Anglers must move quickly to secure place at National Stillwater qualifiers

The Scottish National Stillwater Championship qualifiers have been confirmed and the winners will represent Scotland in the Home Internationals, but if you are keen to become involved then get your name down as soon as you can.

Allandale Tarn near West Calder is one of the qualifying locations and owner Iona Allan confirmed that she is already full and has set up a waiting list for her event on Sunday, March 19.

She said that deposits must be paid otherwise the next name down on the reserve list will be notified that a space has become available.

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Brian Quinn, well-known for his fund-raising activities for the Scotland youth team, is masterminding this year's event and the pressure is on as Scotland host the competition.

Allandale Tarn. Picture: Nigel Duncan

West of Scotland-based Quinn is talking to several locations about logistics which include hotels for around 40 anglers plus travel to and from the venue.

The Scottish competition is open to anybody over 18 who has lived in Scotland for four years, but Quinn stressed that if an angler qualifies from one of the six heats then his or her name will be taken off the list for another heat.

The organiser is anxious that as many people as possible get the chance to stake a claim and the team will be made up of the top six plus a reserve from the final. Eight anglers qualify from each heat and there will be two semi-finals with 24 in each with 12 from each qualifying for the final.

Scotland have finished last in the previous two events and the qualifiers start at Wormit near Newport-on-Tay on Sunday, February 19 (ring 07709 235 088 to book), Drumtassie at Blackridge, West Lothian, on Sunday, March 5 (07939 249 481), Loch Insch near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire on Saturday, March 11 (07398 054 287), Allandale Tarn at West Calder on Sunday, March 19 (01506 873 073), Burnhouse near Bonnybridge on Sunday, March 26 (07889 603 160), Waterfront near Ayr on Sunday, April 2 (01292 571268). The semi-finals are at Kingennie by Broughty Ferry, Dundee, on Saturday, April 22 and Kinross on Saturday, April 29 and the final at New Haylie near Largs on Sunday, May 14.

Registration is at 8am. The briefing is at 8.45am and fishing is from 9am. Anglers fish six pegs at 30 minutes each in the pre-lunch session and then six pegs for 30 minutes each in the afternoon session.

A £20 deposit is required to secure a place and it is non-refundable and Scottish Anglers National Association (SANA) membership is included in the £40 entry fee.

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Quinn is determined to raise the bar and he has been encouraged by the up-take so far with 75 per cent of the heats reported to be full.

Elsewhere, Linlithgow Loch, which re-opens on March 1, are promoting their inaugural Spring Competition on Sunday, May 14. It's for individuals and is open to all keen fly fishers. The entry fee is £30.

Robin Lambert, editor of the Scottish Flyfisher magazine, is the organiser and he revealed that the event came about after a chat between him and senior office bearers of the Forth Area Federation of Anglers who run the fishery at Linlithgow Loch.

He said: "We have 20 boats so he hope we have a full compliment of 40 anglers. The first prize is £100, second £75 and third £50 and the heaviest fish winner receives a £25 gift voucher."

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The event will run from 9am to 4pm and all boats must be ready to dock by 4pm. Anybody interested should contact [email protected] A £10 deposit is required when booking and each entrant will be randomly paired with another angler on the day.

Still in West Lothian, and the West Lothian Angling Association host the first of their regular fly tying nights on Monday, January 9, at Mid Calder Community Centre at 19.00. All are welcome, including non-members, to chat about fishing and possibly make some flies to suit the water and the nights are free. Some equipment and materials are available.

Meanwhile, East Fife Sea Angling Club host their annual New Year Open on Sunday (January 8) with fishing from noon to 5pm and boundaries from Carnoustie to Ferryden.

Registration is from 10.30am to 11am at the Victoria Park, Arbroath, and everybody leaves at 11am.

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Entry is £15 with £5 going towards the heaviest fish and contact Chris on 07872 944807 or Stewart on 07759 379978 and the weigh in is until 6pm.

Nearer home, and leg six of the Edinburgh Winter Shore League, sponsored by Edinburgh Angling Centre and the Fishing Megastore, saw Stevie Souter topping the podium with six fish from Marine Drive at Seafield.

Gordon Lyall was second also with six fish and Chris Cooper third on four fish. His brother David, who leads the league, hooked into the longest fish, a 33cm flounder.

Leg seven was due at Newhaven on Friday, January 6 with registration from 6pm to 6.30pm at Western Harbour EH6 6PG with fishing from 7pm to 10pm.

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The Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers have confirmed their competition dates for this year. Open competitions start with the match on April 2 at Riverside Drive, Dundee, when lugworm and mackerel baits only are allowed. Other dates are May 14, Montrose Beach; June 4, Riverside Drive, Dundee; July 23, East Fife Open, Anstruther; August 6, Individual members (closed event); August 20, Clyde and West Open, Greenock; September 17, Erskine Walkway; October 28, Ayrshire Beach; November 4 and 5, Iain Reid Memorial, Leven.

International shore fish-offs: April 22/23, Riverside and Carnoustie; June 11, Montrose or St Cyrus; June 18, South West at Stranraer area; September 9, Loch Linnhe area; September 30, Greenock.

Coarse fishing now and Del's Fruit Produce-sponsored Silvers Winter League is back on this Sunday at Magiscroft near Cumbernauld and it is match four of the series.