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The Jim Boyd Fishing Reports
13th November 2011
The fishing at Loch Venachar is now being run by John Murdoch and Rodger Mitchell who both have considerable experience of this famous fishery. The guys have some exciting plans in hand and already the anglers are enjoying the hot drinks, rolls and snacks that are now available at the Boathouse. Also, if anglers give prior notice they will make boats available at 7am so they can get a full days fishing in before it gets dark.
At present the water level is still high but has dropped by about three feet from last week and the loch has been nice and calm every day. It has been a relatively quiet week for fish being caught although plenty of jack pike, weighing between three and five pounds, are being caught mainly on herring, sprat, smelt dead bait and mackerel tail. The two best fish have been a nine pounder caught on the fly from the boat and a cracker of 26lbs 3oz caught on mackerel tail by Kevin Clarke from Cumbernauld. This fine specimen was photographed and returned to the water unharmed.
9th October 2011
The brown trout season at Loch Venachar has now finished with a final flurry of beautiful fish being caught as they gravitate towards the Blackwater River in preparation for the colder months ahead. Although the weather has been hugely unpredictable and, for the most part, terrible the overall health and numbers of fish in the loch are very encouraging.
However, as one door closes, another opens in the shape of winter pike fishing. As any of the regular anglers know and anyone who has seen the photographic archives will testify that Venachar’s pike in the winter get BIG…VERY BIG! Every pike angler knows that the fish are far more active as air and water temperatures drop, feeding with an incredible appetite and putting on a lot of weight. That equals more runs, more action and more large catches for those tough and dedicated enough to brave the elements (although last year’s -16c was a bit much).
As far as the conditions at Venachar at the moment go there has been a huge amount of rain leading to a big rise in the water level and constantly fluctuating water temperatures. Again this has led to certain areas being submerged, but also allows the pike to feed in these newly created habitats, the best of which is probably the Blackwater Marshes up at Little Drum Farm which is completely flooded and deeper than usual. This new territory yielded a massive 25lb 2oz fish for Bryan O’Donnell from Bonnybridge and a cracking 20lb 3ozer for Rab McDonald from Broxburn. Milton Bay, where Stuart Greig’s magnificent 35lb 7oz pike was caught recently, is also still fishing well with two hefty 20lb+ fish courtesy of Euan Taylor from Airdrie and Dale Porteous from Dunfermline. The Invertrossachs area by the dam has also produced some fine mid-doubles lately. As always the fish were returned unharmed and were in perfect condition. Finally, the fleet of boats have just had their engines serviced to the highest standard so they’re running perfectly and shortly every boat will be refurbished so that they are all in pristine condition. So instead of letting the pike come to you on the banks, why don’t you swing the odds in your favour and go after them in the boat…good luck!
Please remember to treat Loch Venachar, the habitat, wildlife and other people using the area with respect at all times. This means no litter (leave the place as you find it), cutting down of trees, out of control fires or people, etc. All incidents will be reported. Anybody attempting to kill, damage or remove pike from the loch will be reported to the police and banned permanently. Also, please ensure that you have all the essential equipment necessary to protect the health and well-being of the fish. A full list of minimum requirements can be found at P.A.A.S’s site.
14th August 2011
The big news from the loch last week was the capture of a magnificent 35lb 7oz pike by Stuart Greig from Dunfermline who was fishing at the mark near the old boathouse. Also doing well recently was Brian Anderson from Glasgow who had a 14lb pike on trout bait, David Dempsey (Airdrie) 16lb - mackerel, Colin Sandles (Partick) 8lb - smelt, Callum Allen (Wishaw) 17lb 9oz – lamprey and Brian McCourt (Glasgow) 10lb on smelt. Michael Weatheritt from Alnwick took 4 brown trout averaging 1lb 8oz and three just over the pound mark whilst spinning, Jenny Carter (Lymm) 8lb 8oz - lure, Sean Anderson (Glenrothes) 18lb - sardine, Piotr, Michael and Thomas Posiadala from Glasgow had pike weighing 20lb 2oz, 11lb, 10lb, 9lb & 6lb on lures and James McNeill (Easterhouse) 18lb 6oz – mackerel. Brian Alexander from Glasgow had specimens of 15lb 1oz, 14lb, 14lb, Mark McGowan (Carluke) 20lb 3oz - perch, Mr Bell (Kirkintilloch) 14lb – lamprey and Mr Morrison (Glasgow) 15lb 8oz on mackerel tail.
7th August 2011
Recently it’s been a tale of contrasting fortunes with some having huge hauls and others left broken and weeping into their waders. The weather and conditions at Venachar (and all over) have been as schizophrenic as ever with no two days lately being the same. This has led to some interesting fishing conditions although there have been quality catches under difficult circumstances, the best of which were a massive 27lb 3oz pike courtesy of Neil Kerr and a dirty dozen from brothers Chris and Gordon Sharp most of which were mid to high doubles. There have also been some fine brown trout taken after a brief lull due to cloudless sunny skies and high water and air temperatures. The loch is teeming with fish…outsmarting them is a different matter.
As far as the conditions go for pike, Little Drum Farm’s water level has dropped slightly so the upper bay (Blackwater Marshes) is border line, but the main area is still deep so the pike that were up there should now be moving As for the trout, numerous rises are still being spotted with huge amounts of insect life available (albeit quite far from the shore) with catches being reported in Milton Bay, Portnellan, Boathouse Bay and East Dullater. The recent drop in temperatures seems to have them feeding hungrily again.And if you’re fishing for our magnificent pike at Venachar then please remember: “Hook ‘Em…But Don’t Cook ‘Em”. Some recent reported boat and bank catches included Neil Kerr - 27lb 3oz, 20lb 9oz - mackerel, Gordon Sharp & Chris Sharp (Coatbridge) 19lb 5oz, 17lb 8oz, 17lb 6oz, 17lb 3oz, 15lb 2oz, 15, 14lb 6oz, 13lb 7oz, 12lb 4oz, 12, 12, 8 - sardine, mackerel tail and George Richie (Crieff) 20lb 2oz, 18lb 4oz, 16lb 3oz, 13 & 8 – mackerel. Donovan Trench (Moodiesburn) 1lb 6oz brown trout - maggot, Charley Valenti (Airdrie, 8 yrs. old, 1st time fishing) 1lb 4oz brown trout - worm, Graeme McDonald (Uphall) 18lb 3oz, 7lb on trout bait and Robert McDonald (Uphall) 12lb 9oz, 6lb 8oz – mackerel. Finally, well done to brave young Ben Campbell who reeled in a hard fighting 2lb 8oz wild brown trout using a Rapala in some extremely choppy conditions whilst fishing from the boat. down towards the lagoon away from the mouth of the Blackwater River. The Road Shore car parks, as ever, are still producing a solid number of catches with Beetle Bay and the Dam end also showing healthy signs of activity and regular feeding.
