Bad Bandies at Ba

If you live in the central belt of Scotland I am pretty sure you have heard the stories about loch Ba! The first that it is stuffed full of bandies that fight like a trout double their size and also that the place is littered with empty crisp packets and buckfast bottles. Any time you read a trip report the writer always has to take a fly off his three cast outfit as catching three trout at once is too troublesome.

It looks so fishy !

It looks so fishy !

The loch is surrounded by peat bogs that will kill the unwary angler and the midgies are the most evil in Scotland. The loch was also raped by anglers on club outings who would turn up and kill everything they caught for the weigh in at the end of the day. This was long before anglers went all lovey dovey with catch and release, this was when you drank as much as possible whilst chain smoking your cigarettes. If you were a young boy this was when you got your first taste of alcohol. I went to lochBa  when I was around 15 with the queen Elizabeth angling club and caught a trout on a worm. Except it was not actually loch ba we were dropped of at it was the one before it.

Flipper action ! I think I am almost ready to review these Hollis fins...

Flipper action ! I think I am almost ready to review these Hollis fins…

Consequently all these years later I was keen to get back and fish it as an adult angler, additionally I have my float tube!

This is what I found :

1. I did not see any litter even though I was expecting too see loads.
2. Nobody tells you how weedy this loch is. I mean maybe it was just where I was but their was loads of weeds.
3. They lied about the midgies , they are not evil. These little bastards make evil look like a gentle kiss on the lips. They were waiting for me on the shoreline with baseball bats.
4. It is quite possible to blank at Ba, if the fishing is totally shite everywhere because it is 24 degrees it will be shite for trout their too.
5. Their are perch in the loch, I thought I had caught the biggest trout in the loch but it turned out to be a lovely big perch. Sadly, it did not stick around for a photo but at the last moment went back to tell its trout pals about the crazy sunburnt guy bobbing about on the water.
6. You can get stuck on top of a rock in a float tube. This sounds funny however is in fact truly terrifying !

Imagine those rocks just under the surface ! I dare you !

Imagine those rocks just under the surface ! I dare you !

I was going to stay for the gloaming however the wind dropped and my midgie net went on for some protection.

The wonky sunset shot. To be fair I was being bitten by a billion bugs!

The wonky sunset shot. To be fair I was being bitten by a billion bugs!

Now that I have broke my duck for tubing by myself I have in fact another 4 lochs I need to try out. I also need to get back to Ba to experience some of that legendary bandie craziness.


You guys got any stories of Ba ?


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  1. Dave Southall · July 24, 2014

    Once again good stuff.

  2. andy · July 24, 2014

    Your blog leaves everyone elses trailing in its wake..

  3. Russell Iles · July 24, 2014

    Hell I love reading your reports.
    You write like I speak ( not sure if that is a compliment) but you excite my fishing juices.
    Having no ready access to fresh water fishing, I dream about what you do in your
    lovely environment, despite the midgies. As for triple headers, what a way to go.
    Just have to get there and experience what you experience. Hell, could even look up the wife’s Clan
    & see if we have any relatives worth knowing.
    Keep on doing what you do so well

  4. Emanuele · July 24, 2014

    Hi mr. I should give this tube thing a try…. Ciao

  5. Alex · July 24, 2014

    Ba humbug!

  6. johnny · July 24, 2014

    went fishing there in May 1978 and almost died of hypothermia. we got dropped off for an overnight trip with no tent or shelter and a blizzard came in overnight. the gas froze in the wee camp stove and the rod rings froze. only the edges of the loch were iced over. we had to burn the heather in our fire all night to survive. still caught a hat-full of wee trout though

  7. Bob Walker · July 24, 2014

    We fished Ba, and its neighbouring lochs a few years ago. Lovely lochs but the litter was abysmal, it was everywhere. Genuinely knocked the edge off our fishing holiday and influenced our decision to go further North for subsequent holidays. That’s an awful lot of money lost to the local economy in petrol, crisps and whiskey!