Angling: Geoffrey Lowe keen to pass on fishing skills to growing membership at Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club

Chris Bolton (left) is presented with the Rod and Reel Only Cup by Geoffrey Lowe.Chris Bolton (left) is presented with the Rod and Reel Only Cup by Geoffrey Lowe.
Chris Bolton (left) is presented with the Rod and Reel Only Cup by Geoffrey Lowe. | JPIMedia
Coarse fishing club attracting members from all over Scotland

Geoffrey Lowe started fishing with his father Henry as a boy on the Bridgewater Canal in the Manchester area.

Now, as he nears his 70th birthday, the Edinburgh-based angler is keen to pass on his knowledge and encourage more Scots to take up coarse fishing.

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Lowe is a leading member of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club (ELCAC), which currently has a healthy membership.

The organisation, one of only three in Scotland, attracts anglers from as far afield as Banchory in Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, Fife, Lanarkshire, East and West Lothian plus, of course, Edinburgh.

They take part in three competitions, two in the summer, a Saturday League and Sunday League, plus a Winter League (mostly on a Sunday and weather permitting).

Officers keep the membership fee low to encourage more members and it is currently at £10. There are no junior members.

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Lowe said: “We are always happy to hear from men and women who want to fish. Our age-group currently is roughly between 40 and 80 and there is no problem if a beginner wants to join us.

“We have match days but we also have non-match days and one of our members will happily take a novice under their wing.

“We can advise on where to fish, when to fish and what equipment to buy. For example, a carbon fibre pole can cost over £2,000.

“If somebody is swithering, however, then there are cheaper options.

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“For example, you can bus second-hand. For example, I know of one angler selling a 16-metre pole for £300 and a fisherman could spend another £200 and be set up for a lifetime in the sport.

“That is still a lot of money, but there are cheaper options other than buying a pole. Using a rod and reel is fine and our members have the knowledge to assist here as well.”

The 30-year-old club was founded by Tony Hamblin. It was called the South Queensferry Coarse Angling Club and members were mostly his relatives and friends.

Lowe, a former manager with the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes (NAAFI) who, at one time was stationed at Rosyth, settled here after marrying his Edinburgh-based wife Eileen. He fished at Eliburn in Livingston and on the Union Canal and it was at the West Lothian fishery that another angler suggested the South Queensferry club.

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Lowe said: “Members were mostly from West Lothian but as there were only a few clubs in Scotland word got round. Membership steadily grew to what it is today.”

The club use Orchil as their regular venue as it is roughly the same distance for most, but Lowe said that Magiscroft near Cumbernauld, owned and run by former international angler and team manager, Ronnie McLeod, is a popular venue as it has seven areas to fish.

For those less inclined to travel, he suggested the Union Canal at Ratho for roach, Lin’s Mill for perch and Eliburn which has a range of species including big carp, roach, tench, perch and bream. Maggots are the best bait.

Like all anglers, Lowe is kicking his heels waiting for the lockdown to be lifted and said: “I’ve re-elasticated my pole and looked at my equipment so I’ve done most of what I should have done, but we would love to hear from anglers who are tempted to come fishing with the club.”

To contact the club search Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club in Facebook and for their website