Fishing: Lothian anglers making 3000-trip to take on best in Europe

David CorcoranDavid Corcoran
David Corcoran
Two experienced Lothians anglers are making a 3,000 mile round trip by car as Scotland make their debut in one of Europe's top invitation coarse fishing events later this month.

David Corcoran from Davidson's Mains, Edinburgh, and James Dornom from Currie join James Woodrow from Cumbernauld and Gus Brindle from Dunfermline at the WalterLand Daiwa Masters in Hungary.

There they will fish in a field of 160 in the three-day event against the cream of world and European talent at Szeged, known as the city of sunshine. It is Hungary's third largest city.

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The Scots hope to build on their recent success in the Sensas Challenge on the Gloucester Canal when Scotland A were third, with Dornom and Brindle in the team, and Woodrow won the silver medal.

James DornomJames Dornom
James Dornom

It's a new venue for all the Scots but Corcoran has fished all over Europe, including once in Hungary, and is excited by the prospect of competing from April 29 to May 1 in the event named after Tamas Walter, a two-time world champion from Hungary who now runs a fishing tackle business.

The venue was built in 1981 and is the centre for rowing in that region of Hungary. Anglers' poles are restricted to 13 metres to stay inside the buoys which mark out the rowing lanes 20 metres from the bank.

There are three days of practice then three days of competition in the float-only event with carp the main target along with carassio, a member of the carp family.

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Corcoran said that a place in the top ten would be a huge result for Scotland, particularly as they are making their debut and on a water which none of the quartet know.

There are, he said, multiple champions in the field and the Scottish quartet were already doing their homework. It is understand that maggot and sweetcorn are the best baits for the water and that a maize-based groundbait works well.

That information will be tested by the Scots who have already pre-ordered groundbait and Corcoran said they will pair up on site in the three practice days, trying different baits and rigs, and then comparing notes.

They will also enlist the help of Dave McAuley from Wishaw who was fourth in the Sensas Challenge and also in the Scotland A team as he has knowledge of in the Hungarian venue having attended the event before.

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Corcoran, a 50-year-old project manager, said weather and changing winds could play a part and he added: "Fine margins can make a big difference in an event like this. Fishing is over four hours on the three days and you are drawn with anglers from different nations and also on different parts of the lake."We'll be thoroughly prepared, searching for depths and the layout of the lake bottom, and whether it is best to fish close in or the full 13 metres, and we'll try to work out the best rigs, bait and groundbait. However, if you get things wrong from the start of the day then it is difficult to correct that in a short space of time. We'll have to adapt to the conditions we encounter."

He goes into the event in good form after winning the Guru-sponsored Broom winter series which finished last month near Annan. He finished tied on six points with Eddie Bibby but winning overall on weight count back.

Last weekend, he took second place in the 100 peg-qualifier for the Maver Match at Partridge Lakes in Culcheth (cor) near Warrington. The Edinburgh angler drew a noted peg and felt he had a chance to qualify.

He ticked along with small stock fish for most of the match but had a fantastic last half hour catching the bigger, older F1 carp on a short pole to weigh 83lb 14oz, just behind local angler Rob Orme who landed a haul of 85lb 6oz.

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He said: "It was obviously disappointing to come so close to qualifying, but felt like I'd fished well. Onto the next one."Well that is in Hungary and teammate, Cumbernauld-based Woodrow, understands that work has been done of the venue recently which could be to the Scots advantage as this may change how the fish behave and feed.

The lake has also been re-stocked and he added: "Taking part in this event is something I've wanted to do for some time and this year we have four guys keen to make the trip. We're driving and we estimate it will take us two days via Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel and then via Liege in Belgium to Szeged on the Serbia and Romanian border.

"The hotels are right beside the bank so once we get there there is no real hassle getting to out pegs. Getting the set-up right is crucial, however, and we've three days to work that out before the competition starts, but the guys going are good anglers who have competed at a high level for some time.

"We expect it to be warm and we also have to deal with that, but making an impact here, after what we achieved in the Sensas Challenge, would stick another marker down for Scotland on the international map."

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Onto fly fishing and bosses at the Lake of Menteith near Stirling report the best catches have been on buzzers, one boat had 30 and another 24.

Linlithgow Loch report that there have been 43 boats out in the past week carrying 60 rods and 61 fish were kept, weighing 177lbs, and 184 fish returned. Best tactics were floating, midge tip and Di3 lines using buzzers, blobs, diawl bachs, cormorants and black/green lures.

North Berwick AC kept 17 fish returned 20 and Eye Water AC kept 21 fish. Leslie and Glenrothes travelled with eight anglers and returning 38 fish. Bosses say boats are available on most days for a full day or four-hour sessions. Call 01506 671753 or book online.

Nearby, Bowden Springs is also fishing well with Billy Wilson tempting 16 on buzzers and lures Mr Lister landed six including a stunning 12lb brown trout. Alan Purvis netted three, including two brown trout of 9.5lb and 6lb on buzzer and daddy longlegs. The Woodside Club from Cowdenbeath enjoyed their day on the bait pond with 27 in the bag for a total weight of around 70lb, all on Powerbait.

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Pottishaw near Whitburn is also fishing well. Paul Dancer tempted 20 with John Kearney and Neil Irvine both netting 16. Olive or black buzzer on the floating line worked best and there are overwintered browns showing. Boss Fraser Thomson said prospects are good.

Harlaw boss Robert Ross reports that the first few weeks of the season have produced excellent fishing with many double-figure catches including one of 17 from an experienced angler. Early-season fish tend to be less selective on fly patterns and will succumb to a wide range as long as they are well-presented at the correct depth.

Onto sea fishing finally, and the Bass Rock Shore Angling League have decided to host ten Summer League events and 12 Winter League competitions with the £20 subscription covering both.