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

Gone Fishing.

(Sunday morning) First cuckoo of the year this morning, such a good sound and feel. Being cautious as ever  there will still be a blast of winter to come. In fact frost at night is pretty hard so easy not to go for any planting or get stressed about the lack of gardening. Yesterday morning was unplanned in the extreme. Suddenly the work hours have been upped and the body is trying to cope. So awake before half six and dogs out before seven, breakfast and the end of Sons of Anarchy approaching, takes a while to eat the full bowl of personalised muesli, before a wee doze on the couch. Ten o’clock and the day starts again. Could easily have taken the day off but knew it would be hard to justify so by eleven I was hauling my first creels. Lovely sunny day

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but with a stiff northerly coming up in the afternoon was glad to get in mid afternoon. In fact the days have been beautiful, mainly quiet although with breezes from the north in the afternoon.

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Funny how everything piles up when you have a couple of weeks of not bothering. Minutes, wet stocks, housing visits, bills all to do as well as a pesky VAT visit to sort. That as well as just your normal day  today earning a crust.

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So yesterday completed a third day at sea and all the gear in the water hauled and sorted apart from the one missing up north off the Range. Tried three times to get it back but proving a little more elusive than normal. Good to see the bonxies appearing in numbers.

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(now the following Saturday) never written a post that has been started so long ago. Posted twice with different subjects and now we are back to the fishing. The quantities and quality have both declined dramatically and there are a few boats on the move with one or two foul ups. Got a wee message in a creel that I had shot over some one. He must have been having a bad day.

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If I left a message when I am shot over would not have any gloves left on board.  A couple of fleets, not close together and in completely different depths are picking up huge amounts of starfish.

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Huge in that there are up to seven per creel.

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First very small mackerel appeared in one of the creels, proved too tasty for the bottom feeders to leave.

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As well as the blue sky weather we are on the edge of the cloud and a bit of fog rolling down from the north-west.

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Another unseasonal observation is the appearance of the newly berried female, three months before they are due. This is becoming the norm.

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Usual sights of seals

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and cormorants

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on the way in and out of the moorings. Gear slowly being taken to sea

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and enough prawns landed to go to Loch Ness Inn.

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A bit of passing traffic

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and low tides make up the rest of a couple of weeks at sea.

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Speaking to a fisherman from the Clyde and they do not use fresh bait at all but only salted herring/mackerel. If they put fresh in like pout, they would catch dogfish, up to six or seven a creel. Where we are fresh sometimes catches more than salted. Interesting how local conditions vary so much just down the coast. This is one of the reasons why the SCFF is working so well in that the local associations are working towards getting the best for the local areas as we know that one size does not fit all. Maybe a three-mile limit in some areas on the north-west and a box system on the east. Both good and both local. Seems the SCFF is striding ahead and may be looking to set up a trading arm partly to acquire funding for research to make the fisheries more sustainable. Also change the guys who represent us at all levels when so many have little or no experience of fisheries. Our EU rep is a classic example of this. An unelected Lord with a special interest in circus animals. We are a bit better served at a more national level.

(And finally Sunday evening) Oh how the weather changes.

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