24th July 2011
July is never the best month for fishing but there were some really good spells this week, although there were times, especially when it was very warm with bright sunshine, that conditions were pretty tough. For most of the week the fish were near the surface and taking a variety of dries, wets and nymphs. Many anglers were reporting takes almost as soon as the fly hit the water, particularly if fishing with a small gold-head nymph. A fairly fast retrieve was also working well, especially when the fish were a bit deeper. Favourite patterns included Daddy, Muddler, CDC, Bibio, Butcher, Spider, Damsel, Montana, Buzzer and PTN. For much of the week the boats seemed to have the edge over the bank although plenty of fish were being taken all round the ponds.Best bag this week was taken by Steven Derry, Grangemouth, with 4 for 18lb 14oz including Blues at 8lb 4oz and 6lb 4oz. Others doing well included Donald McMurchy, Fallin, 12 for 37lb 12oz, in 3 visits, including 6 Blues biggest one at 7lb 13oz, Danny Doherty, Denny, 5 for 17lb 8oz including 7lb 14oz Blue, John Moyes, Grangemouth, 2 for 8lb 6oz including 6lb 4oz Blue, Peter Bryce, Alloa, 5 for 18lb including 4lb 8oz Blue and 4lb 4oz Rainbow and Gary Stewart, Glasgow, 2 for 6lb 4oz including a Blue. Peter O’Brien, Camelon 5 for 14lb including 3lb 8oz Brown and a Blue, Frank Barr, Falkirk, 4 for 11lb including a Brown and a Blue and Bob Garvie, Lennoxtown, 2 for 6lb including a Blue, Jim Craig, Balloch, 4lb Blue
17th July 2011
Despite the bright sunshine, the fish were being taken on or near the surface for most of the week. Many anglers were fishing dry flies with the result that there were a lot more fish lost than landed! Over the weekend, when the water clarity was not as good as normal, the fish were mostly being caught around 18inches down and buzzers and other nymphs were doing well. Favourite patterns included Cormorant, Damsel, Diawl Bach, Sedge, Daddy Long Legs and wet flies such as Bibio, Butcher and Kate McLaren. The Mill and Meadow Pond continue to fish well, with a lovely 8lb Blue caught in the Millpond. Several cracking Blues in the 5lb to 9lb range were also taken from Swanswater.Some of this week’s best bags included Peter Bryce, Alloa, 3 for 14lb including 8lb 8oz Blue, Eddie Collins, Cowie, 2 for 8lb 14oz including 6lb 10oz Blue, Colin Brown, Alloa, 3 for 11lb 8oz including 6lb 9oz Blue, John Paul, Bathgate, 4 for 16lb including 3 Blues, biggest at 6lb 8oz and George Miller, Methil, 4 for 15lb including 2 Blues, bigger one at 6lb 4oz. Peter Henderson, Cumbernauld, 2 Blues for 8lb 6oz bigger one at 5lb 10oz, Jamie Davit, Dunblane, 3 for 8lb including 3lb 6oz Brown, Frank Turner, Alloa, 4 for 11lb 12oz including 2 Blues, Jim Donnelly and Charlie Devennie, Milton of Campsie, shared 4 for 12lb 12oz including a Blue and Mark Tasker, Glasgow, 4 for 11lb including 4lb 10oz Rainbow from the Millpond. Lee Petale, Stirling, 2 for 7lb 5oz including a Blue and Allan Hunter, Alloa, 5lb Blue.
10th July 2011
Well, it’s been a strange summer so far with the weather still being as unpredictable and changeable as ever, but with some fine fish being caught nevertheless, particularly from the boats. The shore-line around Venachar is still receding due to a very high water level but all of the most popular and productive areas such as Little Drum, The Road Shores, Portnellan and Invertrossachs are still available. Get there early to bag the best spots! The pike are getting back to something like their fighting weight which isn’t a surprise as the loch is teeming with prey fish, and the brown trout are in excellent condition after gorging on insects for months. There have been quite a few reports of high single-figure trout 8-9lb specimens being spotted all over the loch…they would make a fine catch.Both trout and pike anglers have been doing well from both the bank and the boats and the best pike recently was a cracker of 21lbs by Andy Mearns from Coatbridge who included this in a fine bag that included fish of 20lbs and 19lb 3oz caught on mackerel and sprats. Ryan Bain from Falkirk had a 20lb 6oz fish on pollan and one at 18lbs on smelt, David Noble (Kirkintilloch) used mackerel and bluey bait to take a great catch including two at 15lbs, one at 12lbs, 10lbs and 7lbs and Stuart Lang (Wishaw) used trout bait to attract a fine pike that tipped the scales at 16lbs 10oz. Kevin MacKenzie from Falkirk had fish of 17lbs 14oz, 14lbs 13oz and 12lbs on lamprey and mackerel tail whilst Georg Ritchie (Crieff) had a cracking fish of 19lbs 13oz on mackerel.
