New Season Loch 1st Loch Report 17th March – 1st April 2018

It’s good to be back!

It’s just a pity that this year the weather has conspired against us at the start of the season. Opening weekend was particularly bad weather but despite this we once again opened on Saturday to the sound of the pipes and our sincere thanks go out to Hugh Gordon for playing in the start of our new year. Hugh won’t mind me telling you that he was well and truly frozen and so you can imagine what it must have been like for the 14 bank anglers that were determined to brave the conditions. Needless to say, all boats were cancelled on Saturday and in fact we even had to close the loch on Sunday due to the awful conditions.

So our intrepid bunch of die- hards made their way around the bank and before they left the comfort of the fishing lodge we did say that fortune favours the brave and that at the end of the day we would certainly know if the saying was true. Carmel and I took a walk around the bank at 10am and as we passed each angler it was quite clear that they were having difficulty with the Baltic conditions. Everyone’s lines were freezing in the rings and all their reels were solid ice. So with a quick dip into the cold water to release their frozen equipment people were just about managing a cast before the inevitable quick freeze happened again. Despite this, it quickly became clear that fish were being caught, and in good numbers, and that the general trend was that they were lying very close into the sides. Fergus Aitchison mentioned that he had landed one that he estimated to be around the 9lb mark and that this was a nice addition to his already growing tally.

We therefore knew that the fishing was going well but even we were surprised at the end of the day when we totted up the totals. 203 fish were landed to 14 bank rods and of these 14 rods, 6 left the loch at lunch time. Not a bad start by anyone’s standards.

As we said earlier the loch was effectively closed on Sunday but Karl Ferguson came to visit us and just happened to have his tackle in the car and so took the opportunity for a quick cast. 1.5 hours later and he was back in with a total of 15 rainbows to the net. Fortune does indeed favour the brave!!

And so since we opened we have had a constantly changing picture due to the unpredictable nature of the weather however the one constant has been that we have been seeing some excellent returns:

  • Bob Cockurn has had 22 and 21 for his first two visits whilst James, his father has also been having a great start to the season with 9 fish to the boat on each of his two visits. Black minkie, bloodworm and damsel.
  • Colin McIssac had a stellar day on the bank with a huge total of 35 to the net in a session that was barely 6 hours long. UV cormorant. His next session from the boat yielded 13.
  • Neil Keillor had 27 to the boat using his trusty damsel.
  • J Wilson had 10 to the boat. Black and green booby.
  • Allan Cook 8 to the boat.
  • Cowell 10 using damsel and blob.
  • Brad Mackie 27 in total including two brownies. Black tadpole and blobs.
  • Guy Nicholson 13 to the boat. Damsel and tequila zonker.
  • Jim Burtle landed an excellent brownie of approx. 6lbs.
  • Cameron and Amy has a superb stay in Lochside cottage and returned some very impressive catches 22 one day and 29 the next.
  • David Auld 10 to the boat. Foam Damsel and buzzers
  • Beeton 9 in total using damsel.
  • Mick Kelley 15 on his first visit followed by 22 on his next.
  • Steve Kelley 20 from the bank and then a further 14 on his next visit.
  • J Watt 12 to the boat. Carron crab.
  • P Hird 17 using diawl bachs.
  • C Brown 13 including two brownies. Black lure.
  • Ricky Taylor 9 to the boat. Yellow fritz.
  • Iain Thomson 12 to the boat including one brownie. Bloodworm and fritz.
  • Rod Burn 10. Cats whisker and blobs.
  • Andy Pandy Saunders 10 to the bank. Squirrel.
  • Robbie Bell 19 to the boat using mainly cormorants.
  • Eric Kenny stayed in stable cottage for a few days and had some impressive numbers. 17 and 19.
  • James Gardiner had 18 from the bank using black fab and cats whisker
  • Graham Witty staying on holiday had a great day 16 to the boat using damsel, CDC
  • Peter Gallon had 16 to the boat including 2 blues. Viva and bibio
  • Lochside cottage guests Steven Ramsay had a total of 64 fish for their 3 outings. FABS and buzzers
  • Darrel Young had 14 to the boat including 3 blues

Club News:

  • Heriots FFC fished here today in a mixture of weather which included a large snow storm. A total of 9 rods landed an impressive 101 fish giving a rod average of just over 11.

