A couple of days after the maiden voyage of “The Black Pig” the wind had dropped and that was enough for me to grab the boat and head back to the loch.

I got up good an early an after an uneventful drive I got to the loch at about 8.30 am, blew up the boat, loaded the rods and tackle and was setting out 15 mins later.

For no apparent reason I had decided to launch further south than normal, I thought it would give me a chance to have a look at some new areas as I made my way to the northerly fishing grounds.

I had gone about 30 yards from where I launched and while the Lowrance sonar was loading up and initialising I decided to have a quick cast with an Hart Absolut shad. This was the same roach pattern shad I had been using in Yorkshire canals.  I was working the shad on the HTO Rockfish T ( Tube tip) 3-15g rod, Rockfish 2000 reel and PE0.6 line, 12lb fluro leader and 10lb HTO Titanium trace. These wire traces are very good, kink proof and very low profile, perfect for finesse work.

I readied the rod and made a cast towards the margins, allowing the shad to swim down to the loch bed. The I began to hop it back towards me. As the shad  bounced down over the marginal shelf I felt I mighty “dunk” on the line and I struck into a proper un! The rod arched over and I felt those characteristic head shakes of a big perch. The fish bore down shaking its head and taking line off the reel. I played it carefully and the fish really put up a great scrap. Slowly the fish came up in the water fighting all the way and when I caught sight of it I could see it was a right lump! Thankfully it slid into my waiting landing net with no issues and I just sat there with a big grin on my face feeling slightly stunned at a first cast lump!

Now came the tricky part. I really wanted a grip and grin with this fish but I didn’t feel like setting the tripod up on the boat, mainly because I had visions of my camera taking a dive into the loch! With the fish in the net I headed in to the edge and beached the boat. I set up the tripod and camera with the fish in the net in the margins. It was then I realised that the batteries on my wireless shutter release had run out. Doh! So much for being prepared.

Luckily I had a wired release but this meant a one handed fumble with that and the fish in the other hand, but I managed to get a decent enough snap.  The fish was a bit of an old warrior that had a few scars from previous pike encounters but still an excellent specimen Scottish perch. She swam off good and strong and I headed back to where she came from, this time with the sonar on.




Sure enough I could see the characteristic signs of perch on the sonar  and this time I had brought some home made pool noodle marker floats, which were deployed over the shoal. Having a marker float changed everything! This meant I could take my time with positioning the boat and anchoring quietly above the shoal. As I was anchored I broke out the dropshot gear, this consisted of the Hart Rock and Street 1-7g solid tip rod, 2000 size reel, PE0.8 YGK G Soul x8 Upgrade braid, 8lb fluro leader, size 2 Sab polo wormer hook and a 7g dropshot  weight. Because the fish ahd snapped up a roach pattern shad I nose hooked the incredibly realistic Ricky the Roach SL 7 cm of awesome perch candy! I cast beyond the marker float and gently twitched the lure back into the kill zone. Bang , fish on! Another big perch came sliding into the net. As I was anchored above the fish I didn’t want to release the fish straight back into the shoal as it may well spook the other fish and force them to clear off. Instead I kept the fish in the net at the side of the boat. Next cast another lump! This pattern was repeated till I had another 3 good fish in the net. I didn’t want to keep filling the net up so I upped anchor and made another trip to the margins for a a couple of pics and a release away from the shoal.





After the release and pics I could easily make my way back to anchor near the shoal again which was still there. the pattern was repeated another 3 or 4 nice fish on the Ricky the roach and this time I started to release them back. Sure enough the shoal moved off and I decided to up anchor and find some more. This with the help of the sonar only took another 10 minutes and again I was able to mark the shoal and anchor nearby. The perch were going crazy for the wee roach pattern lure and I had a great amount of sport before they moved off again.






I carried on making my way up the loch but after the crazy couple of hours I didn’t really encounter such intense fishing. I didn’t really care though I was completely stoked with the first fish of the session and by the time the sun started to dip I was heading back down the calm loch with a beautiful sunset at my back and a feeling of immense contentment.


Tight Lines



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