19th August – 2nd Sept

Aerator on, aerator off, aerator on, aerator off…….. and so it goes in line with the extended hot weather that we are all enjoying but which is playing havoc with the fishing. Again the message to everyone from us is that the fishing is tough and with the aerator on it is inevitable that the fish will congregate near to the source of the bubbles making catching elsewhere in the loch very challenging. With the aerator off the fish do readily disperse around the loch but the down side to this is that we are quite routinely picking up dead fish the next day that have been caught and released and have subsequently not had the energy or the oxygen rich water to recover well enough. It is a dilemma but we are glad to say that despite this some good catches are being recorded and the quality of the fish remains high end. As always we are seeing a range of fish caught with the blues and browns offering a bit of variety from the ever available rainbows and we have also had a number of larger fish being recorded amongst which the most notable goes to Ian Milne. Ian brought in a beautiful rainbow of approx. nine and a half pounds in weight but unfortunately we did not manage to get a photo of this beauty. His brother Kenny on the same outing was less fortunate. His boat partner managed to hook Kenny in the underside of his tongue and whilst we did manage to eventually extract the hook it was nonetheless a very painful experience for him. Maybe rugby is safer than fishing after all!

We mentioned in our last report that there was a slight algal bloom in the water and we are glad to report that this is all but gone now with the loch returning to its crystal clear condition of earlier in the year. We are however unsure of what the next spate of hot weather will do to the loch and with temperatures set to soar again this weekend we will have to wait and see what happens.

With catching remaining patchy it has been quite difficult to recommend where to fish in the loch for best results, however as a general rule the south end of the loch and in to Swing Gate Bay has fished best. The north end of the loch which at the start of the season was “on fire”, is now less productive but we assume that this will change once the water temperature starts to drop to more normal levels for the time of the year. Temperatures at the moment, in two feet of water are registering around the 14 – 15 degree C mark and so at 6 feet which is the more accepted depth to measure at we are assuming a slightly lower reading. At these temperatures the fish will start to feed more readily and we should start to see an increase in recorded catches.

Over the last couple of days it has been noticeable just how many fish are starting to show on the surface and those that have fished here have had good success with foam bodied daddies and heather fly copies. Having been reliably informed that we never see heather fly here at Coldingham the loch has been littered with them over recent days and so my apologies to anyone who I have informed that we never get heather flies! To prove the point I took a photo of one on my finger (see photos) near to the fisherman’s lodge. There has also been a good number of fish taken using the ever reliable diawl bach, proving once again that surface or just sub surface fishing here are not bad tactics in any weather.

In Club News:

  • Lochinch AC 4 anglers managed four fish for their outing. Very hard but fun was the comment on a day that started bright and turned cold towards the evening.
  • Falkirk Municipal FFC. 11 anglers managed a total of 9 fish on yet another hard day. Not attached to the club, Bob Cockburn and Neil Keillor fishing on the same day managed an impressive 18 fish to the boat. Unpredictable to say the least.
  • Northumbria Police AC had a hard days fishing with their 7 anglers managing just 5 fish between them. This is very unusual for this group of fishermen who usually do well here at Coldingham. Another reminder, if we need it, as to just how up and down fishing anywhere in July and August can be.
  • Pencaitland AC, 12 anglers managed a total of 23 fish nearly all of which came after switching off the aerator late in the afternoon. Fished on an extremely windy day the lads eventually did well.
  • TOTGA AC almost didn’t fish due to very strong winds but eventually decided to brave it after a couple of cups of coffee. 4 of the six anglers caught and commented on the hard fighting quality of the fish.

In Other News:

  • The lads and dads day is almost fully booked now with only two boats remaining so please phone if you would like to book for the event. A reminder that the event takes place on Sunday 29th Sept and all proceeds will go the St. Abbs RNLI.
  • For those of you with green fingers and who are avid watchers of Beech Grove Gardens you will be interested to know that George Anderson and Co recently did a small gardening project at the house which overlooks the loch on the west shore. The programme will be screened this Thursday and repeated on Sunday morning and will no doubt feature Coldingham Loch in the background. George is a very keen fly fisherman and is a regular here at Coldingham and I’m sure that he will give us a mention or two along the way.
  • At the start of the season we began with a total of 12 life jackets as back- up for those people fishing from boats who did not have their own. We are sad to say that we are now down to just 6. The life jackets were bought to ensure everyone’s safety whilst out on the loch and as a consequence to losing so many so soon we are reviewing how we administer the life jackets i.e. all jackets will now be numbered and this will be recorded against those who need use of the jackets. It is sad to think that we are having to resort to doing this but it is a case of needs must. All our jackets are clearly labelled CL and if anyone does see them elsewhere we would be glad of the information. We will also soon be equipping all boats with life rings as yet another safety precaution for all anglers.
  • Some of you may know that the RSPB have released a fairly large number of sea eagles along the east coast. It is unconfirmed but one of our anglers thinks that he spotted one flying over the loch the other day. They will be pretty easy to spot due to their size and shape and with a wing span of approx. 8 feet, quite a sight. Please let us know if you think you have seen one.
  • One of our regulars, Les Lockey will reach a milestone birthday this week and has chosen to celebrate by staying with his good lady, Sue at Lochside Cottage. We wish him all the best and hope that the surface fishing does justice to his new rod ….. a 9ft 5# G Loomis no less!!
  • Finally, Scottish National Heritage were here a couple of weeks ago to do their 6 yearly cycle of plant life identification in the loch as part of the SSSI designation of the loch and its immediate surroundings. The two people who did the survey reported finding a number of new species to the loch and once their findings have been verified the report will be published on the SNH web site. We are also expecting a copy of the report and for those interested in the findings we will be glad to share them with you. It’s nice to know what you are looking at when you are fishing and can be a welcome addition to the day’s activity.

Over the next two weeks we are pleased to welcome the following clubs:

  • Midlothian AC
  • Wallerford AC
  • Priory AC
  • Norham and Ladykirk AC
  • Leith FFC
  • Ladhope FC
  • North Berwick AC

Conditions for fishing are getting better by the day so let’s hope for some good returns for all concerned.


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