Fishing: Darrin Ferguson aims to complete a glory double
Darrin Ferguson aims to complete a glory double on Saturday when he tackles-up in the final of the Knockout Cup at Alex's Pond, Orchill, near Auchterarder.
The 50-year-old angler has already won this season's championship hosted by the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club with one match to spare by edging Scott McGhee with club stalwart Tommy Lauriston in contention for third position after a late surge.
A potential grand slam has eluded Ferguson as Lauriston and Geoff Lowe, the club president, who have a combined age of 141 years, beat Ferguson and his partner Wullie McAuley (cor) in the pairs.
Laurison totalled 30lb and Lowe 23lb while Ferguson netted 33lb and is partner had a disappointing day and weighed in at 2lb.
It is Ferguson's second club championship in five consistent years with a club which continues to grow in popularity and his success is a reward for consistency.
He won three individual matches and framed in several others and the Cumbernauld-based angler said he went back to basics to clinch the silverware.
Ferguson said: "I tried to simplify my approach this season. In the past I've mixed and matched and tried to copy the approach of others, but I ended up having inconsistent seasons. I stuck to my strengths this time and it paid off."
His bags in individual events have not been huge but they have been enough to frame and Ferguson admitted that most of his catches had come near the island at Orchill. In previous seasons they have been close-in or down the middle.
He said: "The pond has changed and I did not take my tip rod with me this season to matches, preferring to use my pole. "There was close competition from Scott (McGhee). The majority of the fish he lands are carp while I pick up other fish including silvers. Tommy (Lauriston) had a bad start, but he has done really well to move up the league in the later part of the campaign.
"He fished strongly in the last four matches to put himself in contention, but the title is now decided and he would have to bomb in the last match to be edged out of third spot."
The former Scottish international, who last fished for his country in 2008, was third in the recent Scottish Canal Championship and the Knockout Cup would be his if he beats Stewart Ritchie on Saturday.
Ferguson said: "Stewart is into carp and they have been sulky recently. If they stay like that on Saturday then I fancy my chances."
Elsewhere, Scotland's men's coarse fishing team are in Croatia for the world championships on Saturday and Sunday. James Woodrow (Cumbernauld), Colin Hart (Coatbridge), David McAuley (Wishaw), plus James Dornom (cor) from Currie and David Corcoran from Davidson's Mains, both Edinburgh, plus Gus Brindle from Dunfermline are competing in the 68th hosting of the event. Brindle is also the team manager from Fife.
Derek Brady from Glasgow is acting as support staff and reports indicate it was scorching during official practice when anglers were given access to the match lengths on the stunning River Drava. Five of six anglers are on duty each day of the match.
The championship has been held on rivers, canals and still waters and the water holds Prussian carp, dwarf catfish, grass carp, catfish, red perch, silver bream, ide and carassius, a member of the carp family.
Woodrow said that there were plenty of fish to be caught in practice and lots of methods to use.
The inaugural championship was held in West Germany in 1954 and won by Team England. Wales won in 1989 in Bulgaria and claimed third spot in 1981. Channel Islands were third in 1992.
Italy are the holders with the Czech Republic runners-up last year and England were third with France having won on 16 occasions, Italy 14 and England 13.
Locally, Stenhouse fly fishery near Burntisland is open again. A statement on on social media said: "Our hard work wasn't in vain. With the shorter days, a touch of wind and some rainfall, we are back in the game. The decision to shut was the correct thing to do. We are again seeing almost gin clear water and the algae has gone." Opening times are dawn to 5pm and double hook-ups have been reported this week.
Black Loch near Falkirk confirm that as we are moving into Autumn they are closed on a Monday and Tuesday. The settled weather resulting in many anglers recording double-figure catches and a regular had 30-plus fish.
Bosses say the wind was mainly easterly, with average temperatures around 17c, with excellent water clarity with dry flies tempting fish to the surface. Foam daddies plus yellow owl were working well along with buzzers.
Penicuik Angling Club were among groups who have fished there recently and the fishery is open from 9am to 4.30pm Wednesday to Sunday. To book call 07527254811 or send a message on Facebook.
Lake of Menteith near Stirling hosted the Scottish Open Championships and Stevie Plank was the winner. The water was also the venue for second part of the Scottish Ladies Championship and top rod was Lana Taylor (cor) with seven fish for 338cm. She also had the longest fish of 54cm.
Second was Deirdre Dunbar with four fish for 193cm and equal third were Sam Hayhurst and Irene Clarke. Both had three fish measuring 144cm. Hayhurst won the best newcomer trophy and the best combined catch over the Harlaw and Menteith heats was made by Clarke.
In West Lothian, Allandale Tarn's new Autumn hours are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 8pm, Thursday and Friday 9am to 4.30pm, closed Tuesday. Phone 01506 873073 for more details.
Bowden Springs report that Robert Birrell tempted ten fish including a 7lb trout on buzzer and yellow dancer patterns and young Lachlan Peaston hooked into eight trout on cormorant and Ally McCoist patterns.
His father Andrew had a 9lb rainbow in a bag of two using diawl bach and Ally McCoist. Alan Purvis tempted a 7lb fish on diawl bach.
Clubbiedean above Bonaly in The Pentlands report klinkhammer and Adams are proving "irresistible" to trout and Bill Taylor, owner of nearby Glencorse Reservoir, said he has boats available on several dates in September. Phone 01968 678709 or 07703 255 955 or message [email protected] to check.
Loganlea's evening sessions are finished for the summer but Harlaw near Balerno continues to fish well with yellow owl, black and red buzzers, CDC, yelllow dancer and black and green lures producing good bags. Some anglers report double-figure catches and top of the water fishing is proving profitable according to Ronnie Robinson.
In the Borders, Hawick Angling Club 2019 warn that low water levels at Acreknowe, which is popular with locals and visitors, have exposed soft mud which is dangerous, especially to anglers wearing waders.
Finally, sea fishing and the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers host the Erskine Open Shore event on Sunday, September 18, fishing from 1pm to 6pm. The peg draw is at 11.30am and this is a pre-book only competition with a maximum of 50. It is two hooks, measure and release with 18cm minimum. Entrants will be given a point for any fish under 18cm.