increase in the use of food banks probably because they are the cause of such events! On the same track talk on universal credit is very low key probably due to the huge overspend associated with its implementation which is now estimated to come in 3 years late and depressingly over budget due to complete and utter bungling by party clown Iain Duncan Smith!

Along the same lines the Tories were shown just what Scotland thought of the iniquitous bedroom tax when all but the token Tory presence in the Scottish Government voted to bring in extra cash to negate the effects of the cruel bedroom tax! Yes all praise to Salmond & Co for taking this socially correct measure I am sure the people of Scotland will be relieved to see the back of it!

Lord Snooty is quite content to sit on a pedestal in England and spout forth on how wrong it would be to go for independence! He will not take up the challenge of a debate with oor Eck on independence!  Yes as Eck said “he is Feart”! Mark my words Snooty will not debate with Eck because he is on a hiding to nothing  and for that reason he will not commit to this debate!

As the fight intensifies the issues become clearer, the bungling of the Con – Dems continues unabated! Along with the Lying Puppets they continue to punish the poor, alienate us in Europe, embarrass the country on the world stage, relentlessly increase the rich poor divide and promote the status of the rich and privileged in the country!

This is not a government, it is but a collection of random upper class fools who are filling up their days by bungling with the lives of the increasing numbers of poor in the country! Lord Snooty is probably the best ambassador for Scottish independence the Yes campaign have! A country should be viewed by the way it treats the poorest in society, the way this bunch of idiots treat our poorest is utterly abominable! I can’t see too many Scots opting for the status quo!

A puppet or a poor basher?

Yes Prospect magazine following a poll of voters has stated that of the 11 puppet MPs in Scotland only one would be left after the general election and that puppet would be the current Scottish Secretary Alastair Carmichael! Our current MP Puppet Michael Moore would be a casualty! In our constituency the choice is either Puppet Moore or Poor Basher Ballantyne currently a Tory councillor!

Normally I would opt for the Lib – Dems but I cannot bring myself to vote for one who deceived the electorate and subjected the poorer people in this country to a 5 year term of Dickensian punishment! It’s not much of a choice, a backsliding puppet or an elitist poor bashing Tory, normally both would be bypassed in favour of one who seeks to reduce inequality not increase it! With this in mind, I think I will happily opt for the SNP, a much more credible option! Best option though - we are totally independent by then and they can carry out their Bullingdon Club antics to their hearts content, for they will not affect an independent Scotland!
Of the rugby!
An embarrassing performance, Deja Vu comes to mind!

Of the flooding catastrophe!

There is much ducking and diving from Lord Snooty as to who is to blame for the shambolic response to what is a national disaster! The bottom line is that the Environment Agency is not an autonomous body, it operates under governmental direction! Add in the huge loss of resources to the agency brought about by Snooty and hey presto you have a disaster! Yet another screw up to add to the now very heavy millstone around Snooty’s neck!

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