Fishing: Dave Horton gets top billing for Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland AGM

Dave Horton, one of Britain's most famous pike anglers, is the headline attraction at the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland's annual meeting on Saturday and all are welcome to hear how he has tempted over 30 pike weighing over 30lb each.

By Nigel Duncan
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:40 pm
Dave Horton with a big pike
Dave Horton with a big pike

The retired fireman jets up from London for the event in Newhouse and the author of Ultimate Pike, considered by some to be a pike anglers classic, said: "My presentation is called Milestones and I’ll lead you through my years as a fisherman, sharing memorable moments along the way.

"I’ve been around a bit and done a lot, but I still have a few things on my bucket list. I’d love to catch a 40lb pike. Catching another 30lb fish, preferably from a new river - I’ve caught four river 30, from three different rivers - would put a big smile on my face.

Horton has fished in Scotland and said: "I was on (Lake of) Menteith. 20-odd years back, and managed a brace of 20lb fish, the largest being 25, and my boat partner added a 23lb fish. I fished Loch Fad (Isle of Bute) too and caught fish to 27lb and I witnessed a 35lb-er being landed. I had three of my thirties from there Gartmorn (near Alloa)."

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What are his tactics? He said: "I like to keep it very simple but I'm a thinking angler. I was instrumental in the development of remote-controlled boats in angling and I pretty much invented the bait flag. I still use both on a regular basis. On the whole however, piking is about seizing opportunities and fishing in the right place at the right time."

Horton is a great believer in the lunar effect and tries to fish at what he thinks are the optimum times. He added: "This means I waste less time than I once did, fishing on days when the pike might not particularly be feeding."

The Spurs season ticket holder believes there is a future for piking in the UK and added: "It strikes me that Scotland is not, and will not, be a bad place to be a piker in the next ten years."

Horton is set to speak at about 1pm after the annual meeting of the alliance from 10am to noon. Anglers can also browse through an exhibition area which is scheduled to include a second-hand equipment stall, exhibits by Gadda Baits, an online pike bait supplier set up by two passionate anglers, including Garry Lewis who has a best of 36lb.

There will also be a pike fly tying demonstration by Armadale-based Stu Sutherland who runs an online tackle business called FishX.

Edinburgh-based Brian Chalmers, editor of the alliance's magazine, confirmed that the event is free and the organisation, set up in 2001 and claiming to be Scotland's largest single species group, hosts the first of its evening summer league events at the Lake of Menteith near Stirling on May 6. Four other events are planned, two at Linlithgow Loch and two at Black Loch and only paid up members can enter the Daiwa Prorex Lure League. Club memberships are available on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club have hosted the first two of their Summer League events at Orchill, near Auchterarder, and Sandy McKay won the latest match with a bag of 14lb 4oz.

Second was Darrin Ferguson (cor) with 13lb 5oz and third Tommy Lauriston on 12lb 1oz who commented: "The thoughts were that the warmer weather plus the pond being refilled with water would lead to better weights. Not to be." The round of 32 in the Knockout Cup will be completed by May 7, the date of the third leg in the summer series.

Abroad now, and Scotland's four-man team of James Woodrow (Cumbernauld), Gus Brindle (Dunfermline), James Dornom (Currie) and Davie Corcoran (Edinburgh) are competing in one of the world's leading international invitational events in Hungary.

Meanwhile, the Bass Rock Shore Angling League postponed the first match of their ten-round summer league in midweek as Belhaven Beach was unfishable. They will try to re-organise for this week and details will be posted on their Facebook page.

Elsewhere, the first heat of the Kingdom Fly Fishing Championship is at Stenhouse near Burntisland today (Saturday, April 30) from 9am to 4.30pm and it is fully-booked. The revised prize fund for the final indicates a first prize of £400 plus £200. Snowbee voucher, runner-up £200 and £100 Snowbee voucher and third £100 and a £75 Snowbee voucher.

The winner of each heat receives a £50 Snowbee voucher and Scierra fly line with the heaviest fish in each heat receiving a £50 Snowbee voucher.

The popular water has been fishing well with buzzer and diawl bach proving the best patterns fished in the middle of the lake. The recent east wind did have an effect but one boat returned 21 fish.

Karen Jack at Loganlea above Flotterstone reports good fishing despite the windy and cold weather with a fine fish of 10lb among the best catch returns. Fishing under a bung or using the washing line tactic has proved profitable with buzzer, pink lures and diawl bach also catching.

Steven Oliver, head bailiff at Harlaw Reservoir above Balerno, reports consistent catch returns with buzzers (black and olive) on a floating line producing. A cracking blue trout of abound 8lb, with "a tail like a shovel" according to Oliver, was netted and he added: "Other patterns doing well are Ally McCoist, yellow dancer and chartreuse squirmy wormy."

The latest Scottish round of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's leading fly fishing events, was held at Lake of Menteith and Kevin Porteous and James Bews from Sutherland beat 29 other pairs to win with Robert Gibson and Jake Gilchrist second. The event started at 9am and the two qualifiers were back in harbour with eight fish by 10.30am.

Porteous and Bews netted 26lb 7oz of trout on a FAB with diawl bach up the cast while Gibson and Gilchrist had 19lb 3oz.

Jock Kettles from Bonnyrigg, Scotland's international captain, and his regular partner, Mike Connet from Edinburgh, were sixth with 19lb 15oz, but they did not return to harbour until 12.15pm and lost out on time bonuses. Another Lothians pairing, Stevie Whitehead and Eck Moffat, weighed in with 12lb 14oz but were well down the field.

Linlithgow Loch bosses report that 68 boats have been out and 58 fish were kept weighing 168 lbs with 219 fish returned. Floating, midge tip and Di3 lines have been favoured along with buzzers/muskins, blobs, diawl bachs, cormorants and black/green lures.

Paul Dancer is a regular at Bowden Springs near Linlithgow and equalled a season-best of 22 previously set by Robert Birrell.

Dancer's best was a 10lb trout from the two-acre fly pond and he used squirmy wormy and buzzer patterns while Alan Purvis fished nymph and buzzer patterns to tempt a cracking 11.5lb trout.

There was also good sport on the bait pond with regular angler Robert Laing using his local knowledge to tempt two fish, one of 5lb and the other of 3lb.

Black Loch near Falkirk report that 43 rods were out and 20 fish kept weighing 55lb with 61 returned. Hot spots are School Bay and Reed Bay and favourite patterns include cat’s whisker, Ally McCoist, diawl bach, blobs, buzzers, Kate McLaren and black and green lures. Floating lines with midge tip and Di3 have produced best results and their latest stocking was on Thursday with 380lb of rainbow and blue trout.