Photo 01 - swimming safely away, one of the high spots of catching a Pike!
Speaking to anglers fishing on the loch I am now noticing a difference in the types of baits used and the efficacy of them. It is clear to me anyway that oily sea baits are the most consistently successful baits on the lochs but further clarifying this I have seen that pre pack frozen baits are a very poor second when compared to fresh baits such as those caught just prior to fishing or bought from a supermarket early in the morning and frozen quickly!
Further reinforcing this from data taken from our Pike Tagging Project which ran for 7 years shows that fresh Mackerel is undoubtedly the top catching bait on the loch! Other useful baits are Sardine, and Herring, I’ve never been a fan of pre pack baits finding them limp, soft and devoid of scent which surely is one of the main attracting forces for Pike taking the bait.
The baits bought fresh were invariably much heavier necessitating cutting the bait into two and these may be cast with only a small lead as the bait weight is sufficient to load the rod for casting. This being the case a 3lbs test rod (or more) can whack the aerodynamic fish tails a great distance if desired. On certain areas on the loch I used to row out 100 yards or more then drop the baits and row back to the shore with the rods and this accounted for significant numbers of fish.
Now I’m not saying all other baits will fail because they will catch fish but the evidence from our project which involved anglers recording the baits used showed clearly Mackerel to be the premier bait. Invariably at least two differing baits were used and on many occasions four mixed baits! Pre packed Mackerel compared poorly to the fresh variety. Of course bait is not the only factor in catching fish but it is an important one
What I require from my baits are the following factors.
(1) Smell - the more intense the better.
(2) Oil - the oilier the bait the more attractive it is.
(3) Blood – establishing the injury factor another important aspect.
(4) Visibility – the more easily seen the more likely it will be detected.
(5) Firmness – the bait must be hookable without elastic or wire.
(6) Aerodynamic shape so casting will be maximised, to this end I snip the tail and adipose fin to cut down drag.
There is no question that the fresh bait triumphs over the insipid pre pack stuff, so give yourself the edge, give it a go and see what happens!
Note - in this area only Morrison’s supply whole Mackerel with the entrails intact and you need to get there early before they are snapped up. Failing that take a boat to Dunbar harbour and catch your own!
Photo 02 -13lbs 12oz Pike
Well yesterday saw the first walkers coming round the loch and as has been the case every week for the past four weeks it was not without incident! Mr Xxxxx and Aaron were clearing the area directly in front of our boathouse removing scrub to construct our boat repair area. This involved the use of power tools specifically a chainsaw axes and saws and with large branches everywhere not really an environment conducive to walking!
Four walkers and a dog attempted to walk through this area bypassing the correct route which is supposed to take walkers up to the roadside before reaching our boathouse. Of course this is completely unacceptable, our express wish was that no walkers should come in front of our boathouse and the first four walkers we encounter tried to do just that!
Clearly the sight of a newly constructed path is not enough to keep walkers adherent to it so I have contacted the organisers of this route to erect a sign just before our boathouse to send walkers up to the roadside verge! It may be that we will have to erect a fence to reinforce this but we should not have to go to these lengths!
It is interesting to note that the path which was constructed simply by leveling an area of soil or stone is already decomposing, most noticeably the areas of soil which is breaking away at the edges. I dread to think what this path will look like after prolonged heavy rain! I’m fed up to the back teeth already with this path but I cannot rid myself of the feeling that this matter will linger for a long time to come!
Ten not out!
He has done it many times in the past, and our Heavy Trout Cup it seems is on an elastic band constantly darting back to Motherwell! Yes Elliot Fraser was out on the loch for the first time in a while and boy did he show our resident Trout who was boss! He had umpteen takes over his short session and landed ten with the biggest just coming in over the one pound mark! Had he managed a full session then god only knows what the total would have been! It’s been dismal for our fly lads with fish being hard to come by but Elliot’s exploits yesterday would seem to suggest it’s time to wet those flies again! Well done mate on a cracking total!
The wider world in my view!
Will we ever learn?
I watched a few programmes this week commemorating VJ day (Victory in Japan Day) and indeed the surrender must have been a great day for all those millions who were entwined in this human tragedy it was also however extremely depressing! I’m not sure if the Japanese were more brutal than the Bosch but if they were not then they came very close!
How men could act with such brutality is beyond my ken. Granted in war emotions are significantly heightened and we would all probably react with more aggression less judgement and become detached from normal living parameters! But the systematic torture and cruelty shown by the guards in the railway death camps as they were called was truly breathtaking! People were beaten to within an inch of their lives and in many cases simply beaten to death! The lack of even basic medial facilities and constant malnutrition meant systemic disorder was a certainty!
We should be grateful for the sacrifice made by these men and women and that a few lived to tell the tale is hugely important. It again highlights just what we as human beings are capable of, the depths to which we can sink! It tells us that we can reach depths to which the animal kingdom is incapable of and yet we are supposedly the most highly developed species!
I find it extremely difficult to understand why we have not learned from these dreadful events. When you look around the world there is conflict everywhere humans dying needlessly. Hand in hand with economic development comes military development where new methods of killing are devised capable of destruction on a level most of us could not comprehend! Once again I ask will we ever learn! we have in our thoughts all those who suffered and to those who have departed R.I.P
Won't get fooled again!
I was heartened to read this week that the SNP have again moved forward in the polls showing a four point increase over the figure at the end of the year! Our situation under the Tories worsens by the day as the much lauded economic recovery collapses around the posh boys ears! I mean whoever heard of an economic recovery based on service industry and consumer credit spending?
There can be no future under the Westminster buffoons as they seek to line the pockets of their own kind whilst returning the working classes back to an earlier Victorian age! As the elderly disappear and the new free thinking youth take their place the dice become loaded towards independence and a new future for the people of our beloved Scotland.We will not be denied a second time and to the politicians in Westminster we won't get fooled again!
Tory poor basher John Lamont managed to top the local MSPs expenses table claiming £27,631 on top of his salary of £58,678! This is a staggering amount of money and calls for urgent scrutiny especially from a posh boy who only seeks to punish the working classes!
Expensive waiting room!
There was much hilarity and backslapping at the grand opening of the new Transport Interchange in Galashiels or as it is commonly referred to the new waiting room! Apparently you cannot pay for a ticket on a greyhound bus here you have to go through Edinburgh! £5 million seems a helluva lot of money for a waiting room!