Fishing around for women carp anglers to join team Scotland

The search continues to grow Scotland's carp team. The current five-strong squad are fresh from a weekend get-together at Broom near Annan and captain Joanne Barlow said it was a useful exercise.

Team bosses have been working hard behind the scenes for two years trying to build a squad, but the Brighton-based angler said there are a dearth of women carp anglers in Scotland.

The team is "really strong" but she added: "We hope to grow the team and develop fishing among women anglers. It is so important that they know each other well so they can do more fishing together in Scotland."

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She stressed that you can spend a lot of money on equipment rods, reels and bivvies etc but there are deals out there and Joanne added: "You can buy second hand and you can get decent rods at decent prices and it is all about learning to cast properly."

Scotland women's carp team during their training weekend at Broom near Annan. Left to right: Niki Wildman, Catherine Robertson, Joanne Barlow, Eleanor Mitchell and Margo Robinson

Joanne has caught carp in excess of 50lb during her career but she said that these are not the norm.

She added: "There are specific lakes you go to for specimen carp, but most of the lakes, like the one at Broom, have some stunning fish in them. You are, on average, finding lakes with carp around the 10lb to 15lb mark in them and these fish are stunning. They still fight really hard and fishing is just a great way to enjoy a day on the bank.

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"You can be as active as you want and you can sit back in the sunshine and enjoy where you are. What's more, you do not have to be physically strong. We have got girls of all ages, all physicallities and some with medical conditions, but they are still on the bank. Fishing is mentally calming and it is a great way to relax and get away from the busy lives that a lot of us have."

Aussie-born Joanne qualifies because her mother is Scottish and a lot of her family are in Scotland. She said that if you want to compete for Scotland you have to be born here, have lived here for ten years or more or have a parent or parents who are Scottish. Under the Scottish Federation they don't allow grandparents so it is just parents.

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Joanne Barlow fishing at Broom

Still on coarse fishing, and The Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club open their match season today at Orchill near Auchterarder where all their matches will be held.

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The league dates on Alex's Pond for reference are April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18, July 2, 16, 30, August 13 and 27 and September 10.

The rod and reel only cup will be on the Outer Snake on September 17 and the Knockout Cup will run from April to September with the final on September 10. The Pairs Cup is on July 30.

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Meanwhile, Scotland's ladies fly fishing team are gearing up for the Home Internationals at the Lake of Menteith on May 26 and the 11-strong team are practicing hard in a bid to use home advantage to the full.

Six practice sessions are booked at the lake and the the women are also fishing regularly on their local waters. Liz McLellan from Armadale is the captain and the other team members are Dione Roberts and Lana Taylor from Edinburgh, Helen Philp (Milnathort, Kinross), Jane Wright and Joy Penrose-Stupart (both Helensburgh), Jean Ferguson and Sandra McTear (both Ayrshire), Sheila Mannion (Dunkeld) and Liz Fraser (West of Scotland) plus Dierdre Dunbar (Hampshire but originally from Annan, Dumfries).

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The ladies are also looking to the future and recently held a development day where casting and other skills were honed and bosses are keen to attract new blood and plan a Fun Day at Burnhouse Lochan Fishery near Bonnybridge on Saturday, July 10, fishing from 9.30am to 5pm. The cost is £20 and includes a BBQ. Book a place on [email protected].

Elsewhere, from the second Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers open match of the year held on Riverside Drive, Dundee, last Sunday, saw Dunbar-based Chris Empson, a new addition to Scotland's international sea fishing team, among the prize winners along with Edinburgh duo Mike Kyle and Chris Barrett.

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One of the organisers, Chris Horn, said 423 fish were caught between the anglers with Zone A producing 160 fish, Zone B 128 fish and Zone C 135. First Zone A was Sandy Watson (Ayr) with 12 fish, second was Brian Maxwell (Prestwick) with 25 fish and third Nicky Robson (Newcastle) with 12 fish. First in Zone B was Steve Potts (Newcastle) with 14 fish, second was Mike Kyle (Edinburgh) with 15 fish and third Chris Horn (Kirkcaldy) with 11 fish. First in Zone C was Gav Owen (Newcastle) with 23 fish, second was Alan Combe (Kirkcaldy) with 15 fish and third Chris Empson (Dunbar) with 18 fish.

The longest fish was a 35cm flounder caught by Chris Barrett from Edinburgh and flounders, coley and blennies (cor) were landed. The next match is at Lunan Bay in the third week in May.

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A reminder that bosses Scotland's junior sea angling team have made a shout out to any youngsters keen to trial. A practice session has been scheduled for April 24 at Balmerino near Newport-on-Tay. The meeting time is 11am in the Tay Bridge car park at Newport-on-Tay DD6 8DY.

Fishing is from 12 noon to 4pm and Lindsay Wilson, the Scotland junior team manager, is looking for a squad to take to the Home International Championship at Weymouth in July.

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Anybody over 12 is the target. Trialists are asked to bring lugworm (fresh or frozen) and mackerel and flounder and eel are the species being targeted at the venue which is well-known for producing good sport. A three-hook flapper rig is required for terminal tackle. Wilson can be contacted on 07751 051782.

Locally, on the water, it has been tough at a number of fisheries due to the cold snap and also strong winds, but sheltered Allandale Tarn near West Calder has prospered with many anglers recording personal best bags.

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Mr Hoy from West Calder was typical. He comes every Sunday for four hours and catches three or four but last Sunday netted 17 and he bought another two-hour ticket to extend his session.

Fishing there has generally been top-of-the-water with trout in the top two or three feet. Ffly, CDC, yellow owl have all worked and sub-surface buzzers static and pulled have also produced.

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The Black Loch near Falkirk reports good catches with 42 fish landed last Sunday with buzzer and cormorant patterns working and Pottishaw has also been productive. Bowden Springs visitors have enjoyed good sport with Brian Scott recording 12 to the net and a best of 11lb. Sarah Maclean had a good day with a 10lb trout to the net. Buzzer, egg, nymph and bloodworm patterns have worked recently.

Buzzers have been the best method at the Lake of Menteith, fished on the hang. Keith Logan had 21 fishing buzzers on a washing line type set up with a Di3 line and many have reported catches into double-figures. Costa Ecosse netted 44 and Dalzell AC had 157 while Heriots caught 59. Dries and lures have also been working.

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Day session times are 9am (gates open 8am) till 5pm. Manager Quint Glen said boats are available due to competition cancellations on May 15 and 29 May, June 12 and October 29.

Pencaitland AC had a great day at Linlithgow Loch, keeping 17 trout for over 51lbs. Last Cast AC returned 24 fish, and Alistair McCotter enjoyed best day on the loch with nine returned while Ian Dobbie and George Pollini returned 20 between them. Alistair Fyvie with Jimmy Russell returned 15 fish and, off the north bank, Alistair Golding returned nine. Boats are available most days for a full day or four-hour session. Call 01506 671753.

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And Harlaw above Balerno in the Pentland Hills saw one angler hook more than 20 fish in one day last weekend. Black and green lures are working here.

Finally, tackle, Redington have launched a six-piece Trailblazer rod. It's the lightest rod they have ever produced and is said to be ideal for long trecks. It comes in two sizes, 7ft 6in 3wt and 9ft 5wt and carries a lifetime warranty. It comes in a compact rod tube.

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The company have revamped their fibreglass classic, Butter Stick, for trout fishing in brooks or lakes which comes in three sizes, 7ft 3wt, 7ft 6in 4wt and 8ft 5wt and it also has a rod tube and lifetime warranty.