Gordon has been sea fishing and cooking since childhood. He loves coming up with tasty ways of cooking his fresh catch when he gets home.
What Is Loch Etive?
Loch Etive is a sea loch on the West Coast of Scotland, slightly north of Oban. It runs from the Connel Bridge in the West all the way to Glen Etive, to the north-east.
Loch Etive is approximately twenty miles long and up to a mile in width. It is more than five hundred feet deep in places. The village of Taynuilt is found around six miles up the loch from the Connel Bridge and just before it branches off in a north-easterly direction towards Glen Etive and Glen Coe.
This makes Taynuilt the ideal base from which to fish Loch Etive, with boat hire and top fishing marks readily available.
Loch Etive Boat Hire from Taynuilt
Taynuilt Fishing Club has six boats for hire from Airds Bay, just outside Taynuilt. The different sized boats have room for two to four people. The boats are hired by the day or the hour and are equipped with safety equipment, including life jackets. Contact details, full details of boat hire options, terms and conditions can be found on the Taynuilt Fishing Club website:
Views of Loch Etive from near Taynuilt
Best Baits for Loch Etive
As is always the case, the type of bait which is used and how it is presented will play a huge part in the likelihood of enjoying a successful day's fishing on Loch Etive. The types of bait which are likely to prove effective on the loch are in particular mackerel (fresh or frozen) and calamari squid.
Remember to look after your bait at all times. Cut up only what you need, when you need it and keep the rest covered, or in a cool bag. Leaving bait on a bait tray, particularly when exposed to the sun, will dry it out and render it ineffective. Bait should be changed approximately every fifteen to twenty minutes.
Baiting Hokai lures or muppets is likely to further improve your chances of catching fish on Loch Etive, with red having proven a particularly effective colour on the occasion of this visit.
Tide Tables for Loch Etive (Bonawe and Taynuilt)
The link below to the BBC website will provide high and low tide times for Loch Etive at Taynuilt for the next 7 days. (Rmember to add an hour to the given times if BST applies)
- BBC Weather | Bonawe
The BBC Weather Centre provides UK and Worldwide weather services and maps for temperature, wind, satellite, pressure and radar. No matter where you are BBC Weather keeps you informed.
The top fishing marks on Loch Etive will of course vary from time to time, dependant particularly on the time of year. The visit which led to this page being produced was made at the end of April 2011 and the top two marks near Taynuilt at that time were the fish farm slightly to the north of Airds Bay and just off the new quarry at Bonawe. It is always best to seek expert local advice at the time of your visit to maximise your chances of catching fish in Loch Etive.
Dave Briers with Loch Etive Caught Fish (Both Released)
Fish Species Likely to be Caught on Loch Etive
The time of year, the precise location at which you fish and the bait and end tackle which you use will all factor in to what you are likely to catch on Loch Etive. There are a number of species, however, for which the loch is renowned and record or near record specimens have been captured. Spurdog, skate, thornback rays and hake are some of the species which you can regularly expect well in to double figures from the right location.
Catching one for the pot is a big attraction to the sport for many sea anglers. Particularly where you fall in to this category, you will be interested to know that big cod and pollack are to be had from Loch Etive. Mackerel, coley, whiting and pouting are just some of the other wholly edible species which may find their way on to your hook.
Important: Fish Sustainability
While in most instances it is of course entirely acceptable to take a fish or two for the pot, all of us as sea anglers have an inherent responsibility to be aware of the sustainability of fishing stocks. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Big Fish Fight campaign has highlighted the plight of many species in our coastal waters and beyond but it is not only commercial fishing which leads to problems. Please therefore do all that you can to ensure that where your catch is undersized, or in some other way not suitable to be classed as one for the pot, it is carefully returned as unharmed as possible to the loch.
Food and Sea Fishing
There is no doubt about it: being out on the boat all day, in the fresh sea air, makes you hungry. That means you should always have plenty of food with you to satisfy your needs. Some food items, however, are not ideal for eating out on the sea while fishing. For lots of great, practical ideas for sea fishing food items like the big breakfast sandwich pictured right, click on the link below:
Cooking Your Catch - A Wealth of Inspiration
What are your Experiences of Fishing Loch Etive?
Thank you for your visit to this page. If you have ever fished Loch Etive and have any tips or tricks to share, you can leave them in the space below. Do please note, however, that all comments are subject to approval and therefore will not appear on the site immediately.
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 17, 2018:
Depends where you are launching from, Brian. There are still similar access points in all common areas and the topography hasn't changed but permissions to certain areas I know have changed in terms of jetty owners.
Brian wright on May 17, 2018:
Can I still launch my 17ft boat at lock eteve
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on April 07, 2018:
Hi, Dave. No - Loch Etive is a sea loch so no permit is required.
Dave Bain on April 04, 2018:
Do you need a a permint for loch etive
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on April 28, 2013:
First of all, thank you very much for reading and leaving me such an informative comment.
I have fished Loch Etive countless times over the past twenty something years but this is the first time I have ever heard of this rock pinnacle. I will be sure to look in to it further and see if I can find anyone who knows of it.
I haven't fished the loch so far this year but the next time I visit, I'll see what I can find out and if anyone knows of it, I'll give it a try to include it on this page.
I'm glad you have fond memories of Loch Etive and hope this page in some way helped bring them back.
Best wishes to you,
Robin Kidd on April 27, 2013:
Hi Gordon, Around 50 years ago I used to fish Loch Etive taking an open boat from Achnaba up to the head of the loch. On one occasion I was heading in to Inverliever bay from Taynuilt well off shore when the boat bumped over something and the outboard kicked up, we stopped and went back to see what we had hit and found a large rock just under the surface it must have been a very low tide & we managed to tie the boat up onto kelp floating from the top of the rock, we had exceptional fishing around the rock and as we were using hand lines we found it was a rock pinnacle that came straight up on all side from the sea bed. I was able to go back & find the rock on several other occasions & always had good results. I have never found anyone else that knew of the rock & always worried that someone will take the bottom out of their boat on it.
I have lived in New Zealand for the past 45 years but always have fond memories of boat camping up Loch Etive.
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 31, 2011:
There are no boats for hire from that area now, so far as I am aware. The boat hire mentioned towards the top of this page is very nearby, however, and you will find the boats to be similar to what you were used to.
Pete R on May 31, 2011:
Haven't fished Loch etive for a few years. Do you know if the boats are still for hiring at the pier at Taynuilt?
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 28, 2011:
Yes, it's a great loch to fish and the diversity of what you can catch in it is incredible but you really need to keep an eye on the weather. Hoping to fish it again later this summer.
Tony Mead from Yorkshire on May 28, 2011:
interesting hub, the loch looks interesting, it must be great to cook fresh off the hook.