Dunnet Bay – lots of fish and lessons learned.
A recent trip to Dunnet Bay in the far north of Scotland was very successful. 6 out of 8 days were fishable and saw a total of 166 fish caught including 16 bass and Pollack to 26”.
No. 2 – Careful when returning to the beach. Having fallen into the shallows before when dismounting the board I now take the precaution of turning my rods from sticking out the sides to pointing backwards. This allows me to get off the side and if a wave pushes the board the board can just surf into the beach (I undo my leash once I am in shallow water). Those precautions generally work but in this case my ego got the better of me. When returning to the beach there were people trying to surf on the small waves so I thought I would do the same. To cut a long story short I fell backwards. I surfaced to see my board surf itself up the beach but next to me in the water was the top half of my rod which I must have fallen on and broken. So the lesson is – don’t try to show off and surf a 12’ sup covered in fishing tackle. After that I would come in through the waves kneeling down.
Norway SUP fishing
“So much water and so little time” sums up a recent trip to Norway’s fjords. The scenery was stunning, the hardest thing was to try to capture the magnitude of the mountains dropping into the water so I made this short video.
In truth there weren’t as many fish as I had hoped but the list of fish caught includes – cod, ling, Pollack, coalfish, red fish, sea trout, gurnard, haddock, mackerel, pike, perch and one unexpected guest
This spring has been quite good for Pike fishing from the board but the sea fishing has been poor. Things should pick up as things warm up. Meanwhile a recent trip to Loch Morlich produced this surprise salmon which was returned unharmed.
A long planed trip to St Vincent in the Caribbean took a unexpected turn when for various reasons I ended up on Barbados.
Even though the wind was offshore without the high mountains inland to shelter the coast the winds quickly pick up once you leave the beach making the sea conditions often testing.
Because of baggage restrictions I could not take my normal inflatable fishing board and had to take a light weight board that packed up smaller. I used a dry bag clipped to the front of the board to store my tackle and the rod could be strapped to the bag when paddling. Without the security of rod holders the rod was kept on a safety tether.
The fishing in truth was a bit slow (many hours for just a few fish). The best fish was a Spanish Mackerel of about 6lb which gave a great fight on light tackle before being released.
The Autumn has been good for pike this year, I have been catching a few fish on most outings and the fish are bigger with about 10lbs being the average.
A great trip to Dunnet Head , The UK's most Northerly point. It required settled weather but the fishing was good with planty of pollack, coalfish and even a bass. What is unusual is the fact you get bass that far north yet you don't get them on the North West or North East coasts of Scotland so I have no idea how they get there.
A new personal best pike of 20lb. Please note all pike are released unharmed. The hot weather recently has put a lot of weed into the sea making trolling very difficult.
There have been lots of small coalfish and I have been catching up to about 15 within about an hour. But recently the drifting weed has started to give problems.
A recent inland trip produced this nice 16lb pike
The trolling on the sea improved with the arrival of shoals of small coalfish. Recently the pike fishing has also improved with the (sometimes) warmer weather.
Good New Year.
With all the rain the pike fishing has been awkward with such high water levels.
The sea fishing has slowed right down but the pike fishing is going well and it has been a excellent month weather wise. Here is a photo from a early morning session on Loch Lomond
The SUP fishing has been good recently both on the sea with mackerel and coalfish and also on freshwater with a personal best pike of 17lb.
A trip to the Moray Firth produced lots of coalfish to 1 ½ lbs to trolled lure. At one point I caught 2 coalfish at the same time on the same lure with one fish on the front hook and another on the rear hook! The secret to catching so many was to troll along the “tide lines”. What’s a tide line? It is the lines you get as different waters mix. They are common in area of strong tides, you can see a line in the water and debris often accumulates along such lines. Unfortunately so do jelly fish and I had to frequently clear the tentacles off the lures. Watch for the vibration of the lure on the rod tip, if it stops you may well have weed or tentacles on your lure.
