The Argyll coastline is larger than that of France, with many sea lochs penetrating far inland and hundreds of islands, large and small. It has to be one of the most picturesque areas in the world an amidst this beautiful backdrop some fine fishing can be found.
You can expect to see a wide variety of different wildlife, from the comical looking puffin to spectacular diving gannets and motionless herons. If you're really lucky you may see Britain's largest and rarest bird of prey, the white-tailed sea eagle. These sea eagles are huge with a wingspan of up to 8ft. Common and grey seals can be seen on most days along with the occasional sea otter. Larger than their inland cousins they are quite curious and can often be seen at close quarters. From spring onwards in open waters porpoises and dolphins can be seen breaking the surface.
There are areas with strong tidal races and whirlpools that can be a danger to small craft - the Corryvreckan whirlpool near the Isle of Jura is the third largest whirlpool in the world. A wind against tide situation can produce an alarming sea state, so study charts and weather reports before setting out in your boat.
Most of the fish species we target can be caught from the shore, although there are a few where a boat is essential. Like all of our coastal waters over-fishing by commercial vessels has depleted fish stocks and damaged the sea bed. We must therefore target areas that they are unable to operate in e.g. reefs, rocky and rough ground, wrecks and rock pinnacles.
The main sea species to be found in the area include pollack, coalfish, wrasse, cod, ling, mackerel, pouting, whiting, haddock, lesser spotted dogfish, spurdog, plaice, flounder, dabs, conger eels, rays, skate, tope and sea trout.
The book Shipwrecks of the West of Scotland by Bob Baird is a useful tool for locating wrecks to fish over.
Most of our sea fishing is concentrated in the northern part of Argyll. This includes the southern part of Loch Linnhe, Loch Creran, Loch Etive, southern part of the Sound of Mull, and the Firth of Lorn. These waters have accounted for many Scottish & British record fish. Loch Long and Loch Fyne have also produced an array of record species.
Visiting freshwater anglers who wish to try sea fishing but are put off by the thought of having to buy specialist tackle need not worry. If you own a pike or carp outfit, spinning rod and reel or even fly-fishing gear you can enjoy some great sport catching some of the species we have listed above. Saltwater fly-fishing is in vogue at the moment and Argyll is the ideal place to catch sea trout straight from the sea. They run in decent numbers throughout the season and are present in most of the sea lochs that Argyll has to offer.