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Well Sunday had arrived and the 2 man assault had became 3 overnight as Salty had obviously stored up his weeks brownie points and gave me the nod the night before he would be going too , as you will read , certainly one of his better judgements .
Left Buckie around 1pm Sunday for the trek West , arriving in Fort William , quick visit to Morrisons for the stores and off to catch the ferry at Corran .
Arrived in Lochaline before 5 pm , usual fingers crossed as we made our way round to the West pier to be met with an empty pier , great start.
The usual flurry of activity as gear , rods etc are made up , rigs attached baited and cast into the depths . Not long after the first fish was on the pier , a doggie , this set the tone for the next few hours as the fish were on the feed , a strap conger followed and then the first of the spurs .
Mugsy after catching a few dogs landed a spur and then a wee while later hauled , what we thought to be another dog into sight , no dog a RAY , certainly not the colour of a Thornie either , on further inspection and a cry of delight all round , turned out to be a Cuckoo ray , pretty rare at the West Pier & a very good addition to the species list.
Fish continued to come ashore well into the night Dog,s , Spurs & a Thornie again to Mugsy .Into the daylight hours of Monday morning and a few Spurs ,more dogs and eventually a codling fell to Salty .
For the next hour or so bites & fish disappeared until just before 10am , Salty got a good knock and he struck into something with a bit of oomph , “Best fish of the day lads “ he shouts and proceded to pump up a good fighting fish , must have been a good 10 minutes before he was anywhere near the surface , by this time Mugser & yours truly had come over to see what he,d been tussling with .
Then it appeared .................... a Common Skate.......... not a giant but at that moment nobody cared what it,s weight / size was , bottom line, it was a Common Skate , luckily it had taken a rod on the side , so no rods had to be moved , no potential snag ups, all we had to do was guide it to a ledge and clamber down to land it , at the 4th attempt , the fish was safely landed and the cheers could start .
I was made up for Salty , he,s had runs , hook-ups including an hour battle at the very same pier , only to lose it maybe 60ft from the surface so it was great to finally see 1 in front of us .
More than the norm pics were taken with a very happy chappy holding his prize catch , the weighing time came soon after , the scales went to 26lb , fish was quickly returned and settled in the kelp for a good while before finally returning to the depths , great sight .
We fished on with a few dogs coming ashore , then had a visit of a lorry with a load of logs , top marks to the driver as he allowed us to continue fishing as he unloaded , the pier eventually filled with logs, and the boat , which had been sitting over on the Mull side came over to the pier , gave the guys a hand to moor her up , Russian crew , allowed us to fish off the side of the boat , but still only a few dogs appeared and soon after we decided to fish another mark further up the Sound, again only dogs to show .
So the podium finish was as follows , Gold medal Salty for his Common , Spurs , Codling & dogs , Silver medal Mugsy for his Cuckoo , Thornie , Spurs & Dogs and Bronze medal Craigenroan Spurs Conger & Dogs ,total fish for trip 45, 12 Spurs, the fish mentioned and the rest, 28 dogs .
Not the quantity of last week but certainly better quality .:thumbs:
 

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nice going lads,particularly salty on the species,thats a good session at any time of the year never mind the end of april .
cheers rab
 

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Well done lads good mixed bag, and that's where I got my first cuckoo ray 25yr ago as well...
 

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Brilliant fishing and what a result. Well done all the guys.
 

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well done guys brill report and pics,iv never been that lucky as you guys from that pier with 5 visits only had doggies and a conger
tight lines the fox.
 

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What a great yarn, sounds like you all had a great time and some nice fish, a worth it trip. Well done, hope the next trip is as good.
Tight lines,
Nic
 
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