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

It’s been a full on few days, might as well get used to it and enjoy the tiredness. It will mean you have done something at least. Sunday we were left in charge as the boss was away to celebrate a fortieth anniversary and a, let’s just call it a birthday. It was a bitter-sweet get together over on Skye. Must admit I was just a wee bit nervous about the day as I knew we were slightly understaffed. Turned out it was. Fine day with lots of happy customers. Always good to dip in and out of people’s stories and every one has one. Knowing some one from Arklow meant a craic about Ship agents and Ship builders from county Wicklow. Still going okay, the musicians arrive set up, takes a little longer as they are now miked up, and play for the afternoon. All was smooth until about sevenish when a few wandered in to grab seats whether they were reserved or not. Ten minutes to sort people out without upsetting anyone too much. Made it through the shift and still kept sane, in fact very satisfying, finishing the evening chatting to some Skye hoteliers. Do not usually chat about the hotel business but it was good craic. I suppose one gets used to all these different views and conversations, after all I was chatting to a twinrig  trawlerman the night before and I suspect he knew my take on the fishing as I knew his. We can be very civilised. I know the best bit about this part of the job is that on Monday I am on board the Varuna,


on my own, in nature, trying to be close to it and not taking too much.

The first couple of days this week have been at sea although I did a couple of hours filling in at the Inn on Tuesday evening. Lovely and peaceful at sea and the fishing still is not too bad. The extra-large are not so plenty full but that suits my market as they are almost a lose leader to the Inn. Look very impressive on the plate but the margin is a lot less than the smaller sizes. Seeing a fair number of small flat fish, very unsure despite having a look for them on the net, but may be halibut or turbot.


The images do not quite fit but it would be nice if they were. In an area that has not been trawled or dredged for years so may be regenerating well for some lines in the future. Very pleasant being out on days like these,


still and calm with only the cormorants, gulls and bonxies around.


Plenty of seals around both leaving and returning to the moorings.


On the way in on Tuesday we passed the small Cheetah Cat out on the Bay.


Around from Shieldaig and up from Pitlochry they are carrying out a tagging and monitoring program on the smolts coming down the main river in Applecross. A project conducted by Marine Scotland Science. Not sure to call it the river Crossan or Applecross river. After weighing and boxing the Inn’s langoustine went into the pier to see how they were getting on. They were loading up anchors to which receivers and buoys were attached,


to be laid in screens around the Bay.



The next step, next week, is to set up a screw trap on the river and tag the bigger smolts with transmitters and as they head done the river their progress will be picked up in the Bay.

The Inn is busy as ever and suddenly too many langoustines are not a problem. Not been out the last couple of days as it has been breezy and used up some of the held langoustines to keep things going. Nothing of note at the Inn except the many happy customers, whether from Belarus or Inverness. The founder of the Traditional School of Excellence was over staying for a few nights with his family. Must be very satisfying to have an achievement like that in your life’s work. On the way home on Tuesday evening there was a slightly different sunset


worth a stop off and snap.


That plus starting the creel washing for the season in the rain is all for now.


Back up to the Inn now and some hard fishing to do in the next couple of days as there may be some North winds next week limiting time at sea. Unfortunately we are existing on a few painkillers to keep the earache and toothache at bay. Just the usual rush of bugs around Easter time as people come here in large numbers. Many others are going down with other ailments and I will settle for what I have.

Comments on: "Smolt Tagging among other Things." (4)

  1. Yvonne Spornitz said:

    Your pics are lovely as usual! You describe an ordinary day in such a wonderful way, with your words and pictures combined. Thank you as always, your fan in Alberta

  2. Great pics, doing uni work studying Applecross Hydro project and stubbled across the page. Have fished in Applecross before, and caught lots of wee flatties from toscaig pier, plaice dabs flounder and wee cod. The flattie in your pic is a Dover Sole by the way! Google it, the mouth shape and elongate body gives it away. Didn’t think we got them that far north but the seas are changing, we are now getting regular catches of dogfish and even the odd tope showing up here on the east coast. Hope I can get back up to applecross soon and do some fishing, absolutely stunning part of our country. Tight lines fella

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks for the info on the Sole. We have been catching quite a few of these lately. It was more in hope than knowledge that I thought they were halibut or turbot. Thought the markings and shape were not quite right and went for the eyes and mouth position. Good luck on the studies,if you want any info you are welcome to get in touch.

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