Edinburgh added to calendar for sea fishing events

Ian Campbell is a regular match angler in sea fishing events around Scotland and noted a gap in the competition calendar. Edinburgh is not on the match venue list.

Last winter the Falkirk-based fishermen and a few work colleagues got together to hold matches. Then, the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) hosted one of their Scotland team qualifiers at Newhaven in February. Ian, who is retail manager at the Edinburgh Angling Centre, got his thinking cap on and he is now filling the Capital match gap with a series of eight matches on Friday nights along the Edinburgh coastline.

Venues will include Seafield and Newhaven. Gipsy Brae towards Silverknowes could also be an option, but that will be decided down the line. However, none of the chosen venues will be outside the Edinburgh boundary. Prizes have been donated by The Fishing Megastore and the winner will receive a £100 voucher, runner-up £60 and third placed £40. They can be spent in-store at the company's Granton outlet or at the Glasgow Angling Centre or online. The best five scores during the series will count towards the final score and all matches will be £10 entry with a sweepstake and a 100 per cent pay-out.

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Entry to the league will be automatic upon entry to the sweepstake and Campbell said the matches would be fished on a catch and release basis, with a 15mm minimum size limit. Undersized fish will not count. The match winner will receive ten points, second-placed eight, third seven points dropping down to the eighth placed who will receive two points. All anglers catching fish will receive one point.

Ian Campbell at Granton Harbour with Newhaven in the background. By Nigel Duncan

He explained: "Three hooks are a maximum, but there are no bait and hook size restrictions. Matches will be on a Friday night with registration and the peg draw from 6.15pm to 6.30pm and fishing will be from 7pm to 10pm."

Lugworm, mackerel and ragworm are the generally used in the Edinburgh area on flapper rigs and cod, whiting and flounders among the regular species landed. The first match is scheduled on Friday, October 28 at Seafield and registration is likely to be in the lay-by on Seafield Road East EH15 1TB. Anybody interested is asked to register on his Facebook portal and Campbell plans to posting regularly on the Scottish Shore Angling Match Group site.

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He said: "I'm a keen match angler and there is nothing like this in Edinburgh which is a shame. Some friends and guys in the store held friendly matches last winter and then the Scotland match came along. That got me thinking and I decided to try to organise something this winter and here we are." Anglers do not have to be mega casters or expert fishermen to enter and Campbell said: "Fishing next to somebody who is experienced can help anglers progress."

Seafield and Newhaven - anglers are advised to have studded boots as it can be slippery on the breakwater there - will be the main locations, but Gipsy Brae is an option. Campbell said: "There are fish at Gipsy Brae as we've tried it, however, we would hope to encourage people to come along and take part to develop their skill level. The object is to give anglers something competitive in the Edinburgh area during the winter and this an event which we hope will get people out into the fresh air on a Friday night."

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Newhaven Breakwater. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Campbell, incidentally, was one of the hardy competitors who braved the elements to compete in the recent Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) match. Bosses praised the competitors who took part in their Open Shore event at Elliot Beach, Arbroath and they claimed it was a fantastic performance in really tough conditions with a big sea running. The wind topped 40mph at one stage according to Campbell and Bruce McLean (Stranraer) topped the podium with two flounders and a coley. Runner-up was Scottish international Nuno Santos from Glasgow and the A Zone winner was James Duncan from Arbroath, who caught the biggest fish, a 33cm flounder, and Alan Combe (Kirkcaldy) who won the B Zone.

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Other dates for your diary are the Scott McNicol Memorial Open at Castle Douglas on Saturday, October 22, the Iain Reid Memorial Open in the Leven area on Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20 and St Serfs Open on Sunday, December 18 (noon to 6pm). Also, Mike and Chris are again organising their popular cod league this winter with the first of five matches due on Saturday, December 3, fishing from 14.00 to 19.00 (registration 12.30 to 13.00) at he Victoria car park in Arbroath. Everybody departs 13.00.

The other dates are Saturday, January 14, Saturday, January 21, Saturday, February 4 and Saturday, February 11. Times will be confirmed. The venue is Carnoustie to Ferryden Lighthouse and the entry is £10 and SFSA rules apply. One rod only and three hooks maximum. The weigh-in is at the Victoria car park and it closes one hour after the match finishing time. Call Chris on 07872 944807 for more details.

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Elsewhere, Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth have sailing at 8am on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. Ring 07860 804316. On to fly fishing and Allandale Tarn re-opens on Monday (October 17) after holidays. The opening times are 9am to 4.30pm and the Tarn is always closed on a Tuesday. Glencorse in The Pentland Hills closes on October 15 for the winter. Boss Bill Taylor is taking bookings for next year.

Drumtassie bosses have confirmed that Chris Mulholland was third in the Trout Masters event at Draycott. Leeanne Aitchison, fishery manager, said: "Chris did us proud and this was our proudest moment ever. Absolutely fantastic."

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She also confirmed that the trout fishery charge until the end of December will be £15 for catch and release all day. Six hours on the bait pond will be £20 and there is a reduction of £2 for disability and OAP customers over 65.

West Lothian Angling Association have re-started their monthly fly tying nights at Mid Calder Community Centre (7pm to 9pm). Everybody is welcome, even for a chat. Organisers say they have a limited number of tying vices and people are asked to bring their own.

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Meanwhile, this years' Champion of Champions is Graeme Lynch of Lochend Fly Fishers. Graeme was fishing in Hotel Bay at The Lake of Menteith close to the shore. He landed 19 trout and second, also from Lochend Fly Fishers, was Mark McNaughton with 17 trout. Gregor Fleming of Albacats was third with 15 trout. The lake continues to fish well in Hotel Bay and along the shore to Lochend, but all drifts are producing a lot of takes including Gateside and the Malling Shore. Plenty more of our home-grown fish to go in with 500 in so far this week with more planned.