Settled weather over the May Bank Holiday weekend not only meant that conditions were quite pleasant for anglers but, more than anything else, led to some very good catches being recorded. The best (to our knowledge) was a fish estimated at comfortably over 7 lbs which was caught by Gordon Hayward on Friday. Gordon caught the fish on a buzzer and had two other fish which were both returned, one at 4 lbs and the other a ‘nice one’ at 2 lbs caught on lures (competition legal!). All 3 trout were safely returned.
That same day, Dennis Davitt and a pal from Duror (Fort William) had 2 cracking fish. The one first one photographed below measured 560 mm (approx. 5 lbs) whilst his second fish was only slightly smaller at 510 mm. They were both caught on a self-made mini muddler, one at the Hole ‘o’ the Inch the other at the Black Wood. Both fish were returned.
On Sunday, Allan Campbell was only out for half the day session but still found it time enough to catch 5 trout, all on buzzers. The following day, Ally Wells had 4 fish and Scott Mudie had 6, all these fish being returned.
However all the talk yesterday evening was about the extraordinary catch made by Brian Mackenzie and Tom Burnett. They recorded no less than 43 (FORTY – THREE!!) brown trout caught and returned as well as many more ‘touched’ or lost. I recall almost exactly 4 years ago Jeff Lawson and Eck Dewar creating headlines with their catch of 32 brownies here at Loch Leven but yesterday’s takes it up yet another level! In the old days, we would have had photo of all the fish laid out in serried ranks in front of the 2 anglers but all the fish were returned. The largest fish shown below measured 21 inches (approx. 530 mm) and was estimated to weigh about 4 ½ lbs but the most of the fish caught were in the 1 lb class which is great to see / hear.
The fish were, without exception, in great condition and fought well. You only have to look at the depth and condition of the trout shown above to show it is extraordinary for a wild brown trout and testament to the abundant sources of food that Loch Leven is now providing. Brian & Tom were fishing deep but said that they contacted fish pretty much everywhere they tried. It will be interesting to see over the coming days / weeks whether this ‘switch on’ is sustained.
Water clarity is now very good at 3.8 metres and the water temperature is a very comfortable 14.50C (for the fish).
Best areas of late have been close to the various drop-offs – sometimes the shallow side of the drop-off where there is at least 6 feet of water has been proving productive. The open water drifts have been showing signs of moving fish but not as yet the deep water.
Buzzer methods have been working away slowly but pulling lures and traditionals would probably be my first choice. The speed of retrieve can be very important as is holding the flies ‘on the hang’ for a few seconds just before the next cast is made.
The pike appear to have quietened down a little which is not perhaps unexpected in that there appears to be a fairly short window on Loch Leven lasting 2-3 weeks for some unexplained reason when they are available to anglers. But that, as they say, is fishing!
Finally, could I just remind everyone that we are proposing to hold a Loch Leven Anglers meeting next week to which everyone is cordially invited.
LOCH LEVEN ANGLERS MEETING
at 6.30PM on THURSDAY 15th MAY
BOATHOUSE BISTRO, KINROSS
There will be presentations from the team from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology both on the fish population and catch surveys as well as water quality results. However, much of the meeting will be more of an informal discussion as CEH and Loch Leven Fisheries seek feedback from anglers on all aspects of fishing on Loch Leven. The results and feedback will obviously form a key part of the ongoing OpenNESS project. The bar will be open and we will be providing complimentary eats. We hope lots of you will come along to what should be a very interesting evening.