End of season round-up
As we bring the 2014 season to a close we would first like to thank everyone for their support over the last season and hope that you have enjoyed yourselves as much as we have. I think it’s fair to say that it has been an excellent season with some tremendous sport and some memorable catches with a few PB’s thrown in for good measure and whilst we won’t mention anyone individually in this round-up, those of you who have been following the reports throughout the season will know who has done what from both bank and boat.
It was another year that was once again dominated by a long spell of good weather during the summer but despite this the loch continued to fish well and with the help of the aerator the fishing remained constant with only a few days in the season lost to extremely windy days. Following a very mild winter last year we expected to see an explosion of weed growth this year but again nature had other ideas, and whilst Boathouse Bay produced its usual crop of milfoil and Canadian pond weed, timely use of the weed-cutter meant that we were able to keep the loch fishing in all areas for the whole of the season without any disruption to anyone.
It was also a year that was rich in wild life and there was an abundance of flora and fauna that changed with the seasons to create the usual scenic feast that makes being at Coldingham such a treat for the angler and holiday maker. There were however one or two anomalies and a few notable sightings, for example
- very few stickle backs around the margins of the loch but an abundance of perch fry,
- very few hawthorn flies but daddies were around much earlier than usual,
- a greater than average number of wasps but perhaps less bees
- toads a plenty in spring but very few frogs.
- Our first crop of seven cygnets from our resident swans (but unfortunately none survived)
- Confirmed sightings, including one long range photo in the trees at the north end of the loch of an osprey
- Two unconfirmed, yet reliable sightings of a sea eagle
- Multiple sightings of otters in and around the loch along with the usual plethora of sightings of badgers, foxes, roe deer, hares, stoats, weasels, bats and other such mammals that frequent the shores.
- And let’s not forget the arrival of a pet duck in August that seems to have adopted Coldingham Loch as its new home much to the upset of Meg and Susie who now have to wait their turn for the hand outs.
The season through its loch reports was also enhanced by the introduction of Robbie’s Blog and we know that many of you have appreciated Robbie’s humour and impartial assessment of how the loch has been fishing and what he considers to be worth trying if all else fails. It might also be worth noting that now that Robbie has a little more time on his hands he is offering his services to new and seasoned anglers who may want to hone some of their skills. So if there is an element of your fishing that you feel might benefit from some improvement, why not give him a call ……. We are never too old to learn and it might make the difference?
Sadly, this year, we also bid farewell to a couple of our friends and regulars and although they are missed they will never be forgotten for the spirit and enthusiasm that they brought to the loch with each visit. But at the other end of the life cycle we have noticed some fine young anglers coming through this year, and we hope that they will enjoy many a session here and at other fishing venues – they are after all the future of this great sport and tradition. Perhaps this is no better demonstrated than through our annual lad(y)s and dads competition which is one of the highlights of the year for us, and provides the platform for some quality fishing time coupled with a bit of “friendly” rivalry. This year we were delighted to see the lad(y)s finally get their name on the shield by the narrowest of victories and I’m sure that this will only strengthen the resolve from the dads team to get it back next year. The day also gives us the opportunity to offer support to an important aspect of the local community, the RNLI at St. Abbs and we were delighted to be able to present them with a cheque for £581.00 to help them with the valuable service that they provide.
So as I write this the last of this season’s anglers are enjoying the sunshine and light winds on the last day of November ….. incredible weather for the time of the year. Tomorrow the boats will be taken off the water for the usual winter repairs and face lift and the loch will get a well -earned rest. There remains a good head of fish in the loch which we hope will survive the winter to provide a fantastic base of over-wintered fish mixed with newly stocked fish for the start of next season and if opening day is anything like last year, you are in for a treat! The piper is already booked for the 14th March 2015 and we can only hope that the weather is as kind to us next year as it was this year.
We will be busy over the closed season and will continue to make improvements to the cottages and chalets and to various aspects of the loch. We have quite a hefty schedule of work planned but as always we hope to be ready in time for the new season. All the boats are now booked on opening day but there are still boats available on Sunday 15th March. Both days have a few places left on the bank. So please ring soon if you want to avoid disappointment.
So finally for those of you who continue to fish throughout the winter we wish you “tight lines” and for those of you who swap rods for guns we wish you “good aim”. To all of you we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year and look forward to seeing you all again in 2015 when it all starts again!
Gareth and Carmel