Other News:

  • We are very sad to announce that our little dog Susie had to be put down this week. Susie has been here with us since we started 7 years ago and at the ripe old age of 16 she was well and truly one of the family. She was a real character and had a knack of being on just about every photo we took of the visiting clubs due in part to her anticipation that one of the fishermen might drop part of their packed lunch! Sandy Amos nicknamed her the pie dog as she once helped herself to one of his steak pies from his bag. Sandy wasn’t too bothered by this as he knew that he had another one but his mood changed somewhat when he discovered that she had also had a bite out of that one too. She will be missed by us.
  • Over the winter we managed to acquire some new boats and have spent some considerable time doing them up. We now have what we consider to be an excellent fleet of boats and hope that you enjoy using them.
  • We have once again launched the wheelie boat onto the loch and so it is available for anyone who may be in a wheel chair or has mobility issues. Anyone wanting to use this vessel will be given full training on the use of the boat before going out.
  • On Tuesday 10th April we will be running a youth competition for under 16s. Places for this are now filled but if it proves to be successful this year we will open it up to a wider audience next year. This was Robbie’s idea and we have worked with him to produce what we hope will be an enjoyable and successful format for the day. We will let you know how it goes.

Robbies Blog:

Every Day is a School Day.

So I missed the Opening Day at Coldingham for the first time in about 25 years.

The weather was just too much for me although I have seen the day it would not have bothered me.

Now it’s night!

So when I got on the Loch a few days later I was with great anticipation as there had only been a couple of boats out and the Bank angling had been severely restrained.

All those overwintered trout and some new fish would be just waiting for one of my Biscuit Blobs.


By 11 o’clock I had not had a touch. However as no one else was seriously catching I thought it was just a matter of time until I found the fish and perhaps the day warmed up a bit.

Wrong again!

Now I did end up with 5 nice trout but that was a lot less than everybody else on the Loch.

Of course a lot of us Older Anglers can remember when two fish was almost being greedy  but those days have gone.

Also 5 fish on a hot summer’s day in early August could be a Match Winner but on what was to all intents and purposes the opening day of Boat Fishing it was not exactly what I had in mind.

Even my partner who is a relative novice had almost twice as many as me. If I have a defence I did drop quite a few fish “In Play” as that Betting Man would say.

So what went wrong?

Well I did chop and change far too much trying to find the magic answer.

Also when we did catch a fish we should have got the anchor down straight away. The fish did seem to be “poddy”

Also the takes were a bit sensitive so maybe I should have played them a bit softer and maybe changed to a lighter rod and finer leader.

Smaller Flies?

I also could have tried to find out what other anglers were catching on and copied their Retrieves and Fly Lines.

My saving grace if that is the correct phrase was that a week later I returned and caught a good tail enders cricket score.

My Pride was restored and perhaps a lesson was learned that although you may be reasonably successful most of the time the fish do sometimes get out and use their vote!


Robbie Bell        Resident  Instructor and Guide


Visiting Clubs:

Over the next fortnight we will be welcoming the following clubs to the loch:

  • Anchor Inn FFC
  • Leith FFC
  • Edinburgh Post Office AC
  • Pencaitland FFC

As always we hope that they have a successful outing and hope that we can finally get a more settled period of weather.


Click on the photo to get the full image and use the arrows to scroll through

Opening day Gallery:

Snow at Coldingham Loch when hit by the beast from the East storms

Couple of photos of Susie who had a grand old life here at the loch and reached a decent 16 years of age


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