On the 4 trout front American visitor Joe Bohlen from Illinois used a parachute Black Gnat to bag a fine 2lbs 12oz brown, Richard Smith from Buckinghamshire had trout of 1lb 7oz and 2lbs 12oz on a Jungle Cock Dabbler and Robbie Williamson (Ayrshire) used a very small Mosaic Gold Head Fritz to take 5 for 6lbs 3oz – best 1lb 11oz and the same fly also accounted for a 12lb pike. John Lees from Airdrie used a worm to catch a 1lb 7oz trout, Conor Bartley (Baillieston) 2lb 8oz on a maggot and Angus Paul (Bathgate) had one at 1lbs 2oz on a maggot.
Week Ending 22nd May 2011
The fish seem to have got their appetites back with some fine pike and brown trout being caught in the last few weeks using a variety of techniques from dead-baiting, lures and also on the fly. The conditions at Venachar are still quite changeable (when are they not!) due to the “Spanish Plume” weather system which is throwing up a bit of everything after a mini-heatwave two weeks ago. The water-level has also dropped by a few feet due to the opening of the dam but this is not necessarily a bad thing as it opens up previously unfishable areas especially on the Invertrossachs side. There have also been some impressive boat catches with good trout numbers being caught at Portnellan where the Professor, Green Peter and the Gartmore Palmer flies seem to be doing the trick.
A solid 15lb 8oz pike was caught with a home-made perch fly by Alan Miller from Livingston and a powerful 18lb 9oz pike was caught lure fishing by Ross Watterson from Alloa. Paul Ferris from Cumbernauld also had an excellent day’s sport catching four pike, including a 16lb 8oz and a 15lb 10oz (the fish were returned unharmed after a small ransom was paid).
Some recent catches included David Stevenson (Dunfermline) 17lb - herring, Gary Batchelor (Edinburgh) 21lb 7oz, 18lb 8oz - brown trout, Ross Winwick (Edinburgh) 16lb 10oz - roach, Ross Watterson (Alloa) 18lb 9oz - lure, Darren Inglis (Stenhousemuir) 3 x 1lb 8oz brown trout on maggot and Steven & Kelsie Candlish (Dunfermline) 2lb 4oz brown trout on worms. Declan Graham (Paisley) had a 9lb 3oz pike on mackerel, Derren Reynolds (Inverkeithing) 19lb 10oz - lamprey, Ross Lamont 12lb - mackerel, Craig Sharpe (Falkirk) 2 x 1lb 2oz brown trout on maggot and David Mulholland (Falkirk) 2 x 1lb 4oz brown trout. Gary Attridge (Falkirk) 9lb 3oz - mackerel, Paul Ferris (Cumbernauld) 16lb 8oz, 15lb 10oz, 10lb 2oz, 9lb - mackerel & sardine, David Anderson (Paisley) 18lb 1oz – smelt and A. Morgan (Glenrothes) 2 x 1lb 8oz brown trout on fly.
Week Ending 24th April 2011
After a long drawn out pike spawning season (still ongoing) caused by unseasonably cold weather and water temperatures the catches are beginning to return to something resembling normality with progressively larger pike being landed in the past few weeks the best of which were a chunky 22lb 6oz from Alan Meechan, a 20lb 4oz from Ross Stevenson and a solid 20 pounder from Willie Salmond. Good trout catches are also being reported with the average weight being between 1 & 2lbs in healthy numbers with the best being a lovely 2lb fishing caught on a spinner by David Potter.
It was good to see Dave Lindsay and The Pike Fly Fishing Association (P.F.F.A) boys at Venachar and although fishing in difficult conditions they had a great day out. Check out the report of their trip at http://www.pffa.co.uk/lochvenacharapril2011.htm and visit their website for more information on this innovative and exciting way of pike fishing. With the consistent warmer weather arriving and more activity expected from the fish especially at Little Drum Farm and the Road Shores. Some good results are shortly expected so remember to be there for the post-spawning feeding frenzies…it could be good!
Week Ending Sunday, 20 March, 2011
The brown trout season has now begun at Loch Venachar with plenty of rises being spotted and numerous 1lb 8oz to 3lb trout already been caught and safely returned by pike fishermen already. This is a good early indicator of a healthy natural trout population and a busy season to come. Further regular updates to follow
Sunday, 09 January, 2010
The loch and harbour are still frozen but the ice is getting thinner due to the milder temperature and a lot of rain settling on the surface. As long as this does not re-freeze at night then the thaw should continue with some areas possibly becoming fishable shortly. There will be further updates to follow depending on any positive change in the weather conditions
Sunday, 28 November, 2010
(right Darren Rielley - Venachar 24.5lb) Loch Venachar is looking particularly stunning at the moment with snow on the mountains and thick early morning mists rolling on the loch; surely one of the most picturesque places in Scotland to fish. The water level has dropped slightly so there’s more shore line to fish from and the water temperature is also steadily lowering with conditions on the loch mostly calm and ideal for boat fishing. The winter conditions have also brought about an increase in the feeding frequency of the pike with a lot of the fish caught recently looking very fat having fed up.
The main objective over the winter is to keep ensuring that proper pike angling practice is adhered to with new permits being drawn up for the New Year detailing exactly what the loch policy is concerning the treatment of the fish, equipment, minimum requirements etc. That way there is no confusion and no excuse for bad practice, which will only benefit the pike and, ultimately, our regular fishermen. We’ve also been very busy maintaining and refurbishing our fleet of boats to get them in top condition which is why it’s even more important that catches are reported to either the boathouse (in person or by phone) or by e-mail to the cafe as we can’t get round the banks as often as we’d like to.
Some recent catches featured David Galloway from Partick who had specimens of 20lb 1oz & 22lb 8oz using brown trout bait, Eoghann Thomson (Milton Keynes) one at 11lb 6oz using Joey mackerel, Robert Strachan (Clydebank) had a cracker of 23lb 2oz using roach and Pat Reid (Glasgow) used mackerel and sardines to bag fish weighing 12lb 9oz, 8lb & 17lb 3oz. Sam Dempsey from Airdrie caught one weighing 20lb 4oz using eels and Ian Anderson (Stirling) had pike of 15lb 8oz and 13lb using mackerel. Darren Reilly had a superb fish weighing 24lbs 6oz
Week Ending 26th September 2010
Week Ending 2nd October 2010
At long last the Loch is back to reasonable water levels with the harbour 100% useable and the place is back looking its best. The trout fishing this year has not been so good, however we intend to address this over the winter.We have had discussions and reports from various trout fishing clubs and we intend to act upon our own findings. The long term target and I "long term" is stressed is to return this loch to its previous status of "one of the best wild brown trout fisheries".We will cater for serious fly fishermen and re-instigate previous rules to ensure Loch Venachar is a haven for sports anglers. Meanwhile we have a run of sea trout at the moment making their way up from the Teith, so that bodes well for next season.
