English fishery owner comes to aid of Scotland's women's carp team

An English fishery owner has come to the aid of Scotland's women's carp team by offering them a home water at her family-run facility, one of the top venues in Britain.

By Nigel Duncan
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 7:00 am
Joanne Barlow (left) and Gill Coutts during training for the shore fishing championships on Tayside. Picture: Contributed
Joanne Barlow (left) and Gill Coutts during training for the shore fishing championships on Tayside. Picture: Contributed

Sally Hughes, the boss of Wyreside near Lancaster, a premier carp water in the North-West of England, will allow special dispensation for the team to fish together.

There are six ponds created from ex-gravel pits created by the excavation for the M6 motorway at the popular, award-winning centre, all with different characteristics, and the lakes are in the shadow of the Bowland Fells. Resident carp can weigh up to 34lbs.

The deal was stuck by Scotland's carp captain, Joanne Barlow (cor), when she was at the 120-acre centre marshalling the British Carp Angling Championship (BCAC) which she runs with her husband, Dave, plus son Matthew and daughter Emily.

A flashback to a previous Scottish Canal Championships. Gus Brindle is on the left. Picture: Contributed

Sally said: "Joanne and I got chatting. We have the facilities they need here and we're previously hosted the England men's team so we know what is required.

"We can also provide tuition and information on tactics at different times of the year and we are pleased to help the team out in any way we can."

There are currently five women in the carp team, two based in England, and three in Scotland, and Wyreside is around half-way between.

Aussie-born Joanne, who has Scottish parentage and was a member of the Scotland ladies sea fishing team which won silver at the Home Internationals at Weymouth recently, hopes the deal with the Lancashire-based fishery will prompt English or Welsh-based carp anglers with Scottish heritage to join the team.

The Scotland Women's Carp team pictured at Broom near Annan. Picture: Nigel Duncan

That would allow the group to take part in major events like the World Championships and Brighton-based Barlow revealed: "We have our first training weekend booked at Wyreside from August 19-21.

"Sally is allowing us to book five pegs next to each other so we can talk about tactics and put them into practice.

"Sometimes, on other fisheries, we find ourselves five or six pegs apart as they don't allow the sectioning off of pegs and this is such a great boost for us."

The fishery has facilities for caravans, campervans and motor homes and green-field camping. It even has a restaurant with food served from breakfast to dinner.

Roz Cassidy, a member of Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, with a winning bag. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Joanne said that a major plus for the squad is that all the lakes are different and that allows the ladies to work on different style of fishing for carp.

The team could be surface fishing on one, looking for carp near reeds in another and in another working on long casting techniques.

She added: "The fishery is around five or six hours for us in England and around five hours for the Scottish girls.

"Let's hope that English- and Welsh-based women carp anglers who have a Scottish heritage come and join us as this is a venue which is centrally located."

Still on coarse fishing and Derek Brady confirmed that he has nearly 20 names for the Scottish Canal Championship on the Forth and Clyde Canal on Saturday, August 6.

Brady, one of the organisers, said that the canal stretch chosen at Castlecary has been "dire" in recent practice sessions so they have switched to The Stables section at Glasgow Bridge in Kirkintilloch.

Several anglers have formed a work party to clear enough pegs at both sides of the bridge for the match to go ahead.

Entries are closed and the draw is at 8.45am and all-in at 11am. Fishing is until 4pm and the winner takes home £150, runner-up £100 and third-placed angler £50.

Among the entiries are wll-known competition angler, Dave McAuley, Chris Paton, Fife-based Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, plus Darrin (cor) Ferguson, Roz Cassidy and Heather Lauriston who are members of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh-based Alison Baker is the new independent chair of Angling Scotland Limited.

She is known in the angling world North of the Border tthrough her role on both the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board and the Forth Rivers Trust or through the significant number of fisheries related Scottish Government Working Groups.

Baker is a recreational trout and coarse angler who has an occasional day fishing for salmon and has a passion for ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access and enjoy angling in all disciplines and at all levels.

She said: ‘Angling has provided a focus for many hours of relaxation away from the stresses of work and has taken me to many beautiful locations.

"As someone who came late to the sport, I know only too well how difficult it can be to get into and how rewarding it is.

"I am keen to find ways to support pathways into angling and to support anglers throughout Scotland enjoy this important part of our culture and I hope Angling Scotland will become the go-to organisation for all anglers."

Baker replaces retiring chair, David Ogg to Stamford in England and he has done a sterling job over the past few years, according to a spokesman.

Gus Brindle, chair of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, said: “Alison's role will be vitally important to our success as we collectively move towards Angling Scotland becoming a membership organisation from April 1, 2023.

"Alison’s existing knowledge of the Scottish angling landscape, contacts across the sector, and extensive board level experience means she comes into the post well-equipped to lead."

Mike Horn, president of the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers, said: “The fact that Alison’s background does not include previous direct involvement with any of the three Scottish Angling Governing Bodies means that she is able to bring a fresh perspective, untainted by angling politics, which will be vital as we look to further develop this new organisation."