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Dunnet Bay Area - Fishing
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The Dunnet Bay area offers some of the best fishing in Scotland. It affords excellent sea angling from beach, rocks or boat and quality fly fishing for wild brown trout, which is the equal of any in Britain.

This, coupled to the natural scenic beauty of the surrounding countryside and warm hospitality of local people, makes the area the answer to an anglers prayer.

Details such as lochs available, size and bag limits, where permits can be purchased, and other contacts can be found on these pages.

Dunnet Head Lochs
Fishing on this group of lochs has been controlled since 1980 by the Dunnet Head Fishing Club. The lochs are stocked regularly, and offer some excellent sport with fish averaging around a pound.

Stocking takes the form of introducing the fish at the fry stage and this ensures that they are, to all intents and purposes, wild fish. Fishing is from the bank only and a cautious approach is recommended. Stealth and stalking brings their rewards on these lochs.
Season 1st May Ė 6th October
Limits Min. 10 inches
Permits Dunnet Head Tea-room on the B855 road at Brough. Tel 01847 851774

Loch St. Johnís

Part of St John's Loch

St. Johnís is one of the most famous lochs in the north and offers some of the most spectacular fishing one could wish to find. Being a shallow loch, with a marl bottom, weed can sometimes be a problem when landing a heavy fish.  Access is very good and you can drive right to the harbour area, parking only yards from your boat. Fishing from a boat is the norm, although bank fishing is available on certain areas and can be very productive. Specialist boat facilities are available for disabled anglers.  St. Johnís fish are renowned for their fighting and eating qualities. They are beautifully formed fish with bright pink flesh. Average size of fish in the 1996 season was just over a pond, with many specimens several times that weight caught.  St. Johnís is managed by the St. Johnís Angling Association, who stock the loch with fish reared from their own hatchery in order to preserve the quality of the trout.

Loch Heilen
It is said that St. Johnís was stocked originally from Loch Heilen, and it is true that the quality of the trout in both lochs is the same. Heilen is managed by the recently formed Loch Heilen Improvement Association who introduced 14,500 fingerlings into the loch in 1995. These were reared from eggs taken from the loch, and it is the intention of the Association to preserve what they regard as a special strain of fish.

Each year, fish in the four to six pond category are caught and fish well into double figures are taken in the net while collecting eggs at spawning time. A minimum length of fifteen inches and a bag limit of four fish is now in force. It is expected that the fish introduced in 1995 will exceed this size by 1998 and improve slowly thereafter.

Access is very easy with a car parking area at the lochside. The boat berthing area is some 100 yards walk from there, and an excellent anglersí refuge is located midway along the south shore.

Only 10 permits per day are issued and, at present, one boat is available. Bank fishing is every bit as productive as boat fishing and the wading is easy and quite safe.
Season 1st April Ė 6 th October
Limits 4 fish, min.15 inches
Permits St. Clair Arms Hotel, Castletown 01847 821656

Sea Angling
Good beach fishing can be experienced from both Dunnet and Murkle Beaches. Fishing from the rocks all round this part of the coast can prove effective, but care regarding tide and weather conditions should be exercised. Boat angling is available from Scrabster Harbour near Thurso. The area produced World record Halibut and Porbeagle Shark in addition to many huge skate.

Tackle Shops
Harperís Fly Fishing Services
57 High Street
Tel 01847 893179

Hugo Ross
Fishing Tackle & Electrical Repairs
56 High street
Tel 01955 604200

C H Haygarth & Sons
Gun & Rifle Makers
KW14 8XQ
Tel 01847 851602

Contacts for Boat Angling

Sinclair Calder
Tel 01847 851233

Jon Sinclair
Tel 01847 892849

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