The only down side of a good run of success is that sooner or later it’s inevitably going to come to an end. This little Pike and a couple of micro Perch were all that rescued us from the dreaded ‘blank’ as we once again endured another marathon session in search of some more Lomond magic.
Our original plan was an early start on an area on the East shore of the loch, however this was promptly scuppered as the forecasted strong westerly wind would have made fishing incredibly difficult. Little did we know that our second choice of venue on the opposite side of the loch would stand us in no better stead.
A last minute change of start time and indeed a change of target species saw us arrive at around 8pm, 8 hours earlier than initially planned. Our intentions were to pre bait a well known Bream area and fish through the few hours of darkness in a bid to put a few slabs in the net.
We had put in the groundwork and found a suitable area, some clean ground in around 20 feet of open water. There was no scrimping on bait either. A fluffy sweet goundbait infused with corn, hemp, micro pellets and maggots was fed into the swim via 20 – 30 large feederfuls prior to fishing, when additional bait would be added on each cast. There was no doubt that we had done our homework and put in the legwork.
At this point I would like to say that our industrious work was well rewarded but nothing can be further from the truth. At around 10pm the Midges descended but that wasn’t going to deter us as, like any well prepared Scottish angler, we had come equipped. At around 11pm the midges left as the heavens opened but that wasn’t going to chase us either. 4 very wet hours later the rain eased as the sky lightened and the midges returned. Throughout this turmoil, we continued to fish, however probably not as effectively as we could have, but to no avail. Rarely does 4 hours seem such a ridiculously long time.
After a fishless, cold and wet night many others made of weaker stuff or indeed with any sense may have admitted defeat, packed up and headed home for a hot bath, a hot meal and a warm bed. However, with a massive blank staring us right in the face, that was not going to happen. We are clearly far too stubborn for that to even be an option.
After discussing our realistic options, we decided to move the few hundred yards around the gravel pit to Loch Lomond it’s self. It may only have been 300 yards or so but when you are carrying more gear than a Himalayan Sherpa through a literal jungle, a fair amount of effort is needed and yet again our enthusiasm was put to the test.
On our eventual arrival, we were greeted by the full splendor of Loch Lomond in the ever strengthening morning sun, which helped provide a much needed motivational boost and a renewed sense of optimism. Here we were hoping for…. Well, a fish…. Any fish!
As well as our Bream set up we had been fishing a couple of Pike rods at last and first light and these were once again deployed and were probably our best chance of a fish. The feeder rods were also put to use once more in the hope of perhaps some Perch, Roach or by some miracle, maybe even a Bream.
As the time ticked on, coupled with a strengthening SW wind and with tiredness setting in, yet again our hopes started to fade until a glimmer of hope in the shape of a small Perch was unceremoniously pulled from the loch. Never has either of us been so happy to see such a small fish. At that point a sound, which had become nonexistent over the last 12 hours caught both our attentions. It sounded very much like how a bite alarm used to sound. We finally had our chance.
I must admit, it felt great to finally have a fish on the line and after a spirited fight we had a modest Pike in the net and a hard won Pike at that. At last that bath, meal and a sleep was in sight. All we had to do was hike back to Basecamp.
This was a tough session but I always say that days like these are invaluable and allow us to totally appreciate the good days. Once again, determination and perseverance eventually paid off. However I do hope that our next few sessions are slightly easier.
It’s worth noting that when times get tough, it pays to just take a step back and have a look at where you are. We are privileged to have such stunning scenery in which to cast a line and much of it, right on our doorstep