Fish-off for Scotland sea team selection is a big lure

The closing date for entry to the fish-offs for selection to the Scotland men’s international sea fishing teams is January 31 and anybody keen is asked to note their interest.

By Nigel Duncan
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:35 am
Cod caught over the Festive period off the East Lothian coastline. Picture: Chris Empson
Cod caught over the Festive period off the East Lothian coastline. Picture: Chris Empson

To be eligible you must have been a member of the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers (SFSA) for 12 months prior to your application and must have finished in the top 25 of the individual members league.

You must also be able to demonstrate acceptable results in open pegged matches from January 1, 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Another criteria is that you have been a selected international angler who has fished at any level for Scotland.

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A minimum of three open pegged matches is required and club competitions do not count. There must have been a minimum of 30 anglers in the match and you must have been placed in the top 20 per cent, ie 30 entries/top six finish.

The matches are Granton on February 20 (high water 17.00), Arbroath beaches May 7 (low water 12.30), Arbroath beaches May 8 (low water 13.30), Ardgour September 11 (low water13.30), Greenock October 16 (high water 17.00) and Prestwick October 22 (low water 16.30).

The top 12 qualifiers from the fish-offs will form the teams to represent Scotland at the Home Nations and the world shore events.

A spokesman said: "In the event of a tie on points, the ranking will be determined firstly by the total fish/card points from the four matches counting towards the angler’s final points tally, secondly number of zone wins achieved in the matches, thirdly by the number of second place finishes, fourthly by the number of third place finishes etc.

"The first five in each event will be the team with the sixth qualifier as reserve. If, for whatever reason, the two teams plus reserves cannot be filled by the top 12 qualifiers, then the selection process will continue in the order of the final positions, ie from 13th place downwards. One of the five selected anglers for each team will be appointed captain."

All entrants will be asked to sign the code of conduct and anti-doping policy before start of fish-offs and the entry fee is £60. Contact Mike Kyle, Chris Horn or David Neil for information.

Meanwhile, the East Fife Sea Angling Club host their annual New Year Open on Sunday, January 2, with the boundaries between Carnoustie and Ferryden Lighthouse.

Registration is at the Victoria Park car park, Arbroath, from 10am to 11am and all depart at 11am. Fishing is from noon to 5pm with the weigh-in back at the Victoria Park car park between 5pm and 6pm with the scales closing at 6pm sharp.

It is £15 to enter and the organisers request the correct money. SFSA rules apply with one rod, three hooks and the five-yard rule. This is a Penn Sea League counter and for more details contact Chris on 07872 944807.

Meanwhile, new Scottish international Chris Empson from Dunbar won the heaviest ag prize at Alan and Stewart's Christmas Cod Open event with boundaries from Ferryden Lighthouse to Carnoustie in midweek. The Dunbar-based joiner beat off 43 other anglers with an encouraging number new to match fishing.

Empson had 11 fish for over 19lb with Alan Combe from Kirkcaldy second with nine fish for nearly 17lb and Tony Cook third with five fish for over 12lb including the heaviest fish of 4lb 7oz.

On to coarse fishing and enthusiasts should note that Magiscroft is closed on Hogmanay and New Year's Day but re-open again on January 2.

The fourth of five rounds in the Magiscroft float only silver series sponsored by Del's Fresh Produce is on Sunday, January 2.

It is close at the top of the standings with all to play for in the race for the £200 top prize with the best four results counting.

James Woodrow and Chris Paton lead the table with David McCauley third and Gus Brindle from Fife, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling fourth.

Competitors will be hoping for an easier day than in round three, a match fished without bloodworm or joker after a courier problem. The bait was locked in a depot.

Fly fishing now and George Charters from West Linton hooked nine fish to win the Boxing Day catch and release event at Markle. Joint second were Stevie Whitehead and Eck Moffatt from Dalkieth with six fish each.

Jock Kettles, captain of Scotland's fly fishing team, from Bonnyrigg was third with three fish. Black and green mini lures and bugs under bungs proved the best patterns on a tricky day with a biting South-East wind which meant the event was fished on the Monastry Pond and not the main lake at the popular East Lothian fishery.

Markle has been fishing well but is closed on New Year's Day but Drumtassie near Blackridge will be open throughout New Year. Bowden Springs near Linlithgow is closed on New Year's Day and January 2.

Fishing here has been busy and bags good with anglers recording catches nearing double-figures and fish in the 8lb range.

Fishing has also been good at Pottishaw near Whitburn and John Kierney from Livingston landed a fine 12lb rainbow tempted by an egg under a bung. Owner Fraser Thomson said that fish have been rising with the water temperature high. He will be open again on January 2 and his January fishing hours are 9.30am to 3.30pm.

In Midlothian, local angler Kevin Walkinshaw had a great session at Rosslynlee with 15 and the fishery has been busy over the Festive period with anglers catching. Egg patterns have worked well.

Owner Nicola Perfect confirmed she will be closed on New Year's Day and January 2 but will re-open on Monday with new hours of 9am to 4pm.