Angling Notes: rainbows, browns and blues fight like tigers in Scotland

A record catch capped off six glorious days of fishing on Lake Menteith

Setting out for a day’s fishing on Lake Menteith. Photograph: George Barron

Setting out for a day’s fishing on Lake Menteith. Photograph: George Barron

 

It was a real pleasure to revisit Menteith Fisheries in Scotland recently. The trip not only brought some fabulous fishing but the whole experience from travelling from Belfast to our return journey a week later, was indeed a memorable experience.

The Stena sailing to Carnryan was pleasant and swift as our convoy of eight cars (16 anglers) made its way through Ayrshire’s coastal route (homestead of Robbie Burns) and on to Glasgow.

Here, the angling centre is rated as having one of the largest stock of angling equipment in Europe and at very competitive prices. After a short stopover, it was onward and upward towards our destination of Aberfoyle in Sterlingshire.

True to form, the Rob Roy Hotel again catered for all our needs, perhaps in particular, because of its close proximity to Lake Menteith. In addition, the hotel offered excellent food and with 100 en-suite bedrooms with all the mod cons, it is the ideal base for an unforgettable holiday (fishing or otherwise).

Tom Stanton from Cork with a fine trout at Menteith Fisheries in Scotland
Tom Stanton from Cork with a fine trout at Menteith Fisheries in Scotland

After breakfast, we made a point in calling to Trossachs Butchers and Deli in the town for our steak and kidney pies, in fact, they boast every pie you can think of, all cooked overnight and piping hot.

At the fishery, eight boats were set aside for our needs from the 34 fleet over the four days. Interchanging partners each day brought an even greater comradeerie among the group and also different fishing techniques.

The fishing was fabulous. Those rainbows and browns, and particularly the ‘blues’ fight like tigers and can give an even better account of themselves than any salmon I have ever caught.

Midge tips, intermediate and DI-3 lines with a selection of ‘booby-type’ lures were the order of the day. The ‘snake’ on a short leader was also successful. I managed to catch 18 fish up to 3kg, which was a record for me. Catch and release applied throughout and all fish were returned unharmed.

Fisheries manager Quint Glen said it was a poor year financially for the lake due to the excessive good weather. “For a time, we had to close the fishery because of near drought conditions and lack of bookings,” he said.

Consequently, it is his intention to keep the lake open throughout the winter months, weather permitting. “If we get the bookings we will open for business,” he said.

Our four days of fishing (six days in total) came to an end all too soon and we were left with wonderful memories of a great trip. (I’ve already paid my booking fee for next year.)

Part of the Irish contingent awaiting their pies prior to fishing on Lake Menteith
Part of the Irish contingent awaiting their pies prior to fishing on Lake Menteith

Menteith is stocked weekly with top quality rainbow and brown trout reared at the lakeside by staff members, and is regarded as one of the finest stocked fisheries in Europe. I’ll vouch for that.

For boat reservations, email bookings@menteith-fisheries.co.uk or visit menteith-fisheries.co.uk.

SeaFest moves to Cork

SeaFest, Ireland’s largest and most spectacular maritime festival, will be held in Cork from next year and continuing until 2021. The event will take place in Cork City over the weekend of June 7th-9th, 2019.

In addition, as part of the national festival, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit Conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, June 6th and 7th.

Minister Michael Creed, Tánaiste Hugh Coveney, students Myles Ó Raghallaigh and Cáit Ní Drisceoil at SeaFest launch scheduled for Cork over the next three years. Photograph: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM
Minister Michael Creed, Tánaiste Hugh Coveney, students Myles Ó Raghallaigh and Cáit Ní Drisceoil at SeaFest launch scheduled for Cork over the next three years. Photograph: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM

For the past three years, Galway has hosted the event which has become extremely popular attracting 100,000 visitors in 2017 and again in 2018.

Minister for the Marine Michael Creed said: “SeaFest is all about raising awareness about the value and economic opportunities provided by our marine sector, it has been particularly successful in increasing awareness of maritime issues which impact on all of us, through a host of engaging and educational activities for people of every age.”

Final heat

The final heat of the Annamoe Winter League will take place on Saturday, 24th November with the final scheduled for Saturday, December 8th, 2018. Enquiries to Brian Nally @ 086-259 8563.

angling@irishtimes.com

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