A new competition was announced earlier in the year which would take place in October on Loch Ken in Scotland. It would be the first time for me to fish a Scottish loch and the talks about it fishing well got me very excited. October came around fast and it was time to head up north.
Morning, 6 am, yes 6am!! Way to early for me, but a must for us as we wanted to get a session on the water in the afternoon. The journey felt like an age, until eventually we reached the famous blue sign ... Welcome to Scotland.
This was a relief until Martin put a damper on it, adding that we had a few more hours to go. At least we were now on scenic roads, and wer treated to lovely views of the countryside and the sun burning of the mist from the valley.
We arrived mid morning to be greated by Terry, who we'd be sharing a caravan with, and the views just took my breath away. As for the launch, well what can I say, if they were all like this it would be a dream.
After a quick hello it was time to rig the yaks and launch, for a few hours afloat. Armed with local knoledge, we headed for the nearby viaduct wich apparently always produces a few fish.
The local info proved to be bang on the button with the Raymarine Dragonfly showing masses of shoals passing through the screen. Every drop of the baited dropshot rig didnt reach the bottom without a nibble or a full on take. This was good sport, all small fish but they kept us busy for the afternoon.
Time was getting on and the body was getting tired after a long day so we decided to head back. A shower, a beer, and an early night were in order as it was a full day afloat in the morning.
Practice day. THere were a good few yaks on the water as we headed off to the viaduct to kick start our day. The fish however, were not there. We lobbed a few lures, drowned a few worms, and not a single bite. This was going to be a hard day - the loch is over 14km long, thats a lot of water to search for fish! We decided to head down to the islands which were approximatly 3 miles down. I tucked behind the furthest Island, and found a drop off which was showing fish right at the bottom. I decided to drift it and bang - Fish on! Better fish this time and then bang! Another fish, both better quality than the day before.
Ian, who joned me behind the island was pulling some very nice fish in as well including a few small Pike, and we seemed to be perched right on top of the Perch.
Time was running away with us, and given the 3 mile paddle ahead of us with a slight headwind, we decided to to start our paddle back and return to this hotspot tomorrow.
Competition day. Briefing was at 9am and after a very brief briefing it was all on the water to find the fish.
Overall length was the order of the day and after hearing reports of Pike being caught up the top end of the loch I was now in limbo. Where should I go? Up or down? I decided to stay central, which was to prove a fatal error. I only caught a few before lunch and was too late to head up or down to yesterday's hotspot. I just had to grin and bear it, winkling out a few perch but no pike.
At the end of the day there was no placing for me, due to a bad decision on the day. My trip to Scotland was, however, a very enjoyable few days away with good company. I will be returning for 2016 to hopefully get a better result!!