I have to confess that I have been effected and my head slightly turned by the possibilities of bait fishing. My son Matthew will fish for anything if it swims he will have a go. Over the years as fly fishing has depended on me taking him he has had his head turned by the black art of coarse fishing. The local canal was nearer so he developed an attraction for pike, roach and other lesser species.
For his recent birthday he asked if I could take him to Loch Lomond with a pal to try for its pike and perch so I happily agreed to be the ghillie for the day. Boats were booked and we set off on a bright sunny day with a pal of his Max to spin for pike heading for the Endrick bank.
I recall reading books about loch Lomond and its salmon by Ian Woods one was called just that “Loch Lomond and its Salmon” and the other “Out from Balmaha” . The Endrick bank was the seen of Wood’s best day I think 5 or 6 salmon for 120lbs and there was I on a pike expedition to this hallowed drift.
Within minutes of starting Matthew had a follow from a very large dark shadow which he just was not expecting then a little later there was an explosion as a fish charged his bait as it hit the water but came to nothing.
I was surprised how shallow the water was here so far off the shore easily 2 or 300 yards. Max gradually developed his casting skills as he sat in the bows of the boat occasionally we ducked as his 7 inch bait swung erratically out of the water. Then it happened Max hooked the bottom or at least it was until the bottom started to move and pull back.
Some time elapsed with Max messing around with his reel trying to bring this fish in. None of us expected what we saw next this beast appeared huge in the water it was one of the biggest fish that I had ever seen. Eventually we did get it in the boat and it was returned safely after a photo. We tried to weigh it and the scales we had went to 22lb and it just dropped solidly on the spring. I guesstimated the fish to be between 25 and 30lb not bad for someones first pike.
I plan to return with a fly rod and try off the shore this was exciting stuff and I had also forgotten how beautifully a place the loch was.