While we’re not spoiled for sight fishing opportunities in Scotland, our normal fishing is dependant on a lot of blind casts, determination and a bit of watercraft.
Ultra-patient river anglers will sit it out waiting to spot rises from big fish to target but our peaty water doesn’t lend itself to picking out individuals like the chalkstreams down south or the crystal clear lakes of New Zealand.
For me, summer conditions like we’ve got at the moment are prime for getting out with spinnerbaits and surface flies for pike, casting in the lily beds around the edges of lakes waiting for an ambush predator to give itself away and nail your lure.
Fish of the Week
This week’s fish of the week winner is Colin Gorman, who caught this massive trout (main picture) at a loch in the Fort William area.
It battled hard for nearly 20 minutes and was safely returned to the water.
Colin wins £150 to spend on tackle from Daiwa.
Send your entry to: Fish of the Week, Glasgow Angling Centre, Unit 1, Point Retail Park, 29 Saracen Street, Glasgow G22 5HT, or email with a photo and your full address to email@example.com
I was fishing a loch in the Borders earlier this week, doing it properly too.
My boat partner is more of a pro angler than me – we were fully kitted out with a fishfinder and electric motor, checking water depths and trolling from spot to spot.
Mixing our methods meant that we covered different water on the drifts looking for active fish.
The lake seemed full of roach and perch so there was plenty of natural feeding for pike – maybe too much as they seemed less keen on picking out our artificials.
The lily pads in one corner caught our eye so we gave them extra attention, marking the edge of a drop-off and offering cover for a basking pike.
“That’s exactly where you’d expect to get one,” I heard over my shoulder as the fly landed in between two pads.
No sooner had he said it when a pike whooshed out and took my fly in full view of us both.
The hook set straight away and I was fighting it back out from the cover.
With some laughter and whooping, the fish was chinned, photographed released and now we were both set up, fishing floating lines up in the water between the pads.
“I think I saw that reed move,” I heard and I looked up just in time to see a pike breaking the surface and nailing his popper pattern, a second called strike in not so many casts and the blank was off.
The fish were up and active, the sun hadn’t got too high and, for the next couple of hours, we had them leaping out slashing at flies seemingly enraged and determined to put on a show.
You might catch bigger fish drifting open water, seeking out the baitfish shoals or deep structure – but it’s really hard to beat the sport on topwater lures in the shallows.