Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 5th October 2014

It is always a sad moment when the curtain falls on yet another season at Loch Leven as it did last weekend.  In line with tradition, the main event was the Loch Leven Championship which was fished on Saturday in pretty reasonable conditions despite the weather forecast earlier in the week looking a tad dodgy.

As usual, the Loch Leven Championship was based on the lengths of fish caught rather than weight, thus ensuring that virtually all fish caught are promptly released after being recorded. The one downside to this arrangement is that we no longer have the excitement of the weigh-in as anglers tipped their basket of fish caught onto the weighing scales – nostalgia no longer rules!

The 2014 Loch Leven Champion was John Reid from Kinross AC with 2 fish measuring 910mm ((36 inches) in total.  His largest fish pictured below weighed in a smidgeon under 6 lbs (ok – 5 lbs 15 ozs to be exact!).  Runner-up this year was Les Gunn with  2 fish measuring 770mm (approx. 30 inches) in total and , in 3rd place, was Paul Sharp with one fish measuring 572mm. John Reid would have also won Largest Fish followed by Paul Sharp but we try to spread the prizes around and so winner of the bottle of whisky for Largest Fish outwith the main prize winners went to Mr Mathieson from Aberdour  with a splendid trout measuring 510mm.  All of these big fish were estimated within a 5 lbs – 6 lbs weight range which was encouraging to see.

2014 Loch Leven Champion John Reid with his 5 lbs 15 ozs fish

2014 Loch Leven Champion John Reid with his 5 lbs 15 ozs fish

The open water drifts between Mid Buoy and East Buoy as well as the south shore along the Gairney front appeared to produce most of the fish but the area off the North Queich also saw some good action.

Over the last few days, we have seen some serious rain – indeed more rainfall was recorded here Friday overnight into Saturday than was reported for the whole of the month of September.  Fish will now have certainly begun the spawning runs up streams with this first spate and will surely continue now to do so when conditions are right because most fish caught in recent weeks have been in ‘breeding livery’.  I will report more fully on the spawning activities more fully in due course.

Finally, all of us here at Loch Leven would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those diligent anglers who have come to fish Loch Leven this past season.  Loch Leven can, and usually is, a challenging place to fish – but then that is wild brown trout fishing for you!  However, the sheer quality of the Loch Leven brownie can make for some memorable outings.  Thanks too to anglers for returning the vast majority of their hard earned catches, thereby helping to preserve the fish population although we still actively encourage anglers taking the occasional specimen home for the ‘pot’ because they are tremendous to eat.  Finally, a special thank you to all those anglers who so diligently completed the Angler Return cards during their outings here because these are now our only source of catch data.

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6 Responses to Loch Leven Fishing Report – week ending 5th October 2014

  1. Donny woodmore says:

    Love to hear the loch is fishing well, hope to have the opertunity to fish next season.

  2. gerry maguire says:

    what was the total number of trout caught for the year in 2014?

    • Hi Gerry, thanks for your various posts on this blog and our facebook page re the numbers of fish caught this last season. As we responded on Facebook, we no longer are able to gather total catch data, not least because the vast majority caught on Loch Leven now are immediately released. We no longer have anglers queuing to weigh in their catches at the end of each session as we used to in the past.

      In order though to get some sort of idea of the numbers being caught, we last year introduced a Catch Card which we asked a cross-section of anglers to complete when they went out on the loch. These cards recorded the length (and if possible the weight) of every fish caught by their boat regardless of whether the fish were retained or released.

      With the 2014 season only just ended, we have not received back results from analysis of the Anglers’ Catch cards – based on last year, it could be several months before we get them. However, the sort of info we got back from the 2013 season was as follows:

      * 428 catch cards were completed and returned (including nil returns)
      * catch cards covered the period 21st April – 29th September 2013
      * they covered a total of 2,649.5 fishing hours
      * fish were caught in over 150 different locations on the loch
      * a total of 1,310 trout were caught of which 952 (72.7%) were returned and 358 (27.3%) kept. In addition, 4 perch and 37 pike were recorded as caught!
      * out of the total 1,310 brown trout caught, individual records of length and/or weight were reported for 1,179 brown trout and included individuals between 110 mm and 770 mm in length and between 4 oz (113 g) and 11 lb 5 oz (5,132 g) in weight.

      The report for the 2013 season went on to say ‘Calculations of catch-per-unit-effort over the entire fishing season produced figures of 0.494 fish per boat per hour fished for brown trout caught and 0.135 fish per boat per hour fished for brown trout retained. So, on average throughout the season, each boat (regardless of the number of anglers in the boat) appears to have caught 1 fish every two hours or so.’

      Whilst this type of data provides a useful indication of how the loch fished (and it will be interesting to compare the results of both 2013 and the recent 2014 seasons, there is a caveat behind the figures. Only a cross-section of anglers completed these Catch cards and many were Loch Leven ‘regulars’. As a rule of thumb, it appears that the more you fish Loch Leven, the more likely you are to catch fish – local knowledge is a major factor. Our feeling is that the CPUE (Catch per unit effort) figures are therefore higher than if the results of every angler who had fished the loch in 2013 had been able to be included.

      So sorry – we cannot give a proper answer to your question because we genuinely do not have access to any meaningful figures as yet.

  3. gerry maguire says:

    thanks for a detailed reply and of course it is hard to do a full study when cards are not handed in , overall average size of fish caught seems to have gone up, but numbers of fish caught have went down it seems to me a shortage of fish up to and around the 2lb class whether its cormorants and other factors I don’t know,i have been told the hatchery will never reopen , is natural stocking enough to supply this vast loch?

  4. Eddie Law says:

    Great to hear the Loch is well on the way to health by all reports. I learned a lot on Loch Leven and now fish mainly in NZ….great fishing by any standard

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