Sunday, 23 February 2014

The swims of St Mary’s part 3




The swims of St Mary’s part 3

This week Archangel gives us the lowdown on a further four swims on St Mary’s based on his personal experience.

The Bay of Plenty.

Situated on the far side of the loch this sheltered bay does sometimes live up to its name but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a fish guaranteed spot because it’s not. As Lucifer says for that you need to abandon the true principles of fishing and live in your own wee world trading photos of soft engineered pike. This area is also home to summer perch and trout which is always n added bonus.

This area is not overly deep for normal casting distances with 20ft being the norm ideal for foraging pike. Towards the regulator there are a few sngs thanks to some big boulders but straight out or towards the top of the loch you shouldn’t experience any problems. Using three rods I like to place one straight out as far as I can and one about thirty yards out again just to the right and the third about thirty yards out towards the top of the loch.

I’ve had a few pike here the best being a 20lbs 2oz winter pike but more in the 6-10lbs region which seems the norm here. This is one of the few areas on the loch where I have had success spinning with various lures the best by far being an ABU Droppen the mepps type spinner with the rubber fish behind. I’ve managed fish to 9lbs with this lure and it is always my first choice on my rare spinning excursions.

Verdict – Nice sheltered area with possibilities for those who enjoy lure fishing – Nice.

Marina Weed Bed.

A very under fished area, possibly caused by boat activity in the summer months and the walk required to get there. I have tremendous success with summer perch here using Mepps of varying sizes. What I found was that on casting beyond the weed bed the lure was invariably attacked before it disappeared into the weed. The size range was from a few ounces to around 1.5lbs which is a fine wild perch. Trout anglers also cover this area as there is an abundance of food nestled among the weeds.

Towards the marina the bottom becomes sandy whilst towards the regulator there appear rocky outcrops of peaking stone which does snag a few lines. The depth straight out is from 10 – 50 feet rapidly deepening the more one moves to the regulator end. I always like to start about 15 yards from the last boat mooring point and am always prepared to exert maximum pressure to steer any fish away from these points because if you allow a pike to travel round the securing ropes then you have lost it without a doubt

I’ve had fish to twelve pounds here and on occasion have managed three or four pike which on St Mary’s is a rare feat indeed. I like to set a couple of baits just beyond the weed bed and the rest just before. Ledgering with a running line is the method I use most here and having had success with this method I do not see the need to change.

Verdict – Very nice and productive area – Recommended. 

The Sunken Hide.

Very easily accessible from the roadside it is just a few steps down some well worn paths to reach the lochside. Ranging from 10 – 40 ft deep for casting distances the loch deepens significantly the more one moves towards Summerhope point. Many weeded areas in this part of the loch means prey fish feed and shelter here and that being the case pike will also be present looking for a meal.

I have had some very nice fish from this spot mainly from about thirty yards out from the bank the best being 22lbs 11oz with many doubles as well. Occasional wading will be required if the level of the loch is up but generally casting out is no problem. Towards the boathouse the loch gets shallower with increasing rocky outcrops whilst towards Summerhope the bottom is much more forgiving. Unfortunately this is one of the areas populated by Muppets due to its ease of access, in the summer the soft grassy banks and sun grabbing location make it a favourite and with that goes increasing amounts of litter.

Verdict – A good area with occasional good catches.


The first Lay by.

Situated at the bottom of the loch the first thing you will see is a massive boulder in the middle of the swim. The area consists of a rocky area towards the bottom of the loch and unfortunately a rocky area towards the top end of the loch. Nevertheless the area is one that produces fish and judicious choice of tackle is important here. My preferred set up for here is to employ a ledger float to keep the line above the bottom and a pop up to keep the bait clear of the bottom.

The depths are from 5 -45 ft increasing rapidly over 25 yards out from the shore line. The swell here can be great during heavy weather and is probably best avoided. Many doubles from here but the twenties have eluded me thus far at this location.

Verdict – On its day a good productive area.


This week we will have representatives at the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative and the update meeting of the Flood Protection Scheme with regard to St Mary’s Loch.

The wider world in my view!