On the pike fishing front Euan Allison from Ayr had a 15lb 2oz specimen using perch bait from Little Drum, James Johnston from Uddingston 15lb, 10lb and 7lb using mackerel, Graham Mackie from Falkirk 12lb using mackerel and Paul Allen from Falkirk 15lb. Mr. McMahon from Ardrossan to a fantastically conditioned 18lb 4oz specimen using mackerel, Chris Ruddy from Carluke 13.5lb at Milton Point, Derek Roberts from Cambuslang 21lb 12oz using smelt at the second car park and John Needs from Blairgowrie 18lb 8oz using smelt at Little Drum. Chris Brown from Glasgow caught a fantastic 28lb fish using roach at the second car park and Paul Ross from Coatbridge had specimens weighing 22lb, 20lb and 21lb 80z using herring.
Week Ending 26th October 2010
Well, it certainly is autumn weather with sun, rain, wind and sometimes cold all in equal measure. However, this is better news for the fishing. Although the water level is still excessively low we are at least seeing the fish rising again in greater numbers and the last few days especially seem to have re-awakened the trout population. When the loch is calm it is fascinating to watch the fish rising in numbers.
Trout catches reported recently included F. Baskerville who caught two beautiful fish on Friday 16th September weighing in at 1lb 10 oz and 2lb 1oz respectively. Eddie McGuire from Glasgow landed one brownie approximately 1lb 6oz and Geordie Allan from Falkirk caught two at around the 1 lb mark.
As per usual the pike fishing at Venachar is in a healthy state with numerous significant catches being reported recently, particularly during the Help for Heroes fundraising event which raised a large amount of money for the charity. Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate. All pike caught have been described as being in excellent condition with minimal disease and/or damage which is in no small part due to responsible practices by our fishermen and our continuing efforts to keep Venachar clean.
Featuring amongst the best catches were A. Rosinsky from Germany who caught three pike weighing 8lb, 7lb, 4lb using sardines, James Johnson from Uddingston landed three pike weighing in at 15, 10 and 7lbs using mackerel and Scott McKenzie from Glasgow caught two pike using a float and mackerel off Otter Island weighing 11lb 8oz and 8lb. Chris Barlow from Wishaw had a hugely successful trip fishing from the boat with his nephew ( 5 year old Liam McMahon) and father landing a total of six pike weighing 18lb 4oz, 16lb, 13lb 8oz, 12lb, 7lb and 2lb using roach and perch as bait. The 16 lb fish was caught by 5 year old Liam using a 6" perch dead bait - a good day by anyone's standards! There have also been other catches but, as we all know, they aren't always reported.
Week Ending 12th September 2010
There has been a definite change in the temperature as we are most certainly now entering autumn and good fishing for trout can be expected between now and the end of the season - less than 5 weeks away. The "Help for Heroes" pike fishing day organised by the Pike Angling Club and Pike Angling Alliance in co-operation with David Scobie was very well supported and in excess of £2000 was raised on the day.This was commendable. Catches for the week-end included Charlie Davison from Glasgow caught wild brown trout between 3/4 lb to 1lb using a blue Toby and blue Rapala – this was fishing from the boat in choppy conditions. Mr. G. McQuade from Glasgow caught a 2lb brownie from the boat using a Mepps spinner; George Laing from West Calder (season ticket holder) caught a few nice pike from the farm end using trout dead bait.The best was a terrific 24lb 10oz. Boyd McAllister kept his record intact by catching eight pike in total over his 3 day visit and Steven McLean from Stoneyburn caught a fish at 20lb 6oz using mackerel bait from the bank on Invertrossachs side.
Hopefully the rains are here for a week or so and fishing weather is back on.
Week Ending 5th September 2010
It has been a great spell of weather at Loch Venachar but whether it suits all anglers - well that's a different story. It certainly suited Mr Mitchell from Bellshill who had specimen pike tipping the scales at 20lbs and fantastic 26lbs using mackerel bait. Alan McGregor from Perth caught a 18lb specimen whilst fly fishing from the boat and that was really hard work whilst Boyd (Boydie) McAllister had 9 fish over three days resulting in 5 fish between 6lb and 9lb, one at 14lb and others at 12lbs 8oz, 12lbs 8oz, 10lbs 8oz and 10lbs using mackerel and smelt.
On the trout fishing front Terry Breman from Motherwell caught 3 brown trout each around 1lb using maggot and poly/balls, Mr McQuade from Glasgow using a spinner/Mepp from the boat caught a 2lb fish and Mary McFarlane from Coatbridge using a Red and Black Buzzer had one at 1lbs 8oz.
On the 4th September a Help for Heroes Pike Fishing Fundraiser - 11 boats are out and the day started with coffee and bacon rolls. The Pike Anglers Club and the Pike Anglers Alliance have joined with David Scobie in what is hoped will be an enjoyable and productive day. A report on the event will follow next week. The weather remains warm and calm - the views are spectacular and the fishing - well who knows.
Week Ending 22nd August 2010
We are still experiencing low water levels on the loch and for a week or so it definitely had an effect on our fishing.However the good news is that it appears that as Venachar levels return, the fishing improves. James Allen from Perth landed a 1lb 8oz brownie from the boat on Saturday 21 August, Peter Edgars, on holiday from Bristol, landed an impressive 1lb 12oz specimen again from the boat fishing in towards the South bank but the most impressive catch came from Aiden Tighe from Alloa who caught a fantastic 2lb brown trout - using a worm at the first car park.What makes this so impressive is that Aiden is 6 years old. Stuart McBeth from Loanhead landed a 1lb 4oz brownie at the second car park but he also landed an 18lb pike using mackerel tail – a 30 inch fish in excellent condition.
