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Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

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Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Rushy » 23 Apr 2013, 20:16

So the big weekend finally arrived, we were setting off for Oban and hopefully two days chasing the big common skate on Colin Curries 35ft MV Creagallan. We were to meet up with the other guys, Jason (Sultzer) who kindly donated the trip for the sick kids raffle which I won, and Alastair (squid Ink) and a couple more on the Saturday morning. We decided to travel up on the Friday and be fresh for the 9am sailing.
Unfortunately, the forecast wasn't looking too brilliant, with a fresh southerly blowing which was forecast to worsen and swing round more westerly, not good.

It was a great drive up with good weather and we were positively buzzing with excitement, though we had to make the obligatory stops along the way. This was a good opportunity for a few pictures alongside loch lomond.....

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Isn't that gorgeous?.....and the view's pretty good too......
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Once we got into Scotland proper, we decided to try and blend in with the locals.....



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Going undercover worked pretty well because before long we were at our destination, Corran House on the Oban seafront, a posh hostel type which was a reasonable £18 a night each. Unfortunately, it had a great bar downstairs.....
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The view from the hostel...
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Now, it might have been the excitement, or it might have been the fact we don't get away very often, but.......we went for a 'quiet pint' and something to eat at 5.30pm. When 1am chimed and Paul decided to go on the vodkas I thought something's gone a bit wrong here. Myself and Terry wrestled the hostel key off Paul and left him hunting for a kebab :doh: needless to say he wasn't the quietest when he finally rolled in...
I wasn't best pleased the next day..... :sleepy:



We were sailing at 9am and we trudged wearily down to the slip with a gear, heads thumping, where the boat was waiting for us.......
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After we boarded the boat and made our introductions, the skipper's plan was to sail out beyond the point for a look, then either go to the skate marks or Etive if it didn't look favourable.

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Thankfully, he decided it was worth a risk, at least for the first part of the day before the wind freshened, so we set off from the relative calm of the harbour

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There was some tasty looking gear knocking about the boat, with 80lb mono filling the spools of the huge reels......
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We anchored up in the lee of a headland in about 130m of water to try and gain a slight advantage shelter-wise with the weather, but it was definitely a bit on the lumpy side with some big swells rolling through....
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I couldn't believe the size of the baits we were putting down. Four FULL mackerel, not fillets, were often used, along with bluey, squid, rainbow trout, whitng and pouting. Apparently dogfish are a great bait too, along with a small male spur which was bleeding badly after being deep hooked and had to be humanely dispatched
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Even though there were seven of us on board, there was only four skate rods out which is the norm apparently to avoid tangles in 450ft of water. The plan was to decide who got a chance at a skate if one was hooked. Hopefully there would be enough hooked for us all to get a taste, but that was in the lap of the gods, and with the weather worsening the gods weren't looking down on us too favourably.

A couple of 'scratching' rods were put down, hoping for spurries or the rare blackmouth dogfish which inhabits the deeps. Amazingly Alastair managed to hook one, something he'd been chasing for years..
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The fishing was slow to say the least, with baits only being changed every hour or so which left plenty of time to get to know each other and get the banter flowing. Jason, Alastair, Peter and his lad Callum were a great bunch and there was a good atmosphere on board with everyone getting along and having a great laugh.

As usual, pictures don't do the weather justice, trust me it was pretty wild.....
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The wind was swinging more westerly and freshening around 1pm, so the skipper called for a last rebait before we headed off inshore to find shelter and try a bit of general fishing to end the day.
We'd just finished the brews Colin the skipper had made when the ratchet on Alastair's reel screeched into action with a short but strong run :shock: it was left a short while to let the fish settle on the whiting bait before the slack was taken up and the hook set........FISH ON!! :box:
Like a true gentleman, Alastair stepped aside and asked which of us 'skate virgins' would like to fight the fish, a noble gesture at the best of times but astonishing considering a record fish had been caught a few days earlier in the vicinity. What a top bloke! :notworthy:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lZ7raaDJ4Q[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lZ7raaDJ4Q


Before we could get over our amazement at the gesture, TerryG stepped forward and took up the challenge.....
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A funny moment was after about 15mins of pumping and straining, Terry thought he was making good headway, albeit blowing through his @rse a bit. Then one the lads burst his bubble and stated that he hadn't got the fish off the floor yet, all he'd managed was to take the stretch out of the mono! :hurt: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I could see after a short while longer, and with Terry's recent health scare, that he was struggling slightly so I stepped him and gave him a lift for 10mins with the 'pumping' whilst Tez reeled down hard. It knackered me just doing that, so heaven knows how Tez felt. Actually......here's a picture! :whistle:

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After about half an hour or so, a large shape loomed out of the deeps.....
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The relief on Tez's face was plain for all to see.....
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A 112lb male common skate safely aboard....
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Apparently the males fight harder and this was a good size male, with the skipper only having one bigger aboard his boat...
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It was given a quick measure and photographed before it was carefully lifted over the side and slid back into the water. After a quick check on its bearing, and with a flick of its tail, it swam off strongly back down to the deeps. What a fantastic sight!

