Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sea Trout at the top of the tide.

Image Above: Sea Trout, caught on a homemade lure
Location: Isle of Erraid,Mull, Scotland LINK TO MAP

I snuck off for an hour before dinner taking a sort cut through the woods to the Northwest corner of the island. Here a large slab of granite cut a little by the sea makes a perfect platform for spinning. The water is not deep and the seabed sandy but a long outer reef provides some interest and marks out the edge of a natural channel between itself and the shore. This is a point of passage for fish coming in from the Sound of Iona to feed in the shallow bay that separates the island from Mull.

Having arrived at the top of a spring tide my chances were a little better than average although with a driving headwind my casts would probably come up a little short. I was fishing almost for free having found the rod in one of the islands outbuildings and using a reel left behind by a guest with my homemade, teaspoon pirk for a weapon. At six foot the rod is a little shorter than I am used to but it does have quite a whip action and despite the wind my lure managed to punch its way out into the channel. I let the lure flutter to the bottom before retrieving it with spasmodic jerks, and then speeding up to keep it over the weeds as it neared my perch. Twelve casts in and I foul hooked one of the greater sand eels that had taken to schooling up with my lure. Two or three casts later the small rod bent double and large arc of silver flashed in the blue. The mackerel bolted cutting the surface as if equally comfortable in both mediums. Being used to stiff boat rods and heavier line, I wound in taking no account for my lighter gear, when I lifted the fish up onto the rocks I realised just how flexible the rod really was as the tip hung limply pointing at the fish.

Ten minutes later and I felt another tug and then nothing, as my lure neared a shape glided past its speed and poise had the feel of sea trout but I wasn`t completely convinced. I casted again, letting the lure sink and then while trying to remember the action of last retrieve wound in. The line went taught, there was no flash just a solid shadow that set its own course despite the rod and line. So I landed my first ever sea trout and maybe held a bit too long before returning it to the sea.

Image Above Right: The Northwest corner of the island
Image below: Mackerel

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