Loch Etive Boat Hire

Loch Etive Boat-Hire in Taynuilt offer 5 boats with cabins or cuddies. These boats are suitable and totally safe for the sheltered waters of Loch Etive. All boats are equipped with safety equipment, maps, fuel and outboard engines.
Times of hire are from 8:30 am till 5:00 pm evening and overnight hire is also available when conditions suit. Bait and rod hire are available at a small extra charge (when available).
The magnificent unspoilt coastline of Loch Etive is steeped in history, intrigue and treachery and is still inaccessible except by boat.

Loch Etive is well sheltered and is rarely storm bound. The Loch boasts the Scottish record hake, Skate up to 40 lbs, Spurdog and Dogfish.
Thornback Ray, Cod and Pollock into double figures and Mackerel, Whiting, Ling, Haddock, Coalfish and other species available.


Water properties of Loch Etive

Trout Farms and Sea Fish
When you approach Oban from inland by road along the shore of Loch Etive you would be forgiven thoughts of fishing for trout and pike. It could be any other narrow glacial Scottish freshwater loch set in the splendour of the mountains with pine forests reaching down to its shores, and in some respects you would not be entirely wrong. For scattered about the place are rainbow trout farms. Freshwater is a major feature of what is happening in the loch. So much that the locals originally thought there were no sea fish in the place. Because of its size and the nature of the surrounding geography, the freshwater catchment of Etive is huge. Millions of gallons enter the loch, particularly over the winter months. The effect this has on the sea fishing is worthy of a wildlife documentary in its own right.
Freshwater on Top
The density of freshwater is less than that of saltwater. As such, a freshwater layer floats on top of the original input of seawater, which allows the farming of the rainbow trout. At taynuilt there used to be a ferry across what is the narrowest and shallowest part of the loch. At times of heavy rainfall this can act as a barrier, as the water is almost entirely fresh at that point. Either side of the old ferry crossing lies two deep basins going down in places to almost 500 feet.


Resident Fish in Loch Etive

Spurdogs dominate the fishing, with cod, pouting, poor cod, hake and gurnards to add a bit of variety. As the freshwater influence starts to subside over the summer and more of the warmer weather species including mackerel penetrate the loch things are destined to change. Researchers think that many of the fish in certain areas of the loch are residents. Hake taken inside the loch are said to differ visually from those taken outside. The spurdogs look different too. Much darker on the back, and not entirely white underneath. Amazingly, these can also be taken from the shore, along with rays, pollack and wrasse, particularly at Bonawe close to the quarry on the North side of the loch.

The one big thing, which has to be said about Loch Etive, is that it is a fragile eco-system. Cartilaginous species such as spurdogs and rays, which produce small numbers of well-developed eggs or live young, cannot survive the kind of pressure that fish like cod, which produce millions of eggs, can withstand. The fact that these may well be resident fish makes the situation even more finely balanced. With good dinghy access to the loch, and a lot of visitor interest in the area, it would not take too much thoughtlessness to nudge fishing into decline. Wherever possible please return all fish.


Best bait to use

Spurdogs thrive in vast numbers throughout the deeper parts of the loch.

There are some very big conger too, along with thornback ray, cod, pollack and hake. Though never numerous anywhere, the hake here rarely drop below double figures, with the Scottish record topping 25lb, taken here in 1997. To get the best from the conger and the rays, baits need to lie on the bottom. The rest prefer their meals just off the bottom. But that's not the only demand they make. Years ago when spurdogs were common fish, they would feed like a grey swarm of locust on anything and everything in their path. Like all sharks, they employ a highly developed sense of taste and smell and have absolutely no difficulty at all in finding food regardless of available light to assist them.

Best baits are mackerel and squid but to make them really effective use them with Hokkai lures. If you're not getting any bites a switch to Hokkais will get the rod rattling all day. With no rod or boat movement and little in the way of light penetration at 500 feet it's hard to see what the attraction might be apart from the fact they are luminous. But when the fish make the rules all the angler can do is follow them.



If you have any questions about what we can do for you; please do not hesitate to contact us.

But as a general guide prices range from from £55.00 for a two man boat  or £65.00 for a four man boat per day, inclusive of fuel, or £12:50 per hour inclusive of fuel.
Evening and overnight rental available on request.

Rod hire is also available, as is the supply of bait.

Number of lakes/pegs : Fishing available on the vast Loch Etive
Prices : Prices range from £55 for a two-man boat, £65 for a four-man boat, per day. Or £12.50 per hour
Opening times : Open all year round