After a few days it was time to move inland and go for pike. Mornings are my favourite time to go pike fishing but with clear skies the temperature dropped off to only 2c and on such days the fishing improved in the afternoons when things had warmed up.
Lake Windermere Pike
Lake Windermere has a reputation for holding some large pike. It also is known as being a hard water to fish with many people fishing it for many months before catching anything. A recent trip to the lake proved how a paddle board is the perfect means to fish such a large lake.
I could troll parallel to the shore where I could see the shallow water dropping into deeper water. I would look for any weed on the bottom, anything a pike could use for cover. Although I found a few areas of light weed most of the bottom was mud or stone. In such circumstances it pays to troll whilst keeping an out for areas to stop and cast. By doing this I managed to catch a couple of pike.
The Islands at Bowness provided good shelter so it was possible to fish whatever the weather.
The fishing has been very poor as has the weather. Using all the lures that have been successful in the past and still very few fish to show for it. It has been a case of "you can't catch fish if they aren't there".
We now have a hire fleet of boards. The boards aren't specifically for fishing but they are stable enough to fish from. The boards are inflatable and can be sent to you by carrier if you aren't local. For more details click here.
Anyone interested in buying a board should always get in touch as we often have used boards and special deals on boards available.
It is that time of year when I am back to pike fishing.
Here is a new paddle board best of 14lb from Loch Lomond. It did tow the board around a bit on a nice calm autumn morning.
I have just been to Florida with a inflatable SUP. Having flown all over with a windsurf board in the past it was very easy to fly with the SUP. It rolls into a holdall and ends up smaller than a set of golf clubs.
Florida really is the capital of SUP fishing world wide. Light winds and lots of fish make it the ideal place as long as you don’t have a phobia about certain fish with teeth.
A lot of the fishing in Florida is “flats fishing” with the fishing taking place in 3 to 6 ft of water. A popular way to fish is by using a anchor pole which is simply a glorified stick that you push down into the sand and tie the board to it. The system worked very well, I used a carbon golf club shaft and it anchored the board well until it eventually was snapped by a shark. After that I had to swim down and push the remains of the pole into the sand, a slightly daunting task given the number of sharks around.
I caught 10 sharks from the board as can be seen in this video.
Stingrays were also common, but for those of you wanting to eat your catch then there were speckled seatrout which could be caught on lures
Here is a short video –
It has been a very windy month and the chances to get out SUP fishing have been few and far between. The fresh water lochs have had very high water levels. It didn't stop this rather plump pike from taking my lure though.
The frosty mornings give some great Paddle boarding conditions even if the fishing can be a bit slow.
30 October 2013
There are some special offers on the boards at the moment.
Red Air ex demo boards from £500
Starboard Whopper Extra new at only £699
Deals are available on other boards.
This section will have news about my fishing trips and lessons learnt. Also any news on equipment will be posted on here.
From March to June most of the fish caught are sea trout with the odd small coalfish. In Loch long I used deeper diving lures to pick up small cod to 2lb.
Mid June the mackerel appeared. There were a couple of weeks where I was catching a mix of mackerel and sea trout before it became all mackerel.
A July trip to Loch Morlich saw me catch 6 pike, mainly small but I lost a much bigger fish when it jumped and threw the hook. For the pike you really have to work the lure well so it favours casting into likely areas rather than trolling. July is a problem month due to the amount of green seaweed floating in the water.
August and it is all mackerel in the Clyde but a trip to Loch Linnhe saw a lot of cod caught, mainly in the 1 to 2lb range also some Pollack and coalfish of similar size. Out of the three the coalfish certainly gave the best fight providing some powerful runs.
September and it is still mainly mackerel in the Clyde but also quite a number of very small codling some of which aren’t much bigger than the lure. An exploratory trip to Loch Lomond saw a large pike hooked and lost. Mackerel becoming scarce towards the end of the month.
October – and it seems to be small codling and coalfish, no mackerel although there should still be the odd one around. 14th October - As soon as I had written about the mackerel I have caught one for the last 3 days in a row. Just the odd one but they are a bit bigger at the moment.
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