Monday, 13 August 2012

An extraordinary week of fishing.
Part 9 : Carlingwark Loch birthday present.

Last Monday was my 35th birthday and I wanted to celebrate it with a spot of wrassing however it had rained heavily during the night and was quite windy in the morning and I really didn't fancy fishing rock marks so after checking the weather forecast further inland Ross and I decided to settle for a for a spot of piking instead. We packed up our gear and headed up the A75 to Castle Douglas to fish Carlingwark Loch. I've had some great fun there with jacks in the past and there are fish in there to over 20lb so our fingers were crossed for some fun with the jacks and maybe a big girl or two. When we arrived Ross couldn't wait to try his luck around the large lily pads and weed beds the surround the loch. As we moved around the edge we realised there were a few guys deadbaiting in some of the best spots I normally fish so we opted to move and headed to the bay at the top of the eastern side of the loch and work or way down the eastern side.

Action was slow to start with but as we made our way down the loch exploring all the small bays and reed beds we soon had a few jacks nipping at our brightly coloured Relax Kopyto shads. They are super supple and have a fantastic action due to their thin body and oversized paddle tail, even at very slow retrieve speeds. Fellow The Lure Forum member and big Kopyto shad fan Rob Pope very kindly sent me a few to try and I'll certainly be getting a few more in various sizes for use targetting a variety of species in both fresh and salt water.

Whilst watching jacks attack is exciting and hooking them before they thrash about wildly and throw the hook is great entertainmaent both of us were getting a bit frustrated by not being able to actually land any of the fiesty pike. We split up slightly and fished two areas quite close to each other. Casting along the bank in front of some reeds I watched a fish follow my lure out. As it got closer I realised it was a perch. It was almost right at my feet, so close I couldn't believe it really. I just stood still and dangled the lure in front of it and after a short pause inspecting it the perch lurched forward and with three chomps worked its way up the lure. It appeared to now have the whole lure in its mouth so I struck thinking it must get hooked but incredibly I managed to pull the lure clean out of its mouth and startled it quickly shot off. I was dissapointed but this wasn't long lived as shortly afterwards I hooked another jack and despite his best efforts, leaving the water completely at one point, I finally got my first present of the day.

Barely hooked in the corner of the mouth. Amazed that I landed it.

Next cast I hooked a better fish but again it threw the hook with a violent headshake on the surface. I toyed with the idea of adding a stinger but felt it would ruin the action of the lure. I called Ross to tell him I'd landed one and he came along to join me. He too had landed a jack and had enjoyed a fair bit of action. Unfortunately he'd left his camera in the car so he didn't get a photo of it. We continued working our way down the loch and the jacks continued tormenting us. When we got to a large bay covered in lily pads we both agreed that there may be bigger fish lurking underneath and switched to lures fitted with trebles. Ross had a missed take just in front of the lily bed but after spending a while trying to get another with no joy we had to call it a day as Ross had to make the drive back down to Chester dropping me of at Carlisle train station on the way.

Our extraordinary week's fishing had just come to an end, but Ross was already talking about coming back to Scotland again as we drove to Carlisle! Who can blame him really? Great locations, great fishing and great company, what more could he want? More species hunting of course with a two spotted goby and a common skate from the shore at the top of his list!

Tight lines, Hutch.

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