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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The magical draw of Scottish pike fishing

If there's a better sight, for an angler to awaken to, I've not seen it!
In a few weeks time; we are back off, north of the border, to do battle with the pike of Loch Awe. The we being my bother Simon, my son Benno, his mate Luke and my good self. The planning for this trip has been meticulous; we've got the bloody lot! Generators, gas-powered freezers, bait boats, braided line (miles of the stuff), Japanese hooks, American trace wire and the finest bait that can be acquired from any source around the globe! Yes indeed; we've never been in better shape to tackle this magnificent fishery. With a loch of 26 miles in which to prove ourselves - our technology is well capable of identifying "holding areas/features" without having to spend a life-time learning  the skills of a local. I think that the real question will be; "are we up to using this gear to our best advantage?"

Benno with his (my) first Scottish twenty 
I've been travelling to go pike fishing, in Scotland, since 1982. Not always serious, but a bait in the water is better than not going fishing at all? In all of these trips (17 in total) I have landed just 22 pike in excess of 10 lbs (doubles) ; I took 11 of these last year! So it isn't too difficult to understand where my yearning for a big fish comes from - Scotland owes me a twenty - if that's possible? I've now seen three - actually placing the landing-net under two of them!

Tom with our best pike so far - 21 lbs 2 oz. 
If pounds and ounces were the bottom line, Scotland isn't the place; well not anymore. The trout stocked, commercial, fisheries of southern/south western England will provide a far better chance of that "fish of a lifetime". For me, enjoyment is the over-riding consideration - if I'm there and not having fun, then something has gone seriously wrong! Obviously, the fishing is priority number one, yet not to such an extent that it excludes all other experiences. To watch an Osprey plunge into the loch,  scope Red Deer, away up on the adjacent mountain slopes, fall asleep listening to the haunting calls of Black-throated Diver, awaken to a dawn chorus of Common Sandpiper, Redstart, Tree pipit and Willow Warbler - pike fishing - what's that all about?

Simon with his first Scottish twenty - it only took thirty one years!
We'll sink a few "light ales" and have a laugh; hopefully Luke will get to experience the thrill of a hard fighting Scottish pike - this is his first trip! Whatever the outcome, I am sure that we will return home feeling good - the experience of spending time in such a magnificent place being the complete antidote to our everyday lives?
Where else, but Scotland, do you have the chance to watch an Oystercatcher walk under your rods?

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