Saturday 5th October marked the end of the 2013 season on Loch Leven with the annual Loch Leven Championship providing the final curtain call. Conditions were relatively benign, being dull with the odd glimpse of sunshine and a good south westerly wind.
The winner with a total of 4 fish measuring in aggregate 1460mm (or 57 ½ inches in old money) – the competition is fished as catch & release – was Dave Clark from Kinross. In second place with 2 fish measuring 1080mm (42 ½ inches) and both of which estimated at over 5 lbs in weight was Peter Campbell of Cowdenbeath AC. Indeed, Peter also won biggest fish of the day for one of the two trout which measured 570mm (22 ½ inches). In third place was Darren Woodmass with three trout measuring 860mm. Congratulations and thank you to all who took part.
Some very big fish indeed have been seen lurking off the burn mouths waiting to run up to spawn, but good numbers too of ‘maiden’ fish (non spawners) have also been seen of late especially in the huge area of shallow water along the north shore from the Old Manse to Grahamstone. Small fish have become somewhat less conspicuous than they have been over recent weeks but they do tend to head back to the deeper areas in the open water at this time of year.
We have been watching the various burns in the catchment area quite closely of late and will give an update on how the spawning season appears to have gone in due course.
Finally, a sincere thank you to all anglers who have fished the loch over the past season and in particular to those who have so diligently filled out the new angling return cards introduced this season. With the growing tendency of anglers to practice in the main catch & release, our catch records have ceased to be even remotely accurate with only a small percentage of fish caught being actually brought ashore and weighed. These cards include measurements of fish returned which should allow us to gain a much more accurate insight into what is going on. When we have some data following collation of these angling return cards, we will pass it on.
Angling has been challenging at times but then that is Loch Leven and wild brown trout fishing for you! The weather conditions, and in particular the wind, played quite a big part as did the paucity of the buzzer hatches for some reason this season. However, on the bright side, there is no doubt the fish population in the loch looks very healthy, both in terms of numbers and quality – fish being caught have generally been in superb condition which is testament to the continuing improvement in water quality and ecosystem.