Phil Davies from Stirling caught a 13lb 8oz followed by a 14lb 4oz pike – both in excellent condition and Bernard Dolan from Salsburgh landed an 18lb 8oz pike measuring 36″ long. John Bennie from Lanarkshire caught a 14lb 8oz pike measuring 23″ long but the most exciting catch was by 10 year old Jay Hubbard from Blackburn who caught his first ever pike on the 10 August - an 8lb pike using mackerel tail. All pike caught were checked to ensure minimum damage and returned clean and unharmed to the water.Our Clean Policy on Venachar is to minimise the killing of any fish – this a sports fishing loch.
The management commends the work done by the bailiffs in ensuring the environment around Venachar stays as clean as possible.The National Park Rangers also do sterling work to correct any inappropriate behaviour and help our visitors to enjoy Loch Venachar and respect the countryside and banks of the Loch.
Week Ending 16th August 2010
Although the water level has dropped again the loch is at least back to some good fishing. Mr Cowan from Glasgow landed a 10lb pike using sardine on Saturday 6 August, Andrew Mearns from Coatbridge caught a good 15lb - 30 inch fish using a lure, Stuart McBeth from Loanhead landed an 18lb - 30 inch pike using mackerel tail and Robert Campbell from Paisley caught 20lb, 28lb and 15lb specimens using sardines. Still on the pike front Jim Brown from East Calder had a 14lb, 8lb 8oz and a 6lb pike using headless mackerel from the Invertrossachs bank.
Trout fishing from the boat has been the most successful with James Dow from Oban catching a very good 1lb 13oz brown trout - he came back 3 days later and caught a 2lb 2oz specimen. Alan Meikle from Dunfermline, again from the boat, caught a 1lb 8oz and a 1lb trout with both fish being safely returned. All catches have reported good healthy fish and the anglers have enjoyed good sport bringing them in.All this is good useful information which will be used to formulate the fishery policy.
The banks are clean and well patrolled by the fishery bailiff and the National Park Rangers and once again they have nothing but praise for the majority of our sports fishermen.
Week Ending 1st August 2010
The pike fishing was excellent this past week. Darren Reynolds for Fife had a 15lb fish using roach bait, Derek Gilmour from Motherwell had a magnificent 27lb 10oz (32″length) specimen using smelt and this pike was in peak condition.Peter Dlabic - on holiday from Czech Republic had a brace of pike for 18lbs – best 10lbs and his son fishing for trout caught 4 brown trout all about 1lb. This was all from boat fishing.Burrows & Andrew had an 11lb pike from the bank near the Harbour Cafe and this fish too was in good condition.Mr Taylorson from Paisley had a 9lb 3oz fish using mackerel tail and Jason Walls from Dunfermline fishing from the boat caught 3 pike averaging 9lbs.
The trout fishing has been a bit slower; however, Jason Barr from Perth caught a fantastic 2lb 4oz fish - fly fishing from the boat towards the south bank.The fish was returned unharmed. There were a few others reported trout catches all around 1lb - 1.5lb. The banks have been relatively quiet and there has been a good family atmosphere, where people have been camping. As usual the anglers prefer to go the quieter areas or fish from the boat. The management are continuing to work with the rangers to keep Venachar litter free and discourage anti-social behaviour.
Week Ending July 25th 2010
As with the weather the catches improve and last week Mr. Black from Skinflats, at his usual spot on the east bank, caught a very good 2lb brown trout however his grandson who is 6 years old, but has fished for 2 years, caught a fantastic bag of 4 brownies weighing in at6lbs 8oz. Martin Tucker from Livingstone caught a 2lb brown trout from the north bank, Martin removed an old hook and line from the fish and released the fish unharmed. However the trout catch of the month is a 3lb 8oz specimen caught by Shannon Stokes at the week-end.Shannon photographed the fish and returned the fish to the water unharmed.
Alan McWilliam from Erskine had a super visit with his sons Chris and Jordan and his father in law Peter Klabic who was over on holiday from the Czech Republic. The youngsters had 3 brownies averaging 1lb 8oz whilst Peter took two pike estimated at around 9lb each that were safely returned.
The pike fishing has been very good over this last week as the water level rises with Ross Waterston from Alloa taking one at 16lbs 8oz, Mr. Rochan, Edinburgh, one at 14lbs, Mr. Steel (Carluke) one at 11lbs 8oz and Steven Dawson from Alloa took one weighing 12lbs. Daryl Strang from Alloa had one at 7lbs 8oz - this was young Daryl's first pike so he was thrilled with this.
Week Ending 4th July 2010
The water level is still ridiculously low- however the catches have been reasonable considering the conditions - hot and sunny then wet and windy. Mr. McNeil from Edinburgh, fishing from the North Bank, caught 2 good sized Pike - 10lbs and 12lbs on the 5th July, Brian West from Dunfermline caught a fantastic 19lb specimen using a mackerel tail from the boat and Peter Ireland , visiting from Surrey caught a14lb pike using sardine bait from the boat on Friday 2nd July.
Trout catches have largely gone unreported and the management continually asks for the returns to be given to the boathouse as this information is vital to in helping to formulate the future fishery policy. Alan Prentice from Glenrothes landed a1lb 8oz brownie using a red/black from the Port Ellen bank and Mr. G Morton from Stirling landed a 1lb 12oz brown trout from the boat using a maggot. The survey reported on earlier has now been concluded and the results are awaited - this report and recommendations will greatly influence our future Fishery Policy.
Week Ending 13th June 2010
The water in the loch is very low still, however that has not deterred the anglers and there have been some good catch reports this week. James Randalls from Grangemouth caught a magnificent 2lb brown trout from the north bank using a maggot, Reece Gibson from Bo'ness - fishing from the bank at east lodge has been trying all week for a big pike.Earlier he had a few runs but his best was an 11lb junior.His best trout this week weighed 1lb and was taken on a maggot. Raymond Clarke from Paisley caught a 15lb pike using mackerel bait from the north bank and Thomas Krawec from Edinburgh caught 8lb, 10lb and a 14lb pike from the boat. All fish were returned to the water unharmed.
