|Giant skate are a very different proposition from doggies, thornbacks or mackerel|
Sea fishing for many in the West of Scotland is about catching mackerel, coalies, pollack, doggies or thornbacks. All afford different levels of sport and eating opportunities but if your idea of quality fishing is about a big fight with a mighty fish, you can not do better in the area than take a giant skate trip out of Oban, Argyll. These pictures are the best part of a couple of years old and were taken on Ronnie Campbell's old boat, the original Laura Dawn, but the trips operate to this day in exactly the same way on the Laura Dawn II and may just be what you are looking for in a sea angling experience.
|Hooked in to a giant skate and an almighty fight and struggle begins|
It's important that you know what you are getting in to - or are hopefully going to be hooking in to! - before going out on a giant skate fishing trip. It may be that the trip will begin with a bit of mackerel bashing for bait but the main action involves dropping such as a whole mackerel and squid bait in to several hundred feet of water and starting the waiting game.
|In you come - at last the skate is aboard|
If you are used to reeling your fish in with minimal effort in seconds rather than minutes, you will be in for a BIG surprise. The giant skate featured in these pictures took approximately fifty minutes to bring in to the boat after it was hooked. You will require guile, strength and patience - and you are likely to have somewhat sore shoulders for a while afterwards if this is something you're not used to.
|The sheer size of giant skate can be enlightening for novices|
It should probably go without saying that removing the hooks from these beauties is not done with the bare hand. A giant pair of disgorgers is needed for this job and a mate or two on standby to lend a hand is essential.
|No hands or fingers for removing hooks from this mighty mouth!|