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<font color='#000000'>Hi
(Just posted this in the Scotland section then found this forum - D&#39;oh&#33;)
Anyway...
I&#39;ve just splashed out on some basic sea fishing kit and a load of lures, bait, etc, and I&#39;m off to the far North West of Scotland for a week to chill out and try my luck.
I&#39;m going to be staying in the area between Gairloch and Ulapool and may venture further North if time allows. Does anyone know of any good spots to fish off a pier or rocks around there?
I&#39;m a first time sea fisherman (done some coarse a while ago) and know very little, so any hints and tips would be much appreciated. &nbsp;I have just the one rod good for 50-100g casting weight and a couple of hand lines.
One specific question I have; is it possible to use Mackrel feathers when shore casting? Or are they really for use off boats?

Many thanks.

Toad</font>
 

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<font color='#000000'>Hi,

Yes you can use Mackerel feathers for shore/beach casting, however your rod may be a little on the light side. Idealy your rod should be capable of casting a minimum of 150gms. Having said this, provided you take care you should have no trouble.

There are lots of places to fish from; including Ullapool harbour. Pull off the road anywhere and have a go. Ask the locals in the pub, they will direct you to the prime spots


Cheers

Drew</font>
 

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<font color='#000000'>Try Achiltibuie pier, about 20 miles west of Ullapool along very narrow roads. Plenty of mackerel, then use them as bait for doggies and rays, late evenings best. A 100lb+ common skate was taken here many years ago. If you&#39;re going further north, Kinlochbervie is good, especially the pier on the Loch Clash side, but watch out for seals&#33; &nbsp;Loch Eriboll is very deep and very fishy, and provided my first shore-caught conger a few years back, using a tiny codling as bait&#33; &nbsp;Good luck</font>
 

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<font color='#000000'>Your rod will be fine, use a 2oz lead at the bottom of your Mackeral trace, but if you are not getting any distance, change to a 4oz one (your rod limit). Mackeral are great fun, but you will need a lighter rod than the one you are using to get the most out of them. I use a 10-40 gram spinning rod, and use this for Mackeral, and Pollock. Speaking of Pollock, arm yourself with some jelly worms (6" ones) and some 4" double tails or 4" shads. These are fairly cheap, and pretty successfull at finding the pollock. Trail these types of jelly lures behind your lead with about 3ft of trace line(use as small a lead as possible to prevent being too bulky, yet still allowing you to cast a decent distance). Pollock can be found very close inshore, so do not be too concerned about casting distance.

Any rocky based shoreline, with kelp beds will hold Pollock, and pound for pound will give you a good scrap. (Tasty fish if eaten fresh (very fresh)

Basic rules for shore fishing for Mackeral with feathers.

1 Do not use a string of six or seven feathers, because you may need to pull up 6 or 7 mackeral up 20ft of cliff face or pier wall. I tend to split a six hook trace into two threes for this reason. (If your line breaks pulling them up - you are pi**ed off, and the hooked fish have a horrible death).
2 Sometimes, one good mackeral can fight as good as six&#33;&#33;&#33; This is as with one fish on, you are fighting the fish, whereas with six, they are all fighting each other, and all we do is reel in a bag of fish - good if you need them as bait - bad if you want the fun.
3 Try different depths - but not the bottom. Mackeral are usually a mid water to top feeding fish, and will be chasing fry at these depths.
4 Try and cast a good distance, Mackeral move about a lot, and the more water you can cover - the quicker you can find them.
5 Silver is now commonly regarded as the optimum for feathering. Although regarded as a suicide fish for anything that moves, mackeral will go for silver more than any other colour. White is supposed to be a close second. Personally, I believe that if you put anything in front of a shoaling mackeral - than fish is yours.

As Drew has mentioned in an earlier post, for rough ground or bigger species, your will need a bigger rod, for bigger weights, and to help pull you out of the rough stuff. But, if your intention is to lure fish for Mackeral and such, you will do fine.</font>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for those hints gents - they were very helpful&#33;

I spent a whole week wandering the coast-line up around Gairloch having made enquiries with the locals there re the best spots.
I purchased three nice little Shads as suggested, and got myself a couple of strings of Mackrel feathers and the usual frozen mackrel too.

The bloke in the tackle shop on Gairloch harbour said I should try right at the end of the Rubha Reidh point, out past the light house. So I went out there and found a beautiful spot on the rocks with views right across to Skye and Harris. At the end of the headland just there the drop off is steep and a massive kelp forest is only a few feet from the shore. The unbroken and smooth rock shore slopes down from high on the headland right into the crystal clear sea at about a 30 degree angle. There are a couple of huge cracks in the sloping rocks which form inlets of sorts which are a bit dangerous as there are drops of about 100 feet or so into 60-80 feet of cold sea water (plumbed the depths with my lead out of curiosity&#33;). With each tide millions of tiny jelly fish, the occasional seal and even the odd otter would appear. Fantastic&#33;

The whole time I was there the weather was glorious - hot with a nice breeze - and the sea was as flat as a millpond.

I spent quite a while trying for Pollock with the shads without success and the rest of the time tried a bit of mackrel on a sea float. Didnt catch much at all - only a couple of small ones which went back.

I also tried the pier at Gairloch and had a few small cod etc, then went off to try my luck in a few spots around Loch Ewe and other places before I ended up at a little spot I know where I&#39;ve never yet failed to catch some trout.

This was my first serious experience of sea fishing and I thoroughly enjoyed it egardless of the outcome. I had a fantastic time taking in the scenery and it was worth it for that alone.

So thanks again for those hints&#33;
 
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