Angling: Bass Rock Sea Angling League Open is huge success | Gascoigne shines | AT & Canal and Rivers Trust UK Canal Pairs Championships update
Organisers of the Bass Rock Sea Angling League open are almost certain to stage the event next year due to the success of the inaugural match.
Sunderland angler Gareth Gardiner defied driving rain, gale-force winds and an eight-foot swell to win the top prize, landing six fish to edge out Philip Pape from Whitehaven, who hooked five fish.
Neil Cutler from Gateshead also landed five fish, but they measured less than Pape’s haul.
The event was held on Ravensheugh Sands near North Berwick courtesy of owner Robert Dale.
A total of 70 anglers came from all over Scotland and northern England to compete in a Penn points counter, which was also a Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers counting event.
Bob Gascoigne (Newcastle) was best in Zone A with five fish, with David Neil from Saltcoats topped Zone B with four fish, while Isaac Muir from Ayr led the way in Zone C with three fish with Jack Cameron (Edinburgh) the top man in Zone D.
Alan Brown, secretary of the Bass Rock Club, from West Barns near Dunbar, was second in Zone A with Jamie Paton from Stranraer runner-up in Zone B, Michael Thompson (North Berwick) was second in Zone C and the runner-up in Zone D was Ryan Barnett from Penicuik.
Isaac Muir landed the longest fish – a 47cm bass – and the longest turbot was hooked by Edinburgh-based chef William Stafford It was 21cm, just pipping Haddington angler James Ogilvie, who was 2cm behind.
Junior winner was Ellie Swinburne from Haddington and the 12-year-old took home a beachcaster rod and reel.
Co-organiser Craig Ogilvie said that they had received encouraging words from a number of competitors.
He added: “Flounder, turbot, coaly, bass and weaver were caught and the top tactics on the day were three-hook flapper rigs, size 4 hooks baited with small worm tipped with little section of fish.
“Over £200 raised for North Berwick RNLI and we would like to thank all who attended in such horrendous conditions.
“A gale-force, south-east wind and 8ft seas made things challenging. I’m glad the rain stopped during match times and congratulations all winners as fishing was slow.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Federation of Coarse Anglers have been asked to host a qualification round for next year’s AT & Canal and Rivers Trust UK Canal Pairs Championships 2020.
Gus Brindle, one of the Scottish officials, confirmed that this year’s Scottish qualifier had to be cancelled due to lack of entries.
He said: “I am therefore trying to gauge interest before committing to hosting a qualifier. The qualifier will be on a Saturday in either late July or August. We have hosted them in the past on the Forth & Clyde at The Stables near Kirkintilloch, but the venue for next year is still to be confirmed.”