The 2017 season opened on Saturday 18th March in a wee heaven sent weather window. The fishery highlighted the accessibility of boat fishing for the Young and also for the Young at heart. In recognition of our most important customer group - the "Young at Heart", two of our regular customers Bob Ralston and Joe Oliver from Aberfoyle carried out the official opening ceremony... Bob has been fishing the Lake since the opening year in 1966 and spoke about the changes he had seen over the years at the Lake and what a special place it is and Joe splashed the whisky. Piper Stewart Marshal gave us half an hour of his great tunes before jumping into a boat with Malcolm Miller and then later weighing in 6 fish for 20lbs with 7 returned. A total of 454 fish were recorded as being caught by the 32 boats, of which 41 were killed for a total weight of 97lbs, 4ozs. (5 boats did not mark in). The whole scene was superbly captured by Craig Somerville of Angling Active on video and Paul Barr with his camera (have a look at our facebook page - follow the link https://www.facebook.com/menteithfisheries ).Some boats did very well in the calm morning on buzzers, whilst others faired better with lures when the wind got up. Best areas on opening day were the Butts and Hotel Bay but catches were well spread. A midge tip line worked well until the wind arrived in the afternoon. The most notable point of the day was the large number of overwintered large (6-9lbs) fish in the catches. These fish were stocked at the end of October and have indeed proved to be cormorant proof - as evidenced by the large number in the catches. To finish off the day a hog roast and refreshments were served.
Overturned Boat - Sunday 19th
The weather went downhill quickly with two very windy days then one of snow and we had an overturned boat. The details of the event are now described. Gust of around 30km per hour from the weston Sunday 19th, encountered a boat travelling broadside on to the road shore. The boat was nose heavy with a large angler sitting above the bow seat on a very heavy plank with strap on seat. The boat was travelling at full throttle on a 4hp engine and large amounts of water came in over the bow. The angler sitting at the front was facing malling and his seat was off centre. The large amount of water destabilised the boat which turned upside down (leeside went under first). The man on the outboard's lifejacket was lying in the boat and he held on to the boat which was lying almost level with the surface due to the buoyancy tanks - whilst shouting for help. The man in the bow who was wearing a life jacket was able to cling to his tackle whilst awaiting rescue - which was luckily near at hand (water temperature 4.5C).
1. Failure of any angler to be wearing the lifejacket despite instruction.
2. Failure to slow down or change direction sufficiently to prevent dangerous amounts of water coming into the boat.
3.Failure of man in bow to reposition to middle seat to prevent waves breaking over the front and also failure of bowman to lower centre of gravity and to centre himself in the middle of the boat when it became unstable.
The weather looks set to stabilise with high pressure developing.
Below left Bill Osborne with a brace; on right Gerard Pequegnot with another and John Buchanan's Pike.
Tight lines to all for 2017.
Wear a lifejacket or don’t go out.