The last few months have thankfully not seen concerns come to fruition of another extremely hot summer with extremely dry conditions and high water temperatures. Fishing across the system has been ‘steady’ with some notably good catches being recorded in the parts of the system that would be expected to be productive, including the estuary. Rod pressure has been strangely low however with fewer than normal anglers and boats being seen on the water.
2024 Lomond System Categorisation (Confirmation of approval)
Regarding the 2023/24 system categorisation then we can confirm that, in line with the proposed grading of Cat 2 concerning the Lomond System announced earlier in March 2023, gradings have been ratified by the Scottish Government recently. The Lomond System will therefore remain as a Category 2 system for the 2024 Season.
Completion & submission of 2023 Catch Return Forms
In order to maintain an accurate categorisation of our system then we would remind all anglers of the requirement for each to provide an accurate and timely completed catch return for the 2023 Season. We would encourage all anglers and members to take advantage of submitting their catch return online which is by far the easiest and quickest method to do this.
- Everyone is required to complete a catch return form regardless of numbers or nil fish caught
- Please ensure that you complete your catch return online where at all possible (using the link on the website: https://catchreturn.lochlomondangling.com/#/
- You can complete and submit your catch return online at any time or post or drop at colection box at VOLDAC or O’Briens
- All catch returns must be submitted by the end of November 2023 at the latest
Alternatively, if you cannot for some reason complete and submit your return online then please either mail back your catch return form that you receive in the post or you can drop your completed catch return form in collection box at VOLDAC or O’Briens. Failure to provide an accurate and timely catch return will undoubtedly impact the classification and gradings for our system going forwards with 100% C&R not being an unlikely result.
Reminder: Given the number of missing catch return forms in recent years, together with the significant effort and postage expense in sending out repeated reminders to specific members and anglers, then for Season 2024 an incentive for anglers to submit an accurate timely catch return was proposed and agreed at the 2023 AGM.
For associate members wishing to renew their River Leven Season permit for 2024 then:
- There will be a £25 Catch Return Retainer fee initially added to the cost of the annual permit renewal.
- This £25 charge will be waived for anglers renewing their annual permit provided that a competed, accurate catch return has been received in advance.
- All annual permit holders who submit an accurate, timely Catch Return for 2023 will receive a unique credit voucher for £25 which they should produce when renewing their annual permit at a retailer.
- By presenting this voucher then anglers renewing their annual permit will receive a £25 discount towards their annual permit renewal cost.
- Anglers who do not return an accurate, timely Catch Return will not receive this £25 voucher and therefore will not be entitled to the discounted cost of their permit renewal fee.
In short: NO Catch Return = NO £25 Voucher = Extra £25 to renew annual permit
The intent here is ensure that all anglers provide a completed catch return and also that we reduce the effort and expense currently incurred in chasing missing catch returns by certain anglers.
Thursday 13th July saw Leven angler and his young Son land a nice Grilse of around 6lb, congratulations to both.
Experienced Leven fly fisher Graham Dunt Stewart landed a beautiful Salmon of around 8-9lbs just above The Piles on 15th July. Congratulations and well done Graham.
Visiting angler William Harris landed a nice Grilse of 6lb on the Worm at Mackinnons on Saturday 5th August. Congratulations William hopefully not your last visit to the Leven.
Again on Saturday 5th August Leven regular angler Ritchie Fielding landed another nice Grilse of 5lb at Linnbrayne on a flying C, congratulations Ritchie.
On Saturday 12th August Leven angler Brian McGrath landed a very fine cock fish of 20lb at the Top Pool on a black flying C. Excellent and congratulations Brian.
The Top Pool seemed to certainly be producing results with angler Jamie Wallace landing a Salmon of 10lb also on Saturday 12th August, congratulations and well done Jamie.
Not to be outdone, on the same outing, Jamie’s Brother Scott also hooked and landed a lovely wee Grilse of around 4lb and also at the Top Pool. Congratulation Jamie and nothing like some healthy brotherly competition.
River Leven Water Conditions
Additionally the current water gauge level for the River Leven at Linnbrayne can be obtained from SEPA by following this link https://www2.sepa.org.uk/WaterLevels/default.aspx?sd=t&lc=133107
Local information concerning tide tables can be found here http://www.ukho.gov.uk/EasyTide/easytide/ShowPrediction.aspx?PortID=0404&PredictionLength=7
There have been numerous reports of several nice catches and reports of many other fish hooked and alas lost on the the Loch during the course of the last few weeks and months. Its good to see not only some fine double figure fish but also the numbers of Grilse being caught is most welcome.
On 9th June seasoned VOLDAC Loch angler Craig John successfully hooked and landed a lovely Salmon of 11lb, congratulations and well done Craig.
On Saturday 10th June experienced Loch angler and VOLDAC President Robert Mair landed a fine Sea Trout of 4.5lb.
Also on Saturday 10th June well know Loch regular and VOLDAC member Phil Shannon landed a fine Salmon of 11lb 2oz which was safely returned, congratulations and well done Phil.
On Monday 12th June Loch angler Paul Davis was rewarded for his efforts with a good Salmon of 14lb which he hooked and landed in Cemetery Bay. (catch confirmed, no image available).