It was decided that a move inshore would be the correct decision, due to the worsening weather, so we upped anchor and steamed round the side of one the small islands for an hour or so. This didn't result in anything of note, and to be fair we were all fairly knackered from constantly fighting to stay upright, so we soon headed home to Oban.

Back at the digs, Peter rustled up a fantastic roast pork dinner with neaps, tatties, haggis, peas and a rich gravy, it was bloody lovely and needless to say I stuffed myself :yeah2:

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We all settled into the bar downstairs and mulled over the day with a few pints. The company and banter had been superb and we'd seen a cracking fish come aboard. It was just a pity we were beaten by the weather as there was a fair chance more skate could have been caught before the end of the day.

So that was Day One, we knew it would be unlikely we'd be able to get out for skate on day two due to the worsening weather report, so a trip up loch etive was on the cards.


Videos from day one - Click Here
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Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Eospete » 23 Apr 2013, 20:59

My God what a fish!!
Looked an amazing trip folks.
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Padsta Tel » 23 Apr 2013, 21:23

Brilliant report Dave :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp:
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby baitdigger » 23 Apr 2013, 21:42

What a superb report Rushy! :cheer: :cheer:

great photos, great scenery and ......... what a fish lads!! If you can find a fish like that in one trip, it makes you wonder what monsters must be lurking in those West Coast waters?

thanks for the report - it gave a real sense of your adventure - i felt seasick with a hangover at one stage, but that meal at the end sorted me out!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby john pie » 23 Apr 2013, 22:31

Briliant report and pic's Dave WHAT a trip to remember and a fantastic fish .....Shame the weather let you down a touch....But at least you got to experience the big fish ...I went out there with the ex-father in-law a few years ago and to say it get's abit lumpy is an under statement Light wind's produce massive sea's ....That's where i developed my sea leg's :notworthy: :notworthy:

Atrip to remember for the rest of your lives and a defo one to repeat in better conditions ....

WELL DONE ALL :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp:
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby skatenchips » 23 Apr 2013, 22:42

What a fantastic Raymond,I bet that pulled you spine out.....Was up Oban last May,but although sunny the seas were too big for boats dammit !!!!!!!

Crackin pictures,even the little black doggy was very unusual.

Plus the digs grub looked well tasty !!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby tommytli » 23 Apr 2013, 23:05

:gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp:
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Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Pugsie » 24 Apr 2013, 00:10

Brilliant report rushy and even better skate terry, sounds and looks a good weekend. Been waiting for this report too top notch stuff lads.
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Padsta Tel » 24 Apr 2013, 00:11

trailblazer wrote:Went up to Crinan on the 19 th and had a lovely day on the water with the exception that any fish failed to show. The weather was forecasted to build on the Saturday which it did and it was from the south. With the wind running up the sound of Jura it was a lumpy day. We managed 1 fish which my son Craig hooked and handed the rod over to a lad on his first sea fishing trip . New PB for Craig 199lb [left][/left]
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Re: Oban Skate fishing - MV Creagallan 20/04/13

Postby Bill Bodger » 24 Apr 2013, 00:28

:gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: :gp: Excellent report Rushy, even if I had to spur you along to write it.

Worth it in the end. Good to see Tezza getting in on the action. I'd have been filling my pants waiting for the heart attack. Glad you had the sense to give him a hand. :thumb:

What a beautiful fish the black mouthed dogfish is, I've never heard of them before. The skate wasn't bad either! What an achievement pulling that thing over the side. I bet you were all chuffed to bits at even getting to see one given the circumstances.

I'm learning about you lot every time there is a report. I didn't realise Paul is such a party animal. He reminds me of Kimi Raikenen (Think that's spelled right) Quiet in the media but party dude when away from the fray.

Top pics and report boys. It was like I was there, except the obligatory seasickness. :whistle:

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