Sunday, 12 April 2009
Its a big Brownie!
The results came back on Tuesday and its official its a Brown Trout the biggest for a number of years from the loch. From the biologist at the Tweed foundation the stats are as follows age = 8years old, spawned 4 possibly 5 times, hen fish, spent the first year of her life in one of the burns flowing into St Mary's loch therefter spent the rest of her time as a resident of the loch. it is not clear when she became a fish eater and it looks as though the transition from insect to fish eating was a gradual one.
Apparently sometimes the transition is sudden and can be detected by scale examination showing a large increase in growth. the actual weight is 6lbs 15oz once the tare of the sling is subtracted and the initial captor Les H caught her on a Bluey (see Gallery) she has a scar on her left flank which makes indentification easy. She was safely returned to the loch after a frantic photography session leaving a happy and very satisfied angler.
She is a magnificent specimen full of body and capable of giving a good account of herself even on heavy Pike gear.
Now one of the good things about fishing is that there are no certainties and what you would expect not to happen often does happen.
And so it was with this fish, the following week I struck into what I thought was a medium Pike and you've guessed it, its that Brownie again a week later and around 600yds from the original capture spot.3 traces and her eye pulled shut.
Only this time she had 3 wire traces in her mouth and 1 stray hook pulling the skin over one of her eyes and the remains of what looked like half a Mackerel in her gullet plus my whole medium Herring. Thankfully I was able to retrieve all the traces easily and after a brief spell holding her she gave a powerful thrash of her tail and was off into the deep again. I allowed myself the mandatory YEEEEES!! my biggest Brownie by a long chalk.
One would hope anyone catching this fish would release her after a moment of self indulgence and photo session. Who would have thought that she would be caught so soon again.
Now the 3 traces were of the Pike variety all with line attached one had what looked to be around 10lbs bs mono and the other two were attached to green braided line (from the same angler??).The ironmongery I removed from the Trout.
This begs the question how did she come to be hooked by these traces? The mono line was much too light and she would have no trouble parting this line pulling over some of the sharp boulders in the lochs. I'm not sure what the breaking strain of the braid is and will ask some of the other regulars for their opinion. This is however a recurring worry anglers using low breaking strength line - this brownie would certainly have died if I or another capturing angler had not removed the traces.
Showing the scar on her flank.
It is important not to be complacent and think because you are using braid your line is unbreakable, what is emerging from the mono vs braid debate is that in ragged bottomed lochs mono is the choice of line for most anglers. One certainly must never move across from say 25lbs mono to 25lbs braid. You must at least double the breaking strain of the braid to achieve anything like the same degree of abrasion resistance. It appears that the many strands in braid are more easily frayed than a single heavy bs mono.
The use of an outer sheath of Flurocarbon also significantly increases the abrasion resistance (search Yo-zurri Hybrid from a few select outlets). It will be interesting to see if anyone can determine the bs of the braid as diameter measurements are invalid due to the braid compressing in the micrometer jaws. It is also possible our Brownie may have picked severed traces with bait attached from the bed of the loch, dont think we will ever know the answer to that one.Moral of the story when fishing in St Marys use heavier rather than lighter certainly no less thn 20lbs mono or 50lbs braid.