Met Dan and Declan today for a wee bit of kayaking down at Lochwinnoch. Driving down, the wind must have been blowing about force five and when I crossed the bridge between the two lochs, the water was a light chocolate brown with white horses and spray flying.
Dan and Declan had already had a wee paddle before I arrived and after a brief chat we set out. Wasn't too bad to start with but then a squall came through making padlling and lure setting quite difficult. Dan decided to head across the Loch for hopefully calmer waters and I headed for Declan to let him know the plans. Just as I caught up with Declan, I hooked a wee jack pike about 9 inches long that must've headbutted the lure as it was hooked under the chin.
Didin't take a photo as it was just too wet with the spray flying and difficult enough to control what was going on. Put the wee guy back and headed over to join Dan with Declan following. We decide to head down the loch but it was just too wild and headed back in for a re-think.
The photo's don't show how difficult the paddling actually was but it was hard going.
Decided the better part of valour might be to head for the canal where we could find shelter from the wind and rain and this we did but didn't expect the weed growth to be as hellish as it was.
We soldiered on for a bit but found trolling the lures for a couple of miles really hard going until Dan eventually hooked into this massive beauty
With Declan losing a better fish close to home time around seven o'clock.
Had a wee chat with some of the local lads who were catching tiny perch for a bit of fun from the bank.
Great day out with Dan and Declan, looking forward to the next time already.
A couple of years ago, I was down at the Colzeum estate in Kilsyth with my wife and kids and feeling a bit jaded about things past.
The wee one's did their thing and ran about the adventure playground till it was almost dusk and time to leave. As we left the Colzeum on our way to go home, I noticed an old fisherman tackling up by the boot of his car.
Me, being me, thought I would have a wee chat with the old fella and talk about angling related stuff.
I asked him if he was going fishing and he said " Aye " never even looking away from the flies he was tying on his cast. I asked him if he was going to use the fly on The Big Dam ? "Aye " he said as he concentrated on what he was doing without nereay a glance.
Maybe that Ancient Mariner knew a thing or two...
God, grant that I may live to fish
until my dying day
And when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray
When in the Lord's safe landing net
I'm peacefully asleep,
that in His mercy I be judged
big enough to keep.
With a slight riposte
"A well a day what evil looks,
I had from young and old!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross,
About my neck was hung.
He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small,
For the dear god who loveth us,
He made and loveth all. "
Good news, the two creel boat men, Jim Reid, 75, and his 35-year-old grandson David Irvine, have been found safe and well after their boat out of Gourdon harbour had gone missing at sea for three days due to a faulty compass.
I took a trip down to the canal tonight and after a chat with some guys from Glasgow set afloat in my Galaxy pro fisher. It was a lovely evening and I headed down for about a mile and a quarter trolling the wee abu lure that has become a favourite of mine since last year.
I had nothing on the way down hugging the south bank but on the way back up had a couple of wee jack pikes that hit with good solid takes.
Still annoyed about losing the fish the other night as it was about twice the size of this guy. Think I'm going to get a wee unhooking mat for my lap to make handling the fish easier when I'm trying to photograph them.
I've kindof got better at getting the fish aboard now and have found the best policy when a fish is on is to get to open water away from the bank before taking the rod out of the holder. If the drag is set rightn the line won't break and the pressure stays on before you can pick up the rod. Another good tip is not to try and go for the camera while the fish is in the water unless you're not bothered about losing the fish. Better to keep the pressure on than avoid good fish like earlier in the week or the nice perch I lost last year.
On the way back down to the put in point, I had a wee chat with the guys on the bank who weren't having too much luck drifting deadbaits.
Then headed under the bridge for a chat with another couple of guys from Glasgow who were less willing to have their photo taken. I wonder which prison they had escaped from LOL.
After I put the kayak away I got chatting with the first couple of guys again and they were telling me about a Chinese guy they had met somewhere near Bishopbriggs who was punting a bamboo pole across the canal with a monofilament net suspended from it in order to net any roach, skimmers and anything else he could catch. I'm assuming he was doing this to sell to a restaurant or the like and to heare of this kindof thing is obviously of some concern. What the Scottish government should be doing rather than trying to get a rod license in through the back door is do something to stop this kind of thing going on.
After having seen some lovely perch caught by a guy called Tony Chesworth who is a face book friend of mine from Plymstock down south, I decided to give this dropshotting lark a go with some savage gear rubeer worm type things I got a while back.
Arrived around 8pm on a lovely evening hoping the fresh air would help lift this terrible head cold I seem to have.
And set about tackling up with the savage gear artillery
Mooched around for about an hour in the drop zone initially using a jig based dropshot rig but had no luck on this so changed over to a traditional set up with only one worm on a single hook tied off with a Palomar knot with an arsely bomb about 2 feet below.
Had absolutely no luck with this method but my set up may have been too crude for the water which is only about six feet deep at this part of the canal.
So I decided to swap for a wee abu shallow diving lure and went for a troll in an eastwards direction. As this was only my second time out this year it took me a wee bit to get the set up fine tuned but I was soon paddling at a reasonable rate towards Falkirk.
Around a mile into my paddle I had a nice hit and the rod set about bouncing like a punk rocker on speed so I pulled the rod and to my delight had a nice wee Jack about 4 pounds right to the boat and - will I never learn - as I tried to extract my camera for a fish in water shot, the fish got off.
Hey ho, no pike pictures but there are some lovely chestnut trees down this way and I'll need to bring the kids down in the autumn.
Paddled on for about another half mile then turned for home and just about where I had the first hit, I had a second which was much better but by the time i got the yak in order and the rod into my hands it was off.
No worries there's always tomorrow now I know where the pike live :-)