The management is continuing to work on the fishery strategy and policy and expects to finalise this towards the end of July when the results of the Loch survey have been analysed.
The National Park Rangers are continuing to monitor behaviour on the banks and they seem to be relatively happy that the management is striving to encourage sports anglers and families to the loch and that anti-social behaviour is being discouraged. The biggest complaint at the moment is the amount of litter left behind.Please help with this problem.
Week Ending 23rd May 2010
The last week has seen some glorious weather on the Lochside - the conditions have been perfect for both bank and boat fishing. The weekend saw every boat out on Saturday and 70% out on Sunday so, in order to avoid disappointment, if you can then please book in advance for the weekend.
Lewis White from Dumbarton took a 1lb 8oz brown trout on a worm from the east bank near the dam, Mr. Elliot from Cumbernauld had a brace of sea trout weighing 3lbs 8oz – best 2lbs on a Damsel and quite incredibly he also took a 12lb Pike. George Emslie from Valleyfield caught a perfect specimen of a brown trout weighing 2lb using a worm from the North bank and Chris Smith from Killearn caught 2 beautiful brownies with a black spider fly On the pike fishing front Alan Thomson from Grangemouth caught an 18lb pike in sunny conditions using a Comrade jointed lure and P. McGlone from Coatbridge caught specimens that tipped the scales at 15lb and 12lb respectively.
Once again it was a pleasure to be on the banks last weekend and the national park rangers and local police are regularly patrolling the loch to ensure no anti- social behaviour is taking place and fortunately for us the anglers and families on the banks were a pleasure to speak to - you will always be welcome here.
Week Ending 16th May 2010
With the improvement in the weather, the catches have improved and fly fishing is becoming more successful on the Loch. On Sunday the Welsh Fireman's Association on the Loch - they are competing in the National Fire Service competition on Lake of Menteith (Tuesday 18th). Their catches were; Phil Hooper 2 for 4lbs – best 2lbs 8oz on a gold nymph, Karl Pugh 2 for 3lbs – best 2lbs on a Green Diawl Bach and Clive Pugh one for 2lbs on a Gold Head Daddy fished on a floating line.
There was a 2lb 8oz rainbow caught from the banks on Saturday, South bank near the East Lodge and the management reckon this may be an escapee from the lochan above. The sea trout are also making their way into the Loch via the dam access and David McStay from Carluke had a cracking 2lbs 12oz specimen taken on a dry fly from the boat along with a 1lb brown trout on the same fly. Most of the other catches have been brown trout weighing between 1lb and 2lb taken from the banks using a maggot.
As you would guess the Pike catches have not been so great with the sunshine, however there have been a few smaller 9lb to 12lb reported.
The management are still working hard to keep the banks clean and free of litter and we thank the majority of our anglers for their assistance it is greatly appreciated. They are also trying to assist the Police and the National Park Rangers to prevent and report any anti-social behaviour and again your help and co-operation is much appreciated. We can only ask everyone to respect our loch and the environment.
As stated before the management have been working towards having their own fishing strategy and stocking policy and are almost there and will be reporting on this shortly. However, since they have been logging returns and catches the signs are good - the brown trout are difficult to catch but they are here in good numbers and in very good condition, exactly what is required on a sports fishing loch. Rainbows will never be stocked turning this into yet another farmed fish outlet.
Week Ending 10th May 2010
Last weekend Colin Smith from Coatbridge landed a superbly conditioned pike that tipped the scales at 13lbs.
Week Ending 2nd May 2010
The loch is now fully open and fishing well. So far the loch has been comparatively quiet but now there is some serious fly fishing being done from the bank. The management has been encouraging anglers to report all catches but for some reason there is still a reluctance to do this. Best trout fishing catch this week was a 2.5lb brown trout caught by Kenny McAllister from Shotts using a maggot from the bank. Greg Devlin had a nice 2lb 8oz fish taken from a boat – picture attached.
The loch is fully open again for pike and the best catch of the week was a 17lb 8oz taken from the bank. There is some concern about the amount of litter that anglers are leaving behind them and all anglers are requested to take their litter home with them. The management is working closely with the National Park Rangers and the Police to discourage anti social behaviour as their aim is to promote and encourage good fishing practice on the loch. It is hoped to make fishing on Loch Venachar an enjoyable experience and everyone is working hard to achieve that objective - watch this space!!
Week Ending 28th March 2010
The weather conditions this week have varied between flat calm to wet and windy. On the trout fishing front Jim Richardson from Bonnybridge caught a 2lb 2oz brown trout fishing from a boat in dry but windy conditions. The fish was released and returned.
Pike fishing has produced a mixed bag with several pike jacks being taken on the south bank however the best of the week was a12lb 4oz taken with a lure from a boat on Wednesday 25 March. Today, Monday 29th March there are several pike anglers on the banks but the best catch so far has been Peter Kendrick from Southport with an 11lb fish taken on a sardine lure.
Week Ending 21st March 2001
The trout season opened with a flurry of activity and although the water may still be a bit cold some fish were caught. Dougie J from Coatbridge got the season off in good style by catching a nice 2lb brownie and most of the successes have been coming from those fishing from a boat.
Week Ending 11th October 2009
It was a steady week for pike fishing with some nice fish in double figures being taken but nothing reported over 20lb. The PAC group on Saturday found dead bait working best at the usual west end of the water.
Week Ending 4th October 2009
The end of the trout season saw a flurry of end-of-season anglers making their last pitch for the brownies in Venachar. Saturday's gales sent many to the banks and although bank reporting is limited, we hear there was some good sport. Sunday was a good day for the boat fishers and best results came from George Howden and friend whose boat landed 5 nice fish with the best at 1.6lb. and they also returned a couple of smaller ones. Best results were in the popular Milton Bay and Bibio seemed to draw most attention.
