A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Another couple of days fishing done and although fairly uneventful you are always aware of things going on. These days I am never just steaming out to or coming in from the creels. Wednesday morning I was changing the sacrificial plates on the Hydroslave hauler and just as well as it was not flat calm.

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Every so often these plates wear down and they stop gripping the rope. With the old Macleod hauler you would grind the centres so the plates would come closer and every so often it was a trip to Raasay to put them up on the lathe and that would take any distortions out when you would hand grind them. Now these plates are throw away and last about the same time. It would be interesting to compare the energy involved in maintaining the two methods.

Jelly fish have arrived in force and yesterday morning the moorings had a shoal passing through.

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That is another good reason to change the hauler plates, worn plates means the rope jumps off and you get a fine spray of stinging jelly fish in the face. Every now and again you haul a fleet where the creels are  covered in brittle star fish, like most things from the sea they can be delicate looking but destructive if too many appear on the scene.

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Caught a Ballan Wrasse in the afternoon and it seemed in good shape so it was quickly over the side and sure enough off he went.

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There is a new fishery on the go just now which entails catching wrasse for the fish farms as a means of lice control. The lice is becoming more immune to the treatments and other solutions are being sought. Good if this works as it is as natural a method regarding salmon farming that would be possible. I know this was tried years ago and heard that the wrasse quickly discovered that the salmon feed was easier feeding than picking lice of the salmon. Do not know what has changed since then, possibly less spare feed as this is now more regulated. Certainly a better solution than increasing the strength of the treatments as they are shell inhibitors.

Squats, like prawns hold their berries on their tails but I have never worked out why a very few have a bright orange pouch. Looked around but have not found any similar images explaining the differences to the normal egg carrying animal.

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Day was a lot quieter although a whistling east wind passing the window woke me up. Fishing staying very poor, if anything slightly worse. Up to the Inn, landed the prawns,saw the Fergies and the Fergie, stopped off for a while at a “Highland BBQ”,that’s one held in the rain and midges, at 6/7 before a quick shower and back up the road.

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Excess to requirement as front of house covered so had the night off and did not have the energy to go back out to hear Fergie. Would have stayed out if I had been working but not to be. Memories of seeing The Fergie Macdonald Band in the 70s in Kyle Village Hall. Images of Clem Mackenzie in his 70s white flares on the guitar singing “Country Roads, come to mind. Had to climb out the bedroom window to get to that dance. Dot was telling me he used to come over to Glenelg to see her grandfather as he was a physiotherapist back then, but most of the time was taken up with talking about music and little physiotherapy done. Poor forecast although quiet just now means a creel wash and mend day with a massage thrown in for good measure.

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