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Catch up boat reports - last few weekends.

Not posted a report for a wee while, but that doesn't mean i've not been fishing - quite the opposite.

Weekend after the sharkatag was my birthday, so spent the night in the Salen Hotel overlooking Loch Sunart with Mrs Boo. Fantastic meal as usual, couple of drinks and out on the boat next morning for a day at one of my favourite spurrie marks that produced around 20 taggable fish last winter. Had around 15 spurs from 4-6lb and one thornie of around 3lb. I think Mrs Boo enjoyed herself? Her way of showing this was to inform me that if I "ever invited her out on the boat again, she would wait until I was sleeping - and then stab me". They do have a funny old way with words those girlies.

A wee midweek evening bash in the pi5hing rain the following Tuesday with PeterTheFisherman at Greenock added Goldsinny Wrasse to the species total for the year.

Three days later an attempt to muster weekend crew failed miserably as Daz was getting a perm. I decided to return to Sunart and try a solo all nighter. Checked in with Jonathan at the hotel (local HM Coastguard) and told him what I was up to and was afloat for 9pm. I was soon into a tribe of LSDs, a few thornies and lots of spurs around the 6lb mark. Just after midnight, one rod bent over with the signature banging of a decent spur taking the whole squid bait on an 8/0 hook. An old friend returned to the boat as I landed a 10lb spur that I had originally captured at the exact same spot in April. The tag had a wee bit of growth, but was easily cleaned.

A succession of spurs around 5-6lb followed through the night and I left one rod out on the ratchet as I got the heaad down for some kip about 2am. Around 4.30 I was awoken with the ratchet screaming off on a Daiwa Kenzaki 12-20lb class rod and Penn 320LD reel loaded with 50lb braid. Being circle hooks I didn't strike, but just started reeling - and stopped again just as quickly as the rod bent double and started nodding. I don't know why, but I thought at first it was a seal that had maybe attacked a wee LSD that was sitting on the bait? No Chance - skate on!

While this baby was stuck fast to the bottom, I woke myself up a bit and started thinking more coherently - what the hell am I going to do about this? I had two gaffs on board, no harness (reel doesn't have eyes anyway) and only a small butt pad that is half the size of the one I use for skate fishing. The skate net was on board (intentionally for weighing big spurs) and in a locker, so managed to get it out with one foot. I held the fish fast for what seemed like an hour, but was only 15 minutes. I was well aware that this was the flimsiest, skinniest 12-20 class rod that I had ever seen and didn't want to put it under too much strain. Saying that - it was already bent in a fine "U" shape and the braid was cutting through the butt foam between the reel and the first ring. It was also touching the rod further up too.

I couldn't believe when I very slowly started to be able to reel literally half a turn at a time and the fish began to rise from the bottom. About 30 mins later the leader (80lb mono) knot appeared and soon afterwards old mother skate was at the side of the boat. I had already decided to unhook it at the side of the boat and watch it swim away, but this plan changed when I saw that the skate was already tagged and had two clean but recent gaff marks in her wings. I managed to get the gaff in an existing hole and hauled the big bird up onto the rails while I spread the skate net out with my feet for her to land on. I don't know how, but I managed this. She landed in the middle of the deck and I recorded the tag details. Measurements put her at 120lb on the chart. I grabbed a quick self pic (who in the name of hell was going to believe this fishy story???) and then set about lifting the net back up onto the rails. Fish returned and I collapsed in a heap in the seat and laughed out loud, still buzzing with adrenalin.

I fished other marks over the rest of the day picking up a few spurs, again around the 5-6lb mark and headed home a tired but happy chap. Porpoises were in abundance on the loch throughout the whole trip. They came fairly close to the boat which was nice to see.

Saturday past the forecast was again pants for the third weekend in a row. I headed for Loch Leven with AndyTalkTooMuch and a pile of Peter's best raggies. The pollack showed up straight away - as did the heavy rain - and the best fish was soon a nice 4lber. We braved several more storms with the boat spinning round the anchor rope like a whirling dervish until my leadhead was taken by daddy pollack. This thing took dive after dive and eventually came up a wee bit more subdued before diving again just before the top. This time was fatal as it bit straight through the 18lb flurocarbon leader. There is a big pollack down there somewhere with an orange leadhead hanging from it's gub. About an hour later another biggie was on (now with 30lb leader!) and Andy netted it for me and weighed it in at 7lb exactly. Nice one! The same mark produced a couple of ling and my first ever tadpole fish. A move back down towards Glencoe later on and straight into another rain storm (Glasgow Fair Saturday!). We moved in to the rocky side in a vain search for shelter and dropped the sabiki rigs down to see if there were any mackerel? Within the last hour we had added mackerel, cuckoo wrasse, coalie, ballan wrasse, poor cod and a few cod to our total for the day.

Species total for the year - now 29 and equalling my best over the last 5 years. Looking to still hunt red gurnard, conger, turbot, bass, corkwing, rockling and rock cook before the end of December!
 

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aye ,your flying t6his year gordon ,another couple of brilliant trips.if you are struggling on the turbot ,get over here to elliot beach .they can be guaranteed at this time of year as long as there is not a strong onshore blow colouring the water.
top effort on the solo skate ,that wee rod looked like it was about to explode !
cheers rab
 

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Great report Ticketty Boo . Thanks for stopping on sat morn to offer a hand :happy:. I had a great time a etive. Within 1hr fishing i lost my rod and my penn 975LD over the side to a fish :sad::sad::sad:. It was my own fault so cant complain to much. I need to make a point of getting to sunart for the bigger spurs soon. Thanks again
 

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aye ,your flying t6his year gordon ,another couple of brilliant trips.if you are struggling on the turbot ,get over here to elliot beach .they can be guaranteed at this time of year as long as there is not a strong onshore blow colouring the water.
top effort on the solo skate ,that wee rod looked like it was about to explode !
cheers rab
Top shout on the turbo spot its where I got mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the kind comments chaps.
 

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Nice one Gordon and well done on the skate. A "greenhorn" would have stood no chance of boating it alone !!!

John
 

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Great report Gordon and some belters landed there

Paul
 
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