Again on 14th June experienced angler and VOLDAC member John Connolly successfully hooked and and landed a lovely Salmon of 11lb 11oz, congratulations and well done John.
Also on the 14th June seasoned angler and VOLDAC member Robert Strachan landed a great “Loch Trout” of 9lb, well done Robert.
VOLDAC member and Loch regular Robert Wilson landed a fine Sea Trout of 4lb on 16th June, great stuff and well done Robert.
On 17th June seasoned Loch angler Donald Brown successfully hooked and landed this fine fish of 14.5lb at The Stables. Excellent and well done Donald.
Also on the 17th June VOLDAC member June James Sheen landed a cracking Salmon of approximately 15lb, congratulations and well done James.
On Saturday 24th June Loch angler Gordon Russell hooked and successfully landed this absolutely beautiful Salmon of 15lb on a Blue & Silver Toby at Mallochy Bay. A hugely deserved congratulation Gordon, your smile says it all!
On Monday 3rd Loch regular John Connolly added to his season with a nice wee Grilse of 4lb at Duck Bay on his way home back down the Loch, congratulations John.
On 15th July experience Loch angler Phil Shannon was also rewarded for his efforts once more with a nice Salmon of 10lb which was landed just north of Rob Roy’s Cave. Congratulations and well done Phil.
Phil Shannon was in the news again on 24th July by landing a nice Salmon of 9.5lb, congratulations and well done Phil.
28th July saw experienced Loch angler and VOLDAC member Jamie Hyslop land a lovely Grilse of 4lb which was safely released.
On Wednesday 26th July experienced Loch angler Jim Raeburn hooked, landed a nice fish of 16lb near German Jetty. Beaching the boat the fish was safely returned having been gently revived.
Video of Jim Raeburn’s fish being safely returned
Experienced Lomond angler John Bell certainly had a successful trip with his young Grandson and ‘lucky charm‘ Mitchell on 22nd July landing a lovely Salmon of around 13lbs followed by a nice wee Grilse of approximately 3lb. Excellent and well done both and an experience for the wee fellow that he’s sure to remember!
Back in the spotlight! Seasoned Loch angler Phil Shannon successfully hooked and landed Grilse of around 6lb on Monday 24th July. Congratulations and well done Phil!
VOLDAC member and long experienced Loch angler Eric Donachey landed a lovely 5lb Grilse on Saturday 29th July, congratulations Eric.
Saturday 29th July also proved lucky for experienced Loch angler and VOLDAC member Jim Currie who landed a lovely Grilse also of 5lb, congratulations and well done Jim.
Tuesday 8th August will be permanently etched in young Shay Kennedy’s memories for a long long time. Stephen’s young Son Shay successfully hooked and landed his first ever Salmon. Well done young man and hopefully the first of many for you.
On 16th August Jim Raeburn continued to add to his tally with a lovely 10lb cock fish, once more at German Jetty. Having been successfully revived this fish was safely returned. Congratulations and well done Jim.
Loch Lomond Coarse Fishing
Coarse fishing reports have been thin on the ground recently and we would encourage all anglers to share their catch and trip reports with us and all of our membership please.
On June 25th Mitch Jensen had a great day’s Pike fishing under the guidance of angling guide Stuart Sutherland landing some nice Lomond Pike in the process. Congratulations and well done Mitch.
On July 10th Pike angler Gerry McGowan landed a fine Lomond Pike of approximately 12lbs, congratulations and well done Gerry.
No reported catches as yet. The Endrick normally does not start to fish until later in the season and being a spate river is very dependent on those first initial spates to allow fish to enter the river. However, given the recent periods of decent rainfall then it is surprising that catch reports have been slow to come in. The Endrick however does hold some really nice trout which often can provide some good sport and which are rarely targeted by anglers.
No reported catches as yet. Like the Endrick the Fruin normally does not start to fish until later in the season and being a spate river is very dependent on those first initial spates to allow fish to enter the river. However, given the recent periods of decent rainfall then it is surprising that catch reports have been slow to come in.
There have been some very good reports and good fishing activity along the Estuary with reports of some particularly good catches of Sea Trout in the 7-9lb range being regularly caught. We would encourage all anglers to share their images of their Estuary trips and catches.
Experienced anglers Colin Ferguson and Chris Turner have been enjoying some great evening sessions along the Estuary. On 16th August Colin was targeting large shoals of Mullet in addition to landing some nice Sea Trout averaging around 2-3lb at various marks along the Estuary. Thank you to Colin for some fantastic images captured during their trips.
On 28th August Chris Turner and Colin Ferguson were back in amongst the Sea Trout with some nice catches of Sea Trout, congratulations and well done both.
Thankfully this Summer we have largely avoided the very high temperatures and drought conditions that we have all witnessed in recent seasons. As can be seen from the above there have been some good catches across the system with the Endrick and Fruin yet to come into their own. What has been noticeable is how few rods, anglers and boats have been venturing out in recent months. With memberships and permit sales apparently constant then it is odd that we have been seeing relatively low rod pressure on the system. The reasons for this are unclear but what is apparent is that there are some good catches and sport to be had for those that venture out.
We wish all anglers and members tight lines in the weeks ahead and we would encourage all anglers to share their tales and catches by sending details to firstname.lastname@example.org