How fortunate we are!
What a fortunate group of people we are having the posh boys and puppets shape our future society! Yes if you listen in as they spout their dogma working for hardworking families, getting on top of borrowing and giving poor and disadvantaged parts of society the chance of a better life! The rhetoric sounds good, a government creating the foundations of a land of milk and honey!
Of course if you have been taken in by this tosh then you are indeed deluded! The diddys that are the Con - Dems seek only to perpetuate inequality keeping the poor and needy where they belong in the gutter or workhouse. Borrowing is up by 100 BILLION pounds though many will not be aware of this it is by use of manipulation of statistics that this point is avoided. they are trying to fool  people into thinking the economy is safe with them and by their efforts so far they clearly are not! When asked about what they have done they invariably reply that things are getting better but much more needs to be done!
Similarly look beyond the smokescreen where the poor and disadvantaged are supposedly cleansed of fecklessness  and sitting with the blinds down when the hardworking families set off to work. The use of food banks especially in Scotland rockets through the roof, the biggest one in Glasgow has actually run out of food so great is the demand! many sick and disabled forced to live as paupers due to a mistake in filling out a form! frankly no one should expect any different when a bunch of out of touch posh boys aided by lying puppets are allowed to run the country!
It's a shameful state of affairs as the poor are squeezed relentlessly whilst the peers of the posh boys revel in luxury! Even mild mannered clerics are speaking out about the brutal way the poor are being oppressed, and now in a low key statement the Posh boys and puppets are going to look at ways of helping the disadvantaged! A statement that shouts from the roof tops we got it wrong - again, competent only in bungling! Scotland has already judged these charlatans and found them wanting! Its now time for middle England to wake up and see the true picture!

Travel courtesy of a Pike rod!

The van was becoming a trifle difficult to start in the morning after sitting all night and thinking I needed to do something about it diagnosed dying glow plugs. I nipped down to the local motor factors and furnished him with the details he asked for and in exchange for forty quid he gave me 4 shiny NGK glow plugs. I dutifully headed off and gathered the tools I would need for the job.

It was a bigger task than I had envisaged with the manifold and associated trickery, air cleaner housing, and half the cooling pipes all having to be removed to access the plugs! Getting to the plugs, always on my mind were stories of snapped plugs leading to cylinder head removal and then sent to an engineer to machine out the snapped plug leading to a bill of 5 or 6 hundred pounds! The first one budged a few mill with that all too familiar dry screech which signified a problem that it was not going to be easy to wrench her from her long time home. I smothered the plug with penetrating oil and paraffin and moved on to number 2. Just like a spark plug she came out no problem, things were looking better.

Numbers 3 & 4 came out easily enough and my wallet breathed a sigh of relief, problem with these though were that although completely unscrewed they would not come out! Fingers then mole grips would not coax them out! My theory was that a film of carbon had built up stopping them from being removed completely. So plan B was put into operation with a shed door being tied to the inside of the bonnet. I then turned the engine over and 220psi soon ejected the offender’s one firing into the shed door and the other ricocheting off the door and landing god knows where!

Three out one to go, I dried off the soaked plug and got the blowlamp on to the job, ten minutes later the socket went on and again another screech and a few millimetres bringing much perspiration to my by now much furrowed brow!  Experiencing record weight loss as sweat gushed forth in the following ten minutes the bugger finally gave up and came out.

However in a final act of defiance she refused to exit where she had been since being assembled and again I had to forcibly eject her with compressed air and she soared into the air landing I know not where, but probably in a place where she will revert back to Iron Oxide and be reclaimed by mother earth!

Six hours later but I was on course to complete the job by sundown (actually there was no sun just rain!). I got the new plugs out and tried to screw them in but it rapidly became apparent these were not the correct fitment as they were 2cm short and 12mm in diameter as opposed to 10mm which was the correct size. 

When i phoned the factors they said sorry mate it seems there are two possible plugs for your engine and our van driver has finished for the day so that ruled out completion by the end of the day. On the way home I exchanged the wrong parts for the correct ones with a view to fitting them first thing. In no time night turned into the next day. The new plugs went in no problem and all the stuff that had to be removed now had to go back. For whatever the reason the manifold would not go back to where it should irrespective of logic, guile or violence and steam was exiting my ears with huge velocity as my blood boiled. Eventually I could take no more and exploded and picked up the socket ratchet and attempted to wallop the manifold but I missed and broke the top of the fuel filter housing which is made of a hard plastic not amenable to welding or bonding!

I tried every compound in my armoury to no avail; every attempt showed a noticeable leak allowing the engine to immediately start but flounder as air replaced the diesel! Whilst wafting for the various compounds to cure I managed to get the manifold on without having to resort to a persuader! By this time I was into the last hour of light and an idea came into my head.

A broken section of a Pike rod may contain a sufficient length of suitably sized tubing to insert into the fuel filter housing with an almost interference fit allowing a new section of petrol piping to connect at the other end. I quickly got measuring and cutting and assembled the structure and priming the system with fuel and on turning the key she started first time but more importantly kept going! Halleluiah, to the victor the spoils, the small section of Pike rod had saved the day, I was mobile once again!
Lessons learned? Always be prepared for the unexpected and if you have a short fuse before initiating carnage, step back, have a few draws on an electric fag or whatever is your poison but don’t assault your engine! She is still running and indeed running very well with the Pike rod modification until I can source a new or used part. I never knew that glow plugs did more than help with cold starting, they smooth out engine idling and generally contribute to optimum running of the engine. As always we live and learn!

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