LOCOMOTION SEA ANGLING CLUB
Late in June 2004 John, Reg and Tim headed north for a fishing trip in Scotland. We had decided, after reading a report in Sea Angler, to go for a 'self-drive' package.
We drove up on the Sunday and had fishing booked for the Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, travelling home on the Thursday. The weather forecast suggested that we would experience plenty of wind and rain but the sheltered nature of Loch Etive makes the chance of days being 'blown off' quite unlikely
This view from Airds Bay near Taynuilt, across Loch Etive. The boats of Taynuilt Boat Hire can be seen moored off the small jetty from which we boarded.
The hotel and boat hire were remarkable for the friendly and helpful nature of all concerned. Ian Campbell (Taynuilt Boat Hire) made sure we had bait, guidance on fishing marks and allowed us to store our considerable quantities of gear on his premises. The hotel provided a good, filling, scottish breakfast. We took snacks for lunch and returned to the hotel in the evening feeling quite ravenous. The hotel didn't disappoint - the deal included a limited two-course menu but there were about seven main courses to choose from, and the quantity and quality were good. Before and after the meal, we sampled the beer and wine from the bar and, here too, we were not disappointed.
We fished up and down several miles of the Loch; in places with a depth of a few tens of feet and others 300 - 400 feet deep. A few places had a very rocky bottom but most were mud or sand. We usually fished on the drift but sometimes, when the wind strengthened, we tied up to mussel breeding beds or fish farms.
Our catches were limited but not too disappointing. There were few mackerel about so we had very little fresh bait. We caught a variety of species, some of which were new to us. Gurnard were found at a variety of locations and behaved in a similar manner to whiting off the Durham coast.
Reg and John were pleased to catch dogfish - the ones we photographed appear to be spurdogs - the line of white spots and spurs in front of both dorsal fins are indicative of this species.
Reg and Tim caught to the only two cod boated. They were caught in the same small area within a few minutes of each other.
'Pan-sized' (as Reg calls them) cod caught by Tim and Reg - we noted the rich red tint of these two fish. We tried, for quite some time, the next day to locate the area where we caught them but couldn't find and more.
The weather and fishing weren't brilliant but everything else was excellent. We finally agreed that we would give it 9 out of 10. We have decided that we will return; probably next year in September or October and we expect that several other members of the Club will be keen to join us.