The overall picture for this brown trout season is of mixed results and weather disruption. The best time was April to June with stable weather and some excellent catches. July was patchy and August with its awful weather produced generally poor returns. The end of the season saw a few nice catches on the days when conditions were decent.
The pike angling of course continues through the winter and the usual regulars are getting steady results. Recent returns have been variable with the strange weather but MK recorded 5 doubles of 19.10, 22.08, 14.15, 17.12 and 14.01. We shall be keeping the full boat fleet in the water until the end of November and then reducing to 4 or 5 over the winter while we do maintenance in readiness for next season. With only a few boats available be sure to book and remember that high winds can cause cancellations.
Week Ending 20th September 2009
As for last week, a lot of people took advantage of the last weeks of the brownie season but unfortunately the weather was being unkind with lots of calm sunny days making it very hard to achieve much. Through the whole week, only small numbers were landed with best catch of only 2 fish recorded. These were however very nice fish with one at just under 2lb and the other at 1.7lb. Many others had a bag of two but smaller. It was very hard to read the water and the usual drifts were hard in these conditions.
Pike were also more elusive than usual with poor returns and not large fish. The best we heard of was just 17lb which is small by recent standards. The change of weather should improve things this week.
Week Ending 13th September 2009
At last the better weather hit the loch on Wednesday but the change has been more to the benefit of pike than trout with a steady stream of positive returns showing fish from 10lb upwards being foundat the west of the water. Best notified last week was not particularly large at 18lb but the quantities have been good. Trout fishing has been disappointing with only one day of good results on Friday with a few boats returning catches of around 2 fish to a rod. Again the southern drifts were dominating and both intermediate and floating lines in use. Grouse and Claret, Kate McLaren and Bibio were the usual selection. Best boat was Daniel Grumen and friend with 5 fish. Bright sun at the weekend was blamed for poor results.
Week Ending 7th September 2009
It was quite a steady week with the trout fishing reviving. There were quite consistent results from the popular drifts at Lendrick and Milton Bays. On the windier days, those on the more sheltered south bank were most successful near the sailing club and towards Beetle Bay. There have been quite a number of visitors to the area from the EU this year and it was a Dutch pair who registered the best boat with 7 fish averaging 1.4lb and best of 2.1lb. They used homemade flies that were of their own traditional design and most like Kate McLaren and Dunkeld. They were alternating floating and intermediate lines and catching on both. Don't miss the last few weeks of the season as they usually fish well.
It was another steady week for pike. With the higher water level, the west end of the water has been impressive with a best of 25lb and lots near the 20lb. The East end was disappointing. Best fishing still from the boats although lots on the banks.
Week Ending 16th August 2009
The poor weather disrupted the week with few out on Saturday and those who braved the elements returned early. On the Sunday the water had to be closed due to the very high winds. Early in the week saw a big improvement in the trout fishing due to the higher water level. Many of the shore drifts are now back to their usual productivity and some lovely fish were caught. Regrettably the main weekend flow was disrupted but a good week on the brownies can be looked forward to. Early days of the past week saw a few over 2lb with the east of the water giving good results. Beatle Bay and the Portnellen drifts were good places to be and the best boat was father and son Hutton from Perth with 6 averaging 1.4lbs and they used the usual traditional flies and floating lines.
Pike returns were steady but given the limited week, there were no big numbers reported. Most fish were smaller with nothing reported over about 14lbs.
Boat booking getting busier again now that the holidays are finishing so the advice is to book your boat well in advance.
Week Ending 9th August 2009
Once again the coarse fishing is overtaking the game. It was an excellent week for pike with lot of anglers on the water. Reports confirm several over 20lb and the west end of the water dominant but there is not name detail on that.
Brown trout anglers had a much better week. The water level has risen with the recent rain and the sight of fish rising is delightful. Holiday time seems to limit the trout anglers but those who were out were well satisfied. The best boat had an excellent 8 fish and a best weight of 2lbs 4oz - the happy pair was father and son Jon and Douglas Bond from Edinburgh.
Floating lines teamed up with the Grouse and Claret, Kate McLaren and Dunkeld were reported to be doing best.
Week Ending 2nd August 2009
It was a very busy week on Venachar with lots of people on holiday who were mostly bank fishing for pike. Generally fish were being caught there but we were getting little in the way of detail feedback.
Brownies from the boats were much like last week with the usual ones and twos. Most fish were seen on the southern drifts with Otter Island a popular place. The Crown Lads AC from Northumberland managed 21 fish for 12 rods with the best at 2lbs 4oz and an average weight of 1lb 4oz.
Week Ending 19th July 2009
It was another when the pike fishing dominated with steady returns from both bank and boat anglers. Nothing exceptional is size but hardly anyone disappointed. The best pike reported was from a boat to the popular west end of the Loch with Brendon and Charlie from Helensburgh landing one at 21lb and another at 19lb with 3 others in the low teens.
Trout returns were again disappointing with the exception of Martin Dryden and a friend who found Clan Chiefs were doing the business on Saturday around the Milton Bay and Portnellen drifts, even as far as the dam. They bagged 6 between them with a best at 1.7lb.
Week Ending 12th July 2009
It was a poor week for brownies but excellent for pike. This week has seed the highest number of large pike that we can remember with at least 12 fish over 20lb and the best was nearly 30lbs. That was landed by a visitor from Poland whose surname we cannot decipher but his first name is Marcin. The returns have come from all over the water with increasingly consistent results from the dam end.
Brownies have been elusive this week. Those with catches had only one or two with the exception a single boat who bucked the trend and registered a bag of 6. The best was 2.2lb and the angler was Dick Lewis from Grangemouth.
Week Ending 5th July 2009
Holiday time always thins out the available anglers but those on the water were rarely disappointed last week. The pike fishing was excellent with many parts of the water giving some excellent fish. Best we heard of was a couple visiting from Switzerland who landed a 28lb beauty from a boat near the dam at the east end of the Loch. They were using dead bait. The usual spots on the north shore gave quite a number in the teens.
