Fishing: ‘Lake of Dreams’ delivers as club members catch personal bests

Stoo Williamson, from East Lothain, with a new PB of 21lbs.Stoo Williamson, from East Lothain, with a new PB of 21lbs.
Stoo Williamson, from East Lothain, with a new PB of 21lbs.
A 30lb pike is considered the fish of a lifetime, but only a few people will accomplish that dream – Dave Horton, known as the big fish angler, has caught 30 of them during his career.

And Horton, author of Ultimate Pike, known as a pike anglers classic, is the special guest at The Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland (PAAS) annual meeting and gathering on Saturday, April 30 at the Newhouse Hotel, Edinburgh Road, Newhouse near Motherwell ML1 5SY.

All are welcome and there will also be tackle stalls, line testing and RNLI life jacket testing.

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A used tackle stall, FishX, a specialist fly, lure and predatory fishing store in Armadale, Temple Lures plus My Fishing Tackle will be represented and a Lake of Menteith golden ticket will be one of the prizes.

The narrows at Harlaw Reservoir. Picture by Nigel DuncanThe narrows at Harlaw Reservoir. Picture by Nigel Duncan
The narrows at Harlaw Reservoir. Picture by Nigel Duncan

The committee reports and annual meeting is from 10am to noon and the event, sponsored by Robinson Lures, Russell Lures, Gadda Baits and Fishing Lures, lasts until 4pm.

Incidentally, PAAS members have been out. Their visit to Linlithgow Loch saw anglers catch several pike over 20 lbs, seven double-figure fish and a host of jacks (pike under 10 lbs).

The club have also fished the Lake of Menteith, often known as The Lake of Dreams, and with good reason. Many anglers caught new personal bests, several of which were over the magical 30lb mark. Club members tempted more than 30 pike over 20 lbs, more than 40 doubles and over 200 jacks.

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Membership for the coming year opened on April 1 and costs £21 for an adult. Anyone wishing to join should email Blair Davidson: [email protected]

Rosebery Reservoir near Temple at sunset.Rosebery Reservoir near Temple at sunset.
Rosebery Reservoir near Temple at sunset.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Open Fly Fishing Championship is on Saturday, September 3 at the Lake of Menteith with a £60 entry fee. The winner takes home £600, second £300 and third £200 and it is run by Lothians-based Ben Robertson on international rules. Entry is on [email protected] and it is first come first served with entries coming in fast.

Locally, Rosebery near Temple in Midlothian and Harlaw above Balerno open on April 1 for the season. Rosebery manager Dougie Grant said they have been busy repairing the three boats and paths to prepare for the opening.

There has, he said, been a lot of interest and observers have noted that fish have been rising in recent days as the temperature has increased. Prices have been frozen from last season for boat and bank fishing which means that an adult day ticket is £23 and a senior and junior can fish for £15. For this, adult anglers can keep three fish and a senior two fish and you must book ahead.

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Robert Ross, company secretary for Malleny Angling, who look after Harlaw and part of Threipmuir, confirmed that day permits are only available online and the permit for a three-fish limit is £25. A catch and release ticket is £20. You cannot buy a permit at the water which is bank fishing only. It is also fly fishing only with no spinning or bait fishing and no float tubes are allowed. Evening tickets will be available later in the season.

He said: "You must buy a permit for the day you intend to fish. It is unlawful to fish without written permission."

The Water of Leith also opens for fishing on April 1 and permits are free from a number of outlets including The Water of Leith Conservation Trust, 24 Lanark Road, Edinburgh EH14 1TQ.

The permit allows fishing from Bridge Road, Balerno, to the West Bowling Green Street Bridge in Leith. City of Edinburgh Council ask anglers to respect several private stretches.

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The Almond has been open for some weeks and Edinburgh-based angler Scott Abbott has enjoyed great sport on the stretch from Cramond Brig to the boat pool at the bottom of the river. He has had two outings and hooked 36 fish between the two sessions fishing two nymphs on a French leader under a klinkhammer.

On to sea fishing and bosses of the Scotland 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.

Anybody over 12 is the target and he has already had interest from a young girl from Castle Douglas. 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.

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Wilson can be contacted on 07751 051782 and he said: "Juniors and ladies are welcome for this session and please let us know if you are attending. Also, if you have any friends interested in trying out for the junior team please let us know and bring them along on the day."

On to coarse angling and Scotland's ladies carp team are practising this weekend at Broom near Dumfries for the Home International later this year and there has been a lot of interest in the opening of the three coarse fishing ponds at Drumtassie near Blackburn on Saturday, March 26.

The introduction of Doris, a the 30lb carp, has raised the bar and anglers are reminded that this is a day ticket water. If you wish to fish overnight then you must be a member. Applications available.

Meanwhile, the coarse fishing season is hotting up and Magiscroft, popular with anglers from the Lothians, confirm have raised their permit price. It is cash only, no cards, and an adult ticket is now £9, junior £8 and two rod ticket £14 and anglers are reminded that they need a landing net to fish the water near Cumbernauld and an unhooking mat is required as well for the main loch.

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Over a tonne of mirror and common carp have been stocked across the ponds and they have started to feed thanks to the milder weather.

Tommy Lauriston, a member of Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club (ELCAC), won the most recent midweek match at Magiscroft with a bag of carp weighing 32lb 8oz. Second was Dave Birchall with 26lb 3oz and third Roz Cassidy, another member of ELCAC, with 24lb 5oz. The first match of the season for ELCAC at Alex's Pond, Orchill, near Auchterarder is Saturday, April 9.

Elsewhere, two Scottish teams are competing this weekend in the Sensas Challenge, Britain's premier international team event, on the Gloucester Canal with James Dornom from Edinburgh and Gus Brindle from Dunfermline both involved in a field of 39 from Britain and abroad.

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