Where to Fish for Pike and Perch in Scotland
Pike are prolific throughout Scotland. It could easily be argued that the pike fishing here is among the best in the world with the Scottish and British record standing at 47lb 11ozs taken by T Morgan in 1947 on Loch Lomond.
This record pales into relative insignificance next to the head of the Endrick Pike in Kelvin Grove Art Gallery which was found in the Endrick river marshes in 1934, estimated at 70lbs! Then there is the Loch Ken Monster caught by John Murray on the 3rd of January 1777, a fish of 72lbs which measured 7 feet long. Most of the major rivers and lochs of Scotland hold pike. With the growing popularity of fly fishing for pike there are plenty of opportunities for you to take on this challenging creature in the wildest environments Scotland can offer.
Memories of Kinghorn Loch in Fife are still clear in my mind having spent many weekends there as a boy trying, unsuccessfully, to catch a pike. I never did get one even after I was told by an experienced local to use rancid bacon as a bait - I can still smell it now.
My only success with pike was a one pound jack taken or at least hooked on the dry fly while fishing for trout in a reservoir in Glen Morrison. I had just caught a fingerling trout and given it slack line in the hope that it would slip the line when what I had originally thought was a tree branch shot forward and engulfed the trout. A couple of minutes later I had a pike in the net. The hook had detached from the trout and lodged in the lip of the pike while the trout had slipped up the cast with the line through its gill. The trout appeared unharmed by the experience so I snipped the line and let it go. I wonder what a 47lb pike would be like on the dry fly?
Like so many fishermen perch were among the very first fish I ever caught, memorable not only for the thrill of catching a fish but for the sharp pain in my hand inflicted by the pectoral spine as I grabbed for the fish,.a wicked sharp spike. Not in the same size league as pike, the record in Scotland is 4lb 14ozs taken from Loch Ard by J Walker in 1989. Perch are common in Scotland, eager takers and good fun to catch
Although pike fishing is often free of charge it is polite and safer to seek permission where ever possible in case your visit clashes with other activities like the breeding season for birds or the shooting season.
I haven't listed any rivers, not that the rivers of Scotland do not hold pike it is just that so many like the Spey, Tay, Tweed and so on are really salmon waters and there are few if any opportunities to fish for pike in them, unless off course you want to shell out for a salmon fishing permit. I will keep looking.