When current conditions make if hard to for me post tales of heroic catches and pictures of fish then for me a look back at trips earlier in the year is perhaps the only solution. This of course presumes that stories and photos of my catches will be in abundance when conditions do improve, a risky assumption indeed on my part given my normal catch return rate.
Loch Lomond May 4th, 2018
It was a very welcome surprise when I received an invite from my good friend Michael to join him for a days fishing on Lomond. The invite was particularly appreciated given that I had managed to “drop” two fish on earlier trips and it had crossed my mind that perhaps I had blotted my copybook. In hindsight it was obvious that part of the reason for losing these fish was the overly courteous discussions and resultant delays as to who should lift the rod with the fish. An early start saw us leave the Angling Club with conditions looking good and expectations high. In an attempt to avert another “dropped fish” incident we had agreed a game plan for who does what should we hook a fish which in hindsight seemed obvious.
Fishing up the west bank of the loch covering the usual hotspots without success we decided to pull onto the beautiful island of Inchmoan for lunch and a stretch of the legs. A discussion of tactics and next steps was somewhat one sided given my inexperience of Lomond and trolling. I did however decide to throw a wildcard into the conversation and suggested a change of lure. Producing a white and pink rapala from my bag I said don’t laugh but it might be worth giving this a go. With a smile Michael agreed it was worth a try so on went the white and pink rapala (Japan Export only). Rapala. COUNT DOWN CD-9 JAPAN SPECIAL. HBM japan import Japan Import
We had barely pulled out of Inchmoan when the outside outrigger buckled and the reel began to screech, yes the one with the white and pink rapala. Like a well oiled pit crew (of two) we were soon playing a decent fish which put up a good fight and displayed none of the behaviours of a Pike. After a short contest a lovely brownie of around 4.5lbs was netted. Admittedly it appeared to initially resemble a sea trout but after some quick discussion we agreed it was a brownie.
Heartened and with renewed vigour we fished on between the islands and were quickly rewarded with the sound of a reel screaming once more as we passed close to Inchfad. Applying our now drilled routine then the fish holding rod dutifully bent into what looked to be a good fish. After a few strong runs it revealed itself to be a decent sized pike of around 8-9lbs which put in a strong account of itself before being netted. A lesson for me in what not to do was in bringing the pike into the boat in the net. The treble hook quickly entangled itself in the mesh of the net preventing a quick release. The solution in the end was that Michael recognising my difficulty cut the treble in order to allow the release of the pike.
Fishing on without any further excitement we decided to head for home around late afternoon after what had been a “good day” on the water.
Aside from avoiding bringing a netted pike into the boat then we should perhaps be mindful of not forgetting the “When all else fails option” when things are simply not happening. Sometimes the “gariest” lure (or fly) that resembles something from a burlesque show is just what’s needed when all favourites fail.