Fishing: Gus Brindle enjoys triple celebration
Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, enjoyed a triple celebration this week.
He won the £150 first prize in the Scottish Canal Championships near Kirkintilloch last weekend, his second win in the competition, but it was a real struggle this time.
Then, Major Brindle, confirmed his retirement from the Army in a week in which he celebrated his 60th birthday.
Fife-based Brindle was one of 18 anglers who fished the event on the Forth and Clyde Canal with entrants split either side of the bridge at The Stables section at Glasgow Bridge.
This was after a late switch from Castlecary near Cumbernauld because of poor returns in recent practice sessions.
Gin clear water meant the water fished much harder than had been expected, despite some good returns in the run-up.
Brindle hooked into 820g of mainly roach and he pipped Andy Potts by 5g. He landed £100 for being second and third was Darrin Ferguson, a member of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, who took home £50 with 710g.
Ferguson was also one of the helpers who helped prepare the pegs for the event sponsored by keen fisherman Derek Brady who runs Glasgow-based Del's Fresh Produce.
Brindle, who was second in the event last year, said: "There were nine pegs either side of Glasgow Bridge to the east of Kirkintilloch and I drew peg B8.
"The water was really clear and we fished in really bright conditions and the fish were very finicky. Tight lines and small hooks were the order of the day.
"I fished 0.07 hooklengths to a fine wire size 22 and 24 hook. I started on the inside line just beyond the littles with 4mm punched break hook bait over liquidised bread.
"I managed a few early fish but conditions were very challenging with a strong gusting swirling wind making presentation of the bait and spotting bites really difficult.
"If you couldn't present the bait naturally you simply didn't get a bite and, even if you did, they were tiny lifts and dips on the float rather than positive bites.
"After two hours, with conditions worsening and the inside line dying, I decided to battle the wind and fish pinkies over groundbait across to the far side at 14 metres.
"While it was almost impossible to hold the pole still over there, by fishing a long line between the pole top and float, and using a large back shot, I managed to keep the odd fish coming until the end."
It's been a big week for Brindle who has been with the Army for 43 years and 11 months, with 23 of them as secretary of the Army Angling Association, and he added: "I'm now unemployed for the first time since I left school.
"Not sure how I am feeling about either at the moment, but I have lots of things to keep me busy."
Meanwhile, the final of the 2022 Silver Fish Extravaganza with be on Saturday, August 27, on Springwater Fishery and Sunday, August 28 at Broomhill Fishery.
Match ten of the Summer Series for the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling club is today (SAT) and also features a Knockout Cup clash between Darrin Ferguson and John Perella.
On to sea fishing and Gill Coutts from Largs won the ladies title in the shore angling championship in the event run by the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers at the River Cree.
Fishing was patchy with a few ells, flounders and a couple of bass caught and the senior champion was Stevie Burns with 12 fish for 455cm, a close second was David Neil from Ayr with 13 fish for 450 and third Nuno Santos from Glasgow, a member of Scotland's Home International team, third with 12 fish for 426cm.
Dumfries-based Hollie Stoker, a member of the Scotland Junior Sea Angling team, was the junior champion with three fish for 105c and second was her younger brother Jay, aged nine, with two fish for 70cm. Stevie Burns also hooked the longest fish, a 50cm bass.
Round six of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's summer series attracted 12 anglers and was won by Edinburgh angler William Stafford with three fish, a wrasse, cod and rockling, for 3lb 1oz.
Chris Empson from Dunbar, a member of the Scottish team in the recent Home Internationals, was second with one fish, a wrasse, for 1lb 6oz.
James Ogilvie, one of the organisers, said two new anglers, Grant Oleskey and Billy Orr, fished the match which was sponsored by Mains The Saddler of Haddington who, he said, will soon be selling sea fishing equipment and bait.
Game fishing now and Bill Taylor, owner of the fishery at Glencorse Reservoir, is taking provisional bookings for the 2023 season. Log onto his website to see availability.
Glencorse staged a heat of the Scierra Pairs with David Carr and Davey Wright from the Borders claiming first place with seven fish to the boat weighing 27.34lb.
Conditions were not ideal with a blustery wind and high water temperatures but Colin Moffat and Zac Kiel with five fish were second and their bag weighed 21.2lb and third were Wayne Cram, who fishes with West Lothian Fly Dressers, and John Prentice with five fish for 19.8lb.
Taylor said: "Well done to the guys as it was not easy going because of the weather."
He also confirmed that police and Pentland Hills Rangers are continuing to patrol in The Pentlands during the summer holiday period in a bid to cut down on poaching.