Brownies were an interesting mix. Early in the week returns were poor but in the last few days we saw several with fish over 2lbs and one claimed at 3.25lbs. Best boat was also a visitor, Harry Wilkes from Leeds, fishing with his son; they bagged 7 fish in a 4 hour evening session.
Week Ending 28th June 2009
A quiet week on the water with fewer than normal out on the boats. Those who did were generally taking 1-3 brownies per rod. Pike anglers on the banks were having a good week with at least three fish over 20lb reported to us and some good pike were landed at the eastern end of the water near the dam.
Best bag reported was Brian Stewart from Cumnock with 4 nice brownies, the best weighing in at just over the 2lb. While the bright sun causes some problems, the long evenings has made for some excellent evening fishing. Floating lines, Kate McLaren, Bibio and Silver Butcher were all finding brownies. All drifts are getting their share.
Week Ending 21st June 2009
Quite a good week on Venachar with consistent catches coming from all over the water. Sunday's outing for the Good Companions club gave 31 fish for 12 rods - total weight - 29lb 13oz biggest fish - 1lb 15oz and the best rod was Tam McGarry with 5 fish for 5lb 9oz. Others on the water had similar results with 1-3 fish per rod the norm all week. Wester and Easter Dullater drifts were proving good but Lendrick and Milton Bay are getting results right too.
Pike results were patchy last week with only one report of catches over 20lb.
Week Ending 18th May 2009
A week of steady but unexciting results except for pike anglers who were recording a good number of fish but we have not been notified of any specimens. The brown trout results have also been steady with the poor weather giving the boat anglers a hard test. The best bag reported was below par at just 5 fish for two anglers reported by Jon Edgar and Richard Mulhall visiting from Ireland. With the water warming, floating lines are starting to work. Clan Chief and Dunkeld were claiming success. Interestingly a complete beginner on his first solo trip landed a brownie of nearly 2lbs.
Week Ending 10th May 2009
A steady week on the water with pike anglers kept active taking quite a number of smaller fish and the best heard of was close to 20lbs.
Trout anglers were also bringing home a steady flow of fish with a few above 1lb 8oz mark and the best bag reported was 4 fish with a top weight of 1lb 12oz. The Forth Valley Angling Club braved the storm on Saturday and made the best of an atrocious day. In spite of that, they recorded twelve fish from eighteen rods with the heaviest being 1lb 9oz with 1lb 8oz second, with the smallest weighing in at 12oz.
Boat bookings are getting busier now so be sure that you reserve especially at the weekend. Loch Venachar is a practice venue for the world fly fishing championships and at the end of the month; you will find some of the world's leading anglers testing their techniques on the water
Week Ending 6th April 2009
Not a great week in general but as usual some anglers managed to find the fish. More anglers are finding their way to Loch Venachar now that the Brown Trout season is under way and the pike fishing is showing good results. Having said that, this has been a quiet week in terms of catches with no pike over 20lbs recorded but quite a few smaller fish on the lines.
As for the brownies, it's been mixed with the best results coming from a couple of guys up from Northumberland. Cyril Stafford and Dick Hendry kept their boat around the Milton Bay and Portnellen drifts taking 6 fish between them with the best a lovely 2lb 4oz specimen They were using Dunkeld, Clan Chief and Bibio flies keeping to 12's and 14's and intermediate lines.
Week Ending 6th April 2009
Things definitely picking up for fly fishers on Venachar this week with several anglers putting 2-3 nice fish in the bag around the north side with the Portnellen drift showing good results. Brown flies such as Invicta were getting the most interest and the best weekend boat took 7 with a best weight of 1lb 12oz.The South side of the water should be starting to come away quite soon now and bookings are picking up accordingly.
By contrast the pike fishing was quieter this week with many of the regulars disappointed although some large fish were seen. We are nearing the end of the spawning period so there should be some increased activity over the coming weeks. The largest reported this week was 21lbs caught with dead bait near the south west shore.
Week Ending Up to 30th March 2009
Again the Lendrick Bay was doing the business this week. There are still not many trout anglers venturing out but there was a stunning 8 fish bag from two Edinburgh lads who braved the cold wind on Saturday; got shelter and enjoyed great sport in and near the Lendrick Bay including a cracking fish of 1lb 8oz.
It was a bit less exciting on the pike front but some nice fish in the teens were landed from the large numbers out particularly on Saturday.
Week Ending 23rd March 2009
There have been more pike fishers out than brown trout fishers as the water is still extremely cold and it will take about another month for the trout fishing to get going. The pike anglers continue to report some excellent fish with the 2009 record being smashed with an beautiful 29lb 14oz monster landed on a boat by Craig Faller with a Storm Rainbow at the west end of the water.
The first report of the brown trout season shows a quiet start with the cold water keeping the brownies deep and the anglers awaiting a warm up! Those who braved the chill were generally using intermediate lines teamed up with traditional wets such as Bibio, Zulu and Bloody Butcher. Best bag was Dick Harris from Paisley who landed a nice catch of 3 brownies with the best at 1lb 10oz He found the Lendrick Bay most productive.
Week Ending 1st March 2009
The 1,000 acre fishery is one of Scotland's best brown trout waters and now the last remaining commercially operated brown trout only fishery in central Scotland. As well as bank fishing the fishery has 18 well maintained boats each fitted with a modern 4 stroke engine and there is a fully licensed Lochside restaurant – the Harbour Cafe – where a variety of drinks and excellent food can be enjoyed.
For the start of the season, the water will be very cold so the traditional shallow drifts are unlikely to be very productive. The Road Shore drift, which offers shelter, is often the most productive in these conditions with the Grass Bank and Sailing Club areas also worth a try. With the air and water temperatures being low most anglers go down that bit deeper so an intermediate line teamed up with size 12's traditional wets such as the Bibio, Zulu, Kate McLaren and Bloody Butcher are likely to do well.
Venachar has an ever-growing reputation as a top class pike fishery with a superb 30lb plus fish being caught this season. Double figure specimens are frequently caught and fly fishing for this hard fighting is becoming increasingly popular at the venue. Pike fishing will now take place all year round and can be enjoyed from both the bank and the boats.