Dunbar schoolgirl Abby, five, lands a whopper in her first fishing competition

A five-year-old girl has won a major Scottish sea fishing competition - featuring juniors more than twice here age - at her very first attempt.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:45 pm

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Dunbar Primary School pupil Abby Empson beat 18 other youngsters to take the top prize in the junior section of the Clyde and West Open Shore Championship at Greenock Esplanade, the biggest event of its kind in Scotland with more than 100 competitors

And little Abby came home to Dunbar with a rod worth around £180, a spinning rod and reel, tackle box and other equipment, a haul "worth hundreds of pounds" after landing 12 fish totalling 212 points including a coley, haddock and codlings.

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Proud: Dad Chris with budding sea angler Abby

Dad Chris was third in the prestige event featuring some of Scotland's leading anglers and pocketed £145. He landed 32 fish for 651 points fishing a three-hook flapper and using a mixture of fish bait including crab and also worm.

The 35-year-old, who is a joiner with East Lothian Council, said: "We had an amazing day. I was so proud I had a tear in my eye and, to top it off, I got third place overall.

"A mention to the organisers. The organisation was brilliant and it was a great match, really focused on the juniors, with a fantastic prize table with every junior taking a prize even if they didn't catch a fish."

Abby loves to go fishing with her dad and she started the sport two years ago, going to easy marks near her home with her father.

Chris does the heavy casting but Abby strikes and reels in the fish, just as she did on Sunday.

He added: "For the first two hours I helped her set-up and then concentrated on my fishing. Once I found fish they kept on coming and it really was a great day for us both."

"Coming home in the car she asked if she could go to the same competition next year. And yes, she still qualifies as a junior for some years yet."

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