The 2015 season has not been long underway and fishing has been fairly slow, albeit not too many anglers as yet have ventured out, perhaps understandably. Fluctuating air temperatures and low water temperatures have been holding back consistent sport. That said, there have been some very nice fish caught and, without exception, all have been in very good condition curtesy probably of a pretty mild winter. Only yesterday, Greig Davie had a lovely brownie weighing a tad under 4 lbs and measuring about 500mm (pictured below being modelled by Steve Rougvie!), which he caught in the Hole ‘o’ Inch.
Huge numbers of fry are to be seen in areas all around the loch and brownies have been spotted regularly feeding on these shoals particularly along the shore from the Narrow Neck to Levenmouth and the Black Wood / Grahamstone area. The fish feeding on the fry appear pretty single minded in chasing their quarry and have proved difficult to catch.
That said, I was out with Alan Smith fishing from Black Wood to Grahamstone recently and we had 7 lovely brownies between us, all of which were returned. They were mostly in the 2-3 lbs range with the top weight being comfortably over 3 lbs. Alan Smith is pictured below (apologies for the camera work!).
There was one interesting observation from the fish we caught, namely that 2 of them showed damage from predators. The first one pictured below shows damage to the top half which seems to indicate that it was likely attacked from above and it is our considered opinion that the predator was probably an osprey. Conversely, the fish immediately below it has damage to its bottom half which we felt was probably the result of an attack by a cormorant which tend to favour attacking from below. It will be interesting to see if anyone thinks differently. The good news is that both fish had fought like Billy-o*and, bar this predator damage, were in cracking condition. There was no indication of any infection in the wounds and there is every likelihood that both fish will make a full recovery.
Water clarity is good for this time of year at just under 2 meters and the water temperature is still a pretty chilly 8oC. Zooplankton (Daphnia & Cyclops) have made an early appearance in the water column which is a good sign especially for the young fish and those newly recruited fry from the various streams.
* Note – have just Googled ‘fought like Billy-o’ to check the spelling and found that it probably ought to be ‘fought like Bixio’ (pronounced Biglio in the Genoese dialect) after an Italian soldier in Garibaldi’s army, Lieutenant Nino Bixio who it was said would enter battle encouraging his men to follow him and “fight like Biglio”. You learn something every day!!