April 15, 2014 3 Comments
For us simple minded anglers, nothing quite gets the blood flowing like the thought of a good ol’ road trip. Loading up the wagon; hearts full of an excited optimism. The anticipation builds throughout the hum drum week; thoughts drifting lazily towards our piscatorial passion. Of course these dreams rarely fulfil expectations but thats what fishing is all about. I think.
This trip was extra special, Loch Lomond the destination; Esox Lucius the target. Loch Lomond is the largest body of freshwater in the UK dwarfing even the mightiest of waters and its packed full of fucking pike; allegedly. As ever NCA associate Jamie Ward was riding shotgun.
For a change, I had conducted some initial research before this trip. Information was sparse but a few choice locations kept cropping up. The first was a spot passed on to me by an ex colleague, who was the inspiration for this trip. I was told of monster catches from this area. This spot was a small beach tucked away on the western shores of the loch barely big enough for a bivvy. Having conducted a thorough wader and stick depth check. I discerned that the depth of the loch very slowly tapered off and that it was still fairly shallow at 40 yards out, no less than 4 feet deep. However, the loch did seem low during our visit.
The bait for the weekend would be the wallet hugging recession pike pack from Online Baits UK. Found here. The service was brilliant with delivery instructions followed to a tee. The pack contained a vast array of dead baits that only a fool would fail to catch on. I even injected the fish with heroin so they blended in and looked even more natural in this Scottish setting.
We spent the first frozen night (this trip took place in January) near Luss without a bite, We decided to move early the second day to the far side of the Loch to a location near Balmaha. Up[on arrival this spot felt much pikier, it shelved off straight away to around 20 foot at 10 yards out. Also rather than the gravel bottom there was a tackle munching, feature packed rocky bottom in it’s place.
We spent another night cuddling around a fire place, shooting the shit but the floats remained resolutely un-submerged. Despite a valiant attempt to sink them by a Scottish yacht lout, who motored past us at about 300 yards out going flat out. Standing on the top deck of the boat was a man presumably Scottish, arms raised, shouting SCCOOOTTTLLLAAANND!!!. Whilst this is was a beautiful sight in itself, it was even more hilarious to see (first hand) the devastation that can be caused by a large boat travelling at speed. A couple of minutes after he passed, a tidal wave of gigantic proportions washed ashore and split both of our cups of tea and splashed us both a little bit in the face.
In summary, no fish were caught over the weekend trip but I could not recommend a trip up to Loch Lomond highly enough. Despite the freezing cold temperatures and teas being spilt by rampaging Scotsmen it is without doubt one of the most beautiful areas of our mossy little rock. I will be back probably with Jamjam.