Newbies out on first fishing trip ever

September 05, 2018Location: Oban, Scotland, UK

I recently had the pleasure of taking these 3 young men out on what was the first boat fishing trip for 2 of them and the first fishing trip ever for 1 of them. We started the first day with some simple "getting to know the your equipment" exercises. They had great fun setting up a rod blind folded followed by a quick lesson on bait prep and use. Once the boat was ready to go, we headed out from the shallows and straight over to the bait holding grounds to land some Mackerel. Beginners luck was most definitely on the side of Geoff, the complete novice that had never picked up a fishing rod in his life. Once we had our bait we went for a short sight seeing tour along the coast, past quarries and fish farms and to what turned out to be our spot of choice for the rest of the day. We anchored in to 150 foot water that appeared clear and ink black at the same time. We were around only 100 feet from the shore and another 100 feet would have put us over undulating bed the varies between 200 - 400 feet deep! Expecting a bit of a wait for the fish of choice, Spurdogs and Rays, to catch the scent of our freshly caught bait and then to make their way up tide to us. How wrong we were... Within a minute or two the Geoff was straight in to what was the smallest Spurdog I've had the pleasure of holding. Weighing in 3/4 lb, it was smaller than the Mackerel the strip of bait was cut from. It was safe to say Geoff was hooked. A grin from ear to ear had appeared and the bragging began! For the next hour his luck continued with the other 2, Hamish and Jon, watching on eagerly. The guys graciously allowed me to use the 4th rod, this just added to the camaraderie between us all. So much fun! I started off with a gorgeous little Dogfish before also hitting in to the Spurdogs hard. Geoff and I lost count of how many we landed between us. Eventually after the hour we decided to add a little squid to Hamish and Jon's hooks to help direct the attention of the fish toward them. Definitely the right choice, Jon was now joining us with a nice, average sized but perfect conditioned Spurdog. He to was now catching at a steady pace. Poor old Hamish still was having no luck. New tactics required! We rigged up a set of hokkai's and baited each hook with a nice cocktail of Mackerel and squid. This did the trick and a little too well. By the time his lead hit the ground he was in to a good sized Spurdog that was not happy to at all to be hooked. It managed to wrap itself up in the multi hooked rig so badly that it took 3 of us to safely cut it free. When I say safely, I mean for us and not only the fish. This small member of the shark family have five x 1 - 1 & 1/2 inch long sharp spurs, tucked neatly behind its fins. On top of this they have a set of razor sharp teeth, formed neatly in a row and can easily slice through bone as well as flesh to form neat, bites sized chunks ready to swallow. Handling with care is the best advice for these fish. By the end of the day we had all landed plenty of fish, with 5 species in total. I think it was safe to say that they all had a great time and I look forward to taking them out again the trip that they've booked in for next summer.


Like most guides, I live for fishing and love to share my passion with others. I head to the shore as often as possible and am a great believer of catch and release. We treat our guests to some of Scotland's and the UK's finest scenery and fishing! You can join one of the pre-organised tours or if you have some specific locations in mind, then why not book your very own custom made tour.