Thursday, 12 July 2012

Loch Fyne from Cairndow War Memorial: 24th June 2012

The War Memorial at Cairndow is a low tide fishing venue
The War Memorial at Cairndow has very much become a bit of an enigma for me as a beachcasting venue. I have heard from a number of totally reliable sources about the good bags of mackerel, dogfish and thornback rays in particular that are regularly taken from this beach. Why, I can't help but wonder, have I therefore blanked on all three of my visits over a period of more than a year? Not only that, I have yet to see evidence with my own eyes of these even half decent catches. On this trip, there were eight of us fishing, with a variety of baits, lures and tackle, yet other than two decent mackerel, a scant few small doggies and probably the smallest thornback ray I have ever seen, we collectively caught not a lot... I'm seriously starting to consider the possibility that I'm a jinx!

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Weed thickly covers the rocky beach at Cairndow
There is actually very little beach to fish from at Cairndow at high water and at low water, you can easily see what you are casting out on to at higher stages of the tide. The aim therefore is to cast out to the deeper channel in the hope of snagging the fish rather than the weeds. We fished the last hour of the ebbing tide and the first three hours of the flood on this occasion.
Looking towards Inveraray (unseen) from the beach at the War Memorial at Cairndow
It wasn't until the tide had turned that the fish slowly started to appear. Both the mackerel taken were of a decent size and were bagged for tea by their respective takers but we were surprised and disappointed that they didn't signify the presence of a shoal in the area and the start of an even brief mackerel frenzy that would at least have seen us all fed that night!
A small dogfish taken on mackerel bait at Cairndow War Memorial
The few dogfish taken were all fairly small but the one thornback ray was almost certainly the smallest I have ever seen caught anywhere.
Cairndow at least let me see probably the smallest thornback ray I have ever encountered
As time wore on and the predictable pattern of my previous visits to Cairndow established itself, my thoughts were turning to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar just a mile or so away and the delights it may afford for an alternative dinner.
The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar in the distance is looking the best bet for obtaining a fish supper on this occasion
In the end, we called it a day a good couple of hours earlier than we had intended and made a brief but welcome stopover at Cairndow's Stagecoach Inn - just along the road - for what was a very welcome pint!
Enough line wetting - time